Lakeside is a great place for bird watching. As the lake drops during the year new land appears which is a great attraction to migrating birds.
Two days ago I saw woolly necked stork for the first time this year. These birds are resident in Tamil Nadu but not commonly seen so I see it as a great privilege to have a small flock arrive at ‘our’ lake.
The Woolly-necked Stork is a large bird around 85 cm tall. It is a beautiful shimmering black with black ‘skull cap’, white neck and white lower belly. There are traces of dark green and purple shades in its feathers, and the whole bird is set off with striking long red legs. Juvenile birds have the same colouring but are a duller versions of the adult.
The storks were given their scientific name of Ciconia episcopus, because their black bodies, white collars and black skull-caps make them look like religious clerics (the general term for bishop is Episcopal).
These birds fly like other stork species with outstretched necks which gives a feeling of size and power. They soar on thermals to enable it to carry their large bodies over long distances.
These storks like flooded fields, marshlands and lakes – so they must feel pretty much at home here! They eat fish, frogs, reptiles, molluscs, crabs, large insects etc.
I hope the few birds we have here will grow in number and that they may nest here this year. That would be a sight to see!