Pelican spotting

I remember spotting these big birds in the Kommaghatta lake on one of my cycle rides down to Kommaghatta road. I did a few visits with parents, mainly to get Amma to walk. She’d walk around 400m on the track before complaining and we’d start back. But the pelicans would be there on a tiny island in the centre of the lake, too far for the phone to capture.

This lake is one of the better maintained ones. There is a well maintained path skirting the entire lake. There are railings on both sides of the track to keep people out of the water, and to keep people out of the path from outside. The gate is opened only for a couple of hours in the morning and then in the evening. It’s public, but restricted. I do like unrestricted access, but given the size it usually ends up becoming a place where people dump stuff, usually plastic and other religious paraphernalia, into the water. The Mallathahalli lake is an example. There are theppas(coracles) there, so some fishing happens too.

Today, I drove Amma to get her to walk. It had been some days since she had stepped out for any walking as such, and I had to indulge in a fair degree of inveigling to get her into the car. I also took along the DSLR to get some shots. We started off with the Indian Cormorant near the entrance.

Indian Cormorant
Indian Cormorant

The Pelicans were there on their island. These are spot-billed pelicans, found throughout the subcontinent. Although they aren’t endangered as such, and are found in reasonably large numbers, they are listed as “Near Threatened” mainly because of vanishing wetlands, which is causing a drop in their population. I was surprised to note other birds too. There was a darter too, which I haven’t seen before in an urban or semi-urban area, a grey heron and a painted stork. It is not so much of an island as a huge bunch of trees in the middle of the lake.

From left: Grey heron, spot-billed pelican, one darter, pelicans
L to R: Grey Heron, Pelican, Pelican, Snake Darter(Indian Darter, you can see a snake like head on the second pelican of the pair’s body), Pelican.

One of the pelicans, flew up from that bush and I tried to follow it with the camera.

And got what is going to be my one of my most favourite avian shots for a while.
Pelican in flight
The bird eventually settled down and chilled out in the lake. This is how a pelican looks when in water.
The Lone Pelican

And the Painted stork crowning the island.

Painted Stork
Painted Stork

As for Amma, she did her 400m where there was a bench to sit on. After a few minutes we turned back, and then drove home.


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