Friday, September 14, 2012

Kelambakkam backwaters, Chennai

Kelambakkam backwaters is a brackish water lagoon adjacent to the Bay of Bengal in the East Coast Road.

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
I had an opportunity to shoot these beautiful pied kingfisher in Kelambakkam backwaters, Chennai. I had to getup at 5am to drive all the way to Kelambakkam. The Pied Kingfisher  has black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. They are usually found in pairs or small family parties. When perched, they often bob their head and flick up their tail.  It usually hunts by hovering over the water to detect prey and diving vertically down bill-first to capture fish.

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wading bird in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia.They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. 

The Spot-billed Pelican or Grey Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)

Pallikaranai Marshland, Chennai

Pallikaranai wetland is a fresh water swamp situated in Chennai with a geographical area of 80 square kilometer. The habitat consists of fresh/saline water bodies, reed beds, mud flats and floating vegetation.There are more than hundred species of birds that can be spotted here. They include the resident birds as well as migratory birds.

Resident bird species include Purple Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Common Coot, Spot-billed Duck, Spot-billed Pelican, Prinias, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Pied Crested Cuckoo, White-breasted Kingfisher and Grey Heron.

Raptors like Shikra, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Red-necked Falcon, Marsh Harrier, Montague's Harrier and Booted Eagle can also be seen here.Fulvous Whistling Duck, Grey-headed Lapwing, Greater Flamingo and Waders like Pied Avocet, Sandpipers & Ruffs can be seen here during wintering months.

During the winter thousands of Waders and migratory ducks fill the marsh, which becomes a paradise for bird watchers. Osprey, Greater Flamingo, Northern Pintail duck, Northern Shoveler, Garganey teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Pied Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Marsh Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, Rosy Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Little Stint, Grey-headed Lapwing, Glossy Ibis and Black-headed Ibis, Ruff and Greenshank all visit the Pallikaranai marsh.


Plain Prinia

 Purple Swamphen

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Black-winged Stilt

 American Coot

Indian Spot Billed Duck

The Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)