Some of the loyal, dedicated birders from Rishi Valley School were taken on a birding trip to Nelapattu and Pulicat Bird Sanctuaries on 6-7 January.
We spent nearly two hours at the Nelapattu Pelicanry on 6th morning and had opportunities to watch the nesting colony of waterbirds comprising mainly Spotbilled Pelicans, Openbill storks, Black-necked Ibis, Spoonbills, a few cormorants, darters, egrets and night herons, besides several species of ducks including Lesser Whistling Teal, Garganey, Shovellers, Pintail and Spotbilled Ducks (which were not breeding) in the tank. In the fields adjoining the tank, there were Zitting Cisticolas, Indian Roller and a Marsh Harrier.
That afternoon and the next morning, we made forays into the Pulicat lake, along the SHAR road, stopping by at the Kudiri Tank, a freshwater tank with reeds. We were greeted by flocks of flamingos (over 7000 birds, stretching towards the horizon and seen as a pink line), several smaller shorebirds numbering over 2000 that included stints, plovers and sandpipers, Painted Storks, more Pelicans, a flock of over 1400 pintail ducks, several egrets and herons. Our total bird tally exceeded 90 species in the two days and some of the kids got to see several “lifers” on this trip.