Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's nestling time at Karanji Lake

The rush of visitors to Karanji Lake Nature Park is going steady. The Park located on the banks of the Lake has been restored of its greenery, attracting several species of winged beauties that have descended upon the Lake and begun nestling.
The nature park consists of a Butterfly Garden and a walk-through Aviary. It is an abode for many species of migratory birds like herons and egrets and a paradise for ornithologists.
The lake, situated in the heart of the city against the backdrop of the Chamundi Hill, has a total area of 90 hectares. While the water-spread area is about 55 hectares, the foreshore area measures about 35 hectares. The Zoo Authority is in charge of its maintenance.
This Lake was neglected for long, being filled with sewage and dumping of garbage. But the Zoo authorities acquired the place in 1976 and developed the Lake. Soon after the development works started paying dividends, the lake became a visiting place for nature lovers and a nestling area for variety of birds. And now, the lake is transformed into a mini bird sanctuary .
What was once only a refuge for Painted Stork, now witnesses a regular influx of varied species including the Glossy Ibis, Grey Pelican, Snake Bird, Painted Stork, Black Ibis, Bill Storks, Egrets, Purple Heron, Cormorants, Great Cormorant, Spotbill Duck etc., which are busy weaving nests on trees in the islands of the lake (see pics.)

Herons, Asian Open Bill Storks, Egrets, Red wattle lapwing, Sandpipers, Rose ringed parakeet, Black Drongo, Brown Shrike, Red-whiskered bulbul, Booted warbler, Sunbird and Greenish Warbler are some of the other species of migrant birds found here.
According to the staff at the Karnaji Lake, the recent survey of birds indicated 87 species of birds in which 12 are migratory birds. Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds due to changes in food availability, habitat or weather.
Bird Watch Tower
A 10-meters high Bird Watch Tower at the site enables the visitors not only to view panoramic environs of the lake but also to watch birds unhindered. Looking through the binoculars, one can see scores of nests of black-headed ibis, painted stork, spot-billed pelican, egrets and cormorants. Visitors to the lake can also enjoy boating there. One can hire pedal boats and rowboats in a designated area to watch the greenery and the birds roosting on the trees. The scenery, cool breeze, serenity and chirping of birds witnessed during the boating, makes one enchanted with the place.
Except on Tuesdays, the Karanji Lake is open on all days from 10 am to 5 pm.

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