It was on 29th December, 2019 that I, finally, got the chance to spend a Day Out Birding at one of my Favourite Birding Locations – Pong Lake. I first visited this place in 2015 and till then it has remained in my ‘Favourites List’.
Local birding is much more exciting to me compared to going to far off places to witness a complete new set of wildlife. So, I began this season’s birding adventures by visiting the place that I consider as ‘One of the Finest Spots for Birding around Phillaur’ – Sutlej.
Cormorants are medium to large sized fishers. All the 3 species of Cormorants that are found in India are dark coloured. Some species have coloured facial skin. The Great Cormorant has yellow and a white gular patch, the chin is yellow with a patch of white skin after yellow.
On March 2, 2019, I went again birding near Sutlej on my Motorcycle. The day had a solid start with the sightings of an Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pied Bushchat and a Eurasian Marsh Harrier (no photographs).
February was not quite a successful one but I explored many new places which later on proved out to be gifting.
This month birding began on 9th with a visit to the nearby cultivations. I saw only some common species like the Spotted Owlet, Red-naped Ibis and White-tailed Stonechat. But, I could not manage any good photograph.
Phillaur has a lot of forests and cultivation and is also gifted with the mighty Sutlej which separates Phillaur from Ludhiana. There are more than a hundred species that I have recorded in and around Phillaur including the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Yellow-bellied Prinia and Temminick’s Stint.
Kites are medium to large sized birds of prey in the family Accipitridae. They have sharp and strong talons with sharp and hooked beaks which help them tear the meat from their prey.
There are two types of Kites found in India – Elanus Kites and Milvine Kites. The Elanus Kites are much smaller than the Milvine Kites. Also, The Elanus Kites are the ‘Hovering Kites’ and Milvine Kites are ‘Soaring Kites’.
There are several species of Kites found across the country. Out of the four species found in India, here, I will talk about 3 of them:-
The Black Kite is the most common among them and is found everywhere in cities, towns, forests, gardens etc. People in towns and cities call it the Eagle which is totally wrong. The Eagles are much bigger than Kites, also, the Black Kite has a forked tail which is not seen in an Eagle.
The Black-Shouldered Kite is a medium-sized Kite which prefers more open and silent suburbs of a city. They are rarely spotted in cities and overcrowded neighborhoods and mostly seen sitting at the overhead wires at the edge of open fields.
The Brahminy Kite is quite common in S India, especially Goa, but is a rare sighting in N India.
Size(33-36cm): Small wader with incredibly long legs (comparing to their body size).
Area: Resident as well as migratory bird found all over India till about 1600m in Himalayas.
Habitat: Its habitat is much similar to that of the Sarus Crane– Marshes, ponds, lakes and riversides.
My two words: They have black and white plumage. Their named so because of their long, pink legs which do the work much like the ‘stilts’ do to protect the house from water (in stilt house). An adult male has black wings, bill and sometimes nape and crown. The female is brown where the male is black. The immature bird is grey-brown where the male is black.
(immature Black-winged Stilt)
Being highly gregarious these birds are generally found in small parties.
The nest in which the eggs are laid is build on a bare site near water. They might sometimes nest in small parties (usually with Pied Avocet(s) in India).
They feed generally on molluscs, crustaceans, insects and aquatic vegetation.
Their conservation status is of ‘LC (Least Concern)’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.