Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kelambakkam backwaters - Birding on the ECR road

It is the extension of Muttukadu backwaters, and stretches along the Kelambakkam – Kovalam road. This place attracts lot of migratory and resident birds. A huge number of Painted Storks, Spot Billed Pelicans, Black Headed Ibis and Egrets can be spotted here. Perching birds can also be seen in the bushes and shrubs surrounding the water bodies. Some of the smaller birds spotted here includes Pied Kingfishers, Prinias and White Breasted Kingfishers. 
Birds at Kelambakkam backwaters
Spot Billed Pelicans
Many good vantage points are there along the Kelambakkam – Kovalam road for bird watching. If you don’t mind getting your feet dirty and manage some slippery muddy paths, you can also get to the flat lands and salt pans surrounding the backwaters. As the day advances raptors can also be spotted above these salt pans.
White Throated Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Kelambakkam backwater is one of the places where you can get lots of opportunity to shoot pictures of Pied Kingfishers in flight. This place has a large number of Pied Kingfishers and here, they don’t mind people getting close to them. Pied kingfishers can be spotted on transmission lines, partially submerged rocks and hovering on the water surface. With some fast equipment and a bit of support from the light, good shots of Pied Kingfishers can be captured when they hover over the water in search of fish.
Ashy Prinia
Lone Fisherman
In recent times the backwaters and the salt pan ecosystems are changing drastically, due to the water stagnation and sewage water getting mixed with the water body. 

Nature was maintaining this water body’s health by flushing it with sea water entering through the tidal inlet during tidal variations. But due to a lot of human intervention on the coast and change in weather system the tidal inlet gets closed frequently by accumulation of sand and formation of sand bars, preventing the exchange of water between the sea and the backwaters. This has led to the stagnation and deterioration of the health of this water body. 

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