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BLUSHING BALLET DANCERS ON A BLUE DAIS

By on August 20th, 2017

Surrounded by the urban jungle, I longed for the sight of an azure lake. Luckily, I found great company in a bunch of birding enthusiasts, many of whom were IT folks with expensive cameras. I was content with my Canon SX 60 HS camera. What I saw through the camera of my eye, and later my viewfinder was a lake that seemed like a midsummer day’s dream. The blue expanse was dotted with vibrant winged visitors.

Gang of Waders

Gangs of Painted Storks and Pelicans were hanging out, occasionally exploring the fish buffet. I suddenly heard an echoing bird call that reminded me of the Doppler Effect. Then a streak of blue flew out of nowhere. It was a Blue-throated Kingfisher. His friend, the Pied Kingfisher was hovering around like a rescue helicopter, but I think he was trying to attack the fishes. Then I was distracted by a miniature of Jesus the Redeemer. To my surprise, it was a Black Cormorant.

Black Cormorant

I was distracted by a streak of pink that from the eastern side of the lake. The candy streak suddenly sprouted beaks and legs and settled on the southern bund. It was the sight I was waiting for! A blushing flock of flamingos with the grace of ballet dancers performing to the Swan Lake Symphony.

Training by the Adult Flamingo

There were a number of juveniles being trained by the adults in catching fish. Flamingoes are born gray and don’t turn pink till they’re 2 years old. They have the unique habit of burying their bills and sometimes their entire heads in water to catch fish. They use their bills to expertly filter mud and water from their meal and then expel the liquid.
Flamingoes are good waders and favor estuaries, saline water bodies and alkaline lakes.

Romantic Time

In two hours, we managed to capture 30 species of birds, but the slender-legged flamingoes were the showstoppers of the day. You can enjoy a date with these winged supermodels or butterflies on nature trails and expeditions with me. Do write to me at askthebirdman@gmail.com

Photos by Siluvai Amalan | Content by Siluvai Amalan & Niranjani Ravi

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