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thexplorerguideTrip Report

Jakkur Lake – Still fighting the battle

By March 7, 2019May 10th, 2019No Comments


As we reached the entry gate of Jakkur Lake, we were welcomed by a new construction right alongside the border of the lake which appeared to look like a huge  chemical factory. We all hoped against hope that it would not be the case.

As we walked in, we were invited by a big group of Spot-Billed Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis). It was a great sight to see them in big numbers and that too so close to human habitation. The first island in the lake was being inhabited mostly by the pelicans. A Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) in solitude was busy on the edge of the island going around its own business of searching for prey. A Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and a Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) shared a small place on the edge of the island without any dispute.

Three of us reached on time, and the others joined by around 6:40. By this time the sun was up. There was plenty of light and was getting brighter by the minute.

As we walked down the path, we were feeling let down as all the native trees were razed down and replaced by ornamental plants and trees which was a heart-wrenching sight. The barbets and other perching birds had lost their home. If the same continued with the rest of the park, then we would witness the vanishing of all the small birds and also the small accipiters around the lake.

The common kites and crows were very much in evidence around the lake. The kites take the advantage during the breeding season as some of the hatchlings fall off the nest and fall into the water or the island.

The Indian Cormorants (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) flew in and landed on the next island in large numbers. The ‘V’ formation of these birds is a sight to witness. The reason for the ‘V’ being the concept of AERODYNAMICS in ‘action’. The lead bird breaks the undisturbed air and the two birds flying behind fly where the wingtip vortices are formed thereby reducing drag and producing uplift. The long-distance flyers adapt this as they can fly by taking turns leading the team.

Several Egrets were mostly fishing on the edges along with the herons. Some of the Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) were moving around at a safe distance from the pelicans and were taking a dip now and then.

It was quite late now and as the gate closes at 9:00 AM. We decided that we walk for some time and then turn back. As soon as we planned to head back, two Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus) flew in and settled on a nearby branch. The timing was impeccable as we were discussing about this bird and its talent in building nests and just then it made a royal entrance. On a nearby leafless tall tree, we spotted a Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) guarding its perch. A Black Kite (Milvus migrans) planned to settle down on the same tree but was chased away by the Drongo as it approached the tree.

As we reached the gate, we spotted a Shikra (Accipiter badius) planning its morning breakfast. Shikras are found in semi-forested areas. A small bird of prey but has an excellent sight. Mainly feeds of small mammals, birds and amphibians.

During our walk we observed effluents or waste let into the lake through a canal and felt that it is going to have a very big negative impact on the bird life and population around the lake. The other lakes around Bangalore share a similar plight as this. Progress in the same direction will produce a lot of long-term irreparable damage to all beings. The birds of the lake will diminish as the time moves on. We request the authorities not to bring down the native trees and the foliage as they are very important for different species of birds to thrive.

theXplorerguide thanks the authorities, the organization and people involved in saving the lake and fencing it. We would not have been able to witness the beauty if not for the people who have put in the effort to save it. theXplorerguide will be able to contribute to the organisation by giving them a report on the birds found in the lake over a period of time by conducting regular birding trips.

There were other common species that were spotted and the team enjoyed seeing these birds but at the same time, most of them expressed their concern about the mindless urbanization of the surroundings.  The team bid farewell and promised to meet soon in a new location and with a lot of new participants.

Following is a checklist of birds found during this walk.

Sl. No. Name: Scientific Name:
1 Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
2 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
3 Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
4 Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
5 Black Kite Milvus migrans
6 Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
7 Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
8 Brahminy Kite (indus) Haliastur indus indus
9 Eurasian Coot (atra) Fulica atra atra
10 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
11 Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
12 Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
13 Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
14 Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia
15 Jungle Myna (fuscus) Acridotheres fuscus fuscus
16 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
17 Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger
18 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
19 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
20 Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
21 Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
22 Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
23 Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos
24 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
25 Purple-rumped Sunbird Leptocoma zeylonica
26 Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
27 Rock Dove Columba livia
28 Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
29 Shikra (badius) Accipiter badius badius
30 Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
31 Spotted Dove (chinensis) Spilopelia chinensis chinensis
32 White-cheeked Barbet Psilopogon viridis
33 White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis