After sampling the last lake for the bird census in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts, we decided to explore lakes that were not in our teamís list. Some openbill storks gliding in the sky hinted that a waterbody was not too far. So when Mr. Mathibalan, a local bird enthusiast, told us about sighting hundreds of birds roosting in a lake in Thirupani Chettikulam a month back, it got us all got excited.
It had already been an exciting day, seeing ducks in their hundreds in the lakes that we had already sampled. But none of the lakes we sampled had any roosts in them. So the thought of watching some birds returning to the roosts was very enthusing. But nothing prepared us for the sight that awaited us.
We were speechless! What we saw were not roosts in their hundreds, but the only signs of what once stood - stumps of trees. It took us a while to realize that most trees had been cut. The soaring birds were probably the ones who didnít know where to roost. Far away in the lake some trees were still standing being good hosts to some birds. We were happy that in this madness to exploit every bit of this Earth, some trees were still left standing. No sooner did the sense of relief settle down, did we see three youth under the trees moving about suspiciously with a jute sack. Through our binoculars, we saw them coming to the water side and washing something when one of them noticed us and alerted the other two. Two of them went back into the trees beyond our vision and when third put something in the sack we saw what he was washing Ė a large white bird.
Volume 5, Issue 1
Editor: Allwin Jesudasan
Associate editor: Rajkamal Goswami
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, M. Soubadra Devy, T. Ganesh
Design and presentation: Kiran Salegame
A S H O K A T R U S T F O R R E S E A R C H I N E C O L O G Y A N D T H E E N V I R O N M E N T
Stunned into silence
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