I feel a spontaneous overflow of an omnipotent affection towards diversity of life on this planet. Some places I had the privilege to explore, a couple of moments that made me contemplate…have been frozen in time. It gives me immense pleasure to be able to share them with you, my friends......
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Kulik Bird Sanctuary (Part II)
Jackal, wild cat, lizard, bat and snakes are the main predators here. The yellow monitor lizard , a very rare species, is also seen here. But the main attaraction of this area is the birds. Dove, Bulbul, Sparrow, Vulture, Owl, Parakeet, Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Duck and Cuckoo have their permanent address in this sanctuary. Again among the birds the real VIP is The Asian Open-billed Stork(Anastomus oscitans).Acoording to some people , Kulik does have the largest colony of Open billed stork in Asia.This bird belongs to the stork family and is a common species widely distributed across Asia. This medium-sized dull white bird with black or grey wings and tail stands at an average 70 cms and has dull pink legs. Its bill is heavy, with a gap between the mandibles, which explains its name. In West Bengal it is commonly called samukh khol (snail eater), because it feeds mainly on mollusks (main diet is apple snail), though frogs, lizard and fish also feature on the menu.
looking for food
It is definitely not a visitor from Siberia as many are given to believe and can be sighted in marshy wetlands, near waterbodies, ditches, river sides and paddy fields. When breeding, they assemble in a place known as a heronry.The Asian Open bill sotks start flocking in this heronry from the month of July or the arrival of monsoon and stayed up to the month of January of next year. In the first phase, a group of birds arrives and inspects the area and selected the nesting trees. At the end of July or first of August the whole group of Asian Openbill arrives and starts their nest building activities in various selected trees.
All the trees are occupied
Competition for selection of nesting trees and nest building is high in this heronry. Individuals those who are not able to get some nesting trees they prefer to build nests outside the protected areas along the National Highway 34 and sometimes in the garden or backyard trees of adjacent human settlements. Sometimes Asian Open bill stork build nests with other species of water birds. Their nests sometimes are close to two meters apart from each nest.
Here in Kulik, your day starts with a panoramic view of birds in flight with nesting materials between the bills.
Take a suitable position on either one of the few watchtowers made by the authority or by a bush along the river Kulik and watch how they collect these materials, how they construct their tiny nests. If you have sufficient patience , a must for wildlife photography, then some exclusive scenes like the mating of the birds is not rare here.
Cooperation and construction
You can go as close as to get such photographs which shows the date marked by the forest dept.
At this time sighting of parents protecting their chicks from scorching sun is a beautiful sight.