- Migratory birds flock to Hadinaru Lake in Nanjangud for winter sojourn
- Geese with radio collars and identification tags also spotted
Nanjangud, Feb. 26- Even as winter season is through, birds from Mongolia have winged into the water body at Hadinaru Lake on the Mysuru-Nanjangud border, cheering bird-lovers and giving a strong indication that water bodies in Mysuru region are healthy.
The Bar-Headed Geese from Mongolia fly over the Himalayan Mountains and come to roost in different parts of the State after a brief sojourn in the central Indian plains. The wetlands and marshy habitats in the Northern parts of Karnataka, Mandya and Kolar and Mysuru-Chamarajanagar belt play host to birds during winter. Hadinaru Lake in Nanjangud taluk is a favourite among the Bar-Headed Geese.
With the arrival of migratory birds, the sprawling Lake, which is around 25 km from Mysuru city, located near the perennial Kabini River in Nanjangud, has turned into a bird-watchers’ pilgrim centre. The Lake is located near Chikkayyana Chatra Hobli in Nanjangud taluk and these birds can be easily distinguished from other geese by the black bars on their heads and their call is a typical goose honking.
Crossing the mountains
Every year, these migratory birds which are one of the world’s highest flying birds across the Himalayas, travel around 4,850 km to reach Hadinaru Lake during the winter. As the days are shorter and nights longer during winter in the Northern hemisphere, migratory birds find it difficult to find food in this short period in the brief days, and migrate to India by crossing the mountains.
Bar-Headed Geese (Anser indicus) is one of the world’s highest flying birds (27,000 feet). They fly higher than the Mount Everest when they migrate over the Himalayas from Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia towards South Asia, as far South as peninsular India. As the winter weather in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Russia becomes colder, as low as 10 degrees Centigrade, these migratory birds cross the Himalayan range to reach Southern part of Asia.
A friend of farmers
Bar-Headed Geese with radio collars and identification tags, tagged with neck-bands and numbered have also arrived with other geese to the lake for their wintering. These migratory birds which arrive in January or February nest here for around four months before they return to their homes up North. The birds only feed only on paddy grains, which are abundantly found in the area, especially as these birds arrive in the post-harvest season. They rest in the mornings and feed on grains in the fields during nights, so their droppings are good manure for the crops. The birds are friends of farmers, say bird-watchers.
Apart from migratory birds like the Bar- Headed Goose, birds like the Little Grebe, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Breasted Kingfisher, Purple Moorhen, Night Heron, Small Kingfisher, Greater Cormorant, Large and Little Egret, Common Coot, Spot Billed Duck, Painted Stork, Black Ibis, River Tern and others can also be found at the Lake.
Favourite spots for winter visitors
Hadinaru Kere is one of the favourite spots for these winter visitors. Locals call these birds as ‘Parvatakki’ in Kannada, which means mountain birds. These birds are crepuscular (late evening and dusk) in their foraging habit and feed on harvested rice crop stubble shoots adjoining the lakes they visit. They take daytime refuge in the midst of vast water bodies like lakes and reservoirs and doze off in the warm winter sun in the midst of lakes.
The Hadinaru Lake can be reached from the Mysuru-Nanjangud Road deviating near Tandavapura Industrial Area, or from Mysuru-Uttanahalli Road towards Hadinaru Road. Now it is the responsibility of every individual to protect them and appreciate their navigational abilities and physiological endurance needed for the 6,200 miles long journey.
[Pics by M.N. Lakshminarayana Yadav]