One of the best places in Hyderabad for spotting birds is Ameenpur lake. Nestled away discreetly behind the Bollaram-Bachupally industrial area, this small lake is still a safe haven for birds. Thousands of migratory and local migratory birds flock to this lake each year. Aquatic birds prefer shallow waters and mud flats. Ameenpur provides the ideal nesting grounds for these winged visitors. 2016 has seen temperatures soaring in the first quarter, and has resulted in decrease in the water levels of the bigger lakes like Usmansagar and Himayatsagar. The bird traffic therefore got heavier towards Ameenpur lake.
I have visited this lake quite a few times in the last few months. Grey Herons, Cormorants, Darters, Stilts and Coots are common residents in this lake. Flocks of Painted storks, Spot billed pelicans and Greater Flamingos were among the visitors over this period of time. During my last visit, I found a large flock of Flamingos.
The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the largest and also the palest species of Flamingo. The adults develop pink plumage and light pink beaks, while the juveniles are characterized by grey white plumage. The males of the species are larger than the females. The color in the adult comes from the carotenoid pigments in crustaceans that form a significant part of the bird’s diet. The greater Flamingo feeds with its head down in the water while stirring up the mud underneath with its feet.
Ameenpur lake is a hot spot for birding, adventure activities and photography. Lots of birders and photographers throng on its banks every weekend for observing the birds. However, the big question is how long can this safe haven be safe from the rapidly expanding human encroachment and industrial activity in the vicinity. The good thing is that the Telengana State Special Protection Force (TSSPF) has adopted the Ameenpur Lake Ecosystem and have actively initiated clean up of the lake and its surroundings.
Some of my favorite photographs from last weekend’s outing are compiled in the slideshow for you to enjoy.