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My observation on Little Cormorant

Scientific Name is Microcarbo Niger - This water bird is black in colour called Neer Kaakai in Tamizh. The bill has its tip in the form of a hook. I have seen them in the small islands in groups in a water body. They are quite fast when it comes to fishing and are the best fishermen. I have noticed this bird fishing at Kurukuthurai, Tirunelveli at close quarters.

I have heard that they were used by fisherman to catch fish. I have read that the Cormorant’s webbed feet, strong wings and streamlined body profile gives its body, the needed design for underwater atheletics. At Vagaikulam near Mannarkoil, Tirunelveli,I had an opportunity to see them fishing in groups where they form a circle and push the schools of fish to shallow waters.

It is a wonder to watch these gregarious fishermen in coalition swimming in a synchronised manner. I was inspired by their team spirit. They are excellent swimmers and dive deep. They lost the water repelling properties of their feathers for decreasing their…
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Bird watchers in and around Coimbatore cherished their happy moments with these migrators. The early visitors were Painted Storks, Spott-billed Pelicans and Red-rumped Swallows. These are local migrants. The other visitors included Pied-crested Cuckoo, Indian Pitta, Rosy Starlings, Garganey, Whistling Ducks, Woolly-necked Stork, Eurasian Spoonbills, White-headed and Glossy Ibis. However, amidst of Median Egrets, a grey coloured bird was seen. It was identified as Western Reef Egret. Some people spotted Heuglin's Gull at Singanallur Lake.

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Introduction to Birding

An order of transfer to Tirunelveli landed me in the Central Excise Office premises whose grounds included the Staff Quarters. I occupied the Quarters around July 2017 just when the GST law in the Country was rolled out. New environment kept me in a state of awareness. The first night I spent in the said Quarters which I vividly remember. 

The morning or pre-dawn hundreds of birds in the surrounding woke me up by 3.30 AM with their cacophony. I have heard such calls only in the VOC Park at Coimbatore. I felt like being in that Park at the early hour. Gradually I got used to the calls of birds most of which I later learnt to be House Crows and Common Mynas. 

My office was about 40 meters away from my home and during the short walk one cannot miss the noisy babblers. The Asian Koels were always heard all through the day. Since I did not know the names of any bird I just listened to the music they played vocally. 

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The 'Last'ing Look

It was an usual early morning birding walk. I saw this beautiful male Greater Painted Snipe foraging in the shallow waters of Vellode Bird Sanctuary in Erode. I was surprised to see this incredibly shy and cautious bird, out in the open waters. 

I crept along the ground and moved towards him with utmost caution. I did not want him to take flight at the sight of me. Just as he went behind that small bund in the photo, I immediately took the opportunity to get real close to him as his sight was obstructed by the bund. Lying down, I waited patiently for him to come to the open from behind the bund. 

After a few minutes he returned to the open area and it was his time to get surprised. He looked at me with those gorgeous eyes. He raised his neck, tucked it back in and was looking at me measuring his safety. I enjoyed this eye game that he played with me and was clicking away happily. 

Finally his shyness took over and he turned back and moved behind the bund giving me this one final look tha…