Flamingo fete a huge draw at Pulicat lake

The Flamingo Festival had a flying start on Sunday with tourists, both domestic and foreign, making a beeline for the picturesque Pulicat lake, a safe haven for migratory birds. It was a virtual treat for bird watchers as over 90,000 birds have come from far away places to the lake this year, though belated in view of the late arrival of northeast monsoon and failure of southwest monsoon. The lake is the second largest brackish water ecosystem in the country after the Chilika lake in Odisha. It was a memorable experience for the bird lovers who thronged the place as a large number of birds visited barringtonia trees, where they have built nests to raise their offspring. The birds return to their homeland once the offspring get the capacity to withstand the long journey. Eco-tourist hub Launching the State festival, Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy said Sullurpeta would be developed into an eco-tourist hub with better infrastructure to woo tourists in a big way. He outlined the efforts being made by the State government year after year to augment the tourist facilities not only at Sullurpeta but also in Nelapattu, Atakanithippa and Bhimunivaripalem for the benefit of visitors to enjoy the flight of, among other birds, flamingos, pelicans and storks in their natural environment. He commended the role of the local fishermen in protecting the ecosystem, even while eking out their livelihood. Sand art The sand art created by artist M.Sanath Kumar with the theme mother nature taking care of the migratory birds was a star attraction at Atakanithippa. Twelve tonnes of sand was used to make sand images of migratory birds toiling for 10 hours, he said while giving finishing touches to the art piece. Another piece of art work created with 18 tonnes of sand at Nelapattu also in 10 hours time was thought-provoking as it underscored the need to eschew plastic which harmed the natural environment of birds and other living beings. The approach roads and tourist infrastructure, including sighting towers were put at a cost of Rs. 3 crore by the district administration. Exhibitions were organised as part of the festival to create awareness among members of GenX on the brackish water ecosystem and the need for arresting the biodiversity loss. Cultural programmes were also held to entertain the visitors who had come from far and near to enjoy the weekend and return with pleasant memories.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/nature-lovers-throng-pulicat-lake-for-flamingo-fete/article26046066.ece

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