-Dr. A Pranesh

The months of November and December always brings me an excitement, as I will
be eagerly waiting to go to Kokkarebellur. During this period as always Spot billed
Pelicans start arriving there from west Godavari. They come in flocks of 100 to 150 birds and start building their nests. By that time the three lakes- Tyloor kere, Sule kere and Maddur kere in the vicinity of K.bellur would be full due to rains, and obviously fishes which happens to be the staple diet of Pelicans are in plenty. River Shimsha is also close by, and hence the supply of fish is in plenty for couple of months.

During November and December, there will be plenty of nesting activity. If one could go by early morning, they are sure to sight pelicans carrying Nesting material in their beaks. By January, they would have laid eggs and some of the eggs would have hatched into young ones and we can see their feeding also.

Another winter guest- Painted Storks begin to arrive by January to this place. So the month of January has a wonderful sight of spotting Painted stork’s nesting activity and pelican’s feeding activity. Local villagers welcome their winter guests with love. They consider their arrival as the harbinger of luck. Their droppings are natural manure, containing phosphorus and urea.

K.Bellur is located just 80 kms from Bangalore, on Mysore Bangalore high way before Maddur town. There is a board displayed to the left while driving from Bangalore, showing the way to Kokkare Bellur Pelicanary. We have to take a left turn there and drive for 4 kms.

If one can leave Bangalore by 4.30 am, during January or February, they can reach Tyloor lake before sunrise which is about 4 kms from highway. It is a wonderful sight to watch sun rising in the horizon and the humpty number of birds moving in synchrony at the backdrop of sunrise. The rhapsody of birds is melodious to ears. It is better to carry a thermos of hot coffee or tea of choice along with some sandwiches to treat ourselves as we don’t find any hotels nearby. Secondly it is wonderful to have snacks and coffee at the lake as the ambiance is wonderful. After a coffee break, proceed to Kokkare Bellur, which is about 8 kms from Tyloor lake. Especially in the mornings and late afternoons, there would be plenty of nesting and feeding activities of birds.

These birds are found till last week of March. They fly back only to return by October/November. Apart from Pelicans and Painted storks, we find Pond Herons, Grey Herons, Black Ibis, Cormorants, Rose ringed Parakeets, Brahmini Kites, Sun birds, Bulbuls and many more.

Surely trip to Kokkare Bellur is a delight for nature lovers and photographers.