Safilguda Lake, A Little-known Haven for Migratory Birds

Safilguda Lake, also known as Mini Tank Bund, is popular for jogging and evening walks for local people. But very few people in the city know that it is also a popular destination for different kinds of birds.

Published: 16th January 2014 12:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2014 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

Safilguda Lake, also known as Mini Tank Bund, is popular for jogging and evening walks for local people. But very few people in the city know that it is also a popular destination for different kinds of birds.

A small island like structure has been created in the middle of the lake with healthy growth of trees where one can spot migratory birds in large numbers.

This lake supports a rich biodiversity and high biomass of fish, plankton that forms the source of food for birds. The lake is spread over 5 acres.

The most common birds found in the lake area are Pond Heron, Little Grebe also called Dabchick (Chinna Munugudi Kodi),  Black Crowned Night Heron, Spot Billed Duck, Teals, Common Coot (Nalabuli Kodi), Bronzed Winged Jacana (Kanchurekkala Jacana), Kingfishers, Ducks, Cuckoos, Storks, Pigeons, Doves, Parrots, Bulbuls, Leafbirds and many more.

One of the most common herons you would encounter on a visit to the lake would be the green-backed heron. A relatively small wading bird, slowly stalking in shallow water, or hanging from a low tree branch, its dart-like jab at a fish is rarely off target.

One can also watch Kingfishers catching fishes in their typical style by diving from about 20 feet above the water. The black ducks and storks are also major attraction of the lake. Their presence in large numbers attract the visitors.

During winter, migratory birds set home at the lake. The setting sun, an expanse of water and birds in flight makes this lake definitely a photographer’s delight.

Though during summer the water level in the lake comes down considerably but still it attracts a lot of birds. But the best time to watch birds here is between September and January.

The ideal time to watch these birds is between 7.30 a.m.and 9 a.m., when there is a clear vision.

Despite housing so many species of birds the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has never tried to promote the lake as a popular destination for bird lovers.

Safilguda lake was restored under the Lake Conservation Programme, initiated by the erstwhile Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (now HMDA), with the assistance of Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), under the Green Hyderabad Environment Programme (GHEP).

HUDA had restored the highly polluted lake in early 2000s. After restoration and cleaning, the lake and its surroundings were clean for some time. However, as years have passed the lake is going back to its old condition. At present, the lake and the park seems to be in a state of neglect. The water looks dirty. Though litter bins had been placed in many places, people still throw garbage around. Visitors come for a picnic and leave all the trash behind.

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