Black-headed Ibis have started to visit Surat since a week. They seem to be getting reading for the oncoming Monsoon season. Every year these birds come to breed in the small numbers near the ponds, waterhole, mushy areas in the city.
Black-headed Ibis are these distinct birds with a devilish look and long beak. They remind us of the fact that birds were closely related to dinosaurs in some time in the past.
Flamingos visit Surat near the banks of Tapi River every year in large number. Over the last few years, the number of birds flocking in had gone down severly. However this year, large group of Flamingos was seen enjoying in the muddy little islands in the Tapi River, stretching from Pal to Magdalla.
Flamingo is a large bird with pink feathers, long, thin legs, a long neck, and a beak that curves down. They usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. Flamingos are capable flyers. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored.
The greater flamingo is the tallest of the 6 different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet (1.2 to 1.4 m) with a weight up to 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg), and the shortest flamingo species (the lesser) has a height of 2.6 feet (0.8 m) and weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 37 inches (94 cm) to as big as 59 inches (150 cm).
Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larva, small insects, mollusks and crustaceans making them omnivores. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. Downstream of Tapi River in Surat, after causeway is well-suited for this type of environment, bringing in large number of Flamingos every year.
The shallow waters near Magdalla and Hazira, downstream of Tapi near Umra are home to flamingos. When the tide is over, flocks of flamingos come to shallow Tapi river to munch on the algae and insects. Check Map Below for possible spotting locations.