We approached Velim Lake at around 11 o clock along its western edge where there are rice paddies on the opposite side of the road. We stopped halfway along the lake to scope the paddies and the lake. The birds on the lake and in the paddies were similar to those seen at Carambolin Lake with Darter, Stork-billed and Pied Kingfisher being seen.|
A few Yellow and Grey Wagtails were present in the paddies with four Egret species, Pond and Little Herons.
We scanned the paddies for Citrine Wagtail but could not find any. This was a bird I was expecting to see in Goa but did not.
At about 12 o clock Abhi advised that we should head for the best point to look for vultures.
We were informed that Velim is the only reliable site for vultures in Goa as they have become quite scarce due to a mystery virus that has wiped out many vultures in the subcontinent.
We drove to a T-junction turned left and headed towards the opposite side of the lake where Abhi took a small road right alongside the eastern end of the lake. We waited it out in the sweltering heat with three Yellow-wattled Lapwings for company in an adjoining field. Eventually as we were beginning to melt, raptors appeared over the trees along the northern edge of the lake.
Lesser-spotted Eagles were first seen, shortly followed by something much larger, our first vulture that was identified as White-rumped. Two more of these huge birds appeared before the second species of vulture, Long-billed was observed, two of this species were noted.
A telescope is a definite advantage at this site, as the raptors especially the vultures may appear some distance away.|
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