The Uppalapadu-fresh water lake is located in Pedakakani Mandal of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. This lake is spread over an area of about 5 acres and is a breeding ground for about 50 local and intercontinental migratory bird species that have been visiting the lake throughout the calendar year for generations. This is not a legally protected area but the local villagers and gram panchayat take conscious efforts to offer protection to these avian visitors. In the year 2001, the lake was a nesting spot for around 1550 birds of diverse species, such as painted storks and adjutant storks, Asian openbilled storks and black-headed ibis. As per a report in January 2007, on an average over 3,500 pelicans and a similar number of painted storks visit this densely populated sanctuary. ‘The number of Siberian migratory birds is also high and they have arrived one month ahead of the regular schedule this year,’ points out Nageswara Rao, caretaker of the area.
The number of birds inhabiting this small stretch of land/water also makes it an area with one of the densest populations of migratory birds at any given time anywhere in India—the number of birds could range between 3,000 and 12,000. Ibises, which arrive around June and leave within three months, choose to breed here. Pelicans also breed here: while some of their eggs hatch, some fall in the water. But no one goes near to rescue them as they get frightened and abandon the nesting site. About 6,500 locals surrounding the lake take care of the birds that accidentally fall in the village outside the water. The caretakers rush the injured ones to the local veterinarian and later release them back into the flock.