Chennai birders scan sanctuaries, backyards for avian life during Pongal bird count

The Bar-headed goose, the Eurasian oystercatcher and the Gadwall had been among the birds noticed in sanctuaries; over 180 species have been recorded in Pallikaranai

On the finish of Pongal chicken rely in and across the metropolis, birders have discovered the avian life to be alive and considerable, not simply within the sanctuaries but in addition in quite a few small water our bodies and even backyards.

The Pongal chicken rely, which has been going down in Tamil Nadu since 2015, is a mannequin primarily based on the Christmas chicken rely in Western nations.

The intention is primarily to encourage folks to go round to water our bodies close to their residences, says P. Jeganathan of the Tamil Birders Community, who’s the coordinator of the Pongal Fowl Rely. Folks can add their lists on the portal, e-bird. Mr. Jeganathan says this can be a citizen science exercise that takes place for 4 days. Over time, the statistics give an thought of the inhabitants and habitats of chicken. Yearly, the response has been super, and this yr many individuals did their chicken watching from their properties. The compilation is on and the ultimate checklist might take a while, he provides.

In the course of the rely, Nature Belief volunteers noticed the Bar-headed goose on the Andhra Pradesh facet of the Pulicat, and the Euasian oystercatcher, each uncommon, on the Tamil Nadu facet. Bar-tailed Godwits and Nice knots had been additionally seen, together with many waders.

The Long-toed Stint

In Pallikarnai, 182 species of birds have been recorded regardless of the constraints, and the chicken rely is estimated at over 40,000 in quantity. The Gadwall, that was first seen in south India in 2018, has been coming usually to Palliakaranai for the previous 4 years, says KVRK Thirunaranan, founder, Nature Belief.

One other attention-grabbing characteristic birders have seen is that Melmaruvathur has develop into a profitable habitat with pelicans nesting in giant numbers. The delay in Vedanthangal chicken sanctuary realising sufficient water has pressured the pelicans to vary their habitat to Melmaruvathur and the temple administration has offered amenities, they stated.

Vedanthangal has 26 species however the variety of birds now’s decrease in comparison with 5 years in the past. “About 60,000 birds used to return however the numbers have dwindled to under 20,000 now,” says a daily birder to the sanctuary.

Karikili, a really previous sanctuary and a paradise for wild geese that progressively pale from the conservation map, is slowly regaining its habitat. This yr about 1,500 Northern pintails have come.

The Terek Sandpiper

One other birding hotspot in Tiruporur forest vary is the Kelambakkam Kovalam creek that has Eeurasian curlews, Whimbrels and Ruddy turnstone as guests. Better flamingos, pelicans and painted storks will also be brazenly seen right here.

“It’s not simply birding — habitat can be essential. It may be a yard or sanctuary, and birders must also word down the threats to the eco-system and assist in sustaining the habitat. This helps in conservation,” says Mr. Thirunaranan.

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