‘Rarely spotted’ and ‘first-time record’ were the buzzwords of 2020 among the Indian birding community as the year marked the arrival of extraordinary visitors. Here are some birds who made headlines in 2020:
- Four majestic whooper swans were spotted in Kashmir recently for the first time after 50 years.
- The desert finch, usually found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, made its stopover at Gurgaon in Delhi, making it to the first photographic record in India.
- Greater white-fronted geese were photographed at Wadhwana lake in Vadodara for the first time.
- The red knot, flying all the way from Japan and North Korea, marked its presence at Rann of Kutch.
- Amur falcons were recently spotted at Lonavala lake, an indication of the healthy environment in the region.
There were other reasons to cheer for the birding community. Cities are bustling with bird life now thanks to reduced noise levels and less pollution. Some commonly spotted birds this year include:
- House sparrows which are Native to Eurasia.
- Red-whiskered bulbuls which are songbirds that are generally found in pairs or small groups .
- Common ioras which are quite vocal, and can produce a wide variety of calls.
- Brown-breasted flycatchers, which have large, white-framed eyes.
- The female Purple-rumped sunbird which is greyish-brown above and pale yellow below.
- Indian grey hornbills which are usually seen in pairs or small groups in woodlands, plantations, gardens, and parks in cities where they feed on large, fruiting trees.
- The male Indian Paradise flycatchers which are known for their long ribbon-like tail.
- The chocolate-brown Brown rock chats which can be seen standing tall on ridges, cliff edges, and buildings.
- The Indian Golden Oriole which is known for its characteristic dipping flight style.
- The Black kite which is commonly found in urban areas, rubbish dumps, aquatic habitats, and grasslands.