Siberian migrant birds have only sporadically visited India; last sighting in city was during 1950-60
Naturalists and bird watchers celebrated this Pongal with more than usual joy, thanks to the sighting of Great Knots, Little Terns and a solitary Lesser Crested Tern at the Pallikaranai marshland.
R.J. Ranjit Daniels of Care Earth Trust, a Chennai-based biodiversity research organisation, who recorded the presence of these rare birds, said the Great Knot is a migrant bird that breeds in north-eastern Siberia.
It migrates eastwards in winter through southeast Asia, before finally getting to Australia, he said,
There are sporadic records of the species being spotted in India, while for Chennai, there is an old record in Salim Ali’s Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, which was probably made between 1950 and 1960, judging by the date of its publication, Dr. Daniels said.