Monday 26 October 2015 08:36 PM IST
By Onmanorama Staff
Kottayam: The Great Skua, a rare migratory bird that is commonly found at the South Pole, has been spotted by on the wetlands of Punnapra, near here, by birdwatchers.
The bird, which is said to be a winter migrant to south India, is sighted during a bird watching camp organised jointly by the Department of Forests and Wildlife and the Kottayam Nature Society. According to the birders, there have been very few recordings of the species from the State in the past. This is the first record of this bird’s sightings in the Alappuzha region.
The photos of the bird, typically with grey or brown plumage, and often with white markings on the wings, have been sent to ornithologists to confirm its identity, they said. Of all the pelagic bird expedition conducted in the state, the maximum number of Skuas has been spotted during this survey, they added. The team has spotted as many as 93 species of the bird, including 66 long-tailed skuas. The south polar skua is a proficient hunter and hostile scavenger. Their breeding grounds are located in north America and Europe.
The team also photographed a group of Wilson's phalaropes, a medium-sized sandpiper, numbering about 40, feeding on dead turtle. It is quite difficult to have a close look at these smaller, fast-moving birds, said the birdwatchers. The bird’s white underparts are hard to see with the naked eye, they added.