By Express News Service
Published: 23rd November 2015
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An unexpected lone visitor added to the ecstasy of bird watchers who visited the birding hotspot at Vellayani paddy fields on Salim Ali day which was celebrated on November 14.
The distinguished guest was the Purple-backed Starling or Daurian Starling related to Myna family. This is the first sighting of the bird in Kerala. The bird was seen moving along with other migratory birds like Rosy Starling and resident birds like Common Myna and Black Drongo.
The name Daurian is derived from the ethnonym of the Daur people who inhabit the Transbaikal region of Russia- China border. The bird is native to the particular region. Here, it was spotted by Dilip K G, head of Sociology Department at the Sree Sankaracharya University, Kalady and Arun C G, an engineer in Thiruvananthapuram.
Dilip goes for birding sessions and is a passionate bird watcher, besides being a member of Cochin Natural History Society, a community of enthusiastic nature lovers. "The bird was seated in an electric wire alongside the other birds. It was there for a long time, even when the session was over. Spotting such a bird is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Dilip.
The Daurian Starling is a vagrant species wherein they do not have a regular migratory pattern, and hence make only rare appearances at a single place. While this is the first sighting of the bird in the state, the Daurian Starling has been spotted in Goa and Bangladesh.