As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Two rare migratory birds make their first ever visit to Singanallur tank

TNN | Aug 29, 2016, 11.52 AM IST

COIMBATORE: Bird enthusiasts in the city have reason to cheer as two rare birds have been spotted at the Singanallur tank since the start of the migratory season. This is the first time that the Terek Sandpiper from Serbia and Gull Billed Tern from North America were spotted in Coimbatore.

D Gajamohanraj, a city based bird enthusiast, who has been watching migratory birds for over four years, said he was extremely excited when he spotted these birds.

"I have studied about these birds and their habitats. So when my friend Sharang Satish and I spotted them at the lake, we were excited. We checked all the records to ensure if they were recorded for the first time and as far as the records go, this is the first time they have been spotted," he said. Bird enthusiasts said that the presence of these two birds is proof that the habitat of the Singanallur lake has improved.

"Only when feed is available, these birds come to the city. This definitely indicates the increased bio-diversity of the lake," said Gajamohanraj. 

It is not just these two birds, but several other migratory birds have been flooding the lakes. Vinny R Peter of Animal Rescuers said, after two years they had recorded such high numbers of birds. "We have spotted 585 Spot Billed Pelicans, 214 Painted Storks, 2 White Necked Stork, 27 Spoon Bills, 3 Black Tiled Godwit, 21 Black Headed Ibis, 4 Black Ibis and 7 Glossy Ibis"

"Generally, these birds arrive in small numbers. But this year, they have stayed back at the lake. This definitely proves that the disturbance from human habitats and external factors have reduced at the lake," said Vinny.

P Pramod, principal scientist, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History said, "Over the last few years, we have sighted many new birds. Primary reason is there is a steep increase in the number of bird watchers and bird photographers. There is increased awareness and these enthusiasts visit the lakes regularly. Any bird that enters Coimbatore cannot escape the eyes of a bird watcher. These recordings would definitely go a long way in helping us study birds in Coimbatore."

Terek Sandpiper travels from Serbia and comes only to the coastal areas. They can be easily spotted in Chennai and other coastal cities. "But sighting it in a lake in Coimbatore is very surprising. We think it is travelling to a coastal city in Kerala and might be resting in Coimbatore," said Sharang Satish. Gull Billed Tern comes from Eurasia or North America and it has been seen at Walayar dam but not in a city inland lake.

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