KOCHI: For Prasanth Kumar S R, a resident of Harippad in the Alappuzha district, bird watching and wildlife photography are more than just a hobby. Prasanth, who often turns into a dedicated birder, taking time off the day-to-day activities of the many businesses he owns, recently spotted some rare bird species. In the latest such incident, he spotted the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Chembuvalan Para Kili) on November 18 in a property belonging to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Harippad .
“This is for the first time this bird species is spotted in South India. They are usually found in Central/Southern Europe, North-Eastern African countries and North-Western Asian countries. The bird is 17-20 cm long and weighs around 37-70 gm. Generally, the male bird is orange in colour, with dark brown wings. The female and the juveniles are brownish (upper body) and light brownish (under part) in colour. The bird that was spotted at Harippad was a juvenile,” said Prasanth.
According to him, the the NTPC land has turned into a Mecca for migratory birds. “Many rare and unseen bird species are spotted on this land, which has been identified by the government for construction of a medical college. Sadly, the activities on the land, including children’s sporting activities, have been disturbing the birds and damaging their eggs. A collective effort is needed to conserve this land,” adds Prasanth.
He recounts that he spotted the bird during a routine photo session. Later, he approached the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology, the Natural History in Coimbatore and the Oriental Bird Club to identify the bird and collect its details.