THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The migratory bird season is here and birds have come calling to the wetlands in the capital. The migratory birding population in the city has shown a promising number, considering that it is just the start of the season, say birders. “The season has just started and as a preliminary analysis, we have observed a good count. It was after a long interval that we could spot a black bittern at Punchakari. The numbers of the migratory birds are reassuring and we are hopeful of a good season,” says C Susanth, ornithologist and founder of Warblers and Waders.
City-based bird watchers and nature lover’s forum Warblers and Waders had conducted a bird-watching trail on Monday morning, following which as many as 51 bird species were spotted. The bird watching was held at the Punchakari-Vellayani wetlands. Another rare waterbird which was observed during the trail was the cinnamon bittern. Yellow bittern, a migrant bird, was also observed. The birders say that the floods have effected change in the ecology and migratory pattern of the birds.
“The arrival of some have been delayed. For instance, there is a coarse grass area where the waders used to frequent. With that remaining inundated, the waders haven’t arrived yet. The water needs to be just enough for wading,” says Susanth. “The sighting of rare and threatened migrant grey-headed lapwing was also significant,” he says.
Another noted presence was that of the threatened, the painted stork. Other sightings recorded during the trail are the Asian open bill, black-headed ibis, oriental darter, pheasant-tailed jacana, bronze-winged jacana and lesser whistling duck. The great reed warbler, blue-tailed bee-eater, brown shrike, blyth’s reed warbler, barn swallow, marsh harrier, wood sandpiper and yellow wagtail were also sighted. Ornithologists Krishnakumar, Abhiram Chandran, R Prasath and V Vinod Kumar led the bird trail which also saw the participation of school children.