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| Last Updated:: 19/08/2019

Showers bring migratory birds to Pallikaranai


Fulvous whistling duck



 common sandpiper






black-tailed godwit 




Bird watchers in Chennai get ready to visit Pallikaranai marshland. About half-a-dozen migratory bird species have arrived at this wetland.



K V R K Thirunaranan of the Nature Trust, who regularly monitors the movement of birds in the wetland, said ruff, common sandpiper, green shank, wood sandpiper and black-tailed godwit are the first migrants to have arrived.



Right now, these birds can be seen on the Thorappakkam–Pallavaram radial road side of the marshland. Thirunaranan recorded a dozen common sandpipers, about two dozen wood sandpipers, 20 ruffs, one green shank and three black-tailed godwits. “The right time to see the birds will be before 8am or before dusk,” he said.



All these birds are known as waders and one has to carry a binocular to catch a glimpse of these small birds.



Chennai district forest officer V Subbiah said the department has taken up work of raising a passage on which more than 2,500 saplings have been planted. All the saplings have started growing into trees. The seethrough barrier has provided the required protection to the saplings that were planted about a year ago, he said.



Thirunaranan said these saplings are an important attraction to fulvous whistling ducks and spot-billed ducks, which have colonised this part of the marshland after the saplings grew into small trees.



During April, May and June, the Pallikaranai marshland had turned bone dry. Now, with the rain in July and August, water has returned and this has attracted the birds, he said.



Spot-billed pelican, Eurasian spoon bill, black-headed ibis, glossy ibis, grey heron, purple heron, grey headed swamp hen, coot and black-winged stilt are some of the local migrants that have come to the marshland, said Subbiah. With forest officials planning a walking path and facilities to sit and observe birds, the area will become another major birding spot, he said.



However, the authorities should ensure that dumping of garbage is stopped all inside the marsh. Activists said the southern side of the marshland is filled with garbage.





Source: The Times of India, 19 August 2019, Chennai.