Egrets, Heron and Curlew Sandpiper are now in breeding plumage and they will soon migrate to Europe and other parts of Asia, KVRK Thirunaranan, founder, Nature Trust, who is currently recording the breeding season of the birds in Pallikaranai, said, hinting at the end of the migratory season. Usually, the wetlands in Chennai and Kancheepuram dry up completely by the end of April or by mid-May, the season is almost over, but this year there are puddles of water and Pallikaranai is holding two to three feet of water, extending the stay of migratory birds. The marsh, however, will be conducive habitat for local terrestrial birds like kingfisher, cormorant, woodpecker and treepie. The waders, including sandpipers and other varieties, have started showing signs of breeding plumage and they will soon be leaving the Chennai region, Thirunaranan said.
“We are also noticing a decrease of Indian Pitta in Chennai, the migratory bird from the Himalaya region and they are usually found in deciduous and scrub jungles of TN during summer. The current dry humid condition is a setback for such birds and dehydrated birds are often killed by crows and other predatory birds,” the bird watcher said.
In another interesting documentation, DT Next had recorded the arrival of juvenile flamingos in the Perumbakkam-Pallikaranai region. Sighting flamingos are usually rare in Chennai but over the past six years, bird watchers are recording a regular visit of flamingo and the arrival of juveniles is encouraging news for birders.
According to forest department sources, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Eastern Grass-Owl, Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler, Red-Necked Phalarope, Himalayan Vulture and Malabar pied Hornbill are some of the rare varieties documented in the current migration season. To be precise, seventy land bird species (43 per cent) are found to occur in less than 100 individual bird numbers around the protected areas of Tamil Nadu, sources said, adding that the migration season in TN was better this year due to above normal rainfall.