Nilgiri Tahr

Nilgiri Tahr
Nature Beckons you....Listen to her whispers.....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Punchakari Wetlands.......A Bird's Abode

Just about 6 kms away from Thiruvanthapuram railway station is the vast wetland known as Punchakari.Very close to the Vellayani lake this place in unknown to many city dwellers!It might look like any other paddy field you see around Kerala.But this one is different.The paddy-wetlands are home to a no.of migratory birds.

Pond Heron takes off......

So it was time for us to visit Punchakari in right earnest.Warblers&Waders,a city based birding group was organising a morning-till-noon bird-watching-walk at Punchakari in early November.We reserved our participation and waited for the day to arrive.

Quite path.....

We met at 7AM near the Punchakari canal lead by Susanth Kumar,senior member of Warblers&Waders.Susanth was very friendly and possessed a lot of knowledge about birds.The other senior members Kishore and Abhiram Chandran added to the list of experts leading the walk.Susanth was very forthcoming in clearing all our doubts about the birds of Punchakari.

Google Earth map of Punchakari...
Quite a no.of pond herons welomed us to Punchakari.The vast tracts of green paddy and the straight flowing canal looked bautiful in the early morning sun's rays.We walked by the side of the canal keenly looking for some special birds.A no.of Common Moorhens were produding a pcculiar sound of their's at a distance.A pair of binoculars is very helpful.I was relying more on my 55-250 lens!

We took a left turn towards more greenish looking paddy section.A Cormorant was sitting alone on the branches of a barren tree but getting close to it proved unsuccesful as it flew away denying the opportunity to take a real close picture!

We could see a large no.of butterflys and dragonflys.They are the staple diet of many migratory birds and the presence of this prey base was very encouraging to see.A common tiger butterfly greeted us with full spread wings and provided us with a good photo-shoot opportunity.

Bea Eater.......

A group of Green Sandpipers flew above us which are migratory avians coming from Southern Europe.Then we saw a no.of Barn Swallows perching on the electric wires.They come from Haridwar and other parts of the Himalayas.But photographing them is a tough task as they fly away on even littile disturbance.


The presence of Common Stonechat was very significant.Susanth explained that the Stonechats prefer drier places and its presence at Punchakari reinforces the fact that the area was getting hotter.

A pair of Pied Kingfishers were trying to catch some fish.They flew around us for quite some time taking a break by sitting on the live wires.They are less shy compard to the Sandpipers and we were able to get some good pictures.

A White Ibis was feasting on some insects at a distance to the right of us.It was really wet area and we found it diffficult to get closer.We also saw Wood Sandpipers and Yellow Wagtails flying past us.

Another interesting sight was the presence of Blue Bee Eaters.We saw a Blue Bee Eater(Migratory) sitting along with two common Bea Eatrs(Non-migratory).

By around 10AM we called it a day as the sun was bearing down on us.We wanted to contiue but Punchakari is just a stone's throw(or shall we say Stonechat's throw)away from the city!

Please click on the following link to read about the camp which was published in the New Indian Express....

The no.of Birds observed during the camp;

1.Pond Heron
2.Common Stonechat(Migratory)
3.Barn Swallow(From Himlayas)
5.Wood Sandpiper(Migratory)
6.Green Sandpiper(Migratory)
7.Common snipe(Migratory)
8.Little ringed Plover(Migratory)
9.Common Bea Eater
10.Blue Bea Eater(Migratory)
11.Black winged stilt(Migratory)
12.Green shank(Migratory)
13.Pied Cuckoo(unusual at this time)
14.Brown Shrike(From Mongolia and Siberia)
15.Indian coot
16.Cotton Teal
17.Lesser Whistling Duck
18.White Ibis
19.Asian Open Bill
20.Painted Snipe
21.Water cock
22.Oriental Darter(Migratory)



Paresh Kale said...

Seems a great place to be, TFS !

NKNAIR said...

I missed that November trip. May be some time in future I join.