The Last of the Migrants: Oystercatchers Lingering at Chavakad

// April 24th, 2013 // Eco Watch

Vijesh Vallikunnu's file photo taken in 2012 summer at Chavakad beach showing the Oystercatcher with a trapped left leg.

Vijesh Vallikunnu’s file photo taken in 2012 summer at Chavakad Tiruvatra beach showing the Oystercatcher with a trapped left leg. Mark the long horizontal stick like snare-paraphernalia  attached to its left leg (bird on the left.   By courtesy of Vijesh Vallikunnu (Mobile: +91 9846777992)

On 20th April 2013 I revisited Chavakad beach at Tiruvatra Puthan Kadapuram to find four Oystercatchers.  A few weeks ago I found three of them at the same location and reported it earlier in Keralabirder internet group.  The injured bird is still getting along though with a lot of difficulties in movement.

See the snare tightly gripped to the birds left toe pulled up to the under belly.  Another shot by Vijesh in summer 2012 a year ago.  By courtesy of Vijesh Valikunnu.

See the snare tightly gripped to the bird”s left toe pulled up to the under belly. Another shot by Vijesh in summer 2012 a year ago. By courtesy of Vijesh Vallikunnu.

Meanwhile I got a chance to meet photographer Vijesh Vallikunnu who took its photos a year ago in 2012 summer.  Mr Vijesh was kind enough to send me a few photos of the injured Eurasian Oystercatcher in trapped condition with a long pole like snare fixed to its left toe. This was taken in early 2012 from Tiruvatra Puthan Kadapuram by Vijesh.   This year exactly a year after this take by Vijesh the bird seems to have lost its toe completely and got rid of the snare part.

The same bird now without the toe at Chavakad beach.  My photo on 20 apl 2013.

The same bird now without the toe at Chavakad beach. My photo on 20 apl 2013.

We can imagine the pain and suffering this beautiful little creature had undergone for over a year now. It has gone back to Europe and come back to Kerala again.  Will it make it next time in the coming winter?  Only time can tell.  Let us hope for the better and expect this challenged but brave bird in Kerala cost again.

Eurasian Oystercatcher catching an oyster at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Eurasian Oystercatcher catching an oyster at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Cracking the oyster shell with the beak at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Cracking the oyster shell with the beak at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Savoring the sweet meat of oyster by removing the shell so ingeniously.  The Oystercatcher at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Savoring the sweet meat of oyster by removing the shell so ingeniously. The Oystercatcher at Chavakad beach, 20 apl 2013.

Though it has got rid of the big stick like trap part, the injury and open wound seems to be sore even today and the infection may be fatal to its very life.  I think experts and specialists can help in this ragard after carefully examining the images here and probably after field observations later.

Eurasian Oystercatchers in flight at Chavakad beach this summer.

Eurasian Oystercatchers in flight at Chavakad beach this summer.

A few small gulls and Lesser Crested Terns are also left in the beach in this advanced summer.  Green Shanks and Sand Plovers are also common.  I spent a whole afternoon at the beach and it seems that almost all the big gulls and other shorebirds have gone back because of the rising temperatures here.  But the Oystercatchers are still lingering and why…  perhaps the misery of their fellow is forcing them to stay on this alien shore in extreme heat.ajaysekher.net.tanur.kodungalur.chavakad 068

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