Shorebirds of Chavakad and Ponnani

Eurasian Oystercatchers, Chavakad Puthan Kadapuram, 11 Feb 2012

Puthan Kadapuram is becoming a new found bird-beach north of Chavakad coast in Thrissur district of Kerala.  It is a calm fishing beach that lures shorebirds and birders.

Common Green Shank, Puthan Kadapuram, 11 Feb 2012

Plenty of migrant birds from all over the world are coming here.  Today (11 Feb 2012) I could see Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers, Kentish Plovers, Lesser Sand Plovers, Sanderlings, Green Shanks and plenty of Gulls there.

Grey Plovers, Chavakad beach, 11 Feb 2012
Brown-headed Gull, Chavakad Puthan Kadapuram, 11 Feb 2012

In the after noon I moved north to Ponnani.  As the Ponnani estuary has lost sand flats due to dredging for the new fishing harbor migrants are shifting to southern shores now.

Lesser Sand Plovers, Ponnani beach, 11 Feb 2012
Black and Brown-headed Gulls, Puthan Kadapuram, Chavakad

Gulls are even going upstream to Kutipuram bridge and beyond to rest on sandy banks.  The plastic menace is not yet a problem in Puthan Kadapuram and it is considerably clean in terms of waste.  Plenty of crabs and other life forms are also vibrant here.  I also found a dead turtle on the shore.

Sanderlings, Chavakad beach, 11 Feb 2012

At Ponnani estuary I was astonished to watch a  White-bellied Sea Eagle just above the port being chased by Brahminy Kites.  This threatened bird in Malabar coast was  recently reported from Chavakad beach as well.

Heuglin's Gulls (Immature) at Ponnani beach, 11 Feb 2012
Little Stints, Chavakad beach, 11 Feb 2012

It is clear that this magnificent bird is straying south in search of survival and sea food.   It is not found normally south of Mahe.  The loss of Purathur estuary could be another fatal blow to the survival of such innumerable endemic and migrant birds and millions of other life forms for ever.

White-belllied Sea Eagle, Ponnani estuary, 11 Feb 2012
Heuglin's Gulls, Ponnani beach, 11 Feb 2012
Lesser Black-backed Gull (left), Ponnani beach, 11 Feb 2012
Oystercatcher, Chavakad beach, 11 Feb 2012
Grey Plovers, Chavakad 11 Feb 2012

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