Tag Archives: Chavakad puthan kadapuram

The Last of the Migrants: Oystercatchers Lingering at Chavakad

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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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