Tag Archives: shorebirds of Kasaragod

Oystercatcher Revisiting Chavakad: The Voyages of a Challenged Bird

Eurasian Oystercatcher limping without the left foot at Chavakad beach on 7 Apl 2013.  The same injured bird was seen in the summer of 2012 on the same location at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram, Chavakad.

Eurasian Oystercatcher limping without the left foot at Chavakad beach on 7 Apl 2013. The same injured bird was seen in the summer of 2012 on the same location at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram, Chavakad.

I remember a small group of five Eurasian Oystercatchers at Chavakad beach during the last migratory season 2011-12.  I made a trip to Chavakad and Ponnani while teaching at Government College Thrissur then. Yesterday, 7 April 2013 when I revisited Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram on the Chavakad coast from Kutipuram through Ponnani, I saw the same group again.  The injured bird who lost its left foot was among the group. This limping bird provided the vital link to relocate them after a whole year. This time I could see only three in the group from European shores perhaps.

Oystercatcher in flight along the Chavakad coast on 7 apl 2013.

Oystercatcher in flight along the Chavakad coast on 7 apl 2013.

There were a small group of Stints wading along the shore.  I followed them to find a group of 100 gulls and terns.  They included Brown and Black Headed Gulls, a few Yellow-legged Gulls and Lesser Crested Terns.  Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns were also seen.  A solitary Whimbrel was also with the gulls.

A yellow marine crab feeding at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram, Chavakad. 7 apl 2013

A yellow marine crab feeding at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram, Chavakad. 7 apl 2013

It seems that the migratory birds, most of them have gone back because of the unusually rising temperatures in Kerala.  Nowadays no gulls are seen in Kutipuram or high up on the Perar.  They used to be here till early March.  Even terns are rare now and waders have also declined in number.

A lone Whimbrel among the small gulls at Chavakad, 7 apl 2013.

A lone Whimbrel among the small gulls at Chavakad, 7 apl 2013.

The unusually hot summer and encroaching of the dry weather through the Palghat pass from Tamil Nadu and the lack of summer showers in Malabar could be the reasons.  The increased deforestation and mining on the western ghats bordering grasslands and devastation of sholas and evergreeen forests could be the reason of this unusual dry spell and totoal change in climate and bird life.

Lesser Crested Terns at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapura, Chavakad on 7 apl 2013.

Lesser Crested Terns at Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapura, Chavakad on 7 apl 2013.

Little Stints at Chavakad beach. 7 apl 2013

Little Stints at Chavakad beach. 7 apl 2013

 

Chavakad Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram teaming with migratory birds including small gulls, terns and waders on 7 apl 2013.

Chavakad Tiruvathra Puthan Kadapuram teaming with migratory birds including small gulls, terns and waders on 7 apl 2013.

Just three Oystercatchers were seen this summer in 2013, last year there were 5 individuals in the party.  Anyway the challenged bird is still sailing well...

Just three Oystercatchers (only 2 in photo) were seen this summer in 2013, last year there were 5 individuals in the party. Anyway the challenged bird is still sailing well…  hope to see it next winter as well…

 

Migratory Birds in Kasaragod: Season 2011

Terek Sandpiper and Sand Plover, Manjeswar river mouth, March 2011

Kasaragod the northernmost  district of Kerala is endowed with beautiful beaches and estuaries that host a range of winged visitors from far and wide.    Manjeswaram, Kumbala and Thalangara/Chandragiri form the major estuarine habitats  of Tulunadu that welcome the migratory birds from all over the world in large numbers.

Sand Plovers at Manjeswar beach, March 2011

Since I am currently teaching at Govt. College Kasaragod I am able to observe the biodiversity and ecological importance of rivers and estuarine wetlands in the Kasaragod coast that lure the shorebirds from thousands of miles afar.

Paradise Flycatcher, Vidyanagar, Kasaragod, Feb 2011

My isolated evenings and weekends in the margin of Kerala were cheerfully blessed and environmentally sensitized by these feathered friends from alien shores.  Thanks to these ancient navigators and globe trotters I learn many things from them.

Waders and shorebirds near Manjeswar river mouth, March 2011

Now that we have got rid of the agent of end and it requires years for the cleaning up of rivers and wetlands, I repeat my earlier idea for conserving these unique environmental treasures by declaring them as community reserves at least after the success story of Kadalundy where the numbers have dwindled this season.

Red Shank and Green Shank, Manjeswar beach, March 2011

As the migratory season is coming to a close and the world is observing Migratory Bird Day on 14 and 15 May 2011 let me present my snaps of shore birds, waders and migratory birds that I encountered on the beaches, wetlands, estuaries and woodlands of Kasaragod.

Migratory shore birds near the mouth of river Chandragiri, Kasaragod, Feb 2011

I salute their instinct for survival against all the pressures of development, pollution, urbanization, reclamation and increased human encroachment and alteration in their natural habitat and wetland ecology.

Sanderlings and Curlew Sandpipers, Thalangara estuary, Kasaragod, Jan 2011

Let us salute the enduring spirit of life that transcends continents and let us uphold the ethics  and politics of conservation for the endangered and for all of us.  Let us protect these little ones and protect our future and the future of our planet.

Black and Brown headed Gulls in Kumbala estuary, Jan 2011

Western Reef Egret, Thalangara/Chandragiri estuary, Jan 2011

Kentish Plovers, Kasaragod beach, Feb 2011

Gulls, waders and shore birds at Chandragiri river mouth, March 2011

Dunlins and Sanderlings, Kumbala beach, Feb 2011

Waders mostly shanks, Punjavi beach, Kanjangad, Feb 2011

Pallas' Gull, Thalangara/Chandragiri estuary, March 2011

Eurasian Curlews, Thalangara estuary, Jan 2011

Sunset in Thalangara/Chandragiri estuary, Kasaragod, Jan 2011