The global Great Backyard Bird Count yields over 100 species in the city
Coimbatore: “Chloropsis and Flycatchers are not just attractive birds, but very important ones too,” says P.R. Selvaraj of Coimbatore Nature Society (CNS). As part of the Global Great Backyard Bird Count, CNS members split into three groups, recorded over 100 species at Narasipuram, Ponoothamankovil and Sholaiyur, all locations in Coimbatore. “ We also spotted migratory birds such as Grey wagtails and Blyth’s reed warblers,” he adds.
The teams led by M. Vijayaraj, A. Pavendhan and G. Parameswaran visited habitats ranging from dry deciduous scrub, and moist deciduous, to evergreen forests. At Narasipuram, which is at the foothills of the Western Ghats, the moist deciduous forest has streams and farmlands too. After a three-hour bird watching, the team spotted 50 species of birds including the Crested Serpent Eagle, Jacobin’s Cuckoo, Sirkeer and Blue-faced Malkohas. “The number is proof of the diversity of habitat that exists within our own backyard,” says Selvaraj.
At Ponoothamankovil, one of the driest locations, Bonelli’s Eagle, the Black Eagle, the Black-naped Blue Monarch, Blue-throated Flycatcher and the Lesser Whitethroat stole the show along with another 40 different species.
One of the teams sighted the Rufous-bellied Eagle, Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Blue-headed Rock Thrush, Blue-throated Flycatcher and Dark-fronted Babbler at Sholaiyur near Anaikatty, a moist deciduous/evergreen habitat.
Visit ebird.org for the checklist of birds of the Global Great Backyard Bird Count.
Asian Waterbird Census (AWC)
At Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) of Greater Coimbatore at the Noyyal basin, the CNS team visited 25 wetlands (of which three were dry). While the big tanks near the city like Ukkadam and Perur-Sundakamuthur Lake registered sizeable numbers in thousands, birds in Aachankulam and Sulur-Big Lake were more modest. had moderate numbers. The team recorded 45 water birds such as Little Grebes, Egrets, Herons, Black-headed Ibis, Stilts and Sandpipers.
They also spotted 15 raptor and water-associated birds including Black-winged Kite, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and Asian Palm Swift.