Plea to end dumping of waste in and around the tank

This October, winged visitors are back at Ukkadam big tank and in more numbers because of the availability of water in the tank after the citizens’ initiative to clean the tank.

But birdwatchers and morning walkers are shying away from the place. The reason - open defecation, dumping of garbage and mixing of sewage water in the tank.

Birdwatchers feel that the administration should take steps to end this, so that the tank attracts more winged visitors and bird watchers.

The tank and the tank bunds were strengthened in a public initiative carried out by Siruthuli, Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore with the help of corporate organisations. This resulted in the tank having adequate water at the end of the South West monsoon.

To provide roosting and resting sites, islands were created and saplings were planted.

Mohammed Saleem of Coimbatore Birding Club said that on Sunday, birdwatchers who took a stroll around the tank found black-tailed godwit and Reeve (female of Ruff).

“These two bird species from Northern Europe and Central Asia were never a common sight in Big Tank (Periyakulam). Since, it is just the beginning of the season, birdwatchers expect to see a large number of birds in our wetlands in the coming weeks”, he said.

Birds that are sighted at present include Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Green Shank, Marsh Sandpiper, Eurasian spoonbill, black winged stilt, Glossy ibis, Garganey, Pied wagtail, Yellow wagtail, White-breasted water hen, Common tern, Common coot and Purple moorhen.

Spot-billed pelicans, Painted stork, Indian shag, Oriental Darter, Little Cormorant, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, White-breasted kingfisher, Little-ringed plover and also the spot-billed duck are the other visitors to this water body.

In fact, Coimbatore birding club used to bring school students earlier.

Unfortunately, the present situation has not been very encouraging for the birdwatchers, they said.