With the migratory season seeming to have started 20 days in advance, bird-watchers have already spotted Ruddy Turn Stones and Spotted Red Shanks, two rare species.

Bird watchers and ornithologists are surprised by the early arrival of migratory birds to various water bodies in and around Chennai.

K. Gnanaskandan, member of the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS), said the members have sighted 29 species so far since July end. Normally, the migratory season starts from mid-September. This time the season has begun nearly 20 days in advance, he said.

Of the 29 species two of them were very important. One was the Ruddy Turn Stone, which has been sighted after several yeas. Another bird, Spotted Red Shank, has been sighted, which is not very common, he said. Adyar estuary, Pallikaranai marshland, backwaters in Kelambakkam and Mudaliarkuppam were some of the areas where the migratory birds were sighted, he said.

Every year the members record sighting of 75 species of birds during the migratory season, which begins mid-September and peaks in October. These winged visitors stay till April, Mr Gnanaskandan said. During middle of last month, the MNS members have recorded the sighting of 200 flamingos in the backwaters of Kelambakkam. Most of them were juveniles, the members observed.

The members have recorded the number of birds sighted in their website. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat were the four States that have participated in recording the sighting of migratory birds. Among the four States, Tamil Nadu topped the list with maximum number of sightings during the present migratory season.

The MNS is also planning to organise regular nature walks for nature lovers. Recently during the Madras Week celebrations, the Society organised a visit to Pallikaranai marshland wherein nearly 50 persons participated. The participants were showed nearly 30 species of birds during the visit, Mr Gnanaskandan said.

An exclusive space on Facebook has been created for the benefit of those interested in participating in the nature walk. They can log on to: https://www.facebook.com/events/421933291175806/ or contact him on his e-mail: gnanaskeshav@gmail.com

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