Expedition team sights rare winged visitor

Migratory bird Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) spotted by Great Indian Bird Expedition team at National Chambal Sanctuary.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

A Coimbatore-based environmental NGO, which recently finished an all India tour to raise awareness on wildlife and environment conservation, has come with a rare credit.

According to the four-member team of Environment Conservation Group (ECG), they spotted migratory bird Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), claimed to be the first sighting of the winged visitor in India.

R. Mohammed Saleem, president of ECG, the rare visitor was spotted during a birding trek at National Chambal Sanctuary, situated at the tri-junction of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

“We saw a flock of birds perched on a bush during the birding trek at the sanctuary. On a closer look through binoculars, the bird looked different from the similar looking common stone chat. The bird was photographed and during the post- expedition analysis it was identified as Whinchat, a bird not documented before in India. The white stripe above the eye and buff under parts of the bird revealed the rare visitor,” claimed Mr. Saleem.

A small migratory bird which breeds in Europe and winters in Central Africa, Whinchat was earlier documented in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka, 21 February 2015, in the Indian subcontinent.

P. A. Azeez, former director of Salim Ali Centre of Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Ravi Rishi and Thillai Makadhan were with Mr. Saleem for the national tour ‘Great Indian Bird Expedition- SEEK2019’ which started on January, 12 in Coimbatore.

After covering 22,000 km across 23 States in the country documenting birds and spreading awareness on the importance of protecting them and their natural habitats, the team returned Coimbatore on March, 31.

The four-member team also sighted Grey hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus), Common ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) in Gujarat, the endangered White-winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata) and the critically endangered Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) in the forest of Assam.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2021 3:43:42 PM |

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