Ruddy shelducks spotted at Nanjarayan Tank

The migratory waterfowl, which comes from parts of Europe and Central Asia, is not generally spotted in Tamil Nadu during the migration season.

Updated - November 12, 2020 04:16 am IST

Published - November 11, 2020 10:38 pm IST - Tiruppur

Ruddy shelducks spotted by Nature Society of Tiruppur members in Nanjarayan Tank near Uthukuli in Tiruppur district.

Ruddy shelducks spotted by Nature Society of Tiruppur members in Nanjarayan Tank near Uthukuli in Tiruppur district.

Birdwatchers spotted around 15 Ruddy shelducks ( Tadorna ferruginea ) at Nanjarayan Tank near Uthukuli in Tiruppur district for purportedly the first time in recent years.

President of Nature Society of Tiruppur K. Ravindran said the migratory waterfowl, which comes from parts of Europe and Central Asia, is not generally spotted in Tamil Nadu during the migration season. There have been a few instances in the past where Ruddy shelducks were spotted in Chennai and Madurai, but have never been seen in Nanjarayan Tank in recent times. “They have come in a flock of 15 to Nanjarayan Tank. This is a big number as far as Ruddy shelducks are concerned in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Ravindran told The Hindu.

Mr. Ravindran said that Manoj, a member of the Society, first spotted 15 Ruddy shelducks in Nanjarayan Tank on Tuesday evening, following which he visited the spot on Wednesday morning to confirm and photographed about eight of those.

Ruddy shelducks are typically spotted in northern and north eastern areas of India following its migration, said G. Prakash, an office-bearer of Coimbatore Nature Society. “Normally, it won’t occur in South Indian wetlands,” he said, adding that the spotting in Nanjarayan Tank is indeed a rare occurrence. These birds are “gregarious” as they generally land in large groups during migration, Mr. Prakash said.

Every year, migratory birds will arrive at Nanjarayan Tank from the first week of October and leave by the beginning of March. According to Mr. Ravindran, other migratory birds that have arrived from other parts of the world so far include northern shovelers, garganeys, Temminck’s stints, sandpipers and common teals.

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