Birders and ornithologists in the State have a good piece of news from Kannur district’s Ezhome village where a winged friend from the Sedge Warbler migratory bird family, that is known for its daring crossing of the Sahara to reach its breeding grounds in Europe and some parts of Asia, has alighted.
It is a medium sized warbler with streaked brown back, wings and pale underparts spotted by birdwatcher Manoj Karingamadathil and research scholar Sachin Chandran. The details of spotting have already been uploaded to the well-known ‘eBird’ and ‘iNaturalists’ portals created for the network of experts associated with the mapping and sharing of their observations on biodiversity.
“It was on January 14 that we spotted it for the first time in the area. We confirmed the spotting again on January 17. It is seemingly a straggler that got separated from the flock somewhere during the trip,” Mr. Manoj told The Hindu. He said the spotting was such an exciting experience in the morning as they could capture a lot of clear images.
Manoj and Sachin Chandran claimed that the visit of Sedge Warbler bird was clearly recorded only once in India. They also said it was the first time that the bird, facing threat with the loss of wetland and the expansion of the Sahara Desert, was spotted in the South Asian region.
Sedge Warblers are insectivores in nature and frequently seen amidst the shrubs to hunt for insects. Its pit-stop at Ezhome is now rich with the shrub-Schoenoplectus litoralis, which is popular among the local residents as ‘Urunippotta’, attracting the bird. Birdwatchers are now excited to name these new feathered friends locally as “Pottakuruvi” to introduce them to the Kerala community.