‘First time in India’: African-Mediterranean wader bird spotted in Warangal

Native to North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean regions spur-winged lapwing was sighted at Ammavaripet Lake near Warangal by birders attending Hyderabad Bird Race

February 19, 2024 05:30 am | Updated 05:30 am IST - HYDERABAD

Photo of the spur-winged lapwing spotted at Bhattupalle in Warangal, said to be the first ever in the country.

Photo of the spur-winged lapwing spotted at Bhattupalle in Warangal, said to be the first ever in the country.

A birdwatching team from Telangana on Sunday spotted near Warangal a spur-winged lapwing, believed to be the first one sighted in India.

The wader bird, with the scientific name Vanellus spinosus was spotted near Bhattupalle village by a team of birdwatchers—Indaram Nageshwar Rao and Jagan Pannala—participating in the Hyderabad Bird Race. A statement from the Deccan Birders said this is the first time the bird has been spotted in the country.

The 14th edition of the Hyderabad Bird Race was organised by Deccan Birders together with HSBC.

“It is native to North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean regions; it has never been sighted in the sub-continent,” said Gouthama Poludasu from Deccan Birders.

“We found the bird at Ammavaripet Lake and thought it was a river lapwing, which is commonly found here. But when we observed the visuals closely, we saw that the physical features, call and flight mode of this bird were different from the river lapwing. Later, expert birders confirmed our find,” explained Mr. Nageshwara Rao, a Warangal resident who has been attending the birdwatching event for the past four years.

Several winter migratory birds, too, were found by the team in and around the lakes in Warangal, which is an unusual phenomenon at this time of the year, he said. Birdwatchers and experts from Deccan Birders and Hyderabad Birding Pals will visit the lake soon to study the bird.

The 12-hour race had several teams of birding enthusiasts who together spotted 130 avian species. Team Rollers, comprising Abhishek Shroti, Pushpita Balakrishnan, Suman Kumar and Anagha Balakrishnan, came up with the maximum number of 120, the statement said.

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