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TN: Waders yet to arrive at Perumbakkam marshland | Chennai News – Times of India


File photo of a long-toed stint

CHENNAI: Arrival of waders to Perumbakkam marshland this year has been delayed due to stagnation of fresh water in this part of the wetland even at the end of April. Waders are small birds that feed on insects, found in the shallow waters of a wetland. They come very late to the tropical regions and return to their homes after they attain plumage.
Founder of the Nature Trust K V R K Thirunaranan, who monitors these birds in Perumbakkam and Pallikaranai marshlands, said these tiny birds travel several thousand kilometres during late winter and arrive in tropical regions in south India. They stay till the end of May and return to their homes for breeding. This wetland, an extension of the Pallikaranai marshland, will go bone dry normally by March. But this year it still has two feet of water.
Annually 25 to 30 species of waders are sighted in both Pallikaranai and Perumbakkam marshlands during Marchend or the first week of April. Little stints, Pacific golden plover, black winged stilt, wood sandpiper, grey plover, pied avocet, spotted redshank, lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, black-tailed godwit and long-toed stint are some of them, he said.
Among these birds, longtoed stint, black-tailed godwit, pied avocets, little stint and Pacific golden plovers are rare sightings. These birds come in small numbers only. Thirunaranan has recorded more than half a dozen long-toed stints at Perumbakkam, which he says is a rare phenomenon. “Generally, these birds come in singles, but a small flock is very rare. But, in Perumbakkam I have seen more than half a dozen of them,” he said.
Madras Naturalists’ Society President K V Sudhakar said some of their members have sighted juvenile greater flamingos in Perumbakkam along with fulvous whistling ducks. Water at the Perumbakkam marshland will dry before this month ends. Once the water level goes down, one can expect to sight more waders here, Thirunaranan said.

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