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19 November, 2007

'Winged guests from Pak surprise bird watchers'

View of the Tumakuru Amanikere wetland inside Tumakuru City, with the backdrop of the granite hill range of Devarayanadurga state forest

Dear bird lovers,

The winter is here, so are our winged visitors from all over Northern Hemisphere.

Check the story and pictures below. I have made the bird pictures using my spotting scope, hence they might not be the best.

Warm regards,

The New Indian Express, Bangalore, Nov. 19, 2007, Page 5

'Winged guests from Pak surprise bird watchers'
By Devaraj B Hirehalli
Tumkur, Nov. 18: Obviously it's not the emergency in Pakistan which pushed the 'common swallow' birds to Tumkur, but it could be the warmth of the winter season.

This time the pleasant climate and temperature between 15-20 degrees centigrade might be the factor which is wooing the winged guests.

Migratory swift birds with a forked tail usually sighted in the mountain region of Pakistan were among the birds which arrived at the Amanikere tank here.

The marsh harrier from Europe, common Sandipiper from Siberia and reed warbler from the Himalayas are the newcomers sighted here to the surprise of bird watchers.

The spotbilled ducks from the western ghats with their vanity and the locally found black and white kingfisher mesmerise bird lovers.

Besides, birds like mallard, goose, pitta, shoveller etc are expected here in the next 15-20 days, according to Ameen Ahmed, an ornithologist.

Informal hosts like coot, purple moorhen, pheasant tailed Jacana, little and large cormorant (neer kaage in Kannada), brahminy kite and pariah kite too made the 'weedy' tank their temporary home.

As the tank recieved copious inflow of water due to incessant rains this year, the availability of prey which includes insects, reptiles, fish etc, made the birds throng it in good numbers.

The tank has been hosting the winged visitors whenever it brimmed. It has recieved painted storks, pelicans and goose earlier.

As the release of sewage water to the tank was checked by the authorities, it helped the tank improve its ecology and marine life.

But birdwatchers Sachin and Inder from Greenpeace (an NGO), are concerned about the tank being polluted due to the unabated dumping of solid waste.


A Common (or Siberian) stonechat

A Common Sandpiper

WANC members were joined by street kids to see the winged visitors

Watching out for the migrants

Egrets and a buffalo in the wetland

A pair of Brahminy Kites

A Purple Moorhen

Below is the Tumakuru Amanikere, as seen on Google maps:

View Larger Map

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