Rare Bird Alert — Grey-tailed Tattler in Pulicat Lake

by Aravind Venkatraman
Aravind Venkatraman

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

This proves why it is so critical to protect these shores as birds need them to survive. Being one of India's largest lagoons, Pulicat should be protected for future generations, and for the birds to thrive.

Grey-tailed Tattlers (Tringa brevipes) breed in Siberia and use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway for migration. They are more commonly seen in the north of Australia, where they winter in good numbers.

Late September and early October are productive periods for shorebird lovers. This is the onset of winter migration and surprises are usually encountered. Pulicat lake covering the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is one such place in South India where there is always a possibility of seeing rare vagrants.

In the first week of October there was a record (a picture of a wader posted on social media) that looked quite different to all the shorebirds seen in this part of the country. It was identified as a Grey-tailed Tattler and was later confirmed by other experts. Post this, our regular team consisting of Ganesh, Sambath, Ram and myself took to the shore and spotted this lone wader in low tide hunting for shrimps, crabs, worms, molluscs and crustaceans in shallow water.

The bird disappeared after the onset of the Northeast monsoon on the East coast.

This proves why it is so critical to protect these shores as birds need them to survive. Being one of India’s largest lagoons, Pulicat should be protected for future generations, and for the birds to thrive.



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