“It was truly a great welcome given to the first issue of DARTER, the quarterly e-newsletter/blog on Salem birds by various scientists, senior birders and by all nature enthusiasts. We thank everyone for their continued support and guidance. Though most of the migrants were back to their breeding grounds, the enthusiasm of birders to go out for birding even in summer hasn’t faded and all those efforts have given rise to some wonderful records. This is also the first time we have started to keep track of few migratory species which have stayed back. Sightings and records which are entered in eBird are only taken into account towards the writing of this blog.” –Ganeshwar SV
SECOND RECORD (1)
After the first record of BROWN FISH OWL Ketupa zeylonensis in 1929, the bird was once again seen in Salem by Gokul Vadivel and Dr. Thanigai Velu at Kapputhi on April 14, 2017. This is the first photographic record within the district limits. The complete checklist can be seen here.
CONGREGATION OF PAINTED STORKS and other water birds
V. Kalai Selvan recorded a congregation of 250 or more PAINTED STORKS Mycteria leucocephala and other water birds such as Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus, Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis, Sandpipers and a few more. The complete checklist can be seen here. The news was published in four Tamil news dailies: in Dhinamani and Kaalaikadhir on April 25, 2017 and in Dhinagaran and Dhinamalar on April 26, 2017.
NEW RECORD (1)
Gokul Vadivel recorded RUFOUS-TAILED LARK Ammonmanes phoenicura for the first time in Salem at Vadamaneri Lake on May 1, 2017. The complete checklist can be seen here.
ENDEMIC BIRD DAY & NEW RECORD (2)
The third edition of the Endemic Bird Day was held in Salem on May 13, 2017. In total, 106 species were recorded including endemic species. Birders Gokul Vadivel, Murugesh Nateshan, S. Dr. Thanigai Velu, N. Rameshkumar, P. Karthikeyan, T. Arulvelan and Ganeshwar SV covered Pudhu Eri, Kannankurichi Lake and ten different areas in the Shevaroy hills. At Kapputhi, the team recorded FORK-TAILED DRONGO CUCKOO Surniculus dicruroides which is the first record for the district.
In Attur taluk, the count was carried out by P. Rajangam and his students while the count in Omalur taluk was done by S. Subramania Siva.
INDIAN EAGLE OWL in NEWSPAPERS
Though the INDIAN EAGLE OWL Bubo bengalensis is widespread, V. Kalai Selvan took this opportunity to clear some misconceptions about Owls and the sighting was published in four Tamil news dailies: Kaalaikadhir, Dhinamani, Dhinagaran and Dinamalar on May 19, 2017.
SECOND RECORD (2)
After the first record of GREATER FLAMINGO Phoenicopterus roseus in 2014, once again a single bird was recorded by S. Subramania Siva at Pannavadi near Mettur taluk on May 23, 2017. The complete checklist can be seen here.
BAYA WEAVER COUNT
Every year Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) organizes pan-India Baya Weaver Count. This year the count was held from 4th to 10th of June. In Attur taluk, P. Rajangam and his students visited three locations (Thalavaipatty Lake, Ottapatty and Ariyapalayam) and counted a total of 148 BAYA WEAVERS Ploceus philippinus comprising 59 males and 89 females. They also recorded 42 completed nests and 105 incomplete nests.
NEW RECORD (3)
Gokul Vadivel recorded WHITE-NAPED TIT Machlolophus nuchalis for the first time in Salem on June 17, 2017. This is one of the surprising and fascinating records for the district. The complete checklist can be seen here.
OTHER NOTABLE SIGHTINGS
Murugesh Natesan and Dr. Thanigai Velu recorded RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE Lophotriorchis kinerii at Kapputhi on June 6, 2017. The complete checklist can be seen here.
Murugesh Natesan recorded a pair of PAINTED SPURFOWL Galloperdix lunulata with three chicks on June 18, 2017 at Vadapatty. The complete checklist can be seen here.
MIGRANTS and INLAND MIGRANTS
Some of the migrants and inland migrants which were recorded in summer are as follows. Clicking the date will lead to that checklist.
|COMMON NAME||OBSERVER||LAST SEEN – 2017|
|Chestnut-tailed Starling||Elavarasan M||1 April|
|Rosy Starling||Murugesh Natesan||3 April|
|4||Blue-capped Rock Thrush||Murugesh Natesan|
|5||Sykes’s Warbler||Murugesh Natesan|
|6||Rusty-tailed Flycatcher||Dr. Thanigai Velu|
|Baillon’s Crake||Elavarasan M||14 April|
|Clamorous Reed-Warbler||Elavarasan M||14 April|
|9||Brown-headed Gull||Kalai Selvan|
|10||Grey Wagtail||Elavarasan M|
|Booted Warbler||Dr. Thanigai Velu||26 April|
|12||Brown Shrike||Murugesh Natesan|
|Ashy Drongo||Murugesh Natesan||28 April|
|14||Indian Pitta||Murugesh Natesan|
|Green Warbler||Dr. Thanigai Velu||30 April|
|16||Eurasian Kestrel||Gokul Vadivel|
|Blyth’s Reed Warbler||Murugesh Natesan||1 May|
|18||Green Sandpiper||Gokul Vadivel|
|Greenish Warbler||Ganeshwar SV||13 May|
|20||Common Sandpiper||Gokul Vadivel|
|Wood Sandpiper||Anunita KP||18 May|
|22||Barn Swallow||Murugesh Natesan|
|Whiskered Tern||Subramania Siva||23 May|
|24||Greater Flamingo||Subramania Siva|
|Western Yellow Wagtail||Subramania Siva|
On June 15, 2017, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan district level training workshop was conducted for Block Resource Teachers and Coordinators (BRTs and BRCs) at AVS Engineering College, near Sakthi Kailaash Women’s College. Ganeshwar SV addressed 117 BRTs and BRCs in the program. Additionally 8 other birders covered 15 districts to address a total of 1951 teachers in similar workshops.
“One day I went to a science festival. I attended many sessions. In that one session is bird watching. That session inspired me very much. On that day onwards I love birds and also I wished to learn more information about different kinds of birds. Because of this interest, I spent my summer vocation by watching birds and doing birds pictures using quilling paper art. This makes me happy and satisfied. It’s our duty to save nature and birds.”—S. Subramania Siva, 9th standard
WEEKLY BIRDING PLAN
P. Rajangam, a teacher in Panchayat Union Middle School, Thalavaipatty in Attur taluk has planned to take his students every Friday for half an hour birding after school time.