MIGRATORY SHOREBIRDS ALONG THE COAST OF BHARATHAPPUZHA, NO 2 Early 1970s,,,a dark brown cloud emerges in eastern horizon and it flows to west in a smooth way shortly after the sun set during winter and on early days of summer.T hey pass across the sky with a whizzing sound.W e come out of our house and used to shout aloud with excitement!
. ‘’Taels have returned from Pattikkayal.’’grandma suggested that it was time to stop playing.a large flock of thousands of Taels whizzed acoss the sky like an avian cascade that falls from east to west. The avian troops take a beautiful deviation along Ayilakkunnu and vanish in the western horizon !.Still I remember the surrealistic experience that filled my childhood evenings with wonder!!.
Pattikkayal wetlands , Thirunnavaya wetlands and other wetlands and Bharathappuzha itself are home to several shore birds like different species of king fishers, storks, grey herons , cormorants, migrants like black headed gulls,open billed storks, oriental white ibis, Taels,and local migrants like bronze winged Jacana and Purple moorhens.
It was the last friday in the month of meenam ,on eight of march 2013 , as we walked weekend evening stroll through the stretches of sand .we spotted rare species of plants and grass which I haven’t seen before.C rows were gathered at one kadavu where they used to take their evening bath.when we were about to reach the near Venalpallam the vegetable patches we spotted two stork like water birds with black head and bills.
It was larger than white herons, their bill was long down curved like a sword.T hey were very silent as the growing dusk.T hey were probing with their bill in shallow waters of the river., I recalled the words of the demonstrator at Katalundi community reserve. He explained it as a migratory bird even though sighting of some nests have been reported from Panamaram in Wynadu district, On another occasion,we had sighted a single Iibis bird at 11 a. m.on 12.2. 2013`while rowing through the mangrove forest along with Katalundi estuary.
While crossing the vast fields in Thrikkangod near Manissery . I had come across a folk of ibises numbering twelve on 14. 7 .2013 They were walking in the cultivated field probing fish, frogs and crustacians available there.They stuck on to that field throughout the day.T he migratory gulls were notorious for their noise pollution,, but the ibis water birds always remained silent.It is known that the bird lacks proper voice producing mechanism. It is reported that they utter peculiar ventriloqual grunts while nesting.
A group of white ibises were sighted from the same spot on 14.7.2012. So we can conclude that they stay along the banks of Bharathappuzha or there is possibility to meet them from mid july to march.it can be taken as a migratory shore bird that visit the banks of Bharathappuzha.