BLACK HEADED IBIS ( THRESHSKIORNIS MALANOCEPHALUS)

black headed ibis or oriental white ibis

black headed ibis or oriental white ibis

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!

a nesting egret

a nesting egret

. ‘’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!!.

king fisher or fisher king

king fisher or fisher king

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.

cormorant ,not a  migrant

cormorant ,not a migrant

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.

a folk of ibises

a folk of ibises

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.

Threshkiornis Malano cepha

Threshkiornis Malano cephalus

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.

an ibis on flight

an ibis on flight

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.