Thursday, 1 December 2011

Point Calimere, 28.11.2011

A long break from bird-watching thanks to end semester examinations. . . It kept me planning, but this trip really came out of nowhere.

Place : Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary

Access : We hired a car from IITM, from where we drove down the East Coast Road all the way via NH45A to Nagapattinam. From there, a detour towards Vedaranyam and finally Point Calimere. This is one of the most scenic drives, so do it in the day (I did at night one way and really regret it!)

The entire sanctuary was more than a foot underwater, and Saikia and me enjoyed wading through the marshland trying to spot birds! And it was raining heavily too! A horde of birds - including many migratory birds were spotted - so the best time to visit is Nov-Dec.
Black Drongo

A list of birds we spotted at the sanctuary with pics :

1. Little Grebe - very few
2. Grey Pelican (Spot-Billed Pelican) - many even on ECR
3. Little Cormorant - surprisingly very few
4. Grey Heron - 5
5. Great Egret - many
6. Little Egret - many
7. Intermediate Egret (Median Egret) - plenty closer to the beach
8. Western Reef Egret - 10 to 15

Black-Winged Stilt

9. Indian Pond Heron - plenty
10. Cattle Egret - many
11. Painted Stork - 20
12. Greater Flamingo - just 1 on the approach road
13. Eurasian Spoonbill - many
14. Black-Winged Stilt - 5
15. Slender-Billed Gull - 50
16. Caspian Tern - 10
17. Heuglin's Gull - plenty
18. Kentish Plover - 50
19. Lesser Ringed Plover - 10

Brahminy Kite

20. Marsh Sandpiper - 5
21. Common Sandpiper - 20
22. Green Sandpiper - many
23. Wood Sandpiper - many
24. Lesser Sand Plover - 25
25. Purple Moorhen - 5
26. White-Breasted Waterhen - 6
27. Eurasian Curlew - 3
28. Black Tailed Godwit - 1
29. Red-Wattled Lapwing - 25
30. Grey plover - 5
Long-Tailed Shrike
31. Little Stint - The sanctuary is full of these
32. Eurasian Collared Dove - 6
33. Blue Rock Dove - plenty
34. House Crow - few
35. Jungle Crow - just 2
36. House Sparrow - 2
37. Common Myna - 40
38. Brahminy Myna - 25
39. Rosy Starling - 10
40. Purple Sunbird - 5
41. Loten's Sunbird - 1
42. Crimson-Backed Sunbird - 2
43. Purple-Rumped Sunbird - 1
Eurasian Collared Dove
44. Greater Coucal - 2
45. Long-Tailed Shrike - 7
46. Little Green Bee-Eater - plenty
47. Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater - 2
48. Asian Koel - 3
49. Rose-Ringed Parakeet - 3
50. Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo - 2
51. Asian Palm Swift - many
52. Pied Kingfisher - 50
53. White-Breasted Kingfisher - The most common bird
54. Little Blue Kingfisher (Common Kingfisher) - 10

Little Green Bee-Eater
55. Black-Capped Kingfisher - just 1
56. Barn Swallow - 10
57. Richard's Pipit - 3
58. Paddyfield Pipit - 2
59. Oriental Skylark - 35
60. Oriental Magpie Robin - 5
61. Blyth's Reed Warbler - 2
62. Black Drongo - 2
63. Rufous Treepie - 1
64. Indian Peafowl - 2
65. Shikra - 20
66. Brahminy Kite - 15

Kentish Plover

67. Black Kite - 5
68. Oriental Honey Buzzard - 25

69. Blackbuck - 7
70. Golden Jackal - 2 (glad they chose chasing a female blackbuck over us!!! It was really scary when they were choosing!)
71. Mouse Deer - 4
72. Spotted Deer (Axis Deer) -4
73. Indian Mongoose - 4
74. Bonnet Macaque - many
75. Monitor Lizard - 1
76. Indian Wild Boar - 3

Golden Jackal





Definitely missed a click of the Black-Capped Kingfisher, but was lucky enough to spot one. Also missed out on quite a few waders and terns, wonder why we couldn't spot them. It was just a 4-hour tour of the sanctuary so we probably missed out on quite a few birds.


But plenty of new species including the Brahminy Kite, which is quite common at Point Calimere, some of the sandpipers and plovers, the Black-Tailed Godwit, Oriental Skylark and the Eurasian Curlew.

Lesser Sand Plover
Little Blue Kingfisher (Common Kingfisher)
Little Stint
Marsh Sandpiper
Oriental Skylark
Indian Pond Heron
Richard's Pipit
Rosy Starling
Spoonbill Storks
Wood Sandpiper
Brahminy Myna (Brahminy Starling)

A really awesome experience - one of the best birdwatching trips for sure. This sanctuary is very less frequented but is one of the best - it even has a beach as part of the sanctuary! Point Calimere is definitely under-rated and is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in TN.