Rare bird sighted in Uttara Kannada

Rare bird sighted in Uttara Kannada

Here is a piece of news that will thrill bird lovers. A rare migratory bird - Grey Headed Lapwing - has been sighted at a lake near Kaiga township in Uttara Kannada district.

 As an addition to Kaiga’s bird life, the bird Grey Headed Lapwing has been sighted in the region. Two bird experts, K Puttaraju and Ashok Mansur for the first time have come out with photographic evidence of its existence at Kerwadi village, in the forest of Karwar range.

The bird breeds in East Asia and migrates to the northern part of Southeast Asia in the non-breeding season. Being relatively unknown and undersurveyed, according to Puttaraju, the bird is mainly found in China and Japan and migrates mainly to north-eastern regions of the country and rarely to some places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The bird - with yellow bill with black tip and yellow legs has grey head, neck and breast -  was said to have been sighted earlier in the month of March. However, there was no photographic evidence to establish this. 

Bird experts who searched for the bird for about a fortnight were able to establish its existence near Kerwadi village, surrounded by seven lakes. “We had an event called Kaiga Bird Marathon earlier this month, where a bird watcher reported about this bird. However, we were able to establish (this fact) by photographing (it) on March 19, 2012. This is the first we have been able to record it,” explained Puttaraju, a bird expert and a scientific officer at Kaiga nuclear power plant.

Supporting this argument, city-based bird experts M B Krishna and Clement Francis agree that this is, indeed, a rare bird and probably a first record of sighting so far. “This is purely a migratory bird and a rare bird here,” said Krishna. Clement said that the bird breeds in China and Japan and winters in South East Asia. “It is sighted in Kaziranga and Sunderbans frequently during winter, but there is no record of it here,” he said.  

According to Puttaraju, about 40 species of birds including migrants, roosting migrants, native birds and birds of prey considered to be rare are sighted in Kaiga during the period. The Grey Headed Lapwing did not figure in the list of the visiting birds so far.

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