DARTER – Vol. 1 – Issue 11 (Jul-Sep 2019)


“This year’s third quarterly activities saw a little dip than previous two years but the significance of sightings, impact of activities is second to none. The first few migratory birds have started to arrive and it is time catch some nice birds and we wish birders to have a good season. Don’t miss to check out the beautiful narration by a veterinary professor who visited Yercaud. There was also an interesting movement of a endemic bird from Western Ghats. Outreach activities are going strong as usual. Sightings and records which are entered in eBird are only taken into account towards writing of this e-magazine.” —Ganeshwar SV.


Dr C Sreekumar, Professor & Head (Wildlife Science), Madras Veterinary College at Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, visited Yercaud and had some fantastic birding experience. He also shared a brilliant article with our team, titled “The Whistling Schoolboy & his friends from Yercaud” which is sure to take us through his birding trails and give us insights about the diversity of birdlife.

3 Dr Sreekumar Chirukandoth
The birding trails on 09.08.2019 and 10.08.2019 from Aradhana Inn, Yercaud and the tentative locations where some of the birds were spotted by Dr C Sreekumar


On July 12, 2019, several students of the Indian Roller Birding Club belonging to the Panchayat Union Middle School, Thalavaipatty participated in the regular weekend bird watching trip near their school surroundings along with their teacher P Rajangam.


On July 27, 2019, Kalaiselvan V gave a presentation on birds and environment at the NCSC training program for guide teachers organized by the Tamil Nadu Science Forum.

Kalaiselvan 1 July 27 NCSC teachers training
Kalaiselvan V addressing the gathering


On July 27, 2019, The team comprising Angeline Mano, Divya Subramani, Ganeshwar SV, Kalaiselvan V, Dr Ravi M and Tamil Selvan A set out to explore the Puzhuthikuttai Dam or Anaimaduvu Reservoir and its surroundings for two days. This location is a unique habitat combination of wetland, open country, scrub jungle hillock. The team spotted more than 50 bird species including the endemic Large Grey Babbler Turdoides malcolmi.

PD or AR_Ganeshwar
Panoramic view of Anaimaduvu Reservoir photographed by Ganeshwar SV


On August 2, 2019, a beautiful display of Feather Collection Exhibition was conducted at the Panchayat Union Middle School, Thalavaipatty. These feathers were all collected during different time periods and were found on the ground. No bird was harmed because of this activity. The event was coordinated by the school teacher and birder, P Rajangam. 2019_Aug_2_feather collection_pums_thalavaipatty


On August 20, 2019, National Scientific Temper Day was celebrated at Panchayat Union Middle School, Thalavaipatty. As it turns out, this is something the Constitution of India requires every Indian to do. Says Article 51A(h), “It shall be the duty of every citizen … to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.” P Rajangam explained the several misconceptions about birds which is prevalent even today and insisted that students should develop scientific temper and not be misled by pseudoscience.

Scientific Temper Day celebrated at P.U.M.S, Thalavaipatty


On September 15, 2019, Senthil Kumar S recorded NILGIRI WOOD-PIGEON Columba elphinstonii for the second time in Salem. Please see the complete checklist here. It is one of the endemic and threatened species classified as ‘Vulnerable‘ by the IUCN. It is interesting to note that the first record of the same species by The Nature Trust also happened in September, three years ago. To see the complete checklist, click here. It is widely regarded as one of the Western Ghats endemic birds and hence these sightings from the Eastern Ghats of Salem hold much significance to understand the distribution and seasonal movements of the bird better. Please also see the eBird distribution map of Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.

NWP by Suli Sep 2019
NILGIRI WOOD-PIGEON photographed by Senthil Kumar S


On September 27, 2019, Senthil Kumar S recorded RAIN QUAIL Coturnix coramandelica for the second time in Salem (based on eBird) and it was the first photographic record. Please see the complete checklist here. To read the story of this amazing sighting in Tamil, please click here.

RAQU by Suli
RAIN QUAIL photographed by Senthil Kumar S