2,500 species of migrating ducks at Lake Parandur | Chennai News

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Chennai: In a rare occurrence, birdwatchers in Chennai saw more than 2,500 common pochards at Lake Parandur in Kancheepuram district last month, the first time so many of these ducks have been recorded in the State in the recent past.
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), whose native range extends from Latvia, Poland and Ukraine to Mongolia, migrates to southern India during the winter, covering almost 7 000 km and, according to the Indian Bird Migration Atlas, has also been observed at Harike in Punjab, Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
During the second week of February this year, said The Nature Trust founder KVRK Thirunaranan, a team of birdwatchers spotted several of these foraging ducks at Lake Parundur. “We decided to monitor them on a daily basis. A team went separately each day to the lake to count these ducks. Our team has registered 13 flocks, each with at least 200 ducks. Until March 13, a few of these ducks were seen in the lake before starting their return migration,” he said.
This time there were also a few tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula) at Lake Parandur, Thirunaranan said.
Officially, the migratory season is still on, but most of the duck species from distant lands had left water bodies in and around Chennai last week. A few Garganeys (Spatula querquedula), a species of duck native to the Central Asian region, traveling several thousand kilometres, are among the few migrants still spotted in a few wetlands. Now, with water levels in most places slowly dropping, it’s time for the waders to arrive. Already about 150 flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) have been seen at Pallikaranai, the first time in about a year that these large birds have been sighted in the swamp, he added.
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