The two-day annual synchronised bird census carried out at Point Calimere Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagapattinam district recorded 79 species of water birds and 39 of terrestrial variety within the sprawling premises. The water birds totalled 54, 647 and the land birds 2,153.
The Forest Department compiled the census carried out at the sanctuary, a protected area spread over 21 sq. km. The synchronised census was simultaneously done at the bird sanctuaries in Point Calimere, Vaduvoor, Udhayamarthandapuram and Karaivatti. Barring Karaivatti sanctuary, which falls under Tiruchi Forest Circle, the remaining three come under Thanjavur Circle.
The census was carried out by field-level Forest officials and bird lovers, experts in identification of bird species, ornithologists, students and volunteers engaged for the purpose. The exercise would not only provide insights into bothspecies but also their migratory pattern and nesting behaviour, said S. Ramasubramanian, Conservator of Forests, Thanjavur Circle.
Prior to carrying out the detailed exercise, the participants were trained on the methodology to be adopted to carry out the census which was conducted in the morning and in the evening, Mr. Ramasubramanian said.
Those conducting the census were split into teams and entrusted with designated areas within the vast sanctuary to ensure that there was no duplication in count.
Water bird species recorded at Point Calimere included Little Stint, Black Headed Gul, Pied Kingfisher, White breasted Waterhen, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Black-bellied tern, Lesser Crested tern, Eurasian Curlew, Black headed Ibis, Slender Billed Gull, Purple Heron, Garganey, River Tern, Kentish Plover and Eurasian spoonbill.
Land bird species recorded included Brahminy Kite, Black drango, Indian blue robin, Black Kite, Grey Fracolin, Rosy Starling, Purple rumped sunbird, small bee eater, Eurasian-collared Dove, Ashy drongo and White-eyed buzzard, he added.