India: Part 3: Chennai, Tamil Nadu 28-30 March 2019

Day 1: 28/03/2019

In the morning I took a taxi to Pallikaranai Marshlands (12.948295, 80.223395) where I met Sajan and upon arrival, I was impressed by the number and variety of birds.

Birds were seen included the following:

Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna bicolor 2, Garganey Spatula querquedula 5, Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata 9, Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha 8, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 3, Eurasian Teal Anas crecca crecca 1, Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 1, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 1, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 30, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 8, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 70, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 45, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 3, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala 70, Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis 55, Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia 1, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 10, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 4, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus 17, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus 1, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 24.

After we spent an hour at Pallikaranai Marshlands we then met some friends of Sajan who drove us west to Mevalurkuppam (13.024430, 79.988858). We found the following species:

 Cotton Pygmy-Goose Nettapus coromandelianus 10, Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis 1, Greater Coucal Southern Centropus sinensis parroti 1, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 4, White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1, Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus 3, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 4, Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus 2, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 1, Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans 3, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1, White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa 2, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1, Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis 2, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis 1, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 1, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 7, Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda 1, Rufous-tailed Lark Ammomanes phoenicura 3, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix griseus 18, Jerdon’s Bushlark Mirafra affinis 5, Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis 1, Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 2, Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 10, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 3, Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis 4, Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis 1, Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus 4.

 Day 2: 29/03/2019

We hired a guide for half day; met him at 6 AM and then the guide took us to Thereni Lake (12.8886,79.8460). We found the following species:

Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus 3, Eurasian Collared-Dove Eurasian Streptopelia decaocto decaocto 2, Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis 6, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 2, Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 2, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1, Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum 4, Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans 1, Cattle Egret Eastern Bubulcus ibis coromandus 8, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 8, Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus 1, Indian Spotted Eagle Clanga hastata 2, White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa 2, Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus 1, Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis 1, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis 5, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 8, House Crow Corvus splendens 4, Rufous-tailed Lark Ammomanes phoenicura 2, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix griseus 12, Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula 3, Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 4, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 2, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 2, Large Grey Babbler Turdoides malcolmi 3, Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus 10. 

In the afternoon Sajan left Chennai back to Kerala to prepare to family wedding. I went to the southern part of Pallokaranai Marshland (12.9176,80.2261) which was close to my hotel to find the following species:

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 3, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 4, Greater Painted-Snipe Rostratula benghalensis 2, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus 1, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 2, Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis 3, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 8, Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis 2, Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 2, Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus 2, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 36.

 

Day 3: 30/03/2019

In the morning I went back to the same place as yesterday’s afternoon. I took a taxi to southern part of Pallokaranai Marshland (12.9176,80.2261). Birds seen were the following: 

Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus 1, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 8, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 8, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 2, Greater Painted-Snipe Rostratula benghalensis 4, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 7, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 2, Black Kite Milvus migrans 1, Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis 1, Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 1, Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius 1, Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis 2, Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus 2, Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 1, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 3, Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus 2, Indian Silverbill Euodice malabarica 1, Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola 1.

This was my last day in Chennai so decided to see the Brown-headed Gull. I took a taxi to Policat Lagoon at (13.4193,80.3203).

I was very happy to find the gulls upon arrival.

Brown-headed Gull Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus 55, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica 2, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 8, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis 5, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala 8, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 6, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus 5, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1, House Crow Corvus splendens 12.

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