Sunday, October 4, 2015

Singanallur Lake, Coimbatore

Singanallur Lake
Singanallur Lake is a lake in SinganallurCoimbatore. It is one of the 9 large lakes in the city. A railway track connecting Podanur and Irugur passes through this lake. Over 110 species of birds have been spotted in this lake.
The setting may not seem perfect to host these bright and beautiful migratory birds. But the Singanallur tank, considered to be the most polluted in the region has grown to be a welcome abode for winged visitors.

The tank was chosen by the city's civic body for providing entertainment like boating to Coimbatoreans. As hyacinths proved to be a spoilsport, it was reduced to a water body filled with sewage water that flows through the Sanganur canal.
In spite of the murky surroundings, the winged visitors have been flocking the tank in numbers. Best Time to visit this place is from October to February; when thousands of winged visitors throng this tank.

The Ukkadam and Sundakkamuthur tanks also attract a large number of birds and their next most sought-after destination is the Sulur tank.
Coimbatore city is fortunate to have many wetlands but most of them are highly polluted. Diverse species of birds such as teals, sandpipers, plovers, storks, pelicans, ibis and terns visit Coimbatore wetlands every year.

Somehow, we are not aware of the significance of this excellent phenomenon. Many of these visitors such as teals come from very far off lands such as Siberia. However, some like the spot billed pelicans and painted storks that are found in hundreds in the Singanallur tank these days are not foreign species

They are our native birds which nest and bring up their young ones in North India and our neighbouring States such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. They also migrate locally and en route, they reach Coimbatore tanks once a year.
Though many Coimbatore lakes play host to them, they seem to love the Singanallur tank, if one were to go by the number of birds found here.

The Singanallur tank has the highest number of resident birds as well migratory population recorded in the last two years. The relative calm of the place and low human interference might be the reason why the tank is a favourite with the birds.
The other birds spotted here are marsh harrier, egret, wagtail, cormorant (water crow) and painted stork. Spot-billed Pelican, which is listed in the vulnerable section of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) category, is an important bird indicator which highlights the significance of any wetland.

If the population of this bird that migrates from one wetland to another is more than 250, then the tank can be considered for selection as a wetland of international conservation importance. India has many such wetlands.
Painted storks, always seen in flocks, are beautiful - with their yellow bills with a curved tip, and bodies with distinctive pink and black bands. They are migratory birds that visit the wetlands of Coimbatore and stay on for months.

The network of manmade wetlands in the Coimbatore region is a lifeline. The city has grown around them. Eventually, the wetland is the ecosystem that supports birds.
Globally near threatened species, Spot-billed Pelicans, Painted Storks and Oriental White Ibis, are still flocking Coimbatore tanks as visitors during July to January.
A total of 5,777 Spot-billed Pelicans and 3,146 Painted Storks were spotted in the city tanks five years ago. Now their numbers have dwindled to almost one fifth. Rare birds like Western Marsh Harrier, Little Crake, Pallied Harrier, Gadwall, White- necked Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Marsh Sandpiper, Black-headed Oriole and Black- bellied Tern were also reported seen in the study.
Water birds, being generally at or near the top of most wetland food chains, are highly susceptible to habitat disturbances and are, therefore, indicators of the condition of the wetlands.
Another study by Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, on diatom (unicellular algae) based pollution monitoring in urban wetlands of Coimbatore (2009) found 96 species of diatoms belonging to 34 genera. These diatom assemblages indicated Vedapatti, Perur and Sundakkamuthur as moderately polluted while Pallapalayam, Noyyal and Singanallur wetlands are heavily polluted.
Recent toxicological study done by a set of school students and presented at the National Children's Science Congress (2009) showed lower turbidity and higher pH, dissolved solids, alkalinity, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, calcium, magnesium etc.
Genotoxicity studies done in the last 10 years have established even DNA damage to the fish and tadpoles found in the Noyyal River. And fishing in these troubled waters is also rampant.
So food contamination is another threat. An analysis of these wetlands is the need of the hour as the ecosystem, described as "kidneys of landscape", are an essential part of civilization. They meet many human needs such as drinking water, energy, fodder, biodiversity, flood storage, transport and recreation, and also act as climate stabilizers.
List of birds of Singanallur Lake
This is a list of the birds found at Singanallur Lake in Coimbatore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Over 100 species of birds have been spotted in the lake. The list includes the name in Tamil.
Ø Little cormorant, chinna neer kagam
Ø Indian cormorant, kondai neer kagam
Ø Great cormorant, peria neer kagam
Herons and Egrets
Ø Little egret, chinna kokku
Ø Purple heron, sen narai
Ø Grey heron, sambal narai
Ø Great egret, peria kokku
Ø Intermediate egret, naduthara kokku
Ø Cattle egret, unni kokku
Ø Indian pond heron, kuruttu kokku
Ø Painted stork, manjal mooku narai
Ø Woolly-necked stork, sengaal narai
Ibis and spoonbill
Ø Glossy ibis, arival mookkan
Ø Black-headed ibis, vellai arival mookkan
Ø Eurasian spoonbill, karandivayan
Kites and Harriers
Ø Black kite, kalla parundhu
Ø Brahminy kite, semparundhu
Ø Western marsh harrier, setru poonai parundhu
Ø Pallid harrier, poonai parundhu
Ø Pied harrier, vellai poonai parundhu
Ø Shikra, valluru
Ø Gadwall, karuval vathu
Ø Spot-billed duck, pulli mookku vathu
Ø Northern shoveler, andi vathu
Ø Garganey, neela chiragi
Ø Common teal, kiluvai
Francolin and Fowl
Ø Grey francolin, kowdhari
Ø Indian peafowl, neela mayil
Crakes and Rail
Ø White-breasted waterhen, kambul kozhi
Ø Little crake, chinna kaanan kozhi
Ø Ruddy-breasted crake, sivappu kaanaan kozhi
Ø Water cock, thanneer kozhi
Ø Grey-headed swamphen, neela thazhai kozhi
Ø Common moorhen, thaazhai kozhi
Ø Common coot, naamak kozhi
Ø Pheasant-tailed jacana, neela vaal ilai kozhi
Plovers and Lapwings
Ø Little ringed plover, pattani uppukkothi
Ø Yellow-wattled lapwing, sivappu mookku aalkatti
Godwit, Sandpipers and Stilt
Ø Black-tailed godwit, karuvaal mukkan
Ø Marsh sandpiper, chinna pachai kaali
Ø Wood sandpiper, pori ullan
Ø Common sandpiper, ullan
Ø Black-winged stilt, nedungaal ullan
Ø Common tern, aala
Ø Black-bellied tern, karuppu vayitru aala
Doves and Pigeons
Ø Blue rock pigeon, mada pura
Ø Little brown dove, chinna thavittu pura
Ø Spotted dove, pulli pura
Ø Rose-ringed parakeet, senthaar pynkili
Ø Jacobin cuckoo, sudalai kuyil
Ø Asian koel, kokilam
Ø Greater coucal, shenbagam
Ø Spotted owlet, pulli aandhai
Ø Asian palm swift, panai uzhavaran
Ø House swift, nattu uzhavaran
Ø Small blue kingfisher, siraal meenkothi
Ø Stork-billed kingfisher, peria alagu meenkothi
Ø White-breasted kingfisher, venmaarbu meenkothi
Ø Pied kingfisher, karuppu vellai meenkothi
Ø Green bee-eater, pachai panchuruttan
Ø Blue-tailed bee-eater, neelawal panchuruttan
Ø Chestnut-headed bee-eater, chenthalai panchuruttan
Rollers and Hoopoe
Ø Indian roller, panangadai
Ø Hoopoe, kondalathi
Ø Coppersmith barbet, chemmarbu kukkuruvaan
Ø Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, ponmudhugu maram kothi
Other Non-Passerines
Ø Little grebe, mukkulippan
Ø Spot-billed pelican, kuzhai kada
Ø Darter, pambu thara
Ø Common redshank, pavazha kaali
Ø Indian bushlark, sivappu irakkai vaanambadi
Ø Oriental skylark, chinna vaanambadi
Martin and Swallows
Ø Barn swallow, thagaivilaan
Ø Red-rumped swallow, sivappu pitta thagaivilaan
Wagtails and Pipit
Ø White wagtail, vellai vaalatti
Ø Large pied wagtail, karuppu vellai vaalatti
Ø yellow wagtail, manjal vaalatti
Ø Grey wagtail, karum saambal vaalatti
Ø Paddyfield pipit, vayal nettai kaali
Shrikes and Woodshrikes
Ø Brown shrike, pazhuppu keechaan
Ø Rufous-backed shrike, chemmudhugu keechaan
Ø Common woodshrike, kattu keechaan
Ø Red-whiskered bulbul, sivappu meesai chinnaan
Ø Red-vented bulbul, chinnaan
Robin and Chats
Ø Indian robin, karunchittu
Ø Common stonechat, kalkuruvi
Ø Pied bushchat, karuppu vellai pudhar chittu
Ø Yellow-billed babbler, venthalai silamban
Warblers, Prinias and Tailorbird
Ø Zitting cisticola, karungottu kadhirkuruvi
Ø Ashy prinia, saambal kadhirkuruvi
Ø Paddyfield warbler, vayal kadhirkuruvi
Ø Blyth's reed warbler, blyth naanal kadhirkuruvi
Ø Clamorous reed-warbler, naanal kadhirkuruvi
Ø Common tailorbird, thaiyal chittu
Ø Greenish warbler, pachai kadhirkuruvi
Ø Orphean warbler, karunthalai kathirkuruvi
Ø Asian paradise flycatcher, arasawal eppidippan
Flower Peckers
Ø Tickell's flowerpecker, tickell malar kothi
Ø Purple-rumped sunbird, oodha pitta thenchittu
Ø Purple sunbird, oodha thenchittu
Ø White-rumped munia, venmudhugu munia
Ø Spotted munia, pulli chillai
Ø Black-headed munia, karunthalai chillai
Ø House sparrow, chittu
Ø Baya weaver, tookanag kuruvi
Starling and Myna
Ø Rosy starling, chollakkuruvi
Ø Common myna, naganavaai
Ø Golden oriole, maangkuil
Ø Black-headed oriole, karunthalai maangkuil
Ø Black drongo, karung karichaan
Crows and Treepies
Ø Indian treepie, vaal kakkai
Ø House crow, kakkai

Ø Jungle crow, andam kakkai