NO WILD GOOSE CHASE FOR THE CITY – Pune southernmost host for migratory bird

In fact, Pune may now be the southernmost point in India that the bird has ever been recorded visiting, as there are no other such sightings that have been proclaimed.

Sandip Nagare, who acts as guide for tourists, who often come to the Bhigwan wetlands to sight interesting birds -mostly flamingos -told Mirror, “I noticed a stray bird along with the Bar-Headed Geese that are regulars to this spot. This is for the first time that I have seen this bird at Bhigwan.“

This migratory specimen is a native of the Sub-Arctic region and its surroundings, and annually heads southwards for the winters. It is known to visit several northern areas of the nation, including the Little Rann of Kutch. However, coming so far south is certainly a rare scenario for the avian.

Siddhesh Brahmankar, administrator for the group Birds of Pune, who maintains a comprehensive list of bird records in the city, said, “This is for the first time we have recorded a sighting of this goose in Pune. Last year, there was a sighting in Nagpur and Amravati in Maharashtra. Besides, there have also been records from Haryana, the Little Rann of Kutch, etc.“

The Greater White Fronted Goose is a fully migratory bird, travelling in stages via several stop-over sites between separate wintering and breeding grounds. The species breeds, from late-May or early-June in single pairs or loose groups, and generally forages within 20 km of its roosting site. Nests are usually shallow con structions of plant matter on ground amongst vegetation like grass or dwarf scrub heath, often on raised hummocks or slopes to reduce risks from flooding and pro vide a vantage point. The bird falls in the Least Concern category of the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) list, and is not likely come under the threatened categories anytime soon on account of its wide distribution.However, sightings in India are intermittent and rare.

Dharmaraj Patil, a researcher and co-ordinator with the Western Maharashtra Region chapter of eBird, (a depository of real-time bird observations from across the world), told Mirror, “Whenever this goose visits India, its known sightings have been at the foothills of the Himalayas, Gujarat and Assam. The southernmost point it is known to have visited is the Chilika Lake in Odisha. Besides, there have also been records of a visit to the Bhitarkanika National Park in the same state.After Monday, Bhigwan in Pune will be the new southernmost sighting point recorded in the country.“
Source : Pune Mirror

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