Asian Waterfowl Census

Hotspot of birds

Ukkadam Lake

  • The rarely spotted shorebird, the Green-winged Teal, showed up and surprised the birders. They spotted the Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilts (over 500 individuals), and Northern Shovellers (over 500)
  • The contaminated water in the lake attracts waders. The garbage thrown by households nearby breeds worms which attracts the birds.
  • This year, Ukkadam Lake attracted hundreds of Little Stints (waders) and Barn Swallows, besides a number of resident birds. The threat comes from plastic litter and liquor bottles.


  • Achankulam located near Sulur has recorded 35 species (the highest). The lake surrounded by farm lands attracts migratory birds. The CNS team spotted the rarely seen Woolly-necked Stork and migratory birds of prey like Greater Spotted Eagle that comes all the way from Mongolia, and the Western Marsh Harrier from Eurasia.


  • Located near TNAU’s Sugarcane Breeding Institute, this lake is covered with bamboo thickets on one side. It shelters the lake and also attracts birds. Most part of the lake is covered with water hyacinths and the lake is not easily accessible. The local migrant, the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, a beautiful bird in pink, yellow and blue colours is often spotted here. An ideal habitat for the bird is running water, mostly in the jungles. The elusive Cinnamon Bittern have also been seen here. The Yellow Bittern, the Citrin Wagtail, (a rare visitor from Europe) and the Water Cock are some of the other rarely-spotted winged visitors here.

Walayar Lake

  • The Bar-headed Goose, a non-stop flyer from Europe to The Himalayas, stopped by. Birders spotted two individual birds there. It is the only bird that can fly over The Himalayas. It lands on the foothill of the Himalayas and disperses across India.
  • Hundreds of Small Pranticole were also spotted here along with the Siberian Stonechat, a migratory, ground-dwelling bird from Siberia. The Walayar Lake is less polluted and more mindfully looked after by the people living around it.

A rare treat

  • Eurasian Wigeon, Temmink’s Stint, Bar-headed Goose, Northern Shoveller, Small Pratincole, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, Greater Spotted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-tailed Godwit, Geen-winged Teal, Siberian Stonechat, Short-toed Lark, Lesser Sand Plover, Cinnamon Bittern and Yellow Bittern.

The Asian Waterbird Census

  • The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is an international programme that was started in the year 1987 monitors the status of waterbirds and wetlands.
  • The census is carried out in January (the non-breeding period of most species) as a voluntary activity at the national and local level.
  • The main objective is to obtain annual information of waterbird populations at wetlands in the region, the status of wetlands, and encourage interest in waterbirds and wetlands among the public and thereby promote conservation.


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