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Tuesday, July 10

Streaked Shearwater spotted from Indian coast after 30 years, first record from Kerala


After a gap of thirty years, Streaked Shearwater, a bird found in the open sea with Western Pacific origin was found in the Indian coast last week. The spotting was made during a pelagic bird service conducted in the Kerala coast near Kannur last week.
Streaked Shearwater , Indian pelagic bird survey, west coast pelagic survey
Streaked Shearwater found in Kerala coast
Photo by K V Uthaman, MNHS 
Apparently, the spotting turned out to be the first record of the species from the state of Kerala. According to bird watchers, the bird was recorded from India only twice – the first being from Ramaeshwaram Coast in 1978 and then from KanyaKumari in 1982 – both places belong to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

According to the members of the survey which was conducted by Malabar Natural History Society and Kerala Birder, a single Streaked Shearwater bird was foundsome 9 kilometers away from the coast in the open sea with a group of Flesh-footed Shearwaters, a common pelagic bird in the South Indian coast. “The bird was quite distinctive with its pale plumage as against the dark-brown Flesh-footed Shearwaters”, said a team member.
According to IUCN, the bird is actually found in the western Pacific, often in the shore and offshore islands in countries like Japan, Russia, China, North Korea and South Korea. The bird is known to migrate during winter to destinations like New Guinea, the Philippines, Australia and Vietnam. Though the population trend is recorded as decreasing it is included in the least concern category of IUCN Red List.
The rapid monsoon pelagic bird survey also recorded more than 1000 Wilson'S Storm-petrel  at a distance of 3.6 kilometers from the coast. More than three hundred Fleshfooted Shearwaters were also sighted during the survey of three hours. The survey team also found 3 Bridled Terns and a few Greater & Lesser Crested Terns.
 Mohammed Jafer Palot,  KV Uthaman of Malabar Nature History Society and Dipu K, Praveen J
and PP Sreenivasan of Kerala Birder took part in the survey.  The survey is part of a first of its kind study about seabirds across the west coast.

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