‘The species was last spotted nearly two decades ago near Adyar Estuary’
In a rare sighting, Eurasian Hobby, a Himalayan bird of the falcon family, was spotted at the Guindy National Park.
The bird, which has a brownish-black plumage, has a broken white band across the nape and a narrow white eyebrow.
M. Santhanaraman, an advocate from Madras High Court, said he had spotted the bird at the park, perched on a red- sanders tree, on December 18. “The bird’s choice of prey is dragonflies and I saw the bird with a dragonfly in its beak. The bird was last spotted nearly two decades ago near the Adyar Estuary,” he said.
Mr. Santhanaraman further said that the bird was known for its high flying speed and its sighting in this part of the country was considered extremely rare, since it was usually spotted near the Himalayas.
The sighting of the Eurasian Hobby is one among a few other rare sightings of birds at the Guindy National Park this year.
Vijay Kumar, honorary secretary, Madras Naturalist Society (MNS), said that these sightings augured well for the park. The park had recently suffered extensive damage during Cyclone Vardah with a number of trees having fallen.
“The Hobby migrates usually from north to south, but it is rarely spotted here. The bird might have probably been on its way further south to Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Earlier this year in May, the crested serpent eagle, a species predominantly found in the Western Ghats, was also spotted at the park,” Mr. Vijay Kumar said.
Another rare sighting
He also said that the Dollar Bird, another rare spotting at the Guindy National Park, was recorded on November 26 by Vikas Madhav, a student from the city and a member of the MNS. The bird is named so due to distinct coin shaped spots on its wings.