Fig: Alathi hillocks, Nagamangala taluk
One-third of the sown area in Mandya district is under assured irrigation from Krishnaraja Sagar and Hemavathi reservoirs. Entire Mandya district is divisioned into 5 sub-sections based on continuity for travelling for birding - namely Pandavapura, Mandya, Sulekere, Malavalli and Bannur. Though, Bannur is in Mysore District, this sector covers many tanks of Mandya district, for counting purpose we have considered it as in Mandya sector. Monitoring of water birds of this sector takes Six-Seven days. Occasionally, few water-bodies are also monitored beyond winter season for local water birds’ breeding activity. Entire Mandya sector supports Six IBAs (Important Bird Area) –Krishnaraja Sagar (spread over two districts of Mysore and Mandya), Kokkare bellur, Sulekere, Melkote, Adichunchanagiri and Ranganathittu. Most of these irrigation tanks are covered with floating and sub-merged vegetation, mainly due to fertilizer overrun from paddy and sugarcane fields. Important bird areas -Kokkare bellur, Sulekere, Adichunchanagiri and Ranganatittu will be dealt separately in detail.
Fig: Pelicans and Darters in Markalu Kere Fig: Rocks in River accomodates Great Stone- Plovers and River Terns
We have sighted around 1300+ Small Pratincoles in dam backwaters (2011). Stairmand’s (1971) sighting of 400+ Small Pratincoles near dam supports our sighting and happy to know that good population still exists. His beautiful wordings on sighting – ‘were very low in flight over my head and as they wheeled and glided I culd here their pleasant calls adn the snap of their ills closing on midges. This feast continued until 20 minutes, after sunset when, of a sudden, the delightful Pratincoles vanished as if by magic’. And in other article (1972) he mentions about breeding of Little Ringed Plover and Small Pratincoles on Kaveri river bank. Though we have sighted solitary Whiskered Tern in May end at Melkote, sighting of Whiskered Tern in middle of June (1972) by Stairmand required to be viewed carefully, since these terns are migratories and leave for their breeding ground. Of course, there are chances of juveniles overstaying in foraging ground in first migratory voyage. congregation of Brown-headed Gull has been recorded as early as 1975 by Neginhal in KR Sagar
Fig: Cormorants and Tens in Sule kere
Fig: Breeding pair of Saheen Falcon
In Mandya sector Chikka Mandya kere (now extended town), Satanur, Keregodu, Dyabasandra, Chikkaballi, Bidirukote, Hallegere, Abalavadi, Chandagalu, Dodda Hosagavi, Malligere, Bolare Kappalu, Tharamana Katte, Kowdle, Maramgere, and Koppa. Among them Koppa is always vibrant, being largest supports moderate population of Bar-headed Goose, Common Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon, Brown headed Gull and Whiskered Terns in winter; fish eating Pelicans, Cormorants, Darters and River Terns throughout the year. Seven Large Whistling Teals have been recorded once at Malligere (29.12.1999). Gadwals have been reported from Chikka Mandya and Dyabasandra tanks in 1992. Both the Jacanas are found in good numbers in Chikkaballi, Bidurukote, Hallegere and Koppa tanks.
Fig: Gregorius Black-tailed Godwits
In Sulekere sector -Yeliyuru, Induvalu, Gutlu, Belur, Sulekere, Kanali, Gowdagere(twin tanks), Deshihalli and Besagarahalli are monitored. This sector’s extension is Kokkare Bellur village and nearby tank Tailur. Village Kokkare Bellur is known for Pelican and Painted Stork breeding within village. This sector is well-known for large congregation (upt 10,000) of Black-tailed Godwit. Spotted Crakes have been reported from Gowdagere.
In Malavalli sector -Maralli, Malavalli, Markalu, Kirugavalu, Santhemala, Chimali, Kalkuni, Chidrahalli, Budalli, Ukkalagere, Kaggalipura, Attahalli, Bettadahalli, and Chamanahalli tanks are covered. Bar-headed Goose visits Maralli, Markalu, Kaggalipura regularly. Common Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwit are recorded here regularly. Both the Jacanas are found in very good numbers in Malavalli and Markalu tanks. Markalu is famous for large congregation of Blak-tailed Godwit.
In Bannur sector –Varuna, Giribettadakere, Chikkankana kere, Mahadevapura bridge, Arakere, Gende Hosahalli Islands in river Kaveri aisle (extension of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary), Kodagalli, Gadijogi hundi, Bannur bridge and Bannur heggere. Varakodu scrub jungle, once extended upto Chikkankanahalli is now disintegrated and encroached upon. Osprey has been reported from Giribettadakere.
Mandya sector habitat supports some interesting butterflies of this region-Southern Rustic (Melkote), Black Rajah, Tawny Rajah, Common Lascar, Gaudy Baron and Banded Blue Pierrot. Migration of Danaid family members-Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Indian Common Crow and Double Branded Crow is being recorded twice a year, however, the density and duration of migration varies.
Fig: Dark Palm Dart in Pandavapura Sector
Fig: Black Rajah in Malavalli Sector
Ten species from Mandya has appeared in Mysore Bird Survey by Father of Indian Ornithology, Salim Ali (1942-43). Among them four are migratory, viz., Common stonechat, Bluethroat, Paddy-field Warbler and Yellow Wagtail.
We acknowledge support from the Bibliography of South Asian Ornithology, compiled by Aasheesh Pittie. Web URL: http://www.southasiaornith.in
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