It’s mid-winter, which means that (1) it’s an excellent birdwatching time in most places and (2) it’s the season to count waterbirds!
Since most migrants will have settled down in their wintering sites, there is not much to look forward to in terms of bird movements. Please do, of course, look for breeding of resident raptors and report any evidence you find. Down South, where breeding for several species can happen through the year, please look carefully at all residents to see whether they might be courting, building nests, feeding young, and so on.
Monthly challenges and events
The eBird India challenges continue, the January challenge being to conduct counts at five wetlands or more. This builds on a new partnership between Bird Count India, BNHS and Wetlands International for the Asian Waterbird Census. As usual, there is also a global eBirding challenge, which for January is to upload at least 31 no-X birdlists during the month. And don’t forget the yearlong India eBirding challenges for 2016!
On to the events. The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is a multi-country survey that is part of the International Waterbird Census, which marks its 50th count this year. In India, the AWC has been conducted for nearly 30 years. The preferred dates for the AWC this year are from 9 to 24 January, but surveys/counts from any date in January are welcome. Please do join this annual effort to survey wetlands and waterbirds!
Among AWC events across the country is a count at Bhitarkanika National Park (Odisha) on 10th January. The All Goa Waterbird Count takes place on 17th and 24th Jan (see report from last year).
The second Karnataka Bird Festival takes place on 8-10 January at Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve. More information is here and here. Karnataka also plays host to the Kaiga Bird Marathon on 10th January (Facebook | News report)
In Tamil Nadu, the state-wide Pongal Bird Count takes place on 15-18 January. Celebrate the harvest by taking part!
Delhi is host to the latest in series of workshops on bird listing and monitoring coordinated by Bird Count India. The Delhi workshop takes place on 16th January, and is organized in partnership with WWF-India. Please do come if you are in the vicinity (please register in advance).
There is a lot to take part in this birding season – do join in. And February is guaranteed to be an eventful month too!