Like every year, October is amongst the most eagerly awaited months for birders. By this month, waterfowl and waders have established themselves in ponds, lakes, and rivers nearby. Woodlands begin to liven up with the chirps and chucks of warblers and flycatchers. It is a wonderful month indeed, and one that shows a glimpse of the wonder the months to come might hold.
Migrants to look for
There are still some birds though that are best seen in this season. European Rollers and Common Cuckoos pass through the subcontinent in this month. Birders are already reporting Common Cuckoos in peninsular India – will we see as many as were reported in 2016?
Amur Falcons begin to pass through India at this time of the year, stopping by in large numbers in the north-east, but also in other parts of the peninsula as they bulk up on termites and other insects before continuing their long journey to Africa. If you’re in Gujarat at this time of the year, you may see more Rosy Starlings congregating together than at any other time of the year – certainly a sight to behold!
From 02 October to 08 October, India observes the national Wildlife Week. To celebrate the same, the first ever Wild Bird Day will take place on 06 October. The October Big Day will be taking place on the same day internationally. Several other events will be taking place across the country for wildlife week and residents of Mumbai can attend the lecture series to be held in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, including one on birds on 06 October. In Bengaluru, the annual Bengaluru Bird Day will also be held on the 6th of October.
As ever, the new month brings new birding challenges to participate in. The monthly eBirding Challenge asks observers to put in some extra effort into birding during the wildlife week while the global eBirder of the Month challenge requires one to make more checklists on the October Big Day.
All in all, October promises to be an action-packed month for birders!