Pattampoochi - Butterfly Magazine Pattampoochi - Wings 1 Veins 3 2017 - Page 13

Flutters from Kanyakumari R Amirtha Balan When I was pursuing my second year of Bachelor of Science (Zoology) in 2014, my college professor Mr. Solomon Kirubha. S (Assistant Professor) of Scott Christian Col- lege, Kanyakumari came to know about my interest in birds and nature. He took me to a nearby hill named Alamparai near Parvathipuram. That was my first inspiring day enjoying the beauty of nature. I was also fascinated by the colours of butterfly after sighting 40+ species on that particular day. Then I started to watch butterfly in the nearby places of college. I didn’t have much knowledge on butterflies, so I took pic- tures of butterflies with my phone. I used to post those butterfly pictures in Tamil Nadu Butterflies Facebook page requesting identification of butterflies and also ask butterfly ID with some of my friends. For the first time in 2015, I observed butterfly migration at Keeriparai which inspired me more and more. The help rendered by the members of Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society and friends was my motivation towards documenting butterflies in my district of Kanyakumari. I used to frequent my butterfly documentation at two places named Keeriparai and Alamparai. Keeriparai is an untouched beauty of the dense forests (Image 2) in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. Located near Kanyaku- mari this place is frequented by trekkers to enjoy the natural habitat of best of flora and fauna as well as the Keeriparai falls or Keeriparai falls. Keeriparai is about 40 km from Kanyakumari. The place looks like a part of heaven especially during mon- soon rains. The place is surrounded 5 mountain ranges of Shola forest and 4 streams. These River streams (Image 1) are the best place for mud puddling and I used to admire by watching millions of butterflies mud puddling during butterfly migra- tion. I remember my experience at this place by sighting a King cobra and dholes. During one of my butterfly trips, I even got a bite from snake which finally turned out to be non venomous. Some rare butterflies like Five-bar Swordtail, Common Tin- sel and Orchid Tit were also seen here. Alamparai Hills has a private place (Government property under lease), near by a small hill with a small stream and a pond nearby. The place is full of Mango orchards, banana plantations and Bamboo grooves. Alamparai Hill area has a forest re- serve with dense vegetation making it inaccessible to people during monsoon months. The area near the foot hill is rich in butterflies. One could easily spot all varieties of Orange Tip butterflies and grass yellows. Indian sunbeam and Redspot but- terfly was also seen here.