Kashmir Valley welcomes avian guests

November 25th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ahmed Parvez
Srinagar, Nov.25 (ANI): With the onset of winter, a large number of migratory birds from different parts of the world including countries like Siberia,North Europe,China and Central Asia have started arriving in Hokesar Wetland in Kashmir.
Birds like goose, shoveller, red-crested pochard, white-eyed pochard, common teal, mallard, pintail, gadwall, greylag arrive in plenty at the Hokersar Wetland. These birds begin their journey to Kashmir in early September and stay here till spring that starts by March.
State wild life authorities are anticipating over 600,000 avian visitors this year.Last year about 500,000 migratory birds visited the valley. The birds, which migrate here, are Geese; Greylag Goose, Ducks, Gadwalls and Mallards, which is a resident of this place while some of them, have migrating here. We have pintail, common teal, we have ruddy shell duck that is called Brahminy Duck and lastly we have sighted common shell duck this time which is an uncommon phenomenon,” said said Mohd Maqbool Baba, Wildlife Warden at Hokersar Wetland.
According to local residents here, birds have been keeping date of winter migration for ages here.
“The migratory birds arrive here from far off places like Siberia.We enjoy watching these birds when they gather at a particular place,” said Hassan Ghulam, a resident.
Though lakes like Wullar, Dal, Nagin, these foreign birds also visit Anchar, their number is comparatively less than these winged beauties noticed at Hokersar.
The Hokersar wetland, which was originally spread over a sprawling area of 13.5 sq km, has been reduced to just 5.6 sq km due to illegal encroachments.
Good habitat, protection and availability of food in plenty are the prime factors due to which these migratory birds flock Hokersar reserve in winter. (ANI)

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