Migratory birds from different parts of the globe have already started arriving in their winter homes in Odisha. They included the Chilka lake, Asia’s biggest brackish water lagoon which houses a bird sanctuary called Nalabana.
According to sources in the state forest and environment department which looks after the popular lake through Chilka Development Authority(CDA), fifteen to twenty thousand migratory birds have already been sighted in and around the picturesque lagoon. Their number is expected to go up in the coming weeks.
The avian guests usually arrive in the Odisha lake around second and third week of October. However, this year they have landed almost a week in advance. Therefore, it is believed that the total number of winged visitors to the lake this winter would surpass the last year’s number. More than seven lakh migratory birds had stayed in the famous lake last winter.
Migratory birds have also started arriving in the bird sanctuary inside Bhitarakanika wildlife and marine park otherwise famous for the nesting ground for endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles. “Though not as big as the one in Chilka lake, Bhitarakanika national park is having a good bird sanctuary which often gets overshadowed by the turtle nesting ground,” said a senior forest department official.
By Sunday, nearly ten thousand migratory birds had already arrived in the national park. Last winter, about 52,000 winged visitors had made Bhitarakanika their winter abode.
The bird sanctuaries in Odisha, particularly the one inside Chilka lake is notorious for poaching activities. Some years back, the picturesque lake was known as a paradise for poachers. However, efforts by the authorities have reduced the incidents of poaching though it has not stopped completely.