Migratory birds flock to the Valley

In a treat to bird-watchers, migratory birds from far away countries have started flocking to the Valley’s wetlands with over seven lakh of them expected to arrive this season on their annual sojourn.

“Over one lakh birds have already arrived from various places like Siberia, China and Japan as the temperature in these countries has fallen,” Abdul Rauf Zargar, Wildlife Warden at Hokersar wetland said.

He said the number of birds arriving this year is expected to cross the nearly seven lakh arrivals registered last year. He said the department is setting up over a dozen watch towers as there are apprehensions that poachers might target the birds.

Thousands of migratory birds from Russian Siberia, the Phillipines, eastern Europe, China and Japan fly long distances to escape extreme winter conditions in search for food. They stop in Kashmir for nearly a month before they fly further south in mid-December.

The birds start the return leg of their voyage by end of January. Besides Hokersar, the migratory birds flock the Wullar lake and other wetlands like Hygam, Shalibugh and Mirgund.
Brahminy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Garganey, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, and Eurasian Wigeon are some of the most sighted birds here.

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