The birding season may be here, but unlike other years, migratory birds appear to be avoiding Okhla Bird Sanctuary on the Delhi-Noida border and heading to the Surajpur wetlands in Greater Noida and the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Gurgaon. The reason is selfevident. In the wake of the recently concluded Chhath Puja, the already polluted swamps at the Okhla barrage look more battered than ever.
Birders would be better off heading to the two NCR sites this year. Trends till November indicate, migratory birds have given OBS a miss. According to birders, the only five kinds you might catch a glimpse of at Okhla are Gadwals, Eurasian Coots, Northern Shovelers, Common Teals and Eurasian Wigeons.
In comparison, by this we ekend, Surajpur has listed a least 14 varieties of feathered visitors. They include Black tailed Godwit, Common Reds hank, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper Marsh Sandpiper, Greylag Geese, Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Eurasian Coot, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon Common Pochard and Eura sian Spoonbill. These apart, 18 species of local resident water birds were also found by a te am of surveyors, including Woolly-necked Stork and Black-headed Ibis. Surajpur being quiet and secluded with ample water has drawn the major population of migratory birds this year. The Okhla barrage could not draw migratory birds this year primarily because maintenance work at the gates continued till too late, for which water was drained. So migratory birds chose other spots to rest and roost. Surajpur has shown a remarkable number of birds this year.
Despite a late winter, migratory birds have also thronged Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary , a little way out of Gurgaon.The sanctuary is home to roughly 320 avian species, up from 250 in the space of four years, evidence that Sultanpur’s network of habitats is in good health. Of the 320, 180 are resident and the remaining seasonal visitors. Among winter visitors, one can expect Flamingos, Bar-headed and Greylag Geese, White and Rosy Pelicans, Plovers, Spotted and Wood Sandpipers and the stunning Demoiselle Crane. There are also a good number of duck species, including the Gadwall, Mallard, Redcrested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck and Common Teal.
Source: Times of India 22 Nov ‘ 2015