Winged guests arrive in the Rajaji Park, the adjoining wetlands
With the onset of winter the migratory birds have started coming from the Pale-arctic region of Siberia and Europe to Bharatpur sanctuary in Rajasthan, Rajaji National Park and its adjoining wetlands in Haridwar region, such Bheemgoda Reservoir, Pashulok Barrage, Jhilmil Jheel, Solani River and Missarpur Ghat.
With their salubrious climate, slow flow of water and abundance of vegetation, these wetlands are a haven for the migratory avifauna.
The migratory aquatic fowls traverse thousands of miles and cross the Himalayas to descend on these wetlands in search of shelter and nutrition. When the warmer days arrive in February and March, these migratory birds bid adieu to their wintry abodes to depart for their native habitats far off.
Dr Dinesh Bhatt, a noted Ornithologist and Professor of biological sciences in Gurukul Kangri University Haridwar, has identified 34 species of these trans Himalayan birds, such as ruddy shelduck, northern pintail, mallard, gadwall, red crested pochard and black headed gull, which come to these wetlands in Haridwar region on their wintry sojourn.
The director of the Rajaji National Park, S P Subudhi said, the park these days is resonant with the melodious notes of migratory birds of various hues.
"The river banks in the park and the adjoining wetlands are ideal birding destinations for the trans Himalayan avifauna, as well as for the local migratory birds, such as wagtails, herons, cormorants and egrets, which come down below from the upper reaches of the Himalayas for wintering." The ornithologists and the bird watchers have demanded that steps should be taken to conserve these wetlands because of some globally endangered species of birds such as oriental darter, painted stork, osprey and pallas's fishing eagle, visits some of these wetlands.