Migratory birds flock to Harike wetland.
Amritsar – The local forest authorities have increased the patrolling at the Harike wetland as the migratory birds from Siberia, Russia, Kazakhstan and other low-temperature regions of the world have started thronging here, an official said. The wetland and the lake were formed by constructing the head works across the Sutlej river in 1953. Since then, the wetland spreading over 100 square miles has become a home to rare varieties of fauna that arrives here from different parts of Europe and northern Asia. Ferozepur Divisional Forest Officer Charanjit Singh said that as many as 20,000 migratory birds belonging to around 50 species have already arrived at Harike. He said that they had spotted species of birds including Northern Shoveler, Rudi, Shell Duck, Common Shell, Common Koot, Purple Water Head, Black Winged Stilt and Sand Piper this week. He added that they have already increased patrolling at the lake to protect the birds from hunting and that they plan to hire more guards in the next few days. Singh said that the smog in Punjab is not likely to affect the visit of migratory birds as the birds flew way above that layer of atmosphere and that the count of migratory birds is expected to increase this year due to favourable temperature at the India’s second largest wetland Harike, also known as “Harike Pattan’, the confluence point of Sutlej and Beas rivers. Every year, thousands of winged guests from low-temperature regions arrive at the world-famous bird sanctuary in the first week of November as lakes of those regions freeze in winters. They are expected to stay here till March. Around 300 species of birds were found in Harike in the last season. Of these, 200 species were migratory and 100 residential. About 1,00,000-125,000 migratory birds visit the lake every winter which makes this time the best to spot the birds.
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