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As mercury dips, winged guests arrive in Noida

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The Times Of India
15th October, 2019 10:51 IST

Noida: It’s not just the nip in the air after sunset that is signalling the onset of winters. Two weeks into October, Noida’s Okhla Bird sanctuary wears a busy look once more with the arrival of migratory birds. The park is all set to become a birdwatcher’s delight again this year and is expected to be teeming with a variety of winged guests .

The migratory birds’ visit to the bird parks typically starts in October and goes on till March. Around a thousand winged vistors, from colder countries, have already found perch at the bird sanctuary.

The bird park at Okhla receives an annual footfall of around 30,000 people, 80% of which is during the migratory season. Meanwhile, 10% of visitors are foreign nationals who visit the park for bird photography or bird-spotting.

According to the district forest officer PK Srivastav, the birds that can be spotted at the sanctuary include: Greater Flamingos, Whiskered Terns, Common Kingfishers, Citrine Wagtails, Marsh Harriers, and Blue Tailed Bee-Eaters. The forest department is currently adding last-minute touches to the park before the migratory population rises in winter months. Currently, the forest department is clearing excess hyacinth and building bamboo floaters to help birds perch.

According to the forest department records, 20,000 birds from 65 different species visited Okhla in the winter of 2018-19.

The bird sanctuary is one of the few major marshlands where birds from colder parts of India and Eurasia migrate to every winter. A total of 302 species have confirmed entry records in the sanctuary and nearby areas.

Situated at Okhla barrage over the Yamuna river near Delhi-Noida border, it is one of the 15 bird sanctuaries in the state that was designated by the UP government in 1990 under theWildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Some of the bird varieties which visited last year were European Hobby, Pelicans, Falcons, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lapwigs, Pochjards, Pelicans and Flamingos. Other species can be spotted in the winters at the park are Marsh Harriers, Gull-billed Terns, Pied Avocats, Common Teals, Comb Ducks, Gadwalls, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintails, Brown-headed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Peregrine Falcons, Black Kites, Indian Pond Herons, White-throated Kingfishers, Barn Swallows and Mountain Swifts.

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