Shimla ( Jan 17) The manmade water body, Pong Dam in Kangra district has a new visitor this winters, the Pied avocet-a wading bird species that was spotted making it a new record.
Besides, this time it has registered about 1.20 lakh waterfowls, as these migratory guests visit here during winter season.
According to DFO (Wildlife), Satish Gupta the ‘Pied avocet’ – a wading bird species that forest officials say has been spotted here for the first time.
“Of course, spotting of Pied avocets in Pong is a new record. Eight birds were seen roosting between Guglara and Dhameta area last week,” Gupta said.
He added that he Pied avocets, a white wader with bold black markings and long black bill, could be seen in marshy areas around bank of Dhameta (near Nagrota Suriana).
Currently, the wetlands are home to more than 120,000 migratory birds of more than 85 species, official said.
Theses foreign guest arrive here after covering hard journey after crossing thousands of miles from the trans-Himalayan region. With a wing-span of approximately 77-80 cm, the bird breeds in temperate areas like Europe and western and central Asia. It migrates during winter in Africa and Asia, he added.
Range officer (Pong wetlands), D S Dadwal said the influx of birds can be seen in the Nagrota Suriyan, Sathana, Sansarpur Terrace and Rancer Island areas.
He said this time too, the largest influx is of Bar-headed geese, Coots, common Pochards, Pintails, Cormorants and Spotbill ducks.
The migrants that started to arrive in the last week of October 2010 will be here till March.
Himachal Pradesh forest department, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, India, jointly conducted a 3 days waterfowl census during Jan 15-17, last year, and found that 144,000 waterfowl of 91 species were witnessed at Pong Dam.
The officials said that water fowls comprising record number of around 35,000 medium-sized migratory diving ducks or ‘common pochards’ were also recorded during the census.
This year the annual three-day bird census would be conducted from January 29.