Pintail

विज्ञान परिचर्चा: Migratory Birds

An Article from the pages of ‘Vigyan Paricharcha’ (विज्ञान परिचर्चा)

On the occasion of National Bird Day, 5th January
THE GUESTS WITHOUT PASSPORT: MIGRATORY BIRDS
बिना पास पोर्ट के मेहमान

On the commencement of winters, a large number of ‘Birds’ come for roosting in the wetlands of India from far flung regions of the world. Asan barrage (Dhalipur Lake) on Asan river in western Doon valley (Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India) is a one such beautiful scenario for watching migratory birds of interest, specially Ruddy Shelduck or Brahmini Duck or Surkhaab (सुर्खाब) [Tadorna ferruginea], a large bright orange-brown duck.

About 42 km from Dehradun (Uttarakhand, India ), Asan Barrage (about 4 km2) or Asan Wetland or Dhalipur Lake (owing to its vicinity with Dhalipur village), created in 1967, is located on the Uttarakhand-Himachal Pradesh border in Doon Valley (Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India), at the confluence of Yamuna and Asan River. This spot has become a paradise for the ‘Bird Watchers’ since it attracts a large number of birds from Eurasia. It also serves as a winter passage resting/halting ground for the trans-Himalayan migratory birds. As per an estimate about 53 species of birds are usual visitors to this wetland with birds (popular by their common names among bird watchers) like Shoveller, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Wagtails, Coot, Pochards, Pin Tail, Wigeon, Gadwalls, Tuffted Duck, Teals etc are a common sight in the serene environment of the Asan Barrage.

Besides, Egrets, Pond Herons, Painted Stork, Open Billed stork, Kingfishers are also common to watch.

In 1994, Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (Uttarakhand, India) declared this spot as a restricted area with facilities of aquatic sports, allowed under the administrative governance of Forest Department.
More appropriately, the barrage is now listed as ‘Asan Barrage Bird Sanctury’, more enjoying and engrossing from October to the end of February, sometimes up to March-April.

Here are the glimpses of the article for the benefit of students and bird watchers:

Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis
A Flock of Large Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) along the banks of river Song at Raiwala (Dehradun) during the month of September
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis coromandus)along the marshy bank of river Suswa at Raiwala (Dehradun, Uttarakhand)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis coromandus)along the marshy bank of river Suswa at Raiwala (Dehradun, Uttarakhand)
Smaller or Median Egret (Egretta intermedia intermedia) along marshy bank of Suswa river at Raiwala (Deahradun, Uttarakhand)
Smaller or Median Egret (Egretta intermedia intermedia) along marshy bank of Suswa river at Raiwala (Deahradun, Uttarakhand)
Darter or Snakebird (Anhinga rufa melanogaster) roosting on tree stump along banks of Suswa river at Mothrowala (Dehradu, Uttarakhand)
Darter or Snakebird (Anhinga rufa melanogaster) roosting on tree stump along banks of Suswa river at Mothrowala (Dehradu, Uttarakhand)
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing roosting ground of the migratory/resident birds. Ruddy Shelduck, Small and large cormorants and Large Egrets enjoying sun bath.
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing roosting ground of the migratory/resident birds. Ruddy Shelduck, Small and large cormorants and Large Egrets enjoying sun bath.
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing a large swimming flock of Ruddy Shelduck or Brahminy Duck (Tadorna ferruginea) amongst the marshy land created by Elephant Grasss (Typha sp.)
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing a large swimming flock of Ruddy Shelduck or Brahminy Duck (Tadorna ferruginea) amongst the marshy land created by Elephant Grasss (Typha sp.)
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing a large swimming flock of migratory birds
A panoramic view of Asan Barragae (Western Doon, Dehradun, Uttarakhand) showing a large swimming flock of migratory birds
Affected by city sewerage discharge, the River Suswa (at Mothrowala, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India) is often seen waded by a large flock of Indian Blackwinged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus)
Affected by city sewerage discharge, the River Suswa (at Mothrowala, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India) is often seen waded by a large flock of Indian Blackwinged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus)
A large winging flock of Indian Blackwinged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus) at sewage enriched River Suswa at Mothrowala (Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India)
A large winging flock of Indian Blackwinged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus) at sewage enriched River Suswa at Mothrowala (Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India)