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: