Berhampur, Jan 7 (LocalWire) The Nalabana Island, a core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake, continued to be the most favourite destination for the winged guests, as this time, the highest number of migratory birds took shelter in the 15.59-sq.km sanctuary area.
The census has revealed that this time, 3,93,541 of migratory birds took shelter in the Nalaban bird sanctuary area.
In Nalabana, last year, 3, 20,826 birds had taken shelter during the winter, sources said.
Around 60,000 birds of various species have taken shelter in Mangalajodi area in the lake, said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chilika wildlife division, Bikash Ranjan Das.
The annual bird census conducted by the Chilika wildlife division on the blue lagoon on Jan 4. It revealed a total 10,47,868 birds of 181 different species have taken shelter in 1100-sq.km lake during this winter.
These included 10,21,563 waterfowls of 105 different species and 26,405 water dependent birds of 76 various species, said Das.
It was the highest congregation of the migratory birds in the lake in last 15-years, sources said.
Last winter 8,93,390 birds of 147 different species were counted in the lake.
Ornithologists are delighted as the flamingos have returned after four years. During the head count of the birds, the enumerators spotted 13 of them in the lake, said the DFO.
This year, the highest number of Northern Pintails (2, 57,880) have been spotted in the lake.
Increase in the number of birds in the lake this year might be due to the availability of open space following the eviction of gheries by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), said Das.
Besides, snowfall in their native places, was another reason for the birds to fly to the Chilika to escape from the biting cold, ornithologist said.
Around 100 people, including ornithologists from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai, officials of wildlife organizations, several ornithologists and wildlife activists, took part in the bird count in the lake held from 6 am to 12 noon on Friday.
Winged guests from far off places, including Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas, descend in the lake every winter for feeding and roosting. They start their homeward journey with the onset of summer.