De­spite fog, bird­ers find more species

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

To­tal count in NCR

Hume’s short-toed lark, Sykes’ lark, greater white-fronted goose, cin­na­mon bit­tern, painted sand­grouse, pa­cific golden plover, tri­coloured mu­nia, black­throated thrush, vari­able wheatear, curlew, red-headed bunting, short-eared owl, black-headed cuck­ooshrike, brown shrike, Tick­ell’s blue fly­catcher, spot­ted dove, Or­phean war­bler, Ben­gal bush­lark, jun­gle prinia, verditer fly­catcher, spot­ted crake ini­tially in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, but most lo­ca­tions are flour­ish­ing now. Dighal recorded 165 species, the fourth high­est in In­dia,” said Nikhil Devasar, or­gan­iser of the event.

The team at Dighal was led by Maitreya Suku­mar, while Sul­tan­pur in Gu­ru­gram was the sec­ond high­est in terms of species at 162 and led by birder Kavi Nanda. North Delhi’s Sun­der­pur had the third high­est count with 141 species, led by team cap­tain Akash Gu­lalia.

Over 35 teams took part in this year’s count, cov­er­ing pop­u­lar lo­ca­tions like Sul­tan­pur,

Dighal, Dhanauri, Asola Bhatti, Okhla, Ya­muna Khadar and bio­di­ver­sity parks. Devasar said for this first time ever, two teams – Dighal and Sul­tan­pur — were also led by school­child­ren.

The im­por­tant sight­ings made this year in­clude Hume’s short-toed lark, Syke’s lark and Greater white-fronted goose at Sul­tan­pur, a Painted sand­grouse at Asola, Black-headed cuckoo shrike at Man­gar Bani, a Spot­ted dove and Or­phean war­bler at Dighal and a Ben­gal bush­lark at Dhanauri among oth­ers.

Kavi Nanda, cap­tain

for

the team in Sul­tan­pur out­skirts says the rarest sight­ing made in the area is greater white-fronted goose — a bird usu­ally seen once in two years in NCR.

Faiyaz Khud­sar, sci­en­tist in-charge at the Ya­muna Bio­di­ver­sity Park (YBP) in north Delhi said that while vis­i­bil­ity was ham­pered due to the fog, the increase in overall num­bers is a good sign. “A healthy en­vi­ron­ment brings more birds to the area. We recorded a taiga fly­catcher there and at Til­path val­ley, which was not seen ear­lier in the area,” said Khud­sar.

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