Winter Migratory Birds in Bhopal Decrease in Numbers

On the eve of the New Year, pairs of black headed gulls were sighted in the middle of upper lake of Bhopal. They were swimming and flying over the lake as shine of the sun reflected on the waters. They are annual visitors to upper lake.

Bhopal in central India gets migratory birds in winters which visit India from across northern and northern west frontiers on south bound journey. Though numbers have decreased in last two years, but still few come over this year. During winter, one notices increased number of local migratory birds in and around Bhopal.

Dr. Salim Ali, the famous ornithologist wrote in his ‘The book on Indian Birds’ that “no resident in India who is even moderately observant can fail to notice the great influx of birds that take place annually between September and November or to remark upon their presence during winters in places where none were to be seen a couple of months before.”

In Bhopal Van Vihar, Kalisoot, Shahpura Lake, Bhadbhada and Kerwa are some of the areas wherein one can site these birds. But due to huge construction activity in Kaliosoot area, it is rapidly losing its green lands. Numbers of birds both local and migratory have declined in last few years. One could only site few cormorants, two pairs of Rudy Shelduck and river terns this around.

Shahpura Lake is being used as domestic waste dumping ground which has impacted the lake and its avifauna. Structures set up to watch birds in Van Vihar are crumbling, upkeep is poor but still thanks to its natural resources and wetlands it gets migratory birds in Bhopal.

Some of the birds sited in Bhopal this year have been namely black red start, large cormorants (hunters), spot billed ducks, small blue kingfisher, rudy shelduck, lesser whistling teals, river tern, painted stork and black headed gulls.

Large cormorants on the trees of Van Vihar are easily sited though it used to get large cormorants in huge numbers with many trees. Numbers sited this year have been quite less. But when one enters Van Vihar in early morning hours from Chiku gate (back gate) closer to aviary section, one could hear calls of lesser whistling ducks in the pond waters.

Nature lovers should not only enjoy the beauty of nature but must raise a call for concern to save the flora and fauna of Bhopal.

Photoblogs of Bhopal