Migratory birds flocking the picturesque wetlands of Kashmir have created a record this year with nearly eight lakh of them visiting the valley.
Coming from Siberia, China, Central Asia and North Europe, apart from the Indian sub-continent, the migratory birds have added more colour to Kashmir's wetlands and fresh water lakes.
This year, the arrival of the winged visitors touched the highest ever number of nearly eight lakh at three famous waterfowl habitats of Haigam, Hokersar and Shalibugh in the valley. This is in contrast to 25,000 birds in 1992.
Though the danger of bird-flu had temporarily made them suspect in the eyes of authorities, who issued instructions to the state animal husbandry department for collecting samples of the birds, no case of bird flu was found.
Wildlife warden, wetlands, Kashmir division, Mohammad Abdullah Baba attributed the increased arrivals to the steps taken by his department, including improved water level at the wetlands, strengthening infrastructure besides intensified patrolling and making available artificial feed for the birds.
The highest number of over four lakh migratory birds visited Haigam in Sopore this year. This was in contrast to last year when only nearly two lakh such birds were seen in the wetland, Baba said.