With the onset of winter, migratory birds have started flocking to the Sukhna Lake and water bodies in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
With this, the avian tourist lounge at the lake has been shifted to the rowing canal skirting the forest area.
These birds of about eight-nine species usually come from Europe, Russia, Siberia, China and Ladakh. Besides water bird species, other migratory birds from the upper Himalayan region have also started arriving here.
Santosh Kumar, UT wildlife chief conservator, said about 1,000 birds had already arrived and the number is going to increase by January.
Mahesh Garg, a member of the Chandigarh Bird Club, said, “The route of these birds is different. Measures against poaching and loud music are necessary to make them stay for longer.”
Wildlife expert Vikramjit Singh said, “The main precaution is to avoid disturbance through rowing competitions and boats used for removing weeds at the lake. The nets deployed by labourers for removing weed snare fish and birds may also face a similar threat.”
The UT Forest department had in 2013-’14 winter closed the rowing canal for competitions so that migratory birds are not disturbed by human intrusion.
He also suggested that faecal samples of migratory birds and field observations by the UT forest and animal husbandry & fisheries departments must be undertaken regularly to detect mortality and guard against avian flu outbreak.
Species spotted around lake
Bar-headed geese, Greylag geese Ferruginuous popochards, Common pochards, Tufted ducks, Ruddy Shelduck, Great Cormorants, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common coots, Greylag goose, Grey heron, Purple heron, large egrets, common Pochard, Tufte.
Best time for birdwatching
Noon and afterwards till sunset. Area where they are spotted: Backside of the Lake; Regulator point; Forest area. Few are even spotted near the main entrance.