Migratory birds shift further into forest area behind Sukhna Lake

The migratory birds that make the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake their home during winters have this year shifted further into the forest area behind the lake. The reason: the regulator end has become deeper. Besides, the birds are also finding their way to the water bodies in the catchment area.

The regulator end of the Sukhna Lake had conditions conducive to migratory birds that prefer to be in shallow waters where it is easier for them to hunt for food and lay eggs. The desilting from the regulator end last year resulted in deepening of the water level which, in turn, led the birds to shift further into the forest area where conditions are better for their existence.

Director (Environment) and Chief Wildlife Warden Santosh Kumar says, "Around 10-12 species of migratory birds have been spotted at the Sukhna Lake. A census of the number of birds present has not been done."

He adds, "This time less birds are visible at the regulator end as these have shifted further into the forest area behind the regulator end. Shallow waters are present in the area that are required by the birds. A number of birds have been spotted at the water bodies in the catchment area."

The catchment area has more than 100 water bodies that are currently filled with water. With there being less disturbance in the catchment area, the migratory birds are present there. The migratory birds that can be seen in the city include Brahmi ducks or the Ruddy Shelduck, Tufted Pochard, Common Pochard and Bar-Headed Geese.

Sukhna Lake has been facing the problem of excessive silt since it was created. Desilting is done every year. Last year, silt was removed from the regulator end. This year, the Forest Department did not allow this to happen. While silt was removed from the rest of the lake, some part of the regulator end was not touched. Hundreds of migratory birds flock to the Sukhna Lake every year and are present here between November and March. A Nature Interpretation Centre has been set up at the regulator end to facilitate bird watchers.

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