Flamingoes, pelicans come to Okhla to bird watchers’ delight


Flamingoes, pelicans come to Okhla to bird watchers’ delight

The past few days for bird watchers at Okhla Bird Sanctuary have been delightful as they got chance to watch 100 flamingoes and 40 pelicans.

A pelican flock reached the park recently, reported TOI.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see flamingoes. They usually swim freely when there is enough water. Birders have spotted them in the past couple of days,” said Jaswinder Waraich, a birder.

“We have also seen a good flock of pelicans this time. They migrated towards the end of the season,” Waraich added.

PK Srivastava, forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said the flamingoes have been staying in Okhla for a while now and could become permanent residents.

“Some birds migrate for a season and if a habitat suits them, they stay back. This is the case with the greater flamingo flock at Okhla. We hope they will continue to live here,” Srivastava said.

“The pelicans are migratory and we have counted around 40 this time,” he added.

OBS attracts most of the rare species of birds in winter when birds from far places visit the place, located on the Yamuna bank close to Abul Fazal Enclave.

A variety of both native and exotic species (188) of plants can be seen in OBS. The water body is mainly covered in patches by water hyacinth Eichhornia cracippes and water lettuce Pistia stratiotes. Hydrilla verticillata, Vallisnaria spiralis, Potamogeton pectinatus, Potamogeton crispus are the common submerged vegetation.

The reed beds, Typha angusatata and Phragmites maxima are abundant along the deltas and banks providing habitat for birds of all kinds in the Sanctuary. The banks have a variety of trees (30 species) like Ficus, Babool, Sheesham, Semal, Subabool, Keekar and several shrubs (10 species) and herbs (9 climbers, 16 grasses). This provides excellent hiding, and roosting site for birds.

Apart from birds 10 species of Mammals including Nilgai, Indian Mongoose, Black-naped Hare & Jackals along with 08 species of Reptiles, 02 species of amphibians and more than 30 species of butterflies and numerous other insects are also recorded from OBS.