Prayagraj, Nov 15 (IANS) As winter creeps and the temperatures begin to fall, the waters of Ganga and Yamuna in Prayagraj are rippling with the advent of migratory birds from Siberia, China and Ladakh.
These birds that fly low over the waters are a major tourist attraction in Prayagraj.
“We have tourists asking us to cruise over the waters so that they can take photographs with these birds. The birds are also friendly and fly down in large groups if the people throw them food. We now have boatmen selling food — puffed rice, ‘sev’ and even peanuts,” said Gorakh Nishad, a boatman.
Nishad, however, said that the birds have arrived early this year. “They usually come in December but they are here now in November,” he said.
The large ponds and lakes in the adjoining Pratapgarh district are also bustling with activity with these birds.
Bird watchers claim that the early arrival of migratory birds is mainly due to early snowfall this year. “The birds begin to move when the snow comes. The calendar month does not matter to them,” said K. N. Rao, an ornithologist.
Another early arrival is the Mallard, a duck, that can be seen in large numbers in the Sandi bird sanctuary in Hardoi district.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Agra, K. Pravin Rao, said that only a pair of Mallard had been sighted in Sandi last year but this year, they have come in large numbers.
Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Balrampur district, on the other hand, has become a temporary home to black storks and Cinereous vulture that have arrived from the Eurasian countries.
Amur Falcon is another migratory bird that has been spotted for the first time in this sanctuary.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway also has birds like little Grebe, Mallard, northern shoveller, northern pintail, painted stork, cormorant, red-crested Pochard, common coot, grey heron, purple heron and the purple moor hen.