Winter migratory birds might have left the Capital’s Okhla Bird Sanctuary, but much to the delight of bird watchers many rare species are still being sighted — despite the rising temperature.
Bird watchers and environmentalists made a beeline for the sanctuary on Sunday after news of crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela) being present there spread. “It was lovely to watch the bird as it hardly flies to Delhi. Three of these birds were spotted in the sanctuary on Sunday. An occurrence of this type has happened after several years at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary,” said ecologist TK Roy.
The crested serpent eagle is one of the raptor species, which is mostly found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. “In India, only one among the four species of serpent eagles is found. But, it is extremely uncommon in Delhi. Only one such bird sighting was recorded in Delhi during the Big Bird Day in February this year.
In fact, these days the marshy habitat for birds is resounding with different chirps by the usual summer visitors these days. Ecologists, however, suggest that not many have arrived yet.
The Asian koel and rosy starling, which is a passage migrant, and the common rosefinch have come in good numbers. Among the summer water birds, only two species have arrived — Blyth’s reed warbler, which is also a passage migrant, and the black-bellied tern.
Other summer terrestrial and water birds which generally fly to the sanctuary around this time, but are yet to arrive, include the greenish warbler, Indian cuckoo, Asian paradise flycatcher, streaked weaver, jacobin cuckoo, Indian golden oriole, ashy drongo, lesser whistling duck, pheasant-tailed jacana, cotton pygmy goose, wire-tailed swallow, little tern and cinnamon bittern.