Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

AMU declares entrance test dates for its UPSC coaching centre

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Special Reports

Time for winged guests to bid adieu to Kashmir

Monday February 28, 2011 05:49:52 PM, F. Ahmed, IANS

Srinagar: With a rise in mercury, flocks of pochards, mallards, shovellers and other winged visitors are gearing up to bid adieu to the famous Hokarsar bird reserve here and head back to their summer homes in Siberia, China and Japan.

Thousands of them had made Jammu and Kashmir their home in the harsh winter.

"The eldest of the flock leads the journey back as scores of others line up behind the leader to fly thousands of miles back to their summer homes," Pir Mushtaq, range officer at this bird reserve, told IANS.

"Different species of birds fly separately and usually they prefer clear night skies to begin the journey. It is a marvel of navigation that baffles even the best flight engineers of the world," he says.

He tells how these birds, wigeons, greylag geese, teals, brahmany ducks, coots, gadwalls and pintails eat vigorously to add to their bodyweight and fat before migrating to summer homes in East Europe, Japan Siberia, China and Japan and the Philippines.

"The distance is long and the journeys are much so that a greylag goose, that weighs around seven pounds at the start of migration, weighs just three pounds at the end of it," Mushtaq says.

He has been studying bird behaviour inside the reserve for over three years now.

"I have a strong emotional attachment with them and this perhaps is the reason why I took very few vacations during the winter months when this wetland was thronged by thousands of migratory birds," he says.

Spread over 13.75 sq km, the reserve is well guarded by boundaries. And if that is not sufficient, there is security guard Gulam Hassan Dar to keep poachers at bay.

"Poachers sometimes use horse hair loops to trap unsuspecting birds and I keep vigil to ensure nobody lays a trap," says Dar, who has been guarding the bird reserve for 20 years.

"The reserve needs a lot of care, especially during the winter freeze when the birds are unable to find their choice of food of Trapa nuts, which grows in the reserve waters.

"We had to arrange a lot of paddy for the birds this winter as the water bodies froze for many days because of sub-zero temperatures," he adds.

As he rows a boat showing bird watchers around, flocks of teals, mallards and brahmany ducks fly past the boat.

"Don't worry. They will fly round the reserve and then settle down again," he says while looking at them fondly. "They huddle together during the extreme cold and their body temperatures prevent small pools of water around from getting frozen," he says.

"In the evenings, the greylag geese and other species leave the reserve and fly to Wullar Lake and other larger water bodies for feeding. They invariably come back in the mornings," he adds.

Located just 10 km away from city centre Lal Chowk, privacy is a far cry for these warbling guests.

Residential houses have come up all around the bird reserve. Discharge of effluents from human settlements is polluting the water inside the reserve.

"Despite this, we are doing our best to preserve the environment inside the reserve," says the range officer in charge of the reserve. "No shooting is allowed in and around the reserve as wildlife laws of the state forbid shooting of any sort, except with a camera!" says the officer.

"We are developing infrastructure at the reserve to make it a tourist destination under eco-tourism. This is done through desilting, de-weeding and regulation of optimum water levels inside the reserve," he adds.

He also talks about a recent phenomenon wherein mallards -- finding the environs congenial for breeding -- are spending their summer here, ignoring nature's call for reverse migration.

As the range officer tells the story, a flock of cackling geese settles at a distance.

"It is time to leave the birds alone. We should not tire them for long. They have to undertake their long journey back to their summer homes in the coming days," the officer says while directing the guard to row back the boat to shore.

(F. Ahmed can be contacted at






  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

500 Indians return from Libya with horrifying tales of sufferings

The dawn of Sunday brought more than 500 Indians here from Libya with tales of suffering and killings in the strife-torn country. Some said they had gone without food and  »

Arab world on boil, US imposes sanctions on Libya

Nine die in Iraq protests as demonstrations scald Arab world


Picture of the Day

The players from both teams shake hands as the match ends a tie during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between India and England at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Bangalore, India.

(Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images)


  Most Read

ICSE like board for Indian Madrasas… Inamadar’s mantra for their reform

Giving an interesting twist to the debate on Madrasa reforms and modernisation, renowned educationalist and Chairman of    »

Madrasa Reforms: A call for change

Iran to remove fuel from its first nuclear power plant

Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said the fuel placed inside the reactor of the country's first nuclear power plant will be temporarily removed to run a number of tests, a media a media report said. Upon Russia's request   »

Major setback for Iran's first N-plant: Report


  News Pick

Jaipur's mother of 66 fashioning new lives

She has not given birth to them, but she proudly calls herself the mother of 66 children. Manan Chaturvedi, 35, would probably have become  »

Jamia Millia students making their mark in Bollywood

They are making films with big names and editing critically acclaimed movies. The alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia's Mass Communication Research Centre, who are going places in the film industry, give  »

Incredible India comes to Washington

Incredible India in its myriad wondrous colours is all set to make a splash in this American capital with "Maximum India", a mega festival celebrating its cultural diversity. The 20-day cultural extravaganza opening Tuesday at the   »

Kuwait's Indian embassy sets model to help workers in distress

It is a model that other Indian embassies in the Gulf region could emulate while dealing with problems of Indian workers, particularly women, in distress.  »

Kuwait in celebratory mood for 50th anniversary of independence

Recruitment drive in Aligarh Muslim University

For the first time in the history of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), its students' union organised a recruitment drive, an exercise to break away from the usual political muscle-flexing and rabble-rousing. Four MNCs -- HCL,  »



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.