Bird Watching

Bird watchingorbirdingis observation ofthe birdsas an entertaining activity. It can be done with the bare eye, via visual improvement device such astelescopes and binoculars or by just listening to bird sounds. Bird watching, most of the times, involves an important auditory element, as several species of birds are more simply detected and recognized by ear than by naked eye. Most bird watchers follow this activity for fun or social reasons.

Jammu & Kashmir is a stunning Himalayan valley with spectacular mountain landscape, limpid lakes, lush green vegetation and splendid forests. The city Srinagar (1,730m) which is the capital of Jammu & Kashmir is famous for its houseboats, Mughal gardens and canals. India's famous ornithologist called Salim Ali once referred Kashmiras a paradise on earth for the various migratory birds. The local folks are much more conscious about the migratory birds rather than the local species and also organize bird watching in the Valley. It is practically non-existent although it is dwelling to an affluent biodiversity which comprises a huge number of species of birds, many of which are exceptional to Jammu & Kashmir.There are more than 500 species of birds in Jammu & Kashmir.

The east of Ladakh is a chilly high elevation desert separated from the clouds of monsoon by the Great Ranges of Himalayas and also a host of adjuvant ranges. There are more than 300 species of birds in eastern Ladakh of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Surinsar and Gharana wetlands are a paradise for the bird watchers in Jammu & Kashmir. These two wetlands allure thousands of the migratory birds each winter such as mallards, pintails, coots, cormorants, egrets, terns, etc. The Bar headed ducks are one of the birds in the wetland of Gharana. It travels nearly 1000 miles away from the breeding lands in the Central Asia to India above the Himalayas in a day.

Bird Watching Cautions

One should always go out early in the morning when the various birds are at their cheerful best. One should always dress to mix together with the surroundings. One should not be noisy and sit quietly and allow the birds to come to them. One should not go for bird watching in a large group. Always use sun blocks when going out for bird watching.

Best Time for Bird Watching

Bird watching is an all- season sport in Jammu & Kashmir valley. Particularly when in the winters the migratory birds fly many miles from Siberia to Jammu & Kashmir valley then the time is suitable for bird watching.

Major Sites for Bird Watching

Dachigam National Park

The Dachigam National Park is a renowned site for Kashmir’s bird watching.This one-time special hunting protected park was declared as a National Park in the year 1951 by the Kashmir’s Maharaja. Dachigamcomprises over 150 bird species. The chief ones are the starling golden oriole, black bulbul, peregrine falcon, kestrel, koklas, golden eagle, paradise flycatcher, grey heron,bearded vulture, griffon vulture, western yellow-billed blue magpie, monal etc. Dachigam comprises the last possible inhabitants of Kashmir Stag or Hangul in the world.

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Gulmarg is situated at a distance of nearly 48 kms to the south-western part of Srinagar. It is a foremost tourist destination. This reserve includes upland birds and pheasants among other inhabitant and migratory species of birds.These areGriffon Vulture, Snow Cock, Monal Pheasant, Koklas Pheasant, Kashmir Roller, Blue Rock Pigeon, Jungle Crow, and Eurasian Hoopoe etc.

Tso Morari Lake

This Lake is in Ladakh. This freshwater to salty lake at an elevation of 4,595m above sea level is the highest Ramsar place in the world.This lake is the single breeding place outside China for the rarest cranes, the crane with black neckGrus nigricollis, and the lone breeding place for the Bar-headed Geese in India. A small offshore island in the northern part forms the main dwelling place for the stunning Bar Headed ducks and the beautiful Brown Headed Gulls.These species get threatened by increase in the tourism. The Tso Morari Conservation Trust has been presently set up with the help of the World Wide Fund (WWF) in Leh office for the conservation of this lake.

Bird Watching Condition

Thousands of migrant birds come to the Jammu & Kashmir from Siberia and other areas in the winter season. Migrant birds from Siberia and the Central Asia use the wetlands in Kashmir valley as their temporary camps in between September to October and again around the spring. Jammu & Kashmir plays an important role in sustaining huge inhabitants of wintering and breeding birds. So, during these seasons the conditions are very suitable for the birds to be watched, as they migrate from various parts of the world and also breed in these seasons.

Required Equipments

Equipments usually used for bird watching includestelescopes, binoculars, aspotting scopewithtripod, one or moreguides for field and a good quality digital camera.

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Bird Watching
Bird Watching
Bird Watching
Bird Watching
Bird Watching
Bird Watching

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