A unique event of Annual Asian Waterbird Census is going to be held near Shimla The capital of Himachal Pradesh for 2 days from 30th January. People can enjoy a race to spot and count feathered guests at the Pong dam wetlands in the Kangra Valley.
Pong Dam Reservoir in Kangra District will be the place for both Local & Migratory annual waterbird census. Wildlife Department staff & bird watchers will participate in exercise for whole day.
Zoological Survey of India
Bombay Natural History Society
Delhi Bird Club
Chandigarh Bird Club
Pong Birding Society
The Pong Dam reservoir is 250 km from Shimla Mall Road. It is one of the largest man-made wetlands in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the month of January with the winter of migratory birds from central and northern Asia start arriving for their annual sojourn in Pong. According to an estimate around 1.25 lakh migratory birds of more than 100 species are roosting and feeding in Pong right now.
One can see largest influx was of the bar-headed geese, coot, common pochard, red-crested pochard, great cormorant, gadwall, northern pintail, river tern and the spotbill duck here. A new species Falcated Duck is also spotted first time in Pong. This species is found in China and in smaller numbers in Japan, North and South Korea. The Pong wetlands are also home to many native birds like the red jungle fowl, large Indian parakeet, Indian cuckoo, bank myna, wood shrike, yellow-eyed babbler, black ibis, paradise flycatcher, crested lark and the crested bunting. The bar-headed goose, the world’s highest-altitude migrant, is a regular winter visitor here.
In 2011 The Pied Avocet – a wading bird species was a new species spotted here. Interestingly, four migratory birds – three bar-headed geese and one ruddy shelduck – that were tagged with global positioning system (GPS) transmitters last year returned to Pong this year after traveling thousands of miles.
The wildlife department, in association with Mumbai-based BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society), had tagged the migratory birds for the first time in Pong as part of its work to track and monitor them.
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