Udaipur : The first bird fair that began at Lake Pichhola on Saturday attracted a large number of birders, nature enthusiasts, school children who were thrilled to see variety of migratory and non migratory species of the feathered flock. Udaipur, which boasts of at least 400 species of birds within 100KM vicinity, is surrounded by many wetlands, lakes, wild life sanctuaries which attracts hundreds of migratory birds from far and wide every winters. To promote avitourism, this has been the first initiative by the forest and tourism department to hold a three day mega bird fair which took off with great enthusiasm.
Visitors evinced a keen interest in the birds swimming or diving, like shovellers, pintails, coots, etc., and those resting on the edges of islands and the lake banks enjoying the shallow muddy waters. Parliamentarian Arjunlal Meena inaugurated the fair who urged the forest and tourism department to take up such events on a regular basis to encourage avitourism here. A book on birds was also released by the guests on the occasion . Flocks of the winged creatures were seen lined on the mud embankments , much to the delight of birders who saw and identified them through telescopes. Large number of students from the government and private schools participated in the event who rejoiced watching birds at play on the lake waters.
They also participated in a painting and quiz competition related to birds and aquatic life. Apart from the rare birds, Marsh Harrier, Red Shank, Bar Headed Goose, Grey Lag Goose, Greater Cormorant, Grey Francolin, Egrets, Crow Pheasants, Various Sandpipers, Lapwing, Wagtails, Pipits, Black Tailed Gotwit, Indian Roller, Black Ibis, Flamingos, Black Kites, Little Ringed Plover, Norther Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Cranes were the common varieties spotted here in good numbers. Besides Pichhola, Fatehsagar and Badi lake in the city area, Madar, Menar, Bhatewar, Mangalwar, Ghasa water bodies attract large number of migratory birds with the onset of winters. These birds habitat here till late February or early March to take a flight back home.
“The forest and tourism department has jointly taken the initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of birds” said Rahul Bhatnagar, the CCF and the fair co-ordinator. The three day program will see exhibition, bird workshops and lectures presented by experienced birders,” he said. Noted ornithologist Dr. Asad R. Rahmani, Director, BNHS ( Bombay Natural History Society) gave a lecture on ” Bird Tourism in India and its potential in Udaipur region”.