8 lakh avian guests at Chilika

Khurdha: With spotting two new bird species at Chilika Lake, the aviation population survey teams completed the census operation counting 8, 77,322 feathered guests at the largest brackish water lake on Sunday.

At least 19 teams of 110 surveyors, comprising research scholars and bird lovers especially trained on the methodology of the bird census, were deployed for the operation which started at 7 am till 5 pm.

According to the survey team, new birds – Mallard and Goliath Heron were found at the blue lagoon this year. However, the officials confirmed 5,750 numbers of less avian guests including 180 species than last year.

Team officials however said the number of birds has increased at the Nalabana sanctuary in the heart of the lake which is a good sign for the bird lovers. They reasoned ample food and favourable habitation for birds’ breeding behind the notable presence of the feathered guests at the sanctuary.

In 2012, the experts had taken two days for the census operation which witnessed the presence of nearly 8 lakh avian guests.

Maximum number of Wigeon, Pintail and Gadwall were found among the foreign birds, the experts said adding the most attractive bird Flamingo’s number stood at 1,140 this year. However, the number of this species was less than last year.