Migratory birds arriving in Jagadishpur in drovesWith the arrival of winter, migratory birds have started flocking to the Jagadishpur lake, often called as a bird haven, in Kapilvastu district.
With the arrival of winter, migratory birds have started flocking to the Jagadishpur lake, often called as a bird haven, in Kapilvastu district.
The birds from as far as Siberia migrate to the lake during winter in search of food.
Ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral said around 10,000 birds have already made their way to the Jagadishpur lake this season.
“Common coots have arrived in abundance with their number reaching around 5,000,” said Baral, adding that the other bird species to have reached the Jagadishpur lake include Gadwall, Leaser Whistling duck, Tufted duck, Ferruginous duck, Northern pintail, Northern shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Pochard and Cotton Pygmy-goose.
Currently, there are 300 endangered Cotton Pygmy-goose in the lake. Baral said he spotted these birds during a field observation. Yamlal Upadhayay, a local, said that more than 300 birds have been arriving in the lake area from the northern side on a daily basis. Experts said these birds migrate from Siberia, China, Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan to the area with the start of the winter and they stay here until February.
These birds cross over 4,000-5,000 miles flying for 3-10 days and stopping over at various locations before arriving at the lake.
The Jagadishpur Lake Management Committee said the flow of tourists also has increased in Jagadishpur to watch these migratory birds. Abdulrasid Khan, former chairman of the then Niglihawa VDC, said the lake is the one of the major tourist destinations in the district.
According to experts, of the 872 species of birds found in Nepal, more than 110, including grebes, cormorants, herons, egrets, stork, ducks and geese, terns and gulls, are found in the Jagadishpur area.
The lake is spread over an area of 157 hectares and is located in Kapilvastu Municipality-9, 11km north of Taulihawa, the district headquarters. As Nepal’s biggest man-made lake, the Jagadishpur lake has been included in the list of “Wetlands of International Importance”. It was listed as the international wetland area in August 2003.