Flying their way through the centuries-old routes, thousands of migratory birds have arrived in the mountainous Kashmir Valley from far off lands, running away from extreme winter at their summer home.
Navigating by instinct, the famous arrivals include coots, teals, mallards, and pintails. Resting majorly at Hokarsar Wetland Reserve and the Wullar Lake, these birds fly in — in highly disciplined formations led by the eldest bird of each species — from Siberia and China, as also the Philippines, Eastern Europe, and Japan.
The wetland reserves of Hokarsar, Shallabugh, Mirgund, and Hygam recently went under “interventional management” to make them more comfortable for the migratory birds.
These breathtaking flyers, however, not only interests the enthusiasts but also poachers. In the unprotected areas, which are not guarded by the staff of the wildlife department, the birds fly at high risk.