During the last two years Missarpur Ghat, about 5 km. from Haridwar has emerged as the new haven for the migratory avifauna and Ghat is really a wonderful spot for the bird watcher.
Mother Nature, which has endowed Devebhoomi Uttarakhand with luxuriant forests, inhabited with a large population of wildlife, has also blessed her with many ideal wetlands which play host to migratory avifauna from long and short distances, Asan barrage near Dehradun, Bheemgoda reservoir at Haridwar, Solani river at Roorkee, Jhilmil Jheel near Laksar and Pashulok barrage near Rishikesh are some of the very good wetlands which lure a large number of winged guests every year during winter.
These wetlands provide a splendid spectacle, with large number of species of aquatic fowls of different hues, frisking on water and charging the atmosphere with melodies of different notes. These birds are natives to overseas cold palaces. During winter, when there is no germination in nature in cold Palaeartic region of Europe and Siberia, there birds migrate to warmer places of South East Asia including India in search of food and shelter. With the onset of winter October-November these migrated birds, traveling thousands of miles and flying over the Himalayas, descend on the wetlands such a Bheemgoda barrage, Jhilmil Jheel, Solani River and pashulok barrage which are ideal birding destinations due to slow flow of water, luxuriant growth of vegetation and abundance of feeding material for them. In March, as the days get longer and warmer, these seasonal migratory birds, guided by their in-built biological clock and their sure sense of direction, bid adieu to their wintry abodes and depart for their native habitats.
Dr. Dinesh Bhatt, a noted ornithologist of the country and professor of environmental science in Gurukul Kangri University who has done extensive research work on avian biology, had identified 32 species of migratory fowls, such as ruddy shelduck, northern pintail, teal, mallard, gadwall, red crested poachard and black headed gull, which come in the region (Rajaji National Park) for their winter sojourn. During recent years these migratory birds have started coming late and their number is also decreaseing. Dr. Bhatt attributes the depletion in the number of the migratory birds and their late arrival mainly to global climatic fluctuations. Besides the aquatic fowls coming from the Palaeartic regions, Bheemgoda, barrage and other wetlands also play host to the local Himalayan birds, such as wagtails, herons, cormorants and egrets, which come down below for wintering.
During the last two years Missarpur Ghat, about 5 km from Haridwar has emerged as the new heaven for the migrated avifauna. “At present Missarpur Ghat is really a wonderful spot for the bird Watcher. Missarpur Ghats are providing ideal foraging conditions to these birds may attract the attention of hunters also. The bird lover say that there is urgent need to be develop this area for the protection of birds by erecting watch towers and taking such measures. Some of the wetlands in the region provide safe nutritious shelter sites for some globally threatened bird species like oriental darter, painted stork, osprey and pallas’s fishing eagle, the conservation of these wetlands becomes al the more necessary for the safe and regular arrival of many ecologically important migratory birds and also to enhance the aesthetic charm and recreational values of these spots.