Rare migratory bird sighted off Odisha coast

Balasore: A flock of around 150 Common Shelducks, a rare migratory bird,were sighted near Talsari by the experts during the bird census conducted here along with 15other sites in Odisha, an official said on Friday.
According to ornithologists and bird lovers, the bird of Euro-Siberian origin is hardly seen inOdisha and it is a rare sighting to spot a flock of around 150.
“A couple of years back only two were seen in Bhitarkanika during the census and close to 50 in Talsari in 2017.
Although they are known as Common Shelduck, they are uncommon in India, particularly in Odisha,” claimed Ashish Jena, a senior bureaucrat as well as ornithologist who was part of afour-member team of the bird census.
“Bichitrapur (Talsari) under Bhograi block close to Digha beach of West Bengal is known for its serenity, ecological richness and biodiversity. It is a beautiful lazy beach alongside themeandering Subarnarekha river known for its tranquility, having the second largest mangrove vegetation region in its proximity.
The conducive climate, as well as serene environment, attracted them here,” Jena said.
The Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is a waterfowl species of the shelduck genus. It is widespread and common in the Euro-Siberian region of the Palearctic, mainly breeding intemperate and wintering in subtropical regions.
The Ornithologists of the sub-continent have been observing this beautiful migratory species fora long time and its sighting during winter migration is very rare in with extremely low numbersat a time”
Prominent birders say that they have seen the Common Shelduck very rarely and in only one ortwo numbers at a time.
The Mid-Winter Waterfowl survey this year was conducted by a team led by Jena and GaharAbedin with two others – Baranyendu Mohanty and Kranti Mahapatra .
Abedin, an academician and naturalist, said the health of the wetlands decides the health of the ecological planet and the health of the wetlands is decided by the richness of migration of birds.
Bichitrapur Mangroves is emerging as a ‘birding hotspot’ for all bird watchers, Ornithologists and wildlife photographers across the country and the world.
Jena further said that it went on the lines of the tagine of Odisha Tourism that Bichitrapur inOdisha was one of India’s best-kept secrets.
It may be noted that the district wildlife department has undertaken the bird census exercise in

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