Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Common Cranes from Punjab (by Parbhat Bhatti)

I visited the Shalla Pattan area of Gurdaspur on 25th January 2007, after the meeting with Mr SS Bajwa who had told me that he had seen numerous Cranes in that area. When both of us visited the area, we counted more than 1000 Common Cranes winter in about 40 in sub-groups.

We intimated S. Gurmeet singh as he was the Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden of Punjab at that time. On being enquired, local people told us that the cranes were wintering there on a regularly basis. Wetland was very good. Land was used by farmers for paddy only. The situation is same even now. After paddy harvesting is over, the farms are left uncultivated, till the next paddy season begins.

There were hundreds of juvenile/sub adult cranes with the adult.

Other birds seen were Ruddy Shellducks, Bar- headed Geese, one pair of Sarus Crane, Common Teals, ,White-tailed Lapwings, Steppe Eagles, Purple Swamphens, flocks of Red Munias etc.

Comman Cranes arrive in these parts of the state during November and winter there till March. Later on, I had re-visited the site on 25 Nov 2007, Feb 2008, Jan 2009. Cranes were still to my much delight.

Hope to see them again this November.

Parbhat Bhatti