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Winged visitors throng Gharana wetland

Hundreds of migratory birds have arrived at the Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve after keeping away last year due to heavy firing and shelling along the International Border here.migratory birds

Every year, with the onset of the winter, over 370 bird species, including 310 water species from Central-Asian highlands, start congregating at various wetlands in India.

Last year, shelling and firing by Pakistani troops scared the winged visitors so they kept away in large numbers, officials said.

Regional Wildlife Warden (Jammu) Tahir Shawl said the birds had started arriving at Gharana in RS Pura and the department was taking all measures to make the habitat suitable for them.

A wildlife department official said the birds start arriving in the marshy land around the second week of November as the paddy fields present them with a hospitable habitat compared to the freezing temperatures in their natural habitats.

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The Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve attracts hundreds of migratory birds, including the bar-headed goose, which flies over high-altitude passes in the Himalayas during its sojourn, he said.

More birds are likely to arrive in the next two weeks as the temperature is expected to drop further in some of the places where these birds come from, the officials said.

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