Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary

Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary in district Jhajjar (Haryana) is around 15 km from Jhajjar town and is about 3 and a half hours drive from Delhi. The lake and the birds in it are the main attraction of this complex. The Sanctuary is spread over an area of 1074 acres which makes it considerably larger than the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. The peripheral embankment is man made and basically constructed to store the escaped water of Jawaharlal Nehru canal through an escape channel at the time of power failure of Lift Canal System. The Bhindawas lake is being used by the migratory and resident birds of about 250 species. The best time to visit is December-January when you can view the maximum number of birds. The winter timings are 6:30 am - 5 pm and in summer from 6 am - 6 pm. All in all, this is an excellent site for birders and bird watching.

The route to the lake is breathtaking, with acres of yellow mustard fields on both sides of the road. There are many species of water birds near the canal even before reaching the sanctuary. A vehicle track goes all around the lake. The government officials at the sanctuary are quite knowledgeable and keep a track of the various birds that visit the lake. There are two watchtowers on the edge of the lake, and the whole lake full of birds is visible from there. Even the areas surrounding the sanctuary have a large variety of birds. Since it is difficult to get close to these birds, photographing them is difficult unless one owns an expensive camera with powerful telephoto lenses (600 mm).

The bird sanctuary faces a big problem in the form of the weed Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), which has choked large sections of the lake. With the removal of water hyacinth, this sanctuary would attract many more birds. The state government has made some effort to clear this weed from the lake. Another problem is the drying up of this lake in periods of lean rainfall and/or shortage of water in the nearby canal. Haryana Tourism also needs to build a resort here to provide food and lodging to bird watchers who would like to spend the night here.

Blue Peafowl, Gray Francolin, Black Francolin, Shikra, Black Kite, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Thick-knee, Bronze-winged Jacana, Purple Swamphen, Greater Coucal, Little Grebe, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, White-throated Kingfisher, Coppersmith Barbet, Indian Roller, Common Hoopoe, Black Drongo, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Spotted Owlet, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Jungle Babbler, Oriental Darter and Spot-billed Duck are some of the resident birds.

Greater Flamingo, Pallas's Gull, Whiskered Tern, Osprey, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Graylag Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Comb Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Great Cormorant, Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Green Bee-eater, Pied Cuckoo, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Great Egret, Crested Lark, Ashy Prinia, Oriental Pratincole, Small Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Northern Lapwing, Yellow Bittern etc are some of the migratory birds that visit this sanctuary.

In addition to birds, the antelope Neelgai (Blue Bull), Jungle Cat and Jackals can also be seen in the Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary.

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