Wildlife in Kashmir
  Wildlife in Kashmir Valley:
  Wildlife in Srinagar:
 

Wildlife in Jummu:

  Wildlife in Ladakh:

Wildlife in Srinagar (Dal Lake)

Dal Lake much visited and less understood provides us with classic example of how little we appreciate the good things provided to us by Nature. This once pure lake could turn into a polluted pond, if we unthinkingly allow soil erosion and untreated effluents to damage it. Thousands of residents of Srinagar and millions of tourists are dependent upon the lake either for livelihood or for enjoyment. The lake of course is popular for its Houseboats, Shikaras and promenades and it is undoubtedly a bird watchers paradise.
Slowly as the Shikara passes through the channels in Srinagar the houseboats pass by which are handled by even the children with great dexterity. The birds in this lake are very approachable. The kingfishers sit on the tops of houseboats nonchalantly almost within the touching distance of humans who seem to be equally unmindful of the birds. The kingfishers apparently use walls, steps and piles as fixed perches from which they directly dive into water to catch little fish. In Europe these birds are very elusive but in the happy valley of Kashmir they fear no danger from humans. Man and Nature seem to exist happily together in the Valley.

Sitting on low boats i.e. Shikaras we can maneuver close to waders, raptors and divers. While giding on Shikara we can often observe white breasted Kingfishers (Halycon smyrnensis), large striking birds with robust bills perched on the branches of willow trees. These birds concentrate their efforts to hunting on the floating Gardens. These man made islands comprise of reeds, willow rods, aquatic vegetation’s and held together with humus consisting of mud from the lake bottom. This is extremely fertile and provides rich source of food in the form of frogs, lizards, mice, grasshoppers and other insects to the Kingfisher.Now as we move further to the calm waters of Anchor Lake we are in a totally different world, there is no crowd of boats, no motor boat engines to be heard and the mood is different altogether. Just a few meters ahead there is a little bittern unmindful of the boat traffics. It stands motionless in the reeds waiting for frogs and other insects for its feed like a heron. This is a very shy bird and will vanish at the slightest difference. However it is accustomed to moving water traffic and is not bothered by it. However if boats stop it gets alarmed. There are open lotus flowers around which the bees are humming collecting honey. Wagtails active and eager can be seen dashing from leaf to leaf sometimes leaping into air to catch that elusive creature for its morsel. The dipping motion of their longtails and their undulating flight is fascinating to watch. Kingfishers keep on diving into the lake and emerge successful sometimes dripping with droplets with little fish in their beak.

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