Chandigarh, December 1: Today, welcoming the arrival of migratory birds at Sukhna Lake, Department of Forests & Wildlife, Chandigarh Administration along with Yuvsatta-an NGO launched a fortnight long ‘Bird Watching Trip’ for local School students. On day one 50 students of KB DAV Sr. Sec. Public School, Chandigarh enjoyed the bird watching treat, later they were also taken to Butterfly Garden of Forest Department in Sector 26 of Chandigarh. Prominent amongst those who were present on the occasion included Santosh Kumar, Conservator of Forests & Director, Department of Environment, Birendra Choudhary, Dy. Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh Administration & Pramod Sharma, Coordinator, Yuvsatta.

Regular bird watchers like Sarabjit Kaur explained to the kids about hundreds of migratory bird who travel every year thousands of miles to reach Sukhna Lake, to escape the harsh cold of their habitats. And later Kulbhushan Kanwar informed them all about the beautiful butterflies at Butterfly garden in Sector 26, which is spread over an area of 7 acres with a meticulous landscaping. And offers a tranquil haven of peace and nature's wonders, as multi-coloured butterflies flit all around.

Birendra Choudhary explained on the occasion that migratory birds start arriving in the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary from early November and their stay lasts till March or April, depending on the climatic conditions. And these birds are very sensitive; so we have made arrangements to make the environment conducive for them.

Santosh Kumar inaugurating the initiative added that "Nobody is allowed to play loud music or burst firecrackers near the lake and the sanctuary as that might disturb their lifestyle. And migratory birds come from places like Siberia, China and Afghanistan. These are brahmi ducks, common pochards, red-crusted pochards, grebes, geese, shell ducks, marsh ducks, diving ducks, rails, coots, stilts, hill kingfisher, mallard, pintail, cormorants, Siberian ducks, cranes, storks and sandpipers.

According to forest officials, the winged visitors have been congregating here for the last over three decades as conditions in the region are very hospitable for them. They will be in their full strength by December end.

In coming days, volunteers of Yuvsatta and officials of Department of Forests, Chandigarh Administration intends to organize many such educational excursions for local School students.