Chilika Lake in Odisha: The Asia’s largest brackish water lake, Chilika, this season got a rare winged guest this season.

The Chilika wildlife division DFO, Bikash Ranjan Das, said for the first River Lawping, a local bird, was sighted at the lake. This species is usually found on river beds. But the enumerators have found one such bird at Chilika, he added.

Das said Chilika in Odisha has received less number of migratory birds this winter. The annual bird census in the lake has found that the arrival of the winged visitors has dropped by about 53,000 this season  as compared to last winter.   The census put the count at 8,93, 390 with 147 different types of bird coming to the lake. The count, last year,  was 9,47,119 birds of 167 different types, he added.

According to him, this time, altogether 320,826 birds were sighted at Nalabana bird sanctuary.

The DFO said that the fall in number is because of the increase in the water level of the lagoon due to heavy rain during the monsoons. Moreover, this year, the census was conducted about 10 days ahead of schedule, he added.

On Wednesday around 100 people, including ornithologists from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), officials of wildlife organisations, several ornithologists and wildlife activists took part in the bird count.

Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, visit the lake to escape the biting cold in their native places.