Yamuna supports a wide variety of plant and animal species. The river is home to thousands of resident and migratory birds. The 22km stretch of Yamuna from Wazirabad, North Delhi to Okhla barrage provides unique opportunities to birders.
Currently three popular spots are regularly explored by birders from Delhi and NCR to watch and photograph various species of birds – OKhla Bird Sanctuary, Yamuna Biodiversity Park and Yamuna Khadar.
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary, spread over 4 square kms. on the Yamuna river, is one of the popular area which is well accessible by road and home to thousands of avian migrants along with resident water birds. Flamingos are seen here during their passage migrant around feb-march. Rare migratory species like Baikal teal were also spotted here recently. The place can be also explored by bi-cycle which can be hired from the forest department’s office near the main entrance.
The Yamuna Biodiversity Park in Wazirabad in North Delhi, a 457-acres of nature’s reserve, has been especially created to replicate the lost ecosystems of the Yamuna river. Once a barren land, it now houses wetlands and forests, sheltering over 1500 plants, insects, birds, fish and mammal species.
More details can be found at http://dda.org.in/greens/biodiv/yamuna-biodiversity-park.html.
Yamuna Khadar is basically a wide partly cultivated and partly barren land on Yamuna bank which can be covered from Jagatpur Bandh Marg which connects Wazirabad Road near Wazirabad crossing on outer Ring road. The road goes almost parallel to Yamuna and few marsh areas can be seen alongside. I have also noticed a wide area being developed by govt. as ecological park in one of my recent visit. Yamuna khaddar is frequently visited by birders for red-crested pochards – a beautiful migratory bird.
Recent update on bird list at ebird.org
Under pressure from various NGOs, communities and political parties, it is expected that Delhi Government will take certain immediate measures to save the Yamuna Ecosystem which is currently under great threat. Reports indicate that Delhi adds almost 90% of the total waste into Yamuna which caters nearly 70% of the water supply in return.
Visit to Yamuna Khadar – Jan 2014 Update
After a gap of almost a year, I have visited the place today on 5th Jan 2014. The river is full of brown headed gulls. We have seen few red crested pochards as well as common pochards in the area which is under Yamuna Biodiversity Park – Phase 2. The area is still under construction and progress is moving at a slow speed compared to my last visit. We took a walk inside the main Biodiversity Park and found that the area is not great for birding.