Monday, August 21, 2017

Migratory birds settle in for winter at Inle Lake

Tens of thousands of sun-seeking tourists have descended on Shan State’s Inle Lake since the end of November, observers say, but so far none of them are from new species. The tourists in question are migratory birds, who escape the cold of northern climes to winter around the lake, in Nyaungshwe township.

More than 20,000 migratory birds typically winter at Inle Lake in southern Shan State. Photo: Kaung Htet / The Myanmar TimesMore than 20,000 migratory birds typically winter at Inle Lake in southern Shan State. Photo: Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times

Migratory birds started arriving at Inle Lake in November, with 25 species listed so far and more expected, based on the experience of previous years, U Sein Tun of the Inle Lake Wetland Sanctuary Conservation, said last week.

“The ones who have arrived so far are regular visitors and we haven’t seen any new species yet, as we have in previous years. We hope to see new species this year. We usually see a large variety of birds in February, but at this point we’ve counted 25 species,” he said, adding that the White-headed Stilt that appeared last January was a newcomer to Myanmar.

The migrants are likely to leave the lake in March and April.

“More than 20,000 birds winter at Inle Lake, including rare species that can normally be found only in bird sanctuaries. Mostly they come from China and Mongolia and go back in March. By April, only seagulls will still be at the lake,” he said.

Inle Lake was designated a biosphere reserve area in September 2015, and local residents were asked not to kill and eat the birds and animals there.


Translation by Win Thaw Tar and Emoon