Shimla Bird Race – April 24, 2011
Himachal Birds is organising the first ever Bird Race in Shimla on April 24, 2011 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the aim of obtaining an an accurate count of bird species in and around the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Birds is being joined in its efforts by the Wildlife Wing of Himachal Pradesh and the event is supported by Vodafone. The last comprehensive bird species lists were prepared by Frome and Hugh Whistler sometime before Independence. Somesh Goyal, Founder President of Himachal Birds said, "Efforts have been made by individuals and some researchers to list bird species of a few pockets in Shimla and surrounding areas. The proposed Bird Race will provide a comprehensive bird list of Shimla birds. It is estimated that Shimla and its surrounding areas have around 100 species including rare pheasants such as Koklash, Kaleej and Cheer.
Himachal Birds has been actively promoting birdwatching and conservation. On World Sparrow Day on March 20, 2011, Himachal Birds had organised a bird walk and a photo exhibition of birds of Himachal Pradesh in the historic Gaeity Theatre, Shimla. The event was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister Himachal Pradesh.
To provide encouragement to individuals and organisations involved in the task of bird conservation, Himachal Birds has decided to institute two annual awards of Rs. 11,000 each for an outstanding individual and group contribution. The awards will be presented during the Biodiversity Week in October 2011. Nominations will be invited by the end of August 2011 and final selection of the winners will be done by mid-September 2011.
Around 25 experienced birdwatchers and researchers from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi and Wildlife Wing will lend their support to Himachal Birds in this task. For this Race, Shimla and surrounding areas have been divided into 8 transacts as per the details below:
1. Totu – bypass – Summer Hill, Potter's Hill and Chadwick Fall.
2. Advanced Study – old route along Railway Line, Glen, Annandale and terminate at Kennedy Chowk.
3. Shoghi – follow the Railway track – to Taradevi – to Taradevi Top.
4. Shoghi Bypass – Bada Gaon – Mehli – Kasumpti.
5. Tutikandi Zoo Forest – bypass highway – Dumping site (for pariah Kite) to Khalini
6. Mall Road – Jakhoo Hill – St Beed's Road and Navbahar Forest – Forest Road, Ramachandra Chowk
7. Sanjauli Chowk – to Longwood – to Bharari area
8. Shimla Water Catchment area and Kufri. Mashobara will also be covered by this team.