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Home >> Checklists >> Haryana >>Mohamedabad Marsh

Mohamedabad Marsh



Between the Delhi branch of Western Yamuna Canal to the north-east and Diversion Drain Number Eight to the south-east is a small village Mohamedabad in the Sonipat district state. The Drain and the Canal overtake each other and pass through, the drain underneath and the canal over it through a culvert. If one looks from this culvert which is several feet higher than the surroundings and look towards the village, one sees vast stretch of greenery in the cultivated fields and a village pond. The pond is not more than 5 acres. The surrounding fields are quite low lying and water can be seen throughout the year in a few of them. Depending upon rains, the wetland areas increases to 100 acres.

Between the village pond and the nearby low lying fields to the east flows a minor irrigation channel from the Delhi branch/canal and passes over the Drain. This channel is nearly 6-8 feet higher than the surroundings. Nearly earth has been scooped to construct the channel. The depression created due to taking out of the soil runs parallel to the channel on both sides for nearly 700 meters. This depression is full of reeds, kaans, sarpat grasses all along. Though a minor drain has been dug out to drain the marshes from the pond to the DDN8, still some water remains throughout the year. To the west of the pond is again vast stretch of cultivation, part of which is again low lying with a few scattered trees. These fields are a favourite foraging, breeding sites for Sarus Cranes. 2 pairs of Sarus Cranes have been seen breeding this year. During hot months, 19 Sarus cranes were observed for many days.
Marshy area

Between the Delhi branch and the road running near the village is a 50 acre low lying stretch full of reeds and water hyacinth. Waders concentration in this patch is outstandingly large. This area does not have any cultivation activities. One acre long chunk has been given to state government for a medical dispensary, the structure looks bird-friendly with trees and tall grasses all around.

The area between the village, the road and DDN8 contains the village pond, grassy island, minor drains, irrigation channel and low lying fields where farmers carry out agricultural activities. During monsoons, this stretch turns into a vast paddyfield farm (which is grass-land for birds). A few fields due to excessive water either become poor with thinning of paddies or completely devoid of paddies and turn into clear water bodies with a few submerged patches. This again contains a outstandingly large concentration of waders. This (September 2001) an area of 200 sq. yards is teaming with 400+ waders including large species like Spoonbills, Egrets, Ibises etc.
The marshy area can be divided into the following categories :

Delhi Branch with lows of Babul (Acacia nilotica indica) trees along the bank where Sind Sparrow (Passer pyrrhonotus) has been observed breeding, besides nesting of Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus), Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra), Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus). Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malaarica), 3 species of Doves, Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus), Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus).

Marshy patch between the road and the canal with its reeds, water hyacinth, grasses, barren land is used by Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamoneus ), Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis), Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar), Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), Common Moorhen (Gallinula cloropus), Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus), Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus) and a pair of Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha), Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) for breeding, feeding and shelter.
Minor Irrigation Channel running from the Canal upto the DDN8 and passing between the village pond and the cultivation, with its tall grasses on the both slopes offers nesting sites to Prinias, Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava), Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis), Black-breasted Weaver (Ploceus benghalensis), Black-headed Munia (Lonchura malacca malacca), Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata) and other species.

Village pond with its water lily patch and grassy edges is used for breeding by Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), resident ducks and resident rail species.
Low lying fields are used for breeding by Greater Painted-Snipe(Rostratula benghalensis), Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), resident ducks, rails, Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) etc.

Besides, these breeding birds, several species of migratory birds come here for wintering, including geese, ducks, pochards, teals, bluethroats, sandpipers, stints, wagtails, plovers etc.

List of Birds of Mohamedabad marshes seen between September 2000-September 2001

1. Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus). Resident. Breeds.

2. Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) . Resident. Breeds.

3. Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) . Resident. Breeds.

4. Greylag Goose (Anser anser). Winter migrant.

5. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) . Winter migrant.

6. Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica). Breeds.

7. Cotton Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus). Juveniles seen.

8. Gadwall (Anas strepera). Winter migrant.

9. Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope). Winter migrant.

10. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Winter migrant.

11. Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha). Resident. Breeds.

12. Common Teal (Anas crecca). Winter migrant.

13. Garganey (Anas querquedula). Passage migrant.

14. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta). Winter migrant.

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata). Winter migrant.

16. Red-crested Pochard (Rhodonessa rufina). Winter migrant.

17. Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) Winter migrant. One pair remaining throughout the year.

18. Ferruginous Pochard (Aytha nyroca). Winter migrant. Earlier arrival for Delhi/Haryana.*

19. Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula). Witer migrant.

20. Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla). Winter migrant

21. Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis). Resident.

22. Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense). Resident.

23. Coppersmith Barbet(Megalaima haemacephala). Resident.

24. Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris). Resident.

25. Common Hoopoe (Upopa epops). Resident.

26. Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis) . Resident.

27. Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis). Probably resident.

28. White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis). Resident. Breeds.

29. Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis). Resident. Breeds.

30. Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis). Resident. Breeds.

31. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus). Summer/monsoon breeder.

32. Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus). Summer/monsoon breeder.

33. Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) . Summer/monsoon visitor.

34. Common Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius). Summer/monsoon visitor.

35. Grey-bellied Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus). Summer/monsoon visitor.

36. Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). Summer/monsoon visitor.

37. Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis). Resident. Breeds.

38. Alexandrine Parakeet ( Psittacula eupatria). Resident.

39. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) . Resident.

40. Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)

41. House Swift (Apus affinis).

42. Spotted Owlet (Athene brama). Resident. Breeds.

43. Rock Pigeon (Columbia livia). Resident. Breeds.

44. Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis). Resident. Breeds.

45. Red Collared Dove (Streptopelia tanquebarica). Resident.Breeds.

46. Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). Resident. Breeds.

47. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera). Breeds.

48. Sarus Crane (Grus antigone). Resident. Breeds.*

49. Common Crane (Grus grus). Winter.

50. Brown Crake (Amaurornis akool). Resident. Probably breeds.

51. White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). Resident. Breeds.

52. Baillon's Crake (Porzana pusilla) . Passage migrant. One sighting.

53. Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea). Summer. One sighting.

54. Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio). Resident. Breeds.

55. Common Moorhen (Gallinula cloropus). Resident. Breeds.

56. Common Coot (Fulica atra). Resident. Winter.

57. Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus). One summer sighting.

58. Common Snipe(Gallinago gallinago). Winter.

59. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa). Winter. A few remains throughout the year.

60. Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus). Winter.

61. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus). Winter.

62. Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) . Winter.

63. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) . Winter.

64. Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus). Winter.

65. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) . Winter.

66. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) . Winter.

67. Little Stint (Calidris minuta) . Winter.

68. Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii) . Winter.

69. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) . Winter.

70. Greater Painted-Snipe(Rostratula benghalensis). Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

71. Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus). Resident. Breeds.

72. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus). Resident. Juveniles seen.

73. Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta). Not seen through the year.

74. Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus). Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

75. Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum). Occasionally seen.

76. Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea) . Occasionally seen.

77. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius). Resident. Winter.

78. Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) . Winter.

79. Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) . Resident. Breeds.

80. White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) . Winter.

81. Pallas's Gull (Larus ichthyaetus). Winter. Seen 2-3 times.

82. Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus) . Winter.

83. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) . Winter.

84. Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica). Winter.

85. River Tern (Sterna aurantia) . Resident.

86. Black-bellied Tern (Sterna acuticauda). A few sighting.*

87. Whiskered Tern (Childonias hybrida). Resident.

88. Black-shouldered Kite(Elanus caerulus). Resident.

89. Black Kite (Milvus migrans). Resident.

90. Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Resident. One pair nested on the nearby temple.

91. White-rumped Vulture(Gyps benghalensis) . two records.*

92. Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus). Winter.

93. Shikra (Accipiter badius). Resident. Breeds.

94. Oriental Honey-Buzzard (Pernis ptilorynchus). Resident.

95. Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga). Winter.*

96. Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni). Winter.*

97. Red-necked Falcon (Falco chicquera). A few records.

98. Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) . Resident. Breeds.

99. Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) . Resident.*

100. Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) . Resident.

101. Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis). Resident.

102. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) . Resident.

103. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) . Resident.

104. Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) . Resident.

105. Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) . Resident.

106. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) . Resident.

107. Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) . Resident. Breeds.

108. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) . Resident. Breeds.

109. Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) . Resident. Breeds.

110. Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) . Resident.

111. Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis). Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

112. Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamoneus ) . Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

113. Glossy Ibis (Plegadisfalcinellus). Winter.

114. Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus) . Resident.*

115. Black Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa) . Resident.

116. Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). Resident.*

117. Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) . Winter.

118. Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala). Resident.*

119. Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans). Resident.*

120. Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus) . Resident.

121. Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus). Resident.*

122. Rufous-tailed Shrike (Lanius isabellinus). Winter.

123. Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) . One doubtful record.

124. Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus) . Resident. Breeds.

125. Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach). Resident.

126. Rufous Treepie(Dendrocitta vagabunda) . Resident.

127. House Crow (Corvus splendens) . Resident. Breeds.

128. Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) . Resident. Breeds.

129. Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) . Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

130. Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) . Resident.

131. Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris). Winter.

132. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) . Resident. Breeds.

133. Common Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) . Resident. Breeds.

134. Red-throated Flycatcher (Ficedula parva). Winter.

135. Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) . Winter.

136. Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) . Resident.

137. Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicataI). Resident. Breeds.

138. Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) . Winter.

139. Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) . Winter.

140. Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata). Resident. Breeds.

141. Brown Rock-chat (Cercomela fusca). Resident.

142. Brahminy Starling (Sturnus sturninus). Resident. Breeds.

143.Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Winter.

144. Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra). Resident. Breeds.

145. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) . Resident. Breeds.

146. Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus) . Resident. Breeds.

147. Plain Martin (Riparia paludicola) . Resident. Breeds.

148. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Winter.

149. Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii) . Resident.

150. Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) . A few records.

151. Streak-throated Swallow (Hirundo fluvicola) . Resident. Breeds.

152. Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jacosus.) Resident but a few records only.

153. Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) . Resident. Breeds.

154. Rufous-fronted Prinia (Prinia buchanani). Heard occasionally.

155. Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii). A few records.

156. Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris). Resident. Breeds.

157. Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis). Resident. Breeds.

158. Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) . Resident. Breeds.

159. Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis) . Resident. Breeds.

160. Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis). Resident. Breeds.

161. Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosa) . Resident. Breeds.

162. Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) . Passage migrant/winter.

163. Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum). Passage migrant.

164. Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus). Resident. Winter.

165. Striated Grassbird (Magalurus palustris) . 2 birds seen o n 22 September 2001.

166. Bristled Grassbird (Chaetornis striatus) . 2 sightings in first week of August 2001.

167. Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) Winter.

168. Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus colybita tristis). Winter.

169. Hume's Warbler ( Phylloscopus humei) . Winter.

170. Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides) . Winter.

171. Yellow-eyed Babbler (Chrysomma sinense) . Resident.

172. Common Babbler (Turdoides caudatus) . Resident. Breeds.

173. Striated Babbler (Turdoides earlei) . Resident. Breeds.

174. Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcolmi) . Resident. Breeds.

175. Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striatus) . Resident. Breeds.

176. Indian Bushlark (Mirafra erythroptera). Resident. Breeds.

177. Bengal Bushlark (Mirafra assamica). Resident. Breeds.

178. Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark (Eremopterix grisea) . Resident. Breeds.

179. Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) . Resident. Breeds.

180. Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula). Resident. Breeds.

181. Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica) . Residnet. Breeds.

182. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) . Resident. Breeds.

183. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) . winter.

184. Sind Sparrow (Passer pyrrhonotus) . Resident. Breeds.

185. Chestnut-Shouldered Petronia (Petronia xanthcollis). Resident. Breeds.

186. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alboides). Winter.

187. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba personata). Winter.

188. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba dukhunensis). Winter.

189. White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis) . Resident. Breeds.

190. Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola citreola). Winter.

191. Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola calcarata). Winter.

192. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava beema). Winter.

193. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava lutea). Winter.

194. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) . Winter.

195. Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) . Resident. Breeds.

196. Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) . Winter.

197. Long-billed Pipit (Anthus similis) . Winter.

198. Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) . Winter.

199. Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) . Witer.

200. Black-breasted Weaver (Ploceus benghalensis) . Resident. Breeds.

201. Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar) . Resident. Breeds.

202. Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) . Resident. Breeds.

203. Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava) . Resident. Breeds.

204. Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malaarica) . Resident. Breeds.

205. Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) . Resident. Breeds.

206. Black-headed Munia (Lonchura malacca malacca). Summer/monsoon. Breeds.

207. White-capped Bunting (Emberiza stewarti). Spring records.

(Note: These birds have been observed during one year period from September 2000 to September 2001 during frequent birding trips of SCS. Birds marked by * are the threatened birds of India)


Handbook of Birds of India and Pakistan by Salim Ali and S. Dhillon Ripley

Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmet, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp. A Field Guide to the Birds of

India…by Kris Kazmierczak.


Though there is no immediate threat to this bird paradise, dangers cannot be ruled out keeping in view fast changing life style of villagers. Fishing by Bihari labours though still at individual level has increased. These poor people have also been seen collecting water lilies disturbing breeding birds. Irrigation department has issued instructions to remove tall grasses, bushes and weeds from the irrigation channel. Keeping in view the current political system of vote-banks, the wetland is vulnerable to 'drainage'.

The entire wetland needs legal protection also. Possibilities for notifying the wetland as a bird sanctuary with villagers stake should be explored.

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