Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Our Visit to Wasit Wetland Nature Reserve

Emirate of Sharjah is taking huge efforts to develop eco tourism, part of this effort Environmental and Protected Area Authority has developed Wasit Wetland center in Wasit nature reserve, which was previously a  waste-water dump and rubbish tip called Ramtha Lagoons and Ramtha Tip.

Arabian Helmeted Guineafowl, Wadi Bird

Bird food preparation area
The center consist of bird watching towers, bird habitats made in enclosed area that live on wetland and can be seen from glass walls, salty lagoons, mudflats, fresh water pools, wetlands and the café overlooking the beautiful lagoon. The center houses 60 species and 350 birds. Within center's six large aviaries are arranged according to their preferred habitat, which are Wadi birds, Mudflat birds, Marsh Birds, Shrubland birds, Reedbed birds and Estuary birds.

At Wasit wetland center local and migratory birds are conserved by habitat conservation, rehabilitation, captive breeding. There are also bird food preparation, feeding facilities, where one can learn about food habits of different birds.

Bird Watching Tower

We spent a great time at one of the bird watching tower, it felt very peaceful and serene watching a few black winged stilt birds that close and in their habitat. In center my son had fantastic time, learning about different birds. He still talks about the tall bird standing on one foot. The facility is so educational and equipped with state of art technology, you can find deatailed information about every bird species displayed. The interactive education children games kept in facility are great way to develop kids interest in birds and their conservation.

Video- Facility provided to hear sound of birds chirping inside the enclosure.

One can spend hours looking at birds kept in enclosed area or sitting in café next to lagoons. We even got to see some interesting bird feeding experience and how the Goliath Heron reacted to food, their feathers spiked up the instant they saw food. Ruhaan particularly enjoyed Pied Avocet birds taking bath and splashing water.

Goliath Heron, Reedbed bird

Pied Avocet taking bath, Mudflat bird

The wetland contains a number of rare birds, including Northern Bald Ibis, Glossy Ibis, grey heron, marbled duck — which is the only threatened bird — purple swamphen, pink-backed pelican and greater flamingo.

Black winged Stilt at Mudflat next to watch tower

Logo showing black winged Stilt
The black-winged stilt was chosen - from the birds that settled in Wasit Nature Reserve – as the logo for the nature reserve. Large numbers of black-winged stilts exist in the Wasit Nature Reserve, amounting to 3000 birds, in external lakes. They are known for their long legs, which are the longest among birds’ legs. They also make their nests near lagoons

Lagoon on the background

We couldn't take ride in electric buggy around the facility this time, as we didn't realize how much time we spent observing different birds and learning about them. We spent more than 3 hours and still couldn't experience everything they have offered. I am sure, we'll go there soon to learn more and do things which we missed this time. No doubt this is paradise for bird lovers in UAE. I would highly recommend this place not only for kids but every one. Specially those who complain there aren't much natural spots in UAE to enjoy or get close to nature.

Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse, Shrubland bird

1 comment:

Tarana Khan said...

Looks like a great place! Thanks for sharing.