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Kabul Qul-e-Hashmat Khan to welcome more springtime water-birds

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 As the winter ends, birds, particularly those of water-residing start migration without restraint over Afghanistan, mostly seeking secure, where swampland are accessed as Afghan Analysts Network (AAN) covered the ecological aspect of the relatively rare birds to have widely been found in country’s capital, alongside other far-flanged areas of the country. 

“The springtime migration of birds over Afghanistan is in full swing and the Kol-e Hashmat Khan wetland in south Kabul is an internationally important site for tired water-birds to stop and rest, and build up their strength,” the AAN said adding soon, they’ll be heading north again, crossing the Hindu Kush mountains to reach their summer breeding grounds in Central Asia and western Siberia. 
In early April, AAN’s Kate Clark joined other birdwatchers at the wetland to take part in the Asian Water-bird census, a continental count of water-birds. Here, she brings you some of the photographs of birds and birdwatchers, the network quoted.
For more detail on the birds, the site and the threat Qol-e Hashmat Khan faces, read the accompanying dispatch by Kate, “Kabul Duck Alert: Afghan capital still important stopover for migrating water-birds”.
For water-birds flying thousands of kilometers north from southern Pakistan or India to Central Asia or western Siberia, the site of Qol-e Hashmat Khan is a welcome one. It is the equivalent of an oasis in the middle of a largely dry country, on the outskirts of a city of five million people.
Every year, thousands of birds, she says stop here on their spring migration. 93 species of birds were identified on the lake in a four year survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society (2007-2010). That is a quarter of the total number of species seen in Afghanistan.
Afghan ornithologists are concerned that water levels are dropping and the number and variety of birds is falling. The Qol-e Hashmat Khan wetland is under threat – because of water taken off for irrigation, land-grabbing of land on the lakeside, encroaching of housing (which did stop in 2012), pollution and global warming. However, plans are afoot to protect the lake.
For now, the birds are still coming and for birdwatchers that is a delight.
                  Massoud Ludin