Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

The Birds of Borit – Imran Shah’s photography

Highly talented photographer Imran Shah has photographed some birds around the Borit Lake in the Gojal Valley of District Hunza during the last couple of months. Here are ten of the birds that he saw and photographed. Scientific and common names of the birds have also been given.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
Grey-necked Bunting (Emberiza buchanani)
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
White-winged Redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogastrus)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)

6 thoughts on “The Birds of Borit – Imran Shah’s photography

  1. Thank you Pamirtimes for sharing my images.

    Borith Lake is a small saline body of water in the Gojal Tehsil of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, measuring about 850m in length and 270m at its widest. The lake is located in a small depression in above main Gojal valley, at an elevation of about 2600 meters. Geographically it is also interesting due to the fact that the lake lies between the Passu and Ghulkin Glaciers, on the northern and southern sides, on the west lies the great Batura Muztagh, with some of the 7000er peaks like Batura Sar (7,795m), Shispare (7,611m), Passu Sar (7,476m) Ultar Sar (7,388m) and Sangemarmar Sar (7,000m). It lies approximately 5 km to the north of Gulmit, and can be reached via a 2 km unpaved road from Husseini village, on the main Karakorum Hughway. The site is an important sanctuary for migrating waterfowl and other birds. To witness the highest diversity and number of birds Barith Lake can be visited from September to May, although the lake offers great diversity of birds round the year.

    For birding I have been visiting Borith Lake for last 6 years, but during the last 3 years I have been regularly visiting the lake all around the year. The significance of this bird sanctuary, is apparent from the fact that in an area of less than 1 square kilometers, I have been able to photo-document more than 130 bird species, including;
    1. Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla)
    2. Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
    3. Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
    4. Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
    5. Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
    6. Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
    7. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
    8. Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
    9. Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)
    10. Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
    11. Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
    12. Booted Warbler (Iduna caligata)
    13. Brown Accentor (Prunella fulvescens)
    14. Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus)
    15. Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
    16. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
    17. Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)
    18. Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
    19. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
    20. Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
    21. Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
    22. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
    23. Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
    24. Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
    25. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
    26. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
    27. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
    28. Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
    29. Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
    30. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
    31. Common Teal (Anas crecca)
    32. Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
    33. Dark-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis)
    34. Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
    35. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
    36. Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
    37. Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
    38. Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
    39. Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
    40. Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
    41. Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
    42. Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
    43. Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
    44. European Roller (Coracias garrulus)
    45. Ferruginous Pochard (Aythya nyroca)
    46. Fire-fronted Serin (Serinus pusillus)
    47. Gadwall (Anas strepera)
    48. Garganey (Anas querquedula)
    49. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
    50. Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
    51. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
    52. Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)
    53. Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
    54. Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides)
    55. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
    56. Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
    57. Grey-necked Bunting (Emberiza buchanani)
    58. Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
    59. Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris)
    60. Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis)
    61. Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
    62. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
    63. Hume’s Warbler (Phylloscopus humei)
    64. Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus)
    65. Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)
    66. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
    67. Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
    68. Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
    69. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
    70. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
    71. Mountain Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus sindianus)
    72. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
    73. Northern House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
    74. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
    75. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
    76. Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)
    77. Pallas’s Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)
    78. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
    79. Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)
    80. Plain Mountain Finch (Leucosticte nemoricola)
    81. Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
    82. Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
    83. Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
    84. Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
    85. Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia)
    86. Rosy Pipit (Anthus roseatus)
    87. Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus)
    88. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
    89. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
    90. Rufous-backed Redstart (Phoenicurus erythronotus)
    91. Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush (Monticola saxitilis)
    92. Scaly-bellied Woodpecker (Picus squamatus)
    93. Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
    94. Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)
    95. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)
    96. Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
    97. Sulphur-bellied Warbler (Phylloscopus griseolus)
    98. Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii)
    99. Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
    100. Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
    101. Variable Wheatear (Oenanthe picata)
    102. Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)
    103. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
    104. White-browed Tit Warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae)
    105. White-capped Bunting (Emberiza stewarti)
    106. White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes)
    107. White-winged Redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogastrus)
    108. Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
    109. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
    110. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
    111. Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)

    Compared to the previous year, winter of 2016 proved to be quite interesting. Gulls were a fascinating addition to the list of birds at Borith Lake. In my all previous visits I only spotted just one or two Caspian Gulls, but this year in a span of 1 month the lake was visited by Black-headed Gulls (6), Caspian Gulls (10), Brown-headed Gulls (3 or 4), Pallas’s Gulls (2) and the most interesting observation was a single Black-legged Kittiwake on 12th of December (First record for Pakistan). Most of these gulls were observed at the lake in extremely windy, cold and cloudy conditions.

    Also interesting to note was the observation of Eurasian Siskins and Horned Grebes, both are unusual vagrants for Pakistan. Eurasian Siskins were present in the area from November to December, with highest number of about 10 birds observed on 11 November, and a single pair of Horned Grebes were spotted on the 14th December. This year was also interesting in terms of Anseriformes. Some of the interesting finds were both the Red-crested Pochard, Common and Ruddy Shelducks, with all the usual ducks for the lake.

  2. I am a bird spotter, seeing these pictures of beautifully captured birds and that of this small saline and murky lake Borith in Hunza is quiet a fascinating job. I really appreciate Mr. Imran Shah for his efforts as i know how difficult and time taking hobby is this!
    Keep it up.

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