CHITRAL: The number of migratory ducks descending on the lakes and river here has increased during their course of migration from Siberia to the southern parts of the country due to frequent rainfall in Chitral valley.
About 1.2 million migratory birds, majority of them ducks, pass through Chitral valley every year which serves as their flyway while the flocks of ducks include several species.
The ducks start their migration from Siberia in February in large flocks mostly during night at high altitude and tend to follow the path over the river while a good fraction of the flocks descend on the ponds, lakes and the river at dawn and during daytime due to inclement weather.
Fazlur Rahman of Booni village said that duck hunting was a popular pastime of the people of Chitral who carried out hunting not only in the river water, but they had also raised artificial lakes to lure the birds to them for hunting.
He said that during the two-month hunting season the hunters spent most of the time in the kiosk along the lakes or riverbank waiting for the birds. He said that the hunters spent a large amount of money in raising ponds by diverting river water to them through heavy machinery. He said that they also paid the government tax and reared hounds which swam in the lake or river to secure the carcass of the hunted bird.
WINTER SPORTS: The first-ever winter sports festival will begin from February 15 and continue for three days in Chitral?s Madak Lusht valley, which bordered Swat district.
The district administration and Hindukush Winter Sports Club will jointly hold the festival by arranging snow-related games such as skating, traditional snow sledging, trekking, etc.
Non-local teams from the neighboring districts have also been invited to take part in the competitions.
Hindukush sports club president Hishamul Mulk said that the traditional music and dance would also be part of the festival to enthral the participants. In a press release, he said that the local youth were enthusiastic about the event and had started practice at the venue.
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019