Around 100 experts from various institutions across the country and two others from abroad will participate in the annual bird survey in the vast Chilika lake to be held on Wednesday.

A preparatory meeting of the experts was held at Chandraput today.

“Apart from experts from Australia and Germany, for the first time scientists from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Director of National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi would take part in the five-hour bird count in the lake,” divisional forest officer (Chilika wildlife) B.P. Acharya said.

Restrictions were imposed for the last one week on the entry of tourists and other persons to the 15.59 sq km Nalabana sanctuary area in Chilika in view of the bird count.

“We have imposed restriction on entry of people other than forest personnel to ensure that the winged guests are not disturbed before the enumeration,” he said.

“Several VIPs, who were scheduled to visit Nalabana, also cancelled their trip on our request,” he said, adding, there was, however, no restriction on entry to the blue lagoon beyond sanctuary areas.

The DFO said the entire lake was divided into 18 sectors and at least five enumerators would be deployed in each sector for the bird enumeration.

The count will start from 6 a.m. and will continue till 11 a.m., he said.

A large number of migratory birds from far off places including Caspian sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, central and south east Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas descended to the lake every winter for feeding and roosting.

Last year, over 9.24 lakh different birds of 210 species visited the lake. Of them 5.08 lakh different winged guests had taken shelter in the Nalabana sanctuary area only, the sources said.