Saturday, 21 January 2012

Birding and Butterflying in Mumbai

Watching Flamingos and other waders at Sewri is always a very delightful experience. This year the visitors are still not in their full strength. 

It will not be a surprise if the flamingo count in Mumbai crosses a couple of thousands if not more during the peak. During the visit today, they were at the farther end of the Sewri jetty but in another 4-6 weeks they would be seen wading all over oblivious of the presence of their admirers and allowing the photographers very good close-ups.

The greatest sight is when the high tide comes in and flamingos start forming small groups and fly in various formations towards east.

Even though sighting of Flamingos (technically called Lesser Flamingos and scientific name : Phoenicopterus minor) is the main attraction, one should  not ignore other waders like Bar-tailed Godwits, Yellow legged Gulls, Geen and Red Shanks, Common Sandpipers and many others who are also in a large number.


And certainly not to forget Reef and Pond herons and Egrets.

While these waders were busy on the northern side of Sewri jetty, the Yellow-legged gulls were having field day on the eastern front.

Our outing on saturday morning did not end with just Flamingos. We had other plans too. 

When nothing else comes to mind there is Maharshtra Nature Park on Bandra - Sion link road. The pictures of roses and butterflies in this park speak for themselves.

The Nature park is along the Mahim creek and a large number of waders and gulls are seen in the creek against Mumbai's Corporate Who's who of Bandra-Kurla Complex. The sight of plastics in the creek, however, is not a very pleasant sight. 
There is also a good bird life in the Nature park but todays visit was for Butterflies and flowers though we did not want to disappoint this Purple rumped sunbird who was eager to pose for a photograph.

While Sewri is approchable all the days, the best time to visit is about 3 hours prior to the high tide and preferably early mornings and late afternoons. As for the Maharashtra Nature Park, it is open even on Sundays and butterflies are normally active in the late morning hours.

Happy Birding and Butterflying !