Indian Pitta

It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest.

Nilgiri Flycatcher

An endemic resident in the Western Ghats of southern India.

Brown-winged Kingfisher

These kingfisher species excavate their nests in a river mud bank.


Tales from the Land of Mowgli


Feeds mostly on small birds, capturing them in mid-air in rapid pursuit.

Malabar Trogon

A resident of dense tropical forests.

Malabar Pied Hornbill

This species is omnivorous, taking fruit, fish and small mammals.

Crimson-backed Sunbird

Diet of sunbirds is based mostly on nectar

Golden-breasted Fulvetta

They prefer dense undergrowth, usually dominated by bamboo forest.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Birding in Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary

Thane Creek is an inlet in the shoreline of the Arabian Sea that isolates the city of Mumbai from the Mainland. The creek has been attracting flamingos in large numbers since 1994. By the month of October - November every year, over 30,000 of these birds, along with their chicks, descend here and occupy the mudflats and the bordering mangroves. This makes a good birding spot for bird lovers visiting Mumbai city. 

The area being refuge to many resident and migratory birds was one of the few reasons, the state government around the month of August of 2015, demarcated and notified approximately 17 of the creek and named it "Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary"
Location - Source - "Google Maps"
We took the boat ride (on 21st of February 2016) that went around the not so explored, highly polluted creek area between Thane and Navi Mumbai (Vashi). Being my first experience here, was surprised to see large mixed flocks of the near threatened Lesser Flamingos and Greater Flamingos. 

The lesser flamingo is the smallest species of Flamingo, having a beak that is dark red with black tip and the greater flamingo is the largest species of Flamingo, has a beak that is pink with a restrictive black tip.
Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

In our two and half hour boat ride sighted many other birds like , western reef egret, Spot-billed ducks, lesser sand-plovers, curlew sandpiper, black-headed gull, whiskered terns to name a few. 

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Black-headed (Gull Larus ridibundus) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Black-headed (Gull Larus ridibundus) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Garganey (Anas querquedula) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) - Image by Aseem Kothiala

Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Just as we turned around to return to the starting point, sighted an Osprey that had folded its wings close to its body and started to go down into the water at high-speed. Soon it emerged with its catch.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - Image by Aseem Kothiala 

Though the creek seemed more like a backyard drain, where could see plastic bottles and bags floating had a good birdlife. Imagine, if it was more clean!

In fact, as we were under the Vashi bridge, could see plastic bags which had flowers and some waste material that were flung into the creek. How does one feel that throwing it here is better than disposing it off responsibly.

Have seen similar activity of throwing waste, into other creeks and water drains, that also wrapped in a plastic bag, which could take ages to decompose and add to the destruction we as humans are doing to this planet. Each individual must get aware and also educate the ones who indulge in this. "Swachh bharat abhiyan" is not just keep our homes and streets clean. Think!

Would like to thank
Avinash Bhagat and his team, who organised this boat ride. One needs to carry good amount of water to stay hydrated, in the open boat. Safety is given utmost importance and safety jackets are provided. Hope to do a few more such trips to get closer to birds. 

Wishing all the readers - Happy Birding!

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