Birdspotting – from dawn to dusk

Scavenging the forest with sharp capturing weapons. (Pic: Jyoti Nadkarni)

The Mumbai Birdrace, supported by HSBC, has been organized since 2005, with Sunjoy Monga because the chief organiser. Many groups, every comprising of 4-5 individuals participate, and the one with the best variety of species of birds wins. The group that spots the rarest hen additionally will get a prize. Yearly a dinner is normally organized for the members on the finish of the day.

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This 12 months because of COVID, group measurement was restricted to three, and each group was compensated for his or her journey and meals (in lieu of the dinner). The hen watching timings had been from dawn to sundown of that day. After completion every group needed to add their hen sighting listing in an excel sheet supplied by the organizers, together with a group {photograph} and a few hen images.

Learn extra: Right here’s Navi Mumbai’s first ‘Birdrace’. It’s not what you’re considering

From Kharghar area, the place I reside, 4 groups participated – lead by Jyoti Nadkarni, Nareshchandra Singh, Preeti Mohanty and me.

Jyoti’s group. (Pic: Kharghar wetland group)
Naresh’s group. (Pic: Kharghar wetland group)
Preeti’s group. (Pic: Kharghar wetland group)
Tarang’s group. (Pic: Kharghar wetland group)

Listed here are our experiences all through the day of the Mumbai Birdrace 2021, held on Sunday, seventh February.

The groups began early morning, at completely different places reminiscent of Inexperienced Valley Park, Belapur the place there may be lush forest, and Sector 35 hills of Kharghar.

It turned out that the Belapur forest was stuffed with exercise, attracting hen watchers from throughout Mumbai. Some had been caught to sure spots, ready for a few of the rarest birds like Eyebrowed Thrush and Indian Blackbird to seem. A number of the unusual birds sighted had been Vigors’ Sunbird and Booted Eagle. At Sector 35 Kharghar the spotlight was the Black Winged Kite, which was hovering midair, trying to sight its prey.

Eyebrowed Thrush – our most popular choose of the occasion. (Pic: Viral Thakker)

Viral Thakkar, a member of one of many groups, who’s a wildlife photographer from Sanpada stated, “To spend nearly the complete day amongst nature and listening to essentially the most lovely birds name and songs and witnessing these beauties is bliss. It was a tremendous expertise and I bought some uncommon clicks.”

Indian Blackbird. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)
Vigors’ Sunbird. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

Kharghar tidal wetlands was the subsequent in style spot for us. It was excessive tide, so all of the birds had come to the water, giving a great depend to the listing. We noticed the Steppe Gull, Pacific Golden Plover and the engaging Frequent Teal duck.

Frequent Teal. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

We took a break for lunch round midday, and after catching some relaxation for a few hours, we continued our hen exercise.

The plains of Kharghar have grasslands and freshwater wetlands, and because it turned out, these had been best locations to identify the enduring Paddyfield Pipit, Siberian Stonechat and Bronze Winged Jacana.

Frequent Iora. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

“Kharghar is exclusive metropolis having every kind of habitat. It has grasslands, forests, hills, recent water ponds on one aspect and mangroves, intertidal zone and marshy wetlands on the opposite aspect. In Sector 35 alone we discovered round 50 species of birds. This itself requires the necessity to save these habitats for the survival of those species.”, stated Jyoti Nadkarni.

Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

The Jetty at TS Chanakya, Seawoods was experiencing low tide and it was right here that we noticed many flamingos and different shore birds forming the murmuration sample whereas flying collectively. We additionally met one other birdrace group from Andheri, which has been taking part from the very first birdrace.

“Kharghar is a superb place for hen fanatics and hen photographers. I don’t assume one can get such all kinds of terrain (grass lands, hills, water our bodies and wetlands) elsewhere in Mumbai or its neighborhood. As accountable residents we must always attempt to preserve these for the higher wholesome dwelling of future generations.”, stated Ramprasad from Roadpali.

Orange-headed Thrush. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

By sundown, when it was time to cease, Nareshchandra’s group had crossed 100 species (101 to be exact) whereas the remainder of us had 75-90 species. These are all giant numbers and we had been all ready to know what the highest sighting quantity was.

Purple Spurfowl. (Pic: Nareshchandra Singh)

“Whereas it’s so pleasant to report greater than 100 species of birds in Kharghar and CBD Belapur, indicating the wealthy biodiversity of those areas, it was additionally clear that the numbers and sorts of birds have persistently lowered, reflecting the nice risks of the continued loss and degradation of habitats. I urgently name for numerous authorities companies and the residents to introspect on what must be performed to protect such lovely pure treasures!” says Nareshchandra.

It’s true that we had nice sightings and it was potential solely as a result of pure habitats and biodiversity remains to be intact in a lot of Navi Mumbai. We earnestly hope that the the town planners like CIDCO don’t do something that may destroy them.

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