Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pink With A Tinge Of Red, And Several Squawking Noises!

I hate waking up early in the mornings. Getting out of bed in the wee hours of morning is a Herculean task for me. This has been one of the reasons why I have been unable to catch sight of the flamingos that flock the Sewri bay in Mumbai between the months of November and March despite living in Mumbai for almost three years now. Every year, I heard some friend or the other ranting about their wonderful experience of sighting the migratory birds and this year, I decided that by hook or by crook, I would make it to the Sewri creek.

Making it there was no easy task. On three mornings, I could not force myself out of bed despite responding to the alarm-rings. I was informed that one can catch sight of the birds even at sunset - however, something or the other kept coming up and I was not able to make it to Sewri even in the evenings. Owing to my busy schedule, I could not even make time for the 'Flamingo Festival' that was organized by the BNHS.

Not one to give up on things once I have set my mind, I started researching and found out that flamingos arrive at the creek most frequently after the high tide. After finding out the high tide timings from a website which I hoped would be reliable, I concluded that there was no point in trying to wake up at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning - even if I reached before 8:00 a.m. there was a good chance of me spotting the birds.

Today morning, I finally woke up at 6:00 a.m. Accompanied by a friend, we managed to make it to Sewri and we really hoped that it would be worth the effort; and guess what? It totally was!

As soon as we arrived at the swamp, we spotted hundreds of flamingos against the backdrop of the mangrove trees. I was quite mesmerized by the plethora of pink that greeted me.Watching the flamingos walking in line one behind the other, seeing them drinking the marshy water, and hearing their squawks was an exhilarating experience. They did not seem to be bothered by the human presence as they continued to engage in all the activities they were doing. Even though the sun was out, a pleasant breeze was blowing which made it easy for me to tolerate the heat. I clicked a number of pictures - I just could not get enough of this Pinkville!

The Indian Stork
An Egret
I had read that apart from flamingos, one also gets to see other species of birds at the Sewri creek. While looking out for the other species of birds was not on my personal agenda, an ornithologist, who happened to be present at the creek while we were watching the flocks of flamingos, helped us locate some of these other birds. I spotted an Indian Stork, some egrets, herons and even some kites. From a distance, the Indian Stork looked like the flamingos - it was only when we went closer and noticed it was white and not pink that we realized the difference.

I wanted to watch the flamingos taking flight before I left. My prayers were, miraculously, answered as we just started to leave. However, it happened very suddenly and I did not get a chance to get a good shot of these birds. The picture below is the only image that I managed to capture of them flying towards the horizon. I waited for some more time to get a better picture. However, the birds just remained at the creek after that, and seemed to be in no mood to take off - despite me screaming at them, "Fly, you funny, stupid birds! Fly!"


I wish to return to Sewri again, next year, and spot more birds, and, hopefully, take some better pictures. Next year, I hope to reach the place even earlier. Getting to the Sewri creek is not easy - my friend and I discovered that the road leading up to the creek from Sewri station is quite deserted, and filled with shady-looking men. We concluded that it's best to go there in the earlier hours of morning when there are more people who are assembled there to watch the birds. The later one goes, the fewer are the bird-enthusiasts, and the more difficult it is to return. We were lucky enough to get a lift back to the station from a couple. They were visiting the creek for the third time - on the last two occasions, they had not managed to spot the flamingos despite waiting patiently for over four hours. They felt extremely fortunate for having, finally, caught a glimpse of these birds. I guess good things always come to those who wait. It was one of those rare, pleasant mornings for me...The flamingos will stay in Mumbai until next week after which they will fly back to their original breeding grounds in the Rann of Kutch. So, if you do not want to wait until the month of November to spot these birds, it is best that you head to Sewri this week and allow the pats of flamingos to delight your senses. 

14 comments:

  1. Nice pics Divya .. Watching birds is a wonderful experience. Actually we can spot so many different colourful birds everywhere if we observe well enough.

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    1. Thanks Aarthy :) I have never really been fond of watching birds - my access to them has been limited to bird-parks or zoos....But this was a very fascinating experience for me!

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  2. Undoubtedly, you have a very nice blog :) Keep up posted in the future!

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    1. Thank you! Do keep visiting :D

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  3. Nice pics, Unfortunately I have not been endowed with the patience to watch birds and appreciate their eternally slow movements :-)

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    1. Ha!Ha! These were there in swarms and they weren't slow at all :)

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  4. Wow! I am sorry, as soon as I saw the snaps, I stopped reading your post... but those are awesome!!! back to reading now...

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  5. Yet another similarity :)

    Your post reminded me of my trip to Nalsarovar.

    Lovely pics, nature has a magical way of soothing our fraying nerves so beautifully.

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    1. Never been to Nalsarovar...But yes, I agree with you on what you said about nature :) There is something about the natural landscapes that just soothes me and calms me down each time I get frizzled!

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  6. Nature's magic never fails :)
    Been busy lately and so haven't been able to drop by regularly...will catch up on the other posts soon...

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    1. No issues Reshma :) Thank you for finding the time to go through all my posts once you've returned :) It really means a lot!

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  7. I regularly read your post.... I really like visiting your blog and happy to follow you...

    Keep writing!!!

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    1. Thank you so much :) Glad you dropped a comment :) :)

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