AIROLI 19.147500°N 72.987222°E
Flamingos are seen on the mudflats along the Thane Creek in Mumbai. The flyover between Mulund and Airoli (Airoli Bridge) serves as a good vantage point. Waders like Redshanks, Godwits and Gulls & Terns are some of the other species found here.
The Gull-billed Tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
The mangroves along the Thane Creek, at Airoli are being destroyed. And the land reclaimed.
We saw them chop off the mangroves with axes in an attempt to reclaim the land for ‘development’. Truckloads of debris were being brought in and dumped into the leveled marsh every ten minutes. Acres and acres of mangroves have been destroyed. Skyscrapers and highways shall replace them.
“It is still a good habitat for birds”, said the BNHS guide “but for how long?”
Highways and skyscrapers would have replaced all of these mangroves by the year 2020. Perhaps even earlier.
The Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
The Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica
The Ashy Prinia or Ashy Wren-Warbler, Prinia socialis
The Asian Pied Starling, Gracupica contra, also known as Pied Myna
“Abroad, birdwatchers get together, pool in their money and buy mangroves and other wasteland that are good habitats for birds and ensure that nobody destroys it. If we want to do something similar, we can, but we don’t want to! Nobody seems to have the time! Everybody is content living in their own little worlds.”
And a whole flock of Redshanks sat at he edge of a little pond:
The Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus
“I’ve never seen more than one Redshank at a time. I’ve seen one at Sewri, and the one from the bridge today…” I told the guide.
“Yes, that’s right. They come here and disperse! Now it is time for them to fly back. So they are regrouping!”
“Where do they go?”
“To the Himalayas!”
And here are some of the photos taken atop the Airoli Bridge:
The Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa (above and below)
Plovers, Stints, Redshanks etc. all along the mudflats:
A Gull here and a Gull there: