Birdwatching on the mudflats of Nerul, Navi Mumbai (near Bombay, India) using a mirror lens

Today, I resumed my birdwatching escapades with BNHS. I started birdwatching in the December of 2009 and did a few trips with BNHS last year. I went with them to Nerul this morning. Let’s start with the ‘Lifers’, birds that I came across for the first time this morning:

The Black-winged Stilt or Common Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

I like the colours of the Painted Stork. It was a hazy day and smog filled the horizon. It’ll make beautiful photos on a clear day if one uses a good lens. I used my mirror lens for the first time today since briefly using it in Amsterdam. Its contrast seems to have reduced further. I had to enhance each of these photos to be able to see some colour.

The genus Saxicola (Etymology: “rock-dweller”, from Latin saxum, a rock + incola, dwelling in), the stonechats or chats

The Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata

Now coming to some of the other birds, those that I’ve come across before. Let’s start with the The Long-tailed Shrike or the Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach):

I’d come across it at Vikhroli. This morning, I was told that it is also refereed to as ‘butcher bird’ because it uses thorns on trees to pierce through insects. It does this either to store the thing for later, or because the thing is poisonous. It leaves the poisonous insect dangling there, pierced through the thorn of a tree for two or three days so that the poison loses effect. And then eats it!

The Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

The Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier

The Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)

These guys are said to be hunting! Or catching fish.

A couple of Kingfishers:

Juvenile Munias:

And the Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus):

The mangroves etc. here is a protected forest. No development is supposed to take place a kilometer from the coast. Well, there are huge skyscrapers about 300 meters from the coast. And the first such building to have sprung up  here was one exclusively reserved for Judges! Well, there you have it!





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15 responses to “Birdwatching on the mudflats of Nerul, Navi Mumbai (near Bombay, India) using a mirror lens

  1. What a splendid time you had to day with all these delightful birds to see. I’m jelouse………I need to get out more and do some birding but Harmony has its resident and transient birs. I saw a Malibar Hornbill this moening but the photos were not grat with camera shake….I must do better than this…Great captures indeed….despite the limitations of the mirror lens…….

  2. Thanks for sharing your photos. Indeed the hazy morning with poor light makes photographers unhappy. But I liked the place we visited today.
    I am happy that the Mangrove area is protected, at least the notice board said so. However you are right about the skyscrapers booming around !!!
    It was good to site 3 Raptors viz the Black shouldered kite, the juvenile Brahmini kite and the Osprey.

    I will make it a point to visit this place again.
    Keep in tough.


  3. sagar

    Hi..Where in nerul did you spot these birds? Was it near the lake or did you walk near the creek area behind dronagiri??

    Lovely pictures and amazing birds 🙂

  4. Sandeep

    Nice Nice….. You should do the ferry ride from Gateway of India to Alibaug or Elephanta caves…. Lots of birds en route…. Oh and carry some chakna… the birds love it 😛

  5. sekhar

    Friend.. how do I get to the mud flats in nerul… can you guide me ? thanks

  6. roopkamal agrawal

    hiii…cud u tel me where in nerul did u find dese birds?…actually i dont have much idea abt d place…so plz let me know d actual way to dese mudflats from nerul station..
    bt surely u have nice photography skills to capture beautiful pics of dese birds..:-)

  7. Hi ! I have also started birding a couple of months back and I live in NRI complex. Though I have started from scratch with a basic binocular and a Salim Ali book but have been able to spot a huge avian population in this area. Do let me know if anybody with similar interest wants to share facts and figures with me.

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