The city may be scorching with temperatures in the high 30s all week, but an event this weekend is worth braving the heat for. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) is organising its popular Flamingo Festival tomorrow at Sewri, giving Mumbaikars a chance to catch a glimpse of these pink-winged visitors that the city loves playing host to every winter. This may be Mumbai’s last chance to catch the migratory birds in such large numbers before they fly out and the BNHS will
conduct several activities to make the day interactive and memorable.
Flamingos fly over the waters of a reserve at a flamingo valley near the town of Manaure, Guajira province. Reuters photo/Joaquin Sarmiento
“In addition to the greater and lesser flamingos, which are the star attractions at the event, visitors can also see several waders. These are birds that feed in shallow waters,” says Atul Sathe, manager, communications, BNHS. You could also spot other species of resident and migratory birds such as herons, egrets, ibises, gulls, terns, plovers, sandpipers and kingfishers, under the guidance of BNHS experts using state-of-the-art binoculars and spotting scopes.
A photo exhibition on flamingos and the coastal eco-system is also being held at the venue with 25 to 30 panels offering details on the subjects. Activities, which will be on throughout the day, include a face painting competition and you could also sign up for BNHS’s upcoming nature trails and education camps on the spot. “We are also organising something called ‘Span Your Wings’ for children, where they can spread their arms out and compare the length to the wing spans of birds, ranging from ducks to vultures,” says Sathe.
Around 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to attend the event that commences at noon and will go on till sunset. Sathe says, “However, the crowd will be spread out through the day and we have all the necessary permissions from Mumbai police and traffic cops in place. So controlling the crowd will not be an issue.”
Sewri railway station is approachable from CST, Kurla, Andheri and Panvel. BNHS has arranged for regular shuttle buses from Sewri station (E) from 11.30 am. The Sewri jetty is also approachable from the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) Road, by taking the lane opposite Sewri (E) level crossing.
The Flamingo Festival is on tomorrow, from noon till sunset, at Sewri jetty. Entry is free. For more information contact BNHS on 2282 1811 (till Friday 5.30 pm) and thereafter on 98673 19812, 98335 46508 and 98929 46044.