After keeping birdwatchers waiting for over a month, flamingos have finally arrived in the city.
“A flock of several hundred flamingos has arrived near Sewri fort in the Thane creek. However, the larger flock has not yet arrived. This is only the first batch,” said Sanjoy Monga, naturalist and photographer.
The flamingos mainly visit the Sewri and small flocks are scattered along the Thane creek and around Navi Mumbai.
Environmentalists are worried about the absence of larger flocks. “Flamingos is a very habitat and diet-specific bird and only if conditions are perfect at site do they attract large numbers,” he added.
The last couple of years have been disappointing for birdwatchers because of the delay in the arrival of the pink migratory birds. The usual visiting time has been mid-October since the time the birds started visiting the city in 1994.
“The larger flocks can be expected by the end of February and if the mercury level increases by then, they can even give the city a miss. This delay is because of the to the good monsoon in Gujarat [a known breeding site for flamingos],” said Avinash Kubal, deputy director Maharashtra Nature Park.
“Parts of Gujarat and Kutch still have large number of flamingos; with good numbers of juveniles,” added Monga, who recently visited the breeding grounds of flamingos in Gujarat.