Although the city’s pink-feathered guests are still to arrive at the Sewri mudflats, various groups are organising bird watching tours for bird lovers to ogle at the 60 other species of migratory birds.
Unseasonable rains and the loss of feeding grounds could be the possible reasons for the delay in the arrival of flamingos, say bird lovers. But several other migratory birds such as the tern, rosy pastors, curlew and wagtails have flocked the city’s wetlands. “A good amount of rare birds from Arctic, Tibet, Africa have come to the city,” said Anand Pundharkar, director Sprouts, a green non-government organisation.
“Birds are in abundance in city’s wetlands,” said Raju Kasambe, bird expert of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). In December, BNHS organised a trip for bird watchers to the Elephanta Island and caught the flocks of eagles, flycatchers and wobblers.
The absence of flamingos is a result of destruction of the feeding grounds in Uran and Sewri. “This year there are no birds in Uran as the wetland has been reclaimed and has been converted into barren land by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust,” said Dr Sangeeta Dhanuka, who has been fighting to save the Uran wetlands. In the past, the city has played host to two types of flamingos — the greater flamingoes coming from Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and lesser flamingos that fly in from Africa and the Middle East.
The bird migration begins in December and the birds stay in Mumbai for almost four to six months.