Rare wetland bird spotted for first time in Mumbai at Thane Creek
The bird was spotted by wildlife photographer Sudhir Gaikwad Inamdar near the Bhandup sewage pumping station.mumbai Updated: Mar 01, 2018 00:21 IST
The Grey-headed Lapwing, an aquatic bird found in Southeast Asian wetlands, was spotted on Friday for the first time at the Thane Creek, Mumbai’s flamingo sanctuary.
The bird was spotted by wildlife photographer Sudhir Gaikwad Inamdar near the Bhandup sewage pumping station.
“Since Friday, I spotted the bird thrice over the weekend but it hasn’t been seen for the last two days. This is a vagrant bird. It is likely that it lost its way and drifted away from its flock. In such situations, they make a landing at ecologically favourable areas, get energised and fly towards their original habitat,” said Inamdar.
It is possible that the bird has already left the creek, added Inamdar.
Officials from the state government confirmed the discovery and said it was a rare find, especially in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
“The photo-documentation of this bird at the Thane creek has been confirmed as the first such documentation in the MMR. We have been witnessing several such rare species making their landing along the creek due to the presence of good nutrient-load. It is possible that they were not noticed earlier and are being documented now,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell.
While this might be the first documentation of the bird in Mumbai, it is not the first in Maharashtra. “The bird was spotted by birders in May 2012 in the Malkhed reservoir near Amravati, Vidarbha, which is probably the first documentation of the bird in the state,” said Vasudevan.
Naturalist writer and ornithologist Sunjoy Monga said a number of rare bird species have been spotted over the past few months, such as the Mallard (duck species with a green head and white ring on the neck) at the Lokhandwala Lake on December 24; the White-tailed Lapwing in Vasai in January; and even the Long-billed Dowitcher at the Thane creek earlier this year.
“Sporadic sightings of rare birds, mostly stragglers (one of birds moving away from their flock), have increased along the west coast. If more examples are spotted in the coming years, we need to analyse the reasons why these sightings are increasing,” said Monga.
Shashank Dalvi, ornithologist, said, “It is a very interesting sighting for Mumbai as the bird has been popping up more than usual along various locations along the west coast of India. The other reason for increasing sightings is the increase in birders and awareness to spot such rare species.”