As flamingos arrived in Mumbai for their annual visit, Rediff.com's Hitesh Harisinghani visited Thane Creek to get a glimpse of the the pink beauties. He recounts his experience.
The pink-winged visitors have arrived in Mumbai and what better way to spot them in all their glory than attend a flamingo safari.
The safari, which was launched in February 2018, kicks off at the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre in Airoli near Thane.
Thane Creek is home to more than 200 species of birds, and is a must-visit for bird lovers.
The hour-long tour gives you a glimpse of the mangroves along Mumbai's eastern seaboard.
Age was a just a number here, as bird lovers between the ages of 10 to 60 managed to reach the centre at 7 am for the 7.30 safari.
Shabaaz Baamne, 37, from Mumbra was our guide for the day. As soon as the boat set off, the first thing he did was to warn us.
"If you have got any food to feed the birds, please don't feed it to them," he requested, explaining why the (junk) food we feed birds could affect their health.
During the safari, while everyone was in the look out for flamingos, people were also fortunate to spot seagulls, egrets, plovers, grey herons and the pied avocet.
Post monsoon, flamingos begin to visit Mumbai during the months of October and November, and they stay back till May.
Reports by The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) reveal that in 2019 around 1,21,000 flamingos visited the city.
In 2020, the city has already seen over 50,000 to 60,000 flamingos arrive and many more are expected to be in by March.