Mumbai is never short when it comes to surprises. Another nice surprise is the arrival of beautiful flamingos in this highly polluted and crowded metropolis.
The huge expanse of colorless mud flats in Sewri glow with the arrival of countless pink lesser flamingos.
Last year, around 12000 flamingos visited these mudflats.
‘‘No one knows exactly where the flamingos come from at this time of the year. Some experts feel that the birds fly here from the Rann of Kutch, where they normally breed,’’ Isaac Kehimkar, the spokesperson of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said.
The birds, he said, are annually seen at Sewri from the beginning of November till the beginning of monsoon next year.
Apart from flamingos, numerous other species including gulls, terns and waders can also be spotted at Sewri.
Encouraged by the growing number of flamingos visiting the mudflats, the Mumbai Port Trust has floated a plan to turn it into a magnet for birdwatchers and the general public. The five-acre stretch of mudflats, of which 1.5 acres will be taken up by the proposed park, would be secured for flamingos and other migratory birds.
The Mumbai Port Trust is drawing up an ambitious Rs1.45cr plan to develop an infotainment park around the Sewri mudflats.
This park would have a mini-theatre, projection facilities, an auditorium and water fountains to complete the outdoors experience. An interpretation centre, where one can learn about the biodiversity of the area and the importance of mangroves, is aimed at attracting children. About 70 per cent of the total amount allocated for the project will go into building this centre.
Officials feel that once the Sewri Fort is refurbished under a makeover plan, the mudflats would become a tourist draw If you wish to go for Flamingo Watching, you can take a habour line train to Sewri, and then take a taxi to Colgate factory. Close to the factory is this vast mudflat where you will see many birds. Best time is to go early mornings, between high tide and low tide. A good pair of binoculars, a cap and patience is the only things required to make this visit a memorable experience.
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