Every winter, thousands of greater and lesser flamingoes flock to the mudflats of Sewri in Mumbai from Kutch in Gujarat. The leggy creatures—whose pinkish hue comes from the pigment in the shrimp and algae they feed on—reach the Sewri jetty around November, and stick around until the monsoon arrives in June. According to The Hindu, 20,000 flamingoes were recorded at Sewri in 2015.
The Flamingo Watch organised by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on Sun January 15, 2017, aims to get city folk acquainted with the dainty birds. In addition to spotting flamingoes, visitors might also sight the heron, egret, ibis, gull, tern, sandpiper, and kingfisher. Volunteers (with binoculars) will be present to assist bird-watching and tell visitors about habitat conservation, and answer any questions. While the Flamingo Watch is a two-hour event, BNHS will also host a day-long Flamingo Festival soon, when activities include getting a temporary pink flamingo tattoo.
This could be one of the last times these birds visit Mumbai in such large numbers. If construction on the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link begins later this year, as is expected, their migratory routes may change.
Where Sewri, Mumbai.
When Sun January 15, 2017; 8.30-10.30a.m.
Getting There Mumbai has its own airport, and major railway stations including Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus. The closest local railway station to the jetty is the Sewri railway station on the Harbour Line, accessible from CST, Andheri and Navi Mumbai.
Entry The BNHS Flamingo Watch is ticketed at ₹200. Registration is on the spot. It’s likely to be sunny; carry a cap and drinking water.
Details To join the Flamingo Watch, turn up at Sewri station (East) at 8.30a.m., from where participants can walk or drive to the site. Use the Google Maps link here. For details, call Hornbill House at 022-22871202/ 22821811 from Mon-Fri, 9.30a.m-5.30p.m, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the website and the Facebook page for updates.