It was a normal start to the day for me. I left for the hills early, hiking my way up and down through the route religiously. Gave my legs a cooling lap at the stream, as I listened to the wise old and fun couple crack sense and jokes, all at the same time. The usual stalking by a few ‘newer’ mini birds and a calf (a first in a long long time!) followed before I decided to head back to the base camp (the most rewarding part of the entire pilgrimage, as well as the most time consuming one!)
And then there were the usual ‘distractions’ to detour – a few more birds and invertebrates, which would make me stray yet again (but something I never really regret). I was hooked on to once such distraction and by the time we had enough of each other, I was lying on the trail, tired and hungry. The blazing sun had worn me out and I decided to take a few minutes off before heading back, laying there to review my bounty.
That’s when these Lilliputians showed up – trumpeting their arrival with pants, scouting and securing the trail, as their master trailed behind. As cute as they could get, I couldn’t resist and snapped a photograph, without their permission. But they weren’t impressed by my act and didn’t seem to like me either. As their attack got more vicious (cute, to be honest!), I decided to get up and clear the way for them. And as they passed by, they gave me that look which very well meant’ If we wanted you dead, you’d already be dead’.
And I was like, ok…
Yet another, best of days at the hills and a fun kick-start to the day!
The Alpha Female of the ‘wolfgang’ that rules the lakes, stares at the distance, making sure if the area is secure 😀
Yet another ‘best of mornings’ spent at home!
Made my way back to the backwaters after a really long time. And this was the sight that welcomed me.
With the influx of the heat wave that had been steadily building then fluctuating since the past few days, the water levels at the holding ponds have come done considerably. Area that usually used to submerged have surfaced. It’s not clear (to me) whether if it’s due to the tidal effect or the heat. But the place indeed looks much deserted, like it was most of this year.
P.S – Had this building not been there (in the frame and in life), this picture would have been even more pleasing to my eyes.
Two Gull Billed Terns take turns to scope out fish while hovering over the holding ponds at Seawoods during early hours of the day.
The holding ponds at Seawoods and much of the area, in and around the creek harbor a vast number of marine and aquatic species. The area also has a decent mangrove cover (which is slowly depleting due to many factors). Aquatic and Marine birds are often found flying in the region and the place is visited by migratory birds during the season.
But given the fact that these wetlands and similar natural hotspots (around Navi Mumbai) are considered as ‘wastelands’ by people, the place slows get ‘developed’ and much of the region turns into a concrete jungle. The quarrying activities at multiple points on the foothills of the Parsik Hills range, the MIDC area, the Palm Beach Road and Seawoods are some proofs of that ‘development’. While making way through the Palm Beach Road, one can often see signs like ‘Proposed Golf Course’ (near Seawoods or Akshar Building Signal) or ‘Proposed Public Maidan’ (before Nerul or BBQ Nation signal) which are put up by CIDCO. If these projects materialize, pictures like the one above would only be a memory and end up in archives of a long lost past. No, it wouldn’t be the final nail in the coffin but it sure would be step closer to that.
And after all it’s man who needs a coffin
An Indian Palm Squirrel stretches itself out on the service shaft ladder during the early hours of the day at Mumbai.
Like most wildlife in the region, these small and cute rodents have witnessed a boom in population during the last few years. They are often seen doing daredevil stunts like scaling straight walls, from the bottom to the top and vice versa and often come inside homes, either due to curiosity or in search of food. Even though their climb to the very top possess a threat to them and they often end up battling for life with the Black Kites and Crows that try to pick them up, neither their population or their climbing seems to slow down.
A flock of Gull Billed Terns fly around the holding pond at Seawoods during early hours.
The water at the ponds recede and rise frequently. Sometimes it’s controlled by the local fishermen who come to fish in the area with the help of check dams at different locations and otherwise, it’s due to the tides. And as the water had receded today, the ponds saw a lot of different birds who had gathered to get hold of an easy meal in the shallow waters.
A trio of Painted Storks land at the holding pond at Seawoods during early hours.
These big birds take a good area to land, dropping speeds gradually and often glide before they reach the surface of water and finally land.
Two Painted Storks fight for their share of the catch during early hours at the holding pond at Seawoods.
Getting a catch, a competitive business as ever, often leads to quarrels and the options are to either get your catch and fly away to enjoy your meal (which also has the risk of having your meal fall down during flying away at haste!)
Or the option is to fight it out..
A Painted Stork flies past with a catch during early hours at the holding pond at Seawoods. Getting a catch is a highly competitive business especially when the whole flock is concentrated at one point of the pond. And this one decided to have it all for itself and flew away from the group to enjoy it’s meal alone.