A sequence of images showcasing the landing pattern of a flock of Lesser Flamingos at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.
Watching a flock of flamingos land is vivid display of coordination, discipline and skill. Being the large birds they are, Flamingos deploy a different strategy compared to their smaller feathered counterparts. As they approach their landing zone, the flock often takes multiple trips in the air in a circular fashion, slowly descending into the area cutting down their momentum with each drop in height. When they reach an ideal combination of lowered height and momentum, they land into the holding pond to join their counterparts. They even deploy their wings to glide and often flap them, possibly to cut down and counter even more momentum.
No wonder humans deployed this brilliant technique in the aviation world where aircrafts use a similar strategy while landing on an airstrip, a manoeuvre very much favourable in a crowded city like Mumbai.
A flock of flamingos make their way around the holding pond in unison like that of a marching parade, as seen at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.
Sights like these are a regular during the birding season. Though there are hundreds of birds that are either resident species or migratory visitors, nothing beats the spectacular show put up by the flamingos. Be it their ‘larger than life’ figures, the vibrant coloured feathers or the precision they maintain while flying past or landing, watching them in this region has been a favourite of mine.
Having seen many birds during my time, being able to witness these magnificent beings descends from the skies often seems like a dream, too good to be true. But what is more captivating is the fact that these birds and sightings are so accessible to witness, this close to home- something that is one of the true boons of this land.
An army of Ants scale and attend to the tender leaves of a bush during sunrise at Seawoods.
Ants are one the best examples of teamwork, selflessness and dedication in the natural world that I am personally aware of. The amount of work they do with the precision they possess is hysterical indeed. One could learn great lessons of teamwork and management from these little soldiers just by tuning in into their schedule. But make sure you have the time – even one brief moment of your absence and they vanish without a trace!
Each scout a pawn takes is potential death is disguise. But that does not stop them, as they seem to be aware of the fact that whether it is life or death, it is for the greater good and that the whole existence of their kingdom depends on their actions, which they perform dedicatedly.
Thus even the smallest link is equally strong and important as the largest one.
Tender leaves sprout out on one of the many bushes lined up at the holding pond at Seawoods amidst a rather dramatic monsoon climate that has been engulfing most of the area for the past few days.
The monsoon comes as a much relief after the heated summer. Even though unpredictable in nature, the often heavy spells are a blessing much needed.
The silhouette of an Indian Cormorant, perching on the branch of a tree, during early hours of the day at Seawoods.
Cormorants are indeed amazing birds to watch. They are seen often around the different water sources around Navi Mumbai. Their favorite spot though seems to be the the lone poles that stick out of the water (at the holding ponds) where they perch on the top, spread their wings and often pretend to be ‘dancing around’, a behavior called ‘sunbathing’ or ‘wing drying’. There are many theories and explanations for this behavior ranging from ‘the dry of wings’ to ‘regulating body temperature (“thermoregulation”), though much of these are speculated.
But whatever be the reason for the behavior, these birds are indeed a charm to look at and just make your day.
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
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.