Over the weekend, i went to visit my grandma at my aunt’s place – who had just got back from an evening of flamingo watching at Sewri.
i’ve always heard and known about flamingos in Mumbai, and just been lazy about attempting to actually go spot them myself. Until now.
So without further ado, i made a plan to make it happen today itself! Uncle and Aunt told me that it’s best to visit post 4 pm, when the tide is low. This was contrary to all the info i had so far – about doing so in the mornings. But then, it kinda made sense. Since Sewri faces east, mornings would mean only silhouettes of the birds against the sunrise.
The Eastern part of Mumbai – the Dockyards, primarily a Mumbai Port Trust region has been one of the most neglected, hidden and enigmatic places of the city for me. i knew literally nothing about it. Much of it is just massive warehouses for cement now, besides petroleum.
i had bookmarked ‘Sewri Fort‘, ‘Flamingo Point‘ and ‘Kerosene Jetty‘ on Google Maps, as the spots to visit for the bird sightings.
But the best spot turned out to be just next to the Sewri Fort…
it’s best to go with either binoculars or a telephoto lens / camera with a zoom lens (like i did), to be able to study the birds up close. There were hundreds and thousands of them, but they were pretty far off for the human eye to even distinctly identify them as flamingos.
@exoticgringo Mumbai's favourite visitors! Check them from the Airoli bridge at low tide. Not as many, but closer. Even in Vashi!
— sandeepachetan (@sandeepa) December 13, 2016
Finding taxis around is very difficult, so i’d recommend going with your own vehicle or hailing a Uber / Ola cab (expect a minimum 10 minutes wait).
Post the flamingo spotting, i then went to check out Bhau Cha Dhakka – another Mumbai landmark i had never visited! For fish eaters, this is where the freshest catch arrives early in the morning. But today, i chose to take a random joy ride over to Mora (en route Uran, Rs.55 for a one way journey).
Even with a speed boat, the journey took me about 45 minutes and it was too dark to be able to explore Mora – but i walked for about half an hour inside the fishing town and caught glimpses of the simple life of the fisherfolk, mentally making a note to return and explore more.
i have a feeling that this would be a better place to watch the flamingos up close…
So watch this space for Mora! 😉