Saturday, November 03, 2018

2018-10-27 Seawoods Nerul

Birding in Navimumbai has always been rewarding but recently in the name of development lot of wetlands has been lost like Uran, Kille goathan and Kombudbhuje.

And there is danger to the remaining mangroves and wetlands especially the mangroves around Nerul.

One such amazing place which I have been visiting for years is the place near T.S. Chanakya and recently visited another place for the first time nearby at Seawoods.

In fact I had visited it earlier but only birded from this side of the fence while returning from Uran most of the times.

We reached just before sunrise and as we were driving along the fence we could see lot of ducks in the water body just next to the fence.

As we entered the path leading into the mangroves with waterbody on the left we started to hear the call of greenish warbler.

There were lot of ducks in the first waterbody. Most of them were pintails but there were also spot-billed ducks and little grebe.

Camouflaged pond herons seemed to take off from nowhere and then settle little further to again disappear in their camouflage.

A pair of small blue kingfisher were calling and making sorties continuously to catch their breakfast.

There was also a lone whiskered tern flying around and diving in the water once in a while.

With the sun rising behind the pond we tried to capture some ducks in actions against light.

Also moving ahead we got the small blue kingfisher sitting near the shore.

There was also a lot of butterfly activity and we could spot a huge number of solomon arabs, common grass yellows, hedge blues and gram blues.

At one place there was net tied to trap at the mouth of the opening to drain out water.

A wire tailed swallow was perched on a bamboo giving some good views.

At the same spot later got the juvenile too.

While waiting for the common kingfisher to perch nearby clicking a few flying birds and accidentally clicked a lone common pochard.

A common kingfisher too was going to perch but at last moment it decided not to and sat on a bamboo nearby.

A little ahead on the same road we got a feast of warblers - booted, clamorous, common Chiffchaff, Tytler's, lesser white throat.

Also got plain prinia and ashy prinia.

The second pond had around 30+ greater flamingoes and later 20+ lesser flamingoes joined them.

Also we saw more than 20 painted stork flying overhead.

Here is the link to ebird list.

While returning from Seawoods we decided to take a quick stop at Talawe near T.S. Chanakya.

In the water body there were lot of black winged stilts, sandplovers and stints along with atleast 20+ grey plovers with one of them in breeding plumage.

There were many gull billed terns and black headed gulls too and atleast 10+ caspian terns with their bright orange beak.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Spiti Trip 29th June 2018 - Part5 Kaza - Manali

Read Part4 Dhankar Monastery

The return trip to Manali took 12hours but there was a moment when we felt that we might have to spent a night in the vehicle.

We started at 6.20am from Kaza with packed breakfast.

The sky was getting blue and so we decided to make very quick stops for photography.
In fact till Lohsar which we reached around 9am mostly I did photography through my mobile.

On the way to Lohsar got 2 wonderful birds the Common Rosefinch and a very rare and first timer for me the Great Rosefinch.

After leaving Lohsar we took some photographs crossing kunzum and reaching batal at around 10.45am

Glacier view from Kunzum

Climbing down to Batal gave us some amazing views

At batal got the same birds as had got while coming 
Continued further to Chatru taking photographers on the way

At many places it seemed like the snow capped mountains were emitting smoke.

We reached Chatru by 2pm and had lunch here.
At Chatru there were lot of people sitting around in different dhabas.

First we thought it was because many trekkers must have arrived after completing the Hampta pass trek but then the driver got us the news that there is no vehicle coming from Manali since morning.

This was quite worrying because it was already 2pm so still it was around 3-4 hours to reach good road and if the road block on this road we might be stuck for long time and that too in some really harsh conditions. 

If it was near Rohtang then the chances were that it would get cleared and we would not get stuck.
So we started from Chatru towards Manali.

At many places the road was almost non-existent. It was like driving on river bed.

As we came near Gramphu we passed a vehicle from the other side and we got the news that the road had got blocked below Rohtang for 8 hours and that now it has got cleared. This news was quite relieving.

The weather started to get bad as we start to climb Rohtang and we reached Rohtang at 5pm.

At the top it was completely foggy with visibility of less than 2-3feet.

As soon as we crossed to the other side of Rohtang it became green with completely different landscape.

Finally we reached Manali by 6.30pm. 

It was quite a tiring day but the memories of last few days kept us fresh.

Even today when i am writing this blog after many months it make me feel very fresh and energized!!