Bird watching offers an exclusive experience to us. People who love nature will surely love to spend some quality time watching beautiful birds, both native and migratory birds.
You can spend hours looking at a beautiful bird; you will never get bored. Nature has great, attractive gifts, and you should never miss exploring places, flora, and fauna.
To engage in bird watching, you do not have to travel far; your city will have many places to see various birds. This article will give you an idea about where to watch migratory and other birds in Mumbai. But before that, let us see what migratory birds mean.
What are Migratory Birds?
Migratory birds are birds that travel from one place to another. They can fly for long hours, even traveling from one country to another or continent to another. It is amid the breeding and wintering grounds many species of birds migrate.
10 Places to Watch Migratory Birds in Mumbai
While you trek towards the statue of Ganesha, you can see some beautiful shorebirds, such as gulls and terns.
A cemetery can be seen on the left side on your way back. You can turn to the left side and walk forward from that place.
The trail will take you to a field first, then goes under a railway bridge. A large swamp patch can be seen there with a path passing through.
In this area, you can see many species of birds that are rarely seen in Mumbai. In this area, you can see several species of birds, including cranes and bitterns, near the ponds and reeds.
The best time to see these birds here is during monsoons. You get to see birds like Yellow and Cinnamon Bitters, Rudy–breasted crake, striking watercock, slaty-breasted rail, etc. To reach Satpool, drive to Umesh Nagar in Dombivli and travel to Khandoba Mandir.
This bird sanctuary in Panvel is the first protected area in Mumbai because of the rich species of birds in the region.
You can walk through the trail to reach Karnala Fort, and on the way, you can spot the Grey-fronted Pigeon and the colorful Indian Pitta during late summer. The fort area is also a perfect place to see the Shaheen Falcon.
When the monsoon begins, you can see the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. Some rare birds like Ashy Minivet and Slaty-legged Crake can also be spotted in this bird sanctuary. Karnala is a region that has a rich forest area and is part of North Konkan. This is a good place to find Migratory Birds in Mumbai.
- Gogte Saltpans
This region in Vasai is becoming popular as a birding spot these days. Many birdwatchers visit this place to capture amazing pictures of various birds.
Some of the birds you can see in this region include Oriental Skylark, Greater Short-toed, and Rufous-tailed Larks.
Pipits like Paddyfield and Tawny can also be seen here. One of the utmost incredible sights in the last season was the migrant White Stork. A few birders have spotted Eurasian spoonbills and white-tailed lapwing a few times.
- Mumbra Hills
This area is located in the suburb of the Thane district and is famous among the devotees since the Mumbra Devi Temple is located here.
When you trek to the Mumbra Hills, you might be able to view some birds like the Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, Common Buzzard etc.
You might even see the beautiful Amur Falcons if you are fortunate. But this depends on the migrating season of the Amur Falcon. They pass by Mumbai every year above the hills of Mumbra. This region is also home to many small birds, reptiles, and rodents; thus, these raptors can be spotted easily.
- Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is located on the Nashik highway, about 60 km from Thane. The Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary offers the perfect habitat for Mottled Owls, Wood Owls, and Brown Hawk Owls.
Some rarely seen birds here are the Painted Francolin and the colorful Malabar Trogon. Birders also visit this sanctuary to get the sight of the endangered Forest Owl.
It is only in Tansa and Melghat where you can find the Forest Owl in Maharastra. People have also spotted this beauty in some Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh areas.
Some birdwatchers have also seen Besra Sparrowhawk and Rosy Minivet in Tansa, which are very difficult to be seen. This is another good place to find Migratory Birds in Mumbai.
- Arnala Beach
This beautiful beach in the Vasai – Virar region can be visited to spot various species of sandpipers and plovers. The beach has recently become popular among birders since the Eurasian Oystercatcher started gathering here.
Likewise, solitary Crab lovers can be seen here at the beach. The birding area at Arnala Beach is near the port. So birders should not confuse the area with the public beach region.
It is one of the smallest hill stations, and you can reach Matheran in just a few hour’s journey from central Mumbai.
What you can see in this evergreen forest are the different species of forest birds along with the endemic birds to the Western Ghats. The birds you can see here are Malabar Whistling Thrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Brown Wood Owls, Sunbirds, White Cheeked Barbet, and many more.
During winter, you can even spot the beautiful migratory Indian Blue Robin. The birding trail can lead you to a sunset point, and you can enjoy the forest’s mesmerizing view and bird calls.
Uran offers a suitable habitat for different birds as there are mangroves, grasslands, shrubs, saline and freshwater marshes, and reeds.
Due to the upcoming airport in Navi Mumbai and the proposed Special Economic Zones, a good area of the natural habitat is lost. But still, you can find two great birding sites here: Jasai Wetlands and Panje Village. En route to Panje from Jasai, you can spot many birds.
The birds you can spot here are Indian Skimmer, the Bristled Grassbird, Red-necked Phalarope, Rosy Pelican, Black Breasted Weaver, White Stork, and the Asian Desert Warbler.
Moreover, another rare bird that has only been seen a few times in our country, the Caspian Plover, can be seen too during winter if you are lucky enough. Furthermore, you can also see many waders and waterbirds in this region.
- Bhandup Pumping Station
This sanctuary is also known by the name Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. This region has recently become one of the favorite spots of birders.
This sanctuary has an extensive wetland and woodland habitat, perfect for numerous bird species like Baya Weavers, Yellow-eyes Babblers, and the Red Avadavat.
During monsoons, the Pied Cuckoo from Africa visits this sanctuary during their migration. You can also enjoy a boat safari with a local fisherman, and during the boat ride, you can spot Greater and Lesser Flamingos in large numbers. Waders, waterfowls, terns, and gulls can be sighted too.
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
A citizen science-based survey was conducted in this national park from 2014 to 2015 and recorded 194 species here.
You can spot the barbets, sunbirds, orioles, flycatchers, and woodpeckers in large numbers here. One of the rarest birds seen in this region is the Dusky Warbler.
In the 1930s, the prominent ornithologists Humayun Abdulali and Salim Ali recorded nearly 275 species of birds in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. You will be able to see the birds from the entrance of Borivali, which will lead you to the labeled birding trail. Another birding site near this national park is the Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
These are some of the best places in Mumbai where you can see different species of birds of the Western Ghats and as migratory birds. Besides these places mentioned above, Sewri in Mumbai also offers an excellent site for birding. The Bombay Natural History Society conducts an annual Flamingo Festival in Sewri.
It is not just flamingos you can see in Sewri, but many other species of wetland birds. If you have never been to a birding trail, you must try it at least once in a lifetime. What you can experience during bird watching cannot be expressed in words.
Time will fly when you go birding. Sometimes you must devote a few hours to see some of the rarest birds. But the contentment you will get when you spot one is lovely. I hope you have gained awareness about the places in your city where you can see various beautiful birds.
So, first, choose the location near you and enjoy birding with your family and friends. You can even get in touch with some professional birdwatchers and travel along with them for a better and more informative birding trip.