Bird watching offers an exclusive experience to us. People who love nature will surely love to spend some quality time watching the beautiful birds both native and migratory birds. You can spend hours looking at a beautiful bird, you will never get bored. Nature has great gifts that are extremely attractive and you should never miss exploring places, flora, and fauna.
To engage in bird watching, you do not have to travel far, your own city will have many places where you can see a variety of birds. This article will give you an idea about the places to watch both migratory and other birds in Mumbai. But before that let us see what migratory birds mean.
What are Migratory Birds?
Migratory birds are the type of birds that travel from one place to another. They can fly for long hours and they even travel from one country to another and even from one continent to another. It is amid the breeding and wintering grounds many species of birds migrate.
10 Places to Watch Migratory Bird 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. From that place, you can take a turn to the left side and walk forward.
The trail will take you to a field first and then it goes under a railway bridge. A large swamp patch can be seen there with a trail passing through.
In this area, you can see many species of birds that are rarely seen in Mumbai. In this specific 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 from there travel to Khandoba Mandir.
This bird sanctuary situated 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 summers. The area of the fort is also a perfect place to see the Shaheen Falcon.
When the monsoon begins, you can see the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. Some of the 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 region in Vasai is becoming popular as a birding spot these days. Many birdwatchers visit this place to capture amazing pictures of a variety of 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 also spotted Eurasian spoonbills and white-tailed lapwing a few times.
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 of the birds like the Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, and Common Buzzard, etc.
You might even get to see the beautiful Amur Falcons if you are fortunate. But this totally 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 and 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 Owl, and Brown Hawk Owl.
Some of the rarely seen birds here are the Painted Francolin and the colorful Malabar Trogon. Birders visit this sanctuary to get the sight of the endangered Forest Owl as well.
It is only in Tansa and Melghat where you can find the Forest Owl in Maharastra. People have also spotted this beauty in some areas in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Some of the birdwatchers have also seen Besra Sparrowhawk and Rosy Minivet in Tansa which are very difficult to be seen.
This beautiful beach in the Vasai – Virar region can be visited to spot various species of sandpipers and plovers. The beach has recently become very popular among the birders since the Eurasian Oystercatcher started gathering here.
Likewise, the solitary Crab Plovers 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 journeys 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 Pigeon, Brown Wood Owl, Sunbirds, White Cheeked Barbet, and many more.
During winters, 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 mesmerizing view of the forest and enjoy the 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 which are known as Jasai Wetlands and Panje village. En route to Panje from Jasai you will be able to 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 winters if you are lucky enough. Furthermore, you can also see many waders and waterbirds in this region.
Bhandup Pumping Station
This is a sanctuary which is also known by the name Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. This is the region that has recently become one of the favorite spots of birders.
This sanctuary has an extensive wetland and woodland habitat which is perfect for numerous species of birds like Baya Weavers, Yellow-eyes Babbler, and the Red Avadavat.
During monsoons, the Pied Cuckoo from Africa visits this sanctuary during their migratory period. 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 during the year 2014 to 2015 and recorded 194 species of birds here.
What you can spot here are the barbets, sunbirds, orioles, flycatchers, and woodpeckers in large numbers. 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 Western Ghats as well migratory birds. Other than these places mentioned above, Sewri in Mumbai also offers a great 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 surely try it at least once in a lifetime. What you can experience during bird watching cannot be simply expressed in words.
Time will fly when you go birding. Sometimes you will need to devote a few hours to get the sight of some of the rarest birds. But the contentment you will get when you spot one is wonderful. Hope you have got awareness about the places in your own city where you can see a variety of beautiful birds. So, first, choose the place near to you and enjoying birding with your family and friends. You can even get in touch with some of the professional birdwatchers and travel along with them for a better and informative birding trip.