Monday, April 18, 2011

Event-Flamingo Festival by BNHS, 16 April 2011

Hi good day!
I had mentioned I had a few activities to do in these 3-4months. Guess what, I did all of them :).
The last one left & which I had lost hope of was: Going to pay the Flamingos a visit.
Last week heard an announcement on the Radio, that BNHS has organised a 'Flamingo Festival' on 16th April 2011.
I was super excited, checked the BNHS site, mailed a few friends, mailed the organizers for more details. I was set for Saturday, 16th April 2011.

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
The event was organised at the Sewri Jetty, a favourite spot for the Flamingos migrating from Gujrat, Kuttch. It started from 2pm-7pm.



Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
The BNHS had organised free bus rides for the people till the Jetty which was 10mins walking from Sewri station (E). I was suprised at the turnout of people. Looking at the queue I decided to walk it.

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
The jetty has the plants of companies like Indian Oil, HPCL. The area is shady & lonely most times. So I was stopped by one of the volunteers & advised to go with a group & not alone. He arranged for a couple of college kids going to the jetty to take me along.

From the jetty you could easily see the Flamingos in the distance. BNHS had arranged for an information tent, telescopes, food,water,juices on sale.

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
There was a queue you had to wait in to get on the boat & get a closer view. This queue was much much longer than the Bus one. Fortunately, met a girl who I had met on NO TV day & Bus ride around south mumbai, she got me in line with her group. There were toddlers, senior citizens, ladies in sarees, media,... everyone wanted to say Hello to the flamingos :)

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
What a crane!!! Its lowest measurement must be in tons only.

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
The marshland where the Flamingos breed. These come from Gujrat, Kuttch border around Dec-March in Mumbai at Sewri & Mahul marshlands from recent years. The common public didnt know about this, but when awarness was raised about their reducing in number its popularity rose. In the distance you can see the HPCL plant.


Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri JettyThe area around HPCL had a thick layer of flamingos, wish I had a better camera & could reach the other side. But after 26/11 the area is blocked & strictly no photography allowed there.


Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty

But the crowd spread in front of us didnt disappoint us. It is said they are gregarious birds. They were busy gobbling food found in the marsh & dropping poop all the time. As the tide was coming in, they were coming near to the boat we were on.


Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
Flamingos are of 6 types. These are called 'Lesser flamingo'. The white ones you see along with them are their kids or juveniles(not adult still). Read about them here.



Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
Check the paparazzi for these celebrities :). If you observe the crowd on right is on land & they are in queue to get on the boat. Check out the cameras each one was carrying!



Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
The shutter-bags on top getting the best view & see their high end cameras with huge lenses.

Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
This standee at the information tent had information I didnt get on the internet. Flamingos are mentioned in literatures as Agni pankh(flaming wings), Mrinal kanth(Lotus throated ),... Click on the image to enlarge it & read.



Flamingo Festival,16 April 2011,Sewri Jetty
BNHS was trying best to spread awareness with signature campaigns, painting flamingo tatoos, selling Tshirts, books,....

YEAH, mission accomplished!!! :) The skin rashes & tanning doesnt matter now :D

Tips:
-Go around 7:30am, they are quite around the jetty.One hour after the tide goes out.
-Go in a group as the area is not safe.
-Be prepared to sit for hours & clicking the same shots multiple times, waiting for them to fly & capture that shot. I clicked around 150 shots & got 1good shot at them spreading their wings for a split second. All the best :D
-Check with the workers on the boat if your group can come on board, since these are private boats, the police & they can create a problem.

Check out other adventures I have been to ;)

Event-Mumbai Cyclothon 2011, 13th Feb 2011

Mumbai-No TV day-Heritage Walk in an open Bus!

Mumbai-NO TV DAY-29th Jan 2011

Nature-Walk the Mumbai Trees-Part 1

Event: Mumbai's Biggest Diwali Party 2010

Trek-River rafting at Kolad

Trek: Tungareshwar-2010

Trek:Karnala Fort

Sailing at Gateway of India!

Tour De Web18-2010

Mumbai Marathon 2010

Travel: Raigad Fort Trek 2009

Travel- Kanheri caves !