Sunday, September 28, 2003

Uran-Red Necked Phalarope (28th Sep'03)

Hi Birds,

Had a good birding on Sunday....................

Joined Sagar Mhatre & Sanjeev Naik preety late at around 11.00 in Uran (After the morning mess-up...I had to go to Goregaon for the wild flower trail),Who were busy Photographing Signature spiders,which were in hundreds , along with painted grasshoppers.

Waders were few but species were well represented,But the clear highlight of the day was a Red Necked Phalarope (RNP).

While scanning the area for waders on my bike (The waders feed pretty close to the road during the start of the migratory season and are very easy to approach in vehicle),I saw one group of waders that included predominantly Ruffs (One with the Br+ Plumage with white head),Little stints,Blacktailed Godwits,Red Shanks & a couple of Ruddy Turnstones(these are seen very often now along Mumbai shores). One wader ,caught my eye,as it was actually swimming while feeding (while the others were feeding along the shore). On closer inspection thro' my Bino's I saw the Greyish body with heavy steaking on the back,white below,dark eye strip ,a typical body shaped like a duck, a very pointed beak & very roundish head.These features were enough for me to get excited. My excitment was confirmed by grimskipp,as it was indeed, crearly the RNP.

We then proceeded in Sanjeev's Santro,so that we could photograph the bird at a close range ,Sagar photographed the birds from sanjeev's Santro, which were allowing us a close approch ,to about 20 ft ( Though the occasional vehical would disturb the birds).A flock of Black-winged Stilts were also resting on the other side of the shore ( Anish had mentioned PNP's association with Stilts ).

Some questions though ,about this bird.

1) Is this a first sighting for Maharashtra region (What is the status of distribution in India),as the Grimskipp & Humayun Abdullali's Checklist say's so (I have yet to go thro'any references in JBNHS or Other such Journals & Books)

2) Could this bird be just a straggler(as only a single individual was seen amongst a mixed Flock) or we Tend to overlook this species.

Any Response.........

Other interesting sightings were ,a Juvenile Marsh harrier,a grey wagtail,Longtailed shrikes (Which seems to have arrived everywhere),Heugliens Gulls(62),whiskered & Gullbilled Terns,Curlew Sandpipers,Glossy Ibises(13),Prinias,Red & Scaly breasted Munias,Brahminy Mynas,A Juvenile Brahminy Kite, A flock of Ducks ? flying high above.

Also found 2 nest of plain prinias,1 nest of oriental Sky Lark,1 Nest of R.V.Bulbul,3 Nests of Scaly breasted Munias,Several of baya & Black Breasted weaver's nest(the later was also a new find last year after 52 years).

A painful sight however was, the road opp the JNPT Police Station is dumped with truckloads of Garbage all over.With nobody to bother , it should not be surprising to see this patch as yet another dumping ground.