Saturday, October 23, 2004

Uran-Birding in Uran & Karanja Naval Base (23.10.04)

Hi All,

After an exciting trip to Uran yesterday, I had an opportunity to visit Uran today (23rd Oct’04) again with some top Naval officers including Vice Admiral Mr.Krishnan, Mumbai.

Mr.K.B.Singh had organised a birding trip for the naval officers to the naval base at Karanja & JNPT mudflats around Uran. About 20 people including some very enthusiastic kids were present for the introductory birding session.

The naval ship took us from Lion gate (Opp. Hornbill house) at 6.00 am to Karanja. The naval base here is not only beautifully maintained but also turned out to be very rich in birds and plants.

An introductory talk by K.B.Singh set the pace and mood for the ever so willing group, almost all of whom were new to birding. A short walk along the naval base yielded many interesting bird species including a pair of common grey hornbills, spotted owlets, small minivets, shikra & Common Iora to name a few. The group was very receptive and the kids in particular were very fast to grasp whatever was delivered to them.

Further towards the JNPT mudflats we saw Marsh harriers, W.T.Kingfishers, Blue tailed bee eaters and egrets from the navy bus……. K.B. was also so dedicated to show the birds that he was stoping the bus for every bird seen, giving an impression of a wildlife safari from bus (Just kidding …..).

The bird numbers though were not as encouraging as yesterday (No Pelican & Flamingos) yet the species were well represented with plenty of Black winged stilts, Coots, Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Black tailed Godwits. The group watched with admiration the beauty of Pied avocets and their delicate upturned beaks, the handsome stance of the Grey and Purple Herons, the greenish bronze sheen of the glossy Ibis…The group was even surprised when they were informed that the ducks migrate from such distant places and are the highest & fast fliers.

The return journey gave an opportunity for a revision and the group came up with flying colours and were surprised that in a matter of couple of hours, so many different birds were seen …… I was sure the group had developed SENSITIVITY towards nature.

Here is the complete list of birds reported today during the trail.
1) Black Drongo
2) Barn swallows
3) Spotted owlets
4) Common grey hornbills
5) Small green bee eaters
6) Common Ioras
7) Baya weaver nests
8) Red whiskered Bulbuls
9) Red vented Bulbuls
10) Common Mynas
11) Pied starlings
12) Red Munias
13) Roseringed parakeets
14) Alexandrian parakeets
15) Purple rumped sunbirds
16) Purple Herons
17) Grey herons
18) White throated Kingfisher
19) Glossy Ibis
20) White Ibis
21) Cattle egrets
22) Intermediate egrets
23) Little egrets
24) Large egrets
25) Western Reef egrets
26) Black tailed Godwits
27) Red Shanks
28) Green Shanks
29) Common Sand Pipers
30) Marsh Harriers
31) Brahminy kites
32) Shoveller ducks
33) Common Coots
34) Plain Prinias
35) Tailor Birds
36) Small Minivets
37) Black winged stilts
38) Pied avocets
39) Shikra
40) Long tailed shrikes
41) Blue tailed bee eaters
42) Red wattled Lapwings
43) Gull billed terns
44) Magpie robin
45) Purple moorhens
46) Little ringed plovers
47) Little cormorants
48) Lesser whistling ducks
49) Little stints
50) House crow
51) House sparrows

As we are aware that there are many such Army and naval bases that because of strict patrolling and protection has turned to be excellent places for wildlife to thrive and Karanja Naval base was no exception. It was good to see people from the armed forces sensitised towards nature.


Happy Birding

Addi The Birde

* Many thanks to K.B.Singh, Vice Admiral Mr.Krishnan and all others for giving an opportunity to explore an excellent new place for birding.