Budding ornithologists should head to the Bhigwan–Bhuleshwar Flamingo watch, to spot the fascinating feathered creatures as they announce their arrival around the city.
Flamingos can be spotted around the city in the coming months
Recently, a small town around the Ujjani Dam backwaters near Bhigwan, which is about 100 km away from Pune, has becomes a hotspot for migratory birds during the winter. The main attraction here is the arrival of Greater Flamingos. For this event, two expert bird-watchers (naturalists) will be guiding the group.
Cattle egret is one of the species that one would be able to spot at Bhigwan-Bhuleshwar
Bird-watching expert Kshitija Kulkarni informs, “The flamingos start migrating from the freezing conditions of Siberia to the western coast of India, especially the Rann of Kutch for breeding purposes. As the pressure of the total number of individuals increases in the later months, they move to other parts of the country like Bhigwan (Ujjani dam backwaters).”
One can also sight herons here
The backwaters are one of the few wetlands in Maharashtra where you can see the species. The expert shares that besides Flamingoes there are a number of other bird species such as herons, egrets, spoonbill, Asian openbill, Painted storks, and a wide variety of waders and water flows to be spotted here.
Gaurav Nalkul, the other bird-watching expert who will be guiding the event, states that the experience also helps in promoting environmental awareness. He adds, “The Flamingos migrate to the city only during this season. So, one can witness the dwindling numbers in bird population as their original habitats are now converted to human use.”
The water, soil and air pollution have ultimately affected everything in the food chain. Changing weather patterns have also played a huge role, says Nalkul. “Too long a dry season can dry up wetlands. Too long a rainy season will flood them further. For good habitat health, a balance between the seasons is required. Many large water birds are also hunted in countries they pass as they migrate,” conveys the naturalist and hopes that by witnessing the fragility of the species in person, more people will become sensitised to saving the environment.
On: November 23 and December 7, 5 am onwards
At: Bhigwan– Bhuleshwar, near Pune.