Airoli's flamingo sanctuary to watch the migratory birds finally opens to public

Updated: Jan 31, 2018, 19:15 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Making good on its promise, the forest department will finally start boat rides to Airoli's Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary to spot the pink visitors, starting February 1

The migratory pink flamingoes will be in the city till the end of MayThe migratory pink flamingoes will be in the city till the end of May

Making good on its promise, the forest department will finally start boat rides to Airoli's Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary to spot the pink visitors, starting February 1.

The development comes nearly a year after the speedboats were procured for flamingo watching tours. Bird enthusiasts and nature lovers will have to shell out R5,000 for a seven-seater speedboat, which will take tourists on an hour-long ride into the creek, where several other bird species, apart from flamingoes, can be viewed. For tourists, who don't want to hire a special boat, there's also a 24-seater boat available, for which one has to shell out R300 per head during weekdays, and R400 during weekends.

The 24-seater boat that will cost Rs 300-Rs 400 a head

mid-day last month had reported that plans for the bird-watching trip had been suspended as one of the tourist boats had developed mechanical issues. At the time, an official had said that the services would begin mid-January or after that, once the technical glitches were fixed.

Confirming the development, Makrand Ghodke, assistant conservator of forest said, "Yes, the boat rides will begin from tomorrow. Mumbaikars can now watch the flamingoes from a close distance."

The seven-seater speedboat ride will cost R 5,000The seven-seater speedboat ride will cost R 5,000

Mayur Subhash Bothe, range forest officer (RFO) from the Thane Creek Flamingoes Sanctuary said that the rides will start around 11.30 am and will be scheduled during high and low tide timings. "We are expecting a good response. Apart from the flamingoes, one can also view other species of birds, while enjoying the pristine view of the mangrove forest patch inside the sanctuary."
The flamingoes arrived in the city only in early January this year, almost a month or two later than expected. According to bird experts, good rain in the Saurashtra region, where the birds arrive first, and environmental changes, are reasons for the delay. As the birds have arrived late, they will also stay for a longer period of time. They are expected to be in the city till May end.

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