A photographic diary of a birdwatcher. Travelling the world so you don't have to.
Sunday 19 September 2010
Powai Lake, Mumbai, India
This is an addendum post for Powai Lake in Mumbai (Bombay), India. My time was severely limited in that I had over-indulged myself in curry and lager the night before and couldn’t get up. This itinerary also had an early pick-up for the return flight, so time was crimped from both sides.
To add to my haste, we started at the wrong place. Vihar Lake is a dam and as such is a target for extremist activists. Therefore it is vigilantly guarded by a man with a stick and crooked teeth who protects the dam from terrorists and tourists alike.
The effects of the Monsoon are still being felt and an overnight downpour had left Mumbai dripping. My spirits were further dampened by another sharp shower as I sat in the traffic with Daljeet Singh Mann, but it didn’t last long and a misty sunshine shared the rest of the morning with the cloud.
Arriving at last at Powai Lake, I noticed that the water level was much higher than my visit in February and that the floating islands of weed which had previously held so many birds were gone.
Given the day all over again, I would have asked Daljeet to drop me further along the road to the east and had him return to the west end. This way, I could have walked towards him with the sun behind me and had a better view of the birds. Note to self; the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This holds true every day, all around the world.
Bronze-winged Jacanas and Indian Pond Herons flushed as I walked into the low sun, but I had a much better view (and a slightly clearer head) as I returned.
I noted a parakeet on top of a distant blasted palm and would have dismissed it as one of the abundant Rose-ringed Parakeet were is not for the size and the broadness of the pink collar. Closer inspection showed a blue/grey cheek and a gust of wind ruffled the upper coverts as I watched, to reveal a red shoulder.
It was an Alexandrine Parakeet which is still a common bird, but less often seen in town where the Rose-ringed reigns.
The higher water had inundated the informal track that I had followed last time and birding had to be done from the lake-side promenade. The bank-side weeds grow up to the walls of the walkway and Bronze-winged Jacanas can be seen from fairly close quarters picking through them.
Little Egret 4, Cattle Egret 5, Indian Pond Heron 10, Black Kite 30, Bronze-winged Jacana 5, Alexandrine Parakeet 1, Asian Palm Swift 7, White-throated Kingfisher 1, Red-vented Bulbul 1, Yellow-bellied Prinia 2, House Crow 40, Common Myna 10, Asian Pied Starling 2, House Sparrow 2.