Located to the western side of the Mumbai Pune Old Highway in Panvel town, lies an ancient lake called ‘Wadale or Ballaleshwar lake’. Originally spread over several hectares, this lake is now reduced to just few acres, thanks to rampant construction and land grabbing. The pond is renowned for the bloom of lotus flowers.
A solitary Lotus
Panvel although blessed with such natural lakes which could otherwise be a major recreational spots for relaxation and enjoying natures beauty, most of these lakes are now surrounded by housing societies and commercial activities.
The lotus in the lake blooms twice in a year around Diwali and June month which is onset of the monsoon. Although being neglected by civic authorities and local residents, the lake is being maintained by a private owner who is struggling hard to save it from ruined. The owner is often seen riding his small boat in the lake to clean the filth and collect some flowers which he sells in the local market.
This lake could have been a beautiful recreational spot to the residents however garbage dumping by the citizens and apathy of the civic authorities making it filthier and the birds are also vanishing. I have been there on a summer morning some years back to witness and capture this lake through my lens.
A) FLAMINGOS AND OTHER BIRDS @ SEWRI MUDFLATS, MUMBAI
Despite high decible hustle bustle and deadly pollution levels in Mumbai, they arrive in thousands to spend few months in this over crowded metropolis. Yes, I am talking about the pink feathered birds ‘Flamingo’. Besides Naigaon and one more location in Mumbai, Sewri seems be their favorite habitat as they come here in maximum numbers. NGO’s like BNHS also organise trips to this location on Sundays.
After acquiring a 55-300 mm Nikkor lens for my Nikon D5100, me and my Son Sahil (budding photographer and a nature enthusiast) decided to make it a day amidst the Sewri Flamingos. Courtesy my googling, we made it sure that we reach these mudflats by 9 am in morning when the high tide just started to recede. That was the most suitable time to have a closer look at these pink wonders.
Besides flamingos, the mudflats are also hunting grounds for some birds and more particularly Egrets. Sharing some of the interesting, funny shots of them. In the immediate next pic, an Egret was trying to encroach the territory of the Flamingos who were not so keen to allow him…
A Perfect Landing
Some abandoned barges and small ships anchored there may be for dry docking or breaking and they offer a good platform to shoot the Flamingos. Sharing below a Pegion sitting on the sides of of one such ship. Just click on the pic to see the feather arrangements in a high resolution image.
A Perfect Take off
B) BIRD WATCH @ URAN BEACH, NAVI MUMBAI
Uran, a small town on the southern coast of Mumbai is famous for the JNPT port and a giant ONGC refinery. However, this small town also attracts bird lovers as many species of local and as well as migratory birds visit here thanks to the numerous water bodies and comparatively quite environment. We (me and Sahil) spent an entire evening at the place and caught some beautiful creatures and scenes on our cams.