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Monsoon Magic Transformation @ Tungareshwar WLS, Nea r Vasai, Mumbai (9.6.13), Maharashtra – A Trip account

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  • Adesh Shivkar
    Dear All, Realized that I had not posted a birding account on this forum for long.... blame it on facebook :-) Never-the-less here is a trip account of last
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14, 2013
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      Dear All,

      Realized that I had not posted a birding account on this forum for long....
      blame it on facebook :-)

      Never-the-less here is a trip account of last sunday (9.6.13) from
      Tungareshwar WLS.

      The un-expected lashing monsoon showers in the morning threatened to derail
      the monsoon magic trail to Tungareshwar WLS, but was unable to dampen the
      spirit of over 40 people who came out to witness the transformation of the
      forest floor and greet the rain Gods....

      It had stopped drizzling when all of us met at the gate of Tungareshwar WLS
      sharp at 7.30 am, when the Indian Cuckoo greeted us with its �Kaka Kaku�
      calls followed by the Common Hawk Cuckoo (a.k.a Brain-fever Bird). One
      could quickly estimate that the climate has changed the visual scene of the
      forest and which was corroborated when we started the walk. A brief pause
      of the showers gave an opportunity for the birds to be hyperactive, though
      we didn�t actually sight many birds, we could still see them through our
      ears. The forest was reverberating with the calls of Crimson Sunbird (now
      split as Vigor�s Sunbird), Grey-breasted Prinia, Greater Racket-tailed
      Drongo, Thick-billed and Pale-billed Flowerpeckers, Golden-fronted
      Leafbirds, Red-vented Bulbuls, Common Mynas, Oriental Magpie Robin etc.

      The forest floor indeed showed signs of �Transformation� with the Ephemeral
      lilies like Chlorophytum tuberosum already emerging with flowers along with
      Curculigo orchioides (Kali Musli) and Curcuma sps.(Hill turmeric). There
      were crabs everywhere, especially the females with a bunch of babies in
      their pouch waiting to be released in a suitable pool of water. The �Bird
      dropping moth� was particularly common, with its amazing deception of a
      �bird dropping� enough to fool its predators and us humans alike. A lone
      stick insect tried to scamper away at the edge of the path, but not before
      being noticed and giving some photo ops for the eager lensmen & women. A
      Jewel beetle and the numerous Red silk cotton Bugs added colours to the
      otherwise predominantly green surroundings. The spiders too have become
      active and the ants were seen tending the aphids to �milk� their sweet
      nectar. Mushrooms of all shapes & colours have started growing on the dead
      wood and help catalyze the process of returning the nutrients back to the
      soil. Crematogaster ants �Pagoda� nest and Harvester ants �Concentric
      Nests� were seen coming up everywhere. Several Other Ephemeral plants like
      the Spiral Ginger (Costus sps.) have started showing up. Not to forget the
      burrowing frogs which came out of their summer hideouts. The fruits of
      Madhuca indica (Mahua), Terminalia tomentosa (Aain), Schleichera oleosa
      (Kusum), Haldina cordifolia (Haldu), Bombax ceiba (Red Silk Cotton tree),
      Garuga pinnata (garuga), Mangifera indica (Mango), Syzygium cumini (Jamun)
      and many other large trees were spread across the forest floor and have
      started sprouting already. A dead Cheekered Keelback (Water snake) and a
      Common Krait along with a few Calotes and Skink lizards represented the
      reptiles, thus completing the list of diversity.

      A Myriad insect species have suddenly emerged from no-where and enthralled
      the participants with their character and camouflage. A Hawk Moth and
      Geometrid Moth merged so well with the background on the palm tree that it
      was very hard to notice them. An assassin bug covered itself with debris
      and almost became invisible. The 2 spinneret spiders took the shelter of a
      tree bark. The Ant lions were transformed into a dragonfly like adults.
      Some Butterflies were seen flitting merrily in joy as if welcoming the
      bounty that monsoon brought in.

      The rainy weather, didn�t allow us to see many birds, however, several
      people caught the glimpse of the star bird � the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.
      Some even saw as many as 6 different individuals. This �Jewel of the
      Jungle� and a much sought after bird is a breeding migrant to our region
      (North Konkan) from June to September. The melodious calls of Common Iora
      and Puff-throated Babblers echoed all over. The other birds that joined the
      symphony were Greater Coucal, Oriental Magpie Robins, Brown-headed Barbets,
      Black-naped Blue Monarch, White-rumped Shama, Crested Serpent Eagle and
      others.

      The Bio-diversity in Tungareshwar or any other forests during the monsoon,
      is there to see, only if we care to notice it.

      The Monsoons bring in new hope and is a reason of new beginning.....it
      brings about the transformation of the forest and we all witnessed it. For
      Birders, it gives an opportunity to appreciate other bio-diversity which is
      obviously connected to the birds. I am sure the participants were more than
      satisfied to have braved the rains and spent a few hours in the lap of
      Nature.

      Date: 9.6.2013
      Place: Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Near Vasai (45 kms from Mumbai),
      Maharashtra

      --
      I Believe In God, Only spell It Nature
      *******************************************
      One should not have a job, career or profession- only a hobby, passion and
      a cause


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