Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photos of the year - 2009

Find below selection of my own photographs clicked in wild in the calendar year 2009.
Bird of the Year - 2009

Name of Species: Accipiter nisus
Common Name: Eurasian (or Northern) Sparrowhawk
Family: Accipitridae
Photographed: 08th December, 2009
Location: Panorama Pt., Matheran
Lens: OLYMPUS ED LENS AF ZOOM 4.6 - 92 mm, 1:2.8 - 4.6

Flora of the Year - 2009

Name of Species: Arisaema tortosum
Common Name: Cobra Lilly, Sapkanda.
Family: Araceae
Photographed: 21st July, 2009
Location: CEC Land, South Gate, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai.
Camera: Olympus SP570UZ
ENS AF ZOOM 4.6 - 92 mm
Butterfly of the Year - 2009

Name of Species: Bibasis sena
Common Name: Orange-Tail Awl
Family: Hesperiidae
Photographed: 20th Otober, 2009
Location: Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Near Alibaug
Lens: OLYMPUS ED LENS AF ZOOM 4.6 - 92 mm, 1:2.8 - 4.6


Reptile of the year - 2009
Name of Species: Sitana ponticerana
Common Name: Fan-throated Lizard
Family: Agamidae
Photographed: 22nd Feb.,2009
Location: Barvi Dam, Badlapur, Maharashtra
Camera: Olympus SP570UZ
Lens: OLYMPUS ED LENS AF ZOOM 4.6 - 92 mm
Mammal of the Year - 2009
Name of Species: Axis axis
Common Name: Spotted dear
Family: Cervidae
Photographed: 17th June, 2009
Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Camera: Olympus SP570UZ
Lens: OLYMPUS ED LENS AF ZOOM 4.6 - 92 mm
Landscape of the Year - 2009

Photographed on 21st July, South gate, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mesmerizing Matheran

While my train was moving from Ulhasnagar to Neral, I was peeping out of my window and was looking at the green carpet and several water bodies generated by the rains. Moving train and passers were few Ibis, single greater coucal and spotted doves and solitaire wire tailed swallow perched on electrical over head wire. The 4th August of 2009 at 07.00 AM, these sightings in the rainy morning of monsoon were giving good indications that my tip to Matheran would be fruitful. This trip was specially designed to pic up a specimen of flower, which I photographed last time, just a month ago, in Matheran. The flower couldn’t get the attention of experts to ID it, hence a fresh sample was required. Here is the link of flower, I am talking about the flower is actually a small herb, photographed at Panorama point last time. Anyways, come to my report for the day. We three Jayesh Minde, Suhas Shirke & Me took a taxi from Neral stationa and headed to Dastoori point. Jayesh was excited about the day, since he is very fresh in photographing; especially birds and tigers are his main attraction. We reached Dastoori point at 08.00 and had some pet pooja and started our trail to Panorama point, which has become my hot spot for this hill station. Our day started with a whistling call of Malabar whistling thrush and a red vented bulbul just passed by our trail. Brown headed barbet’s distant calls were echoing in the valley. My first sighting was begonia crenata which had come up on the entire trail and even in the slopes of hill of Matheran, which we observed while descending. Pinda Concenenisis and justice procumbens dominated the carpet in little while, where the forest opens. My favorite flower was also just around the corner which was Tolypanthus laganifer Suhas and Jayesh took lot of time in photographing this flower from every angle. It drizzled thereafter for little time and we took shelter under tree canopy. I was in high spirits to collect a sample of the flower, hence didn’t invested much time in photographing the landscape. But, the serenity of this Sahyadri’s hot spot eco-sensitive zone was fresh after heavy rains. This time orchids were in bloom at the last part of trail, where earlier it was a grass land. I photographed Habenaria Grandifloriformis and habenaria foliosa . All my happiness vanished the moment I realized that flower, I have come to photograph and pick, is missing. I scanned the area, but it was disappointment for me. Although Sonerila scapigera given quite good shots, but all of those flowers couldn’t make me feel happy. Even this sonera Hypoxis aurea If anything at Matheran is worth to photograph, is only best of landscapes, if Flora and fauna is missing. I tired my hand on it and photographed the silver line of stream gushing down from hilltop to the plains We had our pet pooja again here, with a packet of biscuits and lot of gossip, we decided to return back. Perhaps this is time, when our cameras were not ready to photograph, which was there just round the corner. A full grown Male alpha languor along with its troop and Matheran’s pride Shekaroo (Indian Giant Squirrel Rafuta Indica). We had to track down from Dastoori point to Naral station, which is said to be apprx. 7 kms of walk. The walk, literally on hill slopes had much to offer for those who are into flower photographing, especially during monsoon. The Mathern was Fluorescent green and so were its waterfalls blue . A bracket fungus and another bracket fungus we photographed with bit of photographing locha Here a Forest Calotes, a garden lizard and Monitor lizard shown us their presentation. & In a little time, we descended very fast and also photographed some rare flora of sahyadri such as Impetiens Balsamina Trichodesma indicum & Neanotis Lancifolia By now it was 02.00 PM and all of us were exhausted with no stamina to go further down, we had our pet pooja again and took a rickshaw for Neral station. Thus ended our day at my best backyard of Sahyadri……MATHERAN.

For detailed photographs click on

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monsoon fascinates @ Tungareshwar

Monsoon fascinates everyone who is found of wild watching. So was I, along with my botanist friend Ugam Govari, who lives much close to Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Pre-decided to meet at vasai Rd. railway station, he was waiting for me at 06.30 AM of 23rd June, 09. Journey from my town started two hours before the scheduled time which is 60 kms away from Vasai. Having Idli and garma garam tea, at vasai station, we started our one day expedition to the holy world of WILDLIFE.

Thanks to welcome call of racket tailed drongo, just near the entrance gate of the WLS, ensured and guaranteed that this dense forest would be more rewarding in terms of sightings of flora and fauna of this less travelled PROTECTED FOREST near Mumbai. A rat snake criss-crossed our way and went into a burrow. Scarlet minivet gave us good pose to photograph it, but the lighting was other way round, which we given up. The flora of this pristine forest was at its bloom, as the monsoon had just started.

Wild Turmeric, Yellow ground Star and Forest lilies were seen on the forest floor, throughout the trail. Few activities of butterflies and birds, since it was sporadically drizzling on the day. But insect world was at its peak. Beetles, Bugs and flies were all around on every another step of the sanctuary. We ventured into a stream bed, where we saw red spurfowl last time, expecting similar sighting as well this day. But we were disappointed, when we saw that this stream bed seems to be lusting place for those who thinks this forest to be place for different enjoyment of teenage life. Packet of used condoms, cigarettes and broken bottles of beer were everywhere on the bed of this stream. The sanctuary was named after the Temple of Lord Shiva known as Tungareshwar in 2003, and at such holy sanctuary, these thing are never expected.

Blaming on the attitude of people, we headed towards the temple. A Local tribal woman, searching for jungle suran, gave few abusive words to us. I don’t know for what reason. Ignore her, was the only way out, to let her go ahead, on her way. Anyways, my tea addiction was not allowing me to focus on flora or fauna, but to search for tea stall. Having tea at stall near temple, we thought of taking water fall trail, which is just behind the temple, gushing down to the entrance gate. Here a local wished to guide us till the gate through this unknown waterfall trail. Which we agreed and with due respect, we offered him snacks and tea, which we had at temple. This local seemed to be a factory worker, a regular to the forest. Narrating his brief background and his attraction to the WLS, he spoke about his regular sightings in the sanctuary. He took us through the rocky terrain, where an Indian Spectacled Cobra was waiting for its feast. Slight movement and this reptile rushed away to the nearing burrow. But, its feast was really around, a garden lizard and forest calottes, on the branch of next tree to each other.

In a little time, our cameras came in deep trouble. Unequipped with proper rain gears, we welcomed or unwelcomed I should say the heavy rains. This is when I took my first WILD SHOWER on the stream of the season. But, how long I could have taken shower, concerned about my camera. I took a shelter in chakmak baba temple, nearing the gate. This temple is on the left hand side of the WLS, just after the main gate. A female land crab, carrying her next generation in her womb, given us good pose and so did a cicada, perhaps last of the season.

Sightings of the day


Urena lobata

helicteres isora

heliotropium indicum

datura metel

solanum surattense

cucurma pseudomontana

chlorophtum tubersom

currculigo orchiodes

amorphophallus commutatus

Galinsoga parviflora


Calotes Versicolor

Calotes rouxi

Mabuya carinata

Naja naja

Ptyas mucosa

Mabuya macularia


Gallus sonneratii (heard)

Megalaima zeylanica (heard)

Megalaima haemacephala

Cypsiurus balasiensis

Stretopelia chinesis

Milvus migrans

Spilornis cheela

Pericrocotus flammeus

Dicrurus paradiseus

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary on 28th Feb., 2008

06.30 AM was the time pre-scheduled for all we four (Ameesh, Niel, Saurabh & me) to assemble at kalian railway station platform no. 02. From here we were suppose to take train to Atgaon, which would have arrived at the atgaon station at 07.00 AM. No thanks to Saurabh for missing the train, and making us wait at the Atgaon station for almost 45 minutes. Another delayfull thanks to the Cab driver, who made us ait at the station for another hour of time, thus resulting in poor birding at tansa WLS. Anyways, having some Vadpav and cup of garma garam Tea, we left for Tansa WLS in the cab. We reached at around 10.00 AM at the main gate of Tansa WLS and after checking with the Forest guard Mr. Mhatre, we did bit of birding at the lake. Other than few garganeys and pond heron, cattle egrets, there was nothing, but few of tribal women washing their cloths with detergents at the edge of the lake. Far ahead, a guy was seen in tyre tube, catching the fishes of the lake. A single kestrel, few plum headed parakeets and lone hornbill made us feel their presence with single glimpse. Very soon Mhatre and two more guys joined us in the field trip. This field trip organized by Mr. Punam Singvi (Honorary wildlife warden of Thane Wildlife Division) to analyze the presence of predator-prey base in the degraded forest land of Tansa. Equipped with Binocs, Field guides on Mammals, reptiles, Birds, Flowers & Butterflies we decided to spend the whole day in search of anything which comes on our way, forming the base of wildlife. A first sighting on the Lake-Forest Rest Hose beat was of four common kestrel hovering above us in the sky. Soon, a spotted dove was chased away by single shikra. A rufous woodpecker and flameback woodpecker crossed our way. The flowerpeckers and sunbirds soon started dominating the sparse wooded area of the jungle. A rufous treepie and tickel’s blue flycatcher sat on single tree of Bombax Cieba near the rest house. A lesser spotted Eagle and black kite were seen up above the sky. By now it was almost 11.00 AM, and as usual I was desperate to have another cup of tea. My requested was granted and the FD personal agreed to serve us a black tea. Sipping the cup of tea and birding from the chair placed at Balcony, we spent five good hours talking about the fate of Indian wildlife and our experience to counter it. By 04.00 PM we were out again in the field. A lined birding was waiting here for us, with many surprises. The drongos and orioles were herewhere at many old grown trees, and so were the bulbuls and golden chloropsis. A sudden shout from Saurabh (actually excitement) invited all of us to look at the tree branch, he was looking at. It was none other but the Malabr Trogon, lifer for all of us. But, this excitement went of next second, when I realized, my camera’s battery went off, before could I had catch the snap of this bird. Anyways, it was fate of my luck, not to capture this momentous in my camera. We went ahead, by now we reached at the open grassland, near dry bed of stream. Argemone Mexicana (Dhotra in Marathi) dominated this dry bed stream, where the water existed some months back. This flower requires limited moisture to sprout, and that is I had seen this flower during the year, except monsoon.


Oops, forgot to mention, suddenly few ladies and many cattle (goats and cows) appeared n the grassland. And also a wasp searching for salt in our body. By now this was about 05.45 Pm and we had to return back to the office of sanctuary. We decided to pack off our day here and revert back. That walk took us another 30 minutes to reach the office, on the way we were interrogated by the BMC officials, patrolling the catchment area of the lake.


Finally after saying bye bye to FD guard Mr. Mhatre we took cab from the sanctuary to Atgaon station. On the way back to station, we were puzzled by the forest fire engulfed by the villagers.


With a commitment to revisit this BIRD rich area, we sat off to our home.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sariska Relocation - A reasonable move

End of 2004 Sariska lost its last tiger, and the state government took another 6 months to accept this bare fact that there are no more tigers in one of the best tiger reserve of this Nation. The State Government needed the evidence to prove that there are no tigers in its own Sariska, which were provided to them from the nation run WII.

Perhaps these were the evidence, strong enough to ensure that there can't be any tigers until unless these issues were not solved.

(1) 11 villages inside the tiger reserve, with 1000s of families living upon the forest resources - some having background of poaching ( AS PER THE MANAGEMENT PLAN OF TR).
(2) One of non-regulated traffic ( Round the calendar, round the clock ) running on state highway passing through the sanctuary.
(3) A Temple in the epic of the Tiger reserve having heavy influx of devotees twice a year.

All 22 ( As per the last census report ) tigers were wiped out by the poachers and illicit traders making money on wildlife trade, and so on. Does Sariska deserved the Tigers any more, after losing its every tiger due to sheer negligence of the state apathy and FDs commitment to save its wildlife.

In my opinion, The State Government didn't deserved the Sariska TR. It would have been better if Sariska would had been de-notified as TR and renamed as mere Wildlife Sanctuary.It would had been better if the current relocation should not had taken place, and 3.5 year male tiger , which was radio-collared and lifted with the help of Chopper of Indian Army. It would had been better if the Government of State would have lost its largest tiger reserve, due to its own mistake of not keeping any eye on its own pride.

One male tiger was relocated in Sariska on Saturday 28th at 12.34 PM from Ranthambore, keeping media out of the event ensured that there is no cross questioning and counter productive statements within the conservationist and state FD and WII officials. The second tiger ( female ) would be relocated by the end of this week. And three more would be brought in by the end of this year.

But, are we still positive that the tigers tribe would prosper ? The villages are still inside, the highway still taking toll and also substitute of carrying the wildlife trade out of the borders of state, the temple is more controversial due to its position being in the core of the TR.

The questions remained unanswered from years passed away and would remain unanswered years to come, down the line.

Rajesh Sachdev
Wild Mumbai Nature Conservation
"The tiger cannot be preserved in isolation. It is at the apex of a large and complex biotope. Its habitat, threatened by human intrusion, commercial forestry, and cattle grazing, must first be made inviolate." - Mrs. Indira Gandhi

Rajesh Sachdev


Abhishek said...

Yes i agree with you here Rajesh, naming it a wildlife sanctuary should have been better rather then the prime focus of having a viable population of tigers surviving in Sariska. To have the dynamics healthy we need to focus on areas and ask questions to why it went on a decline in the first place.
Many factors should have been looked into rather then the prime focus of being relocation. I am not against relocation and i think it’s important to understand that it was encouraging enough to see FD tackle the process well. Media was kept away from the relocation but now it is sure that there is a male in the park along with 11 villages a highway and many other distractions.

The existing problems in Sariska have not been wiped out. How are they going to tackle that? These are questions which should have been discussed and thought before the relocation. They may have been thought about by the FD but areas like human interference etc are very crucial points. The other factors like a SWOT analysis should have been made and problems linking to the Tigers disappearance in 2004 should have been areas which needed to be tackled before the shift.

Sariska should have not been once again created but now it has and we have to help and watch that it does not repeat 2004. I heard somewhere that the state govt is trying to keep away tourism from the park. Not so clever moves if it’s true as tourists are one of the prime eyes to an informal anti-poaching unit. A battle for us conservationist, but i guess with a positive start to relocation i hope it is a reasonable move.

Abhishek Behl
TOFT India

June 30, 2008 2:51 AM

Monday, February 23, 2009

HSBC Mumbai Bird Race - Osprey team

Hello All,
The Osprey team, although not found a single osprey during the expedition, but had great chance to see many birds for the first time in life. And one among that as Pied Harrier, for which we won the "Bird of the day"category award.


Rajesh Sachdev

Rajendra Shelar

Prashant Bhagat

Dr. Sushama Ketkar

Sanjay Kulkarni

Prgyavant Mane

Shailesh Masulekar

The areas we covered were Dombivali-Baravi-Matheran-Uran-MNP

There were two beautiful  sightings of the day (a) The Indian Giant Squirrel -Matheran (b) and the Pied harrier -Uran

List of Birds  

  1. Indian pea fowl - heared
  2. Lesser whistling duck
  3. Spot Billed Duck
  4. Lesser Golden Backed woodpecker
  5. Brown headed barbet
  6. Coppersmith barbet
  7. Indian roller
  8. White breasted kingfisher
  9. Small Blue kingfisher
  10. Green bee eater
  11. Chestnut headed bee eater
  12. Blue tailed bee eater
  13. Asian koel
  14. Greater coucal
  15. Rose ringed parakeet
  16. Plum headed parakeet
  17. Alexandrine parakeet
  18. Asian palm swift
  19. House swift
  20. Bran owl
  21. Rock pigeon
  22. Laughing dove
  23. Spotted dove
  24. Yellow footed green pigeon
  25. White breasted waterhen
  26. Purple swamphen
  27. Common coot
  28. Common coot
  29. Black shouldered kite
  30. Black kite
  31. Shikra
  32. Changeable hawk eagle
  33. Common kestrel
  34. Little cormorant
  35. Little egret
  36. Cattle egret
  37. Indian pond heron
  38. Black ibis
  39. Golden fronted leafbird
  40. Bay backed shrike
  41. Rufous backed shrike
  42. Long tailed shrike
  43. Southern grey shrike
  44. Rufous treepie
  45. House crow
  46. Jungle crow
  47. Eurasian golden oriole
  48. Black hooded oriole
  49. Black naped oriole
  50. Large cuckooshrike
  51. White throated fantail
  52. White browed fantail
  53. Black drongo
  54. Greater racket tailed drongo
  55. Ashy drongo
  56. Asian paradise flycatcher
  57. Asian brown flycatcher
  58. Common iora
  59. Oriental magpie robin
  60. Indian robin
  61. Pied bushchat
  62. Brahminy starling
  63. Common myna
  64. Bank myna
  65. Jungle Myna
  66. Dusky crag martin
  67. Red rumped swallow
  68. Common swallow
  69. Wood swallow
  70. Bran swallow
  71. Red whiskered bulbul
  72. Red vented bulbul
  73. Gray breasted prinia
  74. Jungle prinia
  75. Plain prinia
  76. Ashy prinia
  77. Jungle babbler
  78. Greenish leaf warbler
  79. Indian bush lark
  80. Rufous tailed lark
  81. sky lark
  82. Thick billed flowerpecker
  83. Purple rumped sunbird
  84. Crimson backed sunbird
  85. Purple sunbird
  86. House sparrow
  87. Paddyfield pipit
  88. Scaly breasted munia
  89. Intermmediate Egret
  90. Black-headed Munia
  91. Red Munia
  92. Garganey
  93. Black-tailed Godwit
  94. Common Greenshank
  95. Common Sandpiper
  96. Marsh Sandpiper
  97. Little Stint
  98. Common Redshank
  99. Black-winged Stilt
  100. Whiskered Tern
  101. Little Tern
  102. Gull-billed Tern
  103. Western Marsh Harrier
  104. Pied Harrier Bird of the day
  105. Brahminy Kite
  106. Western Reef-Egret
  107. Grey Heron
  108. Common stonechat
  109. Asian Pied Starling
  110. Bronze winged Jacana
  111. Pheasant tailed Jacana
  112. Tailorbird
  113. Crested Serpant Eagle
  114. Pied Avocet
  115. Whimbrel
  116. Eurasian curlew
  117. Terek sandpiper
  118. Northern Shoveller
  119. Cotton Teel
  120. Common snipe
  121. Spoonbill
  122. Northern pintail
  123. Black headed gull
  124. Gadwall

Rajesh Sachdev
Wildlife Activist & Photographer
Mumbai, India.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wings of delight - An article on Mumbai BirdRAce

The city's birdwatchers flock together
The hunt is not an exercise of will
But patient love relaxing on a hill
To note the movement of a timid wing
—Nissim Ezekiel in
Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher

Years ago, Nissim Ezekiel drew similarities between a poet, lover and birdwatcher in one of his much appreciated poems. Over the years, the number of those who will agree with his words has only multiplied as the community of birdwatchers has increased in the city and continues to grow.

"Since Mumbai has the advantage of being a coastal city, it has a wide variety of bird species. Over 350 species of birds have been recorded over the years in the Mumbai surrounds," says naturalist Sunjoy Monga. Nearly 50 per cent of these species do not breed here, these are the various type of migrants or seasonal visitors to the region, he adds. And they are the ones who make the otherwise dull winter in Mumbai interesting. And bird-lovers take out their pairs of binoculars and reference books before setting out on the trail of two-winged creatures.

"Most of the people who come for our bird-watching outings in Mumbai are learners. These trips teach them how to use binoculars, reference books as well as study and document bird movements. They later on go to the spots outside Mumbai where birds population is higher," says Avinash Kubal of the Maharastra Nature Park. "With the surge in the number of birdwatchers, the documentation of birds has also got a boost," says Sujit Narwade of the Bombay Natural History Society.

Though with flamingoes, the Sewri Bay, especially the jetty, has become a famous stomping ground of birdwatchers along with the Uran wetlands, these nature lovers have found many other places across the city where the chances of sighting of birds—resident and rare—are high. Rajesh Sachdev's favourite haunt is Sanjay Gandhi National Park. "Any time of the year, one can spot at least 30 species of birds in the park if you spend a couple of hours there," says Sachdev, who is involved in the Mumbai Bird Race. The annual evented scheduled on February 22 is organised in the city since 2005.

In fact, it was after sighting a beautiful Paradise Flycatcher in the park three years back that he converted into an avid birdwatcher. Rajmachi and Matheran are the two other favourite weekend

getaways for Sachdev to study birds.

There are more: Elephanta Island, Vikhroli grasslands, Thane creek and

margins, Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, near Vasai, Lotus Pond on the Malad-Marve Road and Talzan Hills in Charkop. According to Monga, several city parks and groves too attract birds. "Actually, birds exist all around us. One just needs to learn to notice them," says Neeta Deb. She admits to being a

"beginner birdwatcher" and tries to spend as much time as her nine-year-old old allow her to be with the nature.

Bird-watching has also become a

perfect excuse to get wildlife activists and lovers together. On February 1, Rishi Agarwal is organising one such event at Lokhandwala Lake. His motive, other than spotting the winged creatures, will be to draw attention to the condition of the lake. In 1999, he, along with a group of friends, had stopped the BMC from dumping garbage at the lake. His inspiration might have come from a bird-watching trip to the area that this environmental activist had undertaken with a group. "We had spotted 45 species of birds that day," he recalls, and adds, "On a regular day one can spot pond heron, bar-headed geese, common kingfisher, pied kingfisher and medium egret among others there."

The pollution, concrete growth and demolition of forest have taken a toll on the bird population in Mumbai. Sachdev wants vultures, who are now extinct in the city, to be back. Till that happens the sighting of 'Indian pitta', locally known as 'navrang' can make him happy.
Rajesh Sachdev
Wildlife Activist & Photographer
Mumbai, India.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chinchoti – A paradise ignored.

48 Kms away from Mumbai South, is the world in is own velocity. Raptors, Beetles, Butterflies, spiders and Wildflowers, all are there a naturalist would think of about. At the highest point of this forest, there is a deep valley, given me the feel of being in the evergreen forest of Dandeli in South India. But, I am not in Dandeli; the place I am writing about in this report is “Chinchoti”. 9.5 Kms of steep track and you are in the finest woods of the least represented Malabar Coast of Western Ghats, in continuity with Mumbai’s SGNP and is part of Tungareshwar WLS. There are 3 waterfalls (virtually forming Chinchoti Nalla) in Chinchoti and as per the locals saying that all of these are seasonal during monsoon and starts getting dry by the onset of summer.

As and when I along with five of my co-travelers (including 2 Canadians) started the track through the open scrub land and few of human settlements, we were greeted by the Petronias, Bulbuls, Drongos, wood swallows and Sunbirds. A Hoopoe flittering here there and chasing away a common myna was a scene which was much of excitement for all of us. At the water body near the settlements, a white wagtail and White breasted kingfisher started our day. Suddenly, the Drongos and Bee-eaters dominated the forest, as we went it bit deeper. Eranthemum roseum and Hibiscus hirtus were on the tail seen on both the sides. A scat of predator was seen on the rock at lower waterfall, this is also the place where I encountered day’s first blue oakleaf butterfly and it was around 09.00 AM, perhaps too early for this creature. We went on in search of more wild world, and every another step turned out to be the fruitfull not only for us but also for those locals who live nearby. A group of 5 men and 3 women were active nearby for cutting trees. One among them carrying headload of wood allowed me photographing him in that position.
By now at around 10.30, the temperature risen to 24 degree and butterflies started basking on the plants. Psyches, grass blues and darters were all around. Tawny coaster, angled perriot and bush brown were scattered here there. Spotted dove and plum headed parakeet, along with brown headed barbet felt us their presence through their identical calls. The Red cotton tree was just in bloom and couple of trees had good flowerings throughout the trail. On the upper waterfall, we took some rest, and had some pet pooja. Suddenly, the group started staring at the lone bird perched on the high anjan tree. Pravin, wondered to identify it as Eurasian Black bird, whereas we had some reservation on its timing. I am of an opinion that I had seen this specie at the Tungareshwar & Rajmachi in monsoon season, where as the bird was just off late. Anyways, leaving this bird on its tree, we headed ahead.

Now, at 1.00 PM the day started becoming hot and we were just on the dark and steep woods of Teak and drying pods of Karvi. Urena lobata and Blepharis asperrimawre was seen on the green carpet of this dense region. Raptors were hovering above in the sky. The Serpent Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle and others were out on the hunt. The bracket fungus on the ground also started drying. On one among the teak branch, here we came across a beetle, which we have never seen before. Jennifer got mesmerized looking at this insect, Although I shown her so many anything on the forest floor or under the canopy of leaf litter, but this was the one among, whome she photographed as memory to take it in her home land Canada.

By 02.30 PM we were on the top of the forest, Leon said it to be the upper upper water fall. We took some rest here looking at the raptors of the horizon and many tiny creature in and around the place. Like minded people (Naturalists or nature lovers) are still to short list this area as their preferred outing in Mumbai. But, some other element took lead in frequent around this area very commonly along with the bottles of wine and what not. This is the most polluted part, full of bottles, wrappers and …..The time passed by nicely having the food, we were carrying along with us. By 3.30 PM we decided descending down. Leaving alone, one of the best Wildlife Habitats at its own.