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.