During the 5th HSBC Mumbai BirdRace on 22nd February, 2009 my team saw our first sighting of Pied Harrier at Uran and what followed from thereon turned out to be the graveyard for the winter migrants in the area on the name of Infrastructural Development of MahaMumbai. Not on the contrary, I started assuming that perhaps Pied Harrier would never be seemed again in Mumbai’s Wildlife Region, since its only winter refuge is due for development.
But life has to find its own way to survive and it has been proved during the evolution period of several billions of years and that is with every lifeform of flora and fauna of this blue planet or let’s say the green plant which is striving to survive despite several obstacles from all corners of manmade necessities.
On 29th January, 2011 at around 9.45 AM I was travelling in Kalyan-Mumbai CST local and was standing near the door of first class compartment, where the train applied brake and was signalled red for some time. The area where the train made its halt is famous for its recent sighting of white stork, blackcapped kingfisher and ruddy breasted crake during the Dombivali Birdrace, Diva Mangrove Patch. Without equipped with Binocs, I started observing for birds. Wire tailed Swallows, White throated Kingfisher, solitaire cormorant & sometimes Black Shouldered kite are otherwise common in this area in the mornings. At 09.48 AM near Bhopar Nalla a white large bird took off from the mangrove patch and flew towards the creek, the same way our team observed it at Uran exact two years ago. The uncommon sighting of this day, which I observed, was a male Pied Harrier. Pied Harriers near Diva-Dombivli belt are not new. I recollect perhaps Adesh or someone else telling me that the area has record sightings of this winter migrant in late 90s or so. But this was my most exciting sighting in last 6 years of birding.
The train moved on with green signal and I also moved on towards my corporate life, with utter joy and remembrance of famous quote of Dr. Elen Grand from the movie Jurassic Park “Life finds it’s own way to survive”.