Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tungareshwar Transformation

“Transformation” is the word, which inspired me in Adesh Shivkar’s blog last year, in which he depicted the thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance and characters of Mumbai`s Wildlife region and that is what the OXFORD DICTIONERY defined it too.

Then, I had made up my mind that next year I would also gauge such transformation in hilly forests around Mumbai, including Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWLS), Matheran Hill Forest, Rajmachi , Bhimashankar WLS and my soul Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). Tungareshwar was on priority having more pristine and closest approachable forest from Mumbai and around. On the World Environment Day, around 15 shutterbugs (mainly from Thane, Mulund and individuals from Dombivli, Vasai, Kandivali & Ulhasnagar) decided to feel such transformation at Tungareshwar. Most of these photographers were interested in macro world, two in butterflies, two in reptiles and four in birding etc. and this newly created WLS served us all that we were interested in, including heavy torrent rains.

Transformation, which changes the colour of forest floor, from brown leaf litter to fresh green grass. Transformation, which changes the mood of birds and reptiles, searching and running behind the mates. Transformation which enforces the spiders, butterflies, grass-hoppers, Mantids and other forest dwelling species to prepare new strategies to search for fresh food. Transformation, which changes the dry river beds to free flow fresh water streams, where several forms of aquatic life survives for these few months. But , this transformation also drives reptiles and amphibians to run behind their mates and sometimes get killed by uncontrolled speeding vehicles, even on the dirt roads of Tungareshwar.

At 8.00 AM we all started from the forest chowki of TWLS and ended up our day till 02.00 PM at Tungareshwar Temple; what followed on this route is listed below.


1) Indian Peafowl (sighting by Bhavik Thaker & Rajnikant Rathod)

2) Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker

3) Black Rumped Flameback

4) Brown Headed Barbet

5) Indian Grey Hornbill

6) Small Blue Kingfisher

7) White Throated Kingfisher

8) Green Bee-eater

9) Pied Cuckoo

10) Asian Koel

11) Greater Coucal

12) Plum Headed Parakeet

13) Asian Palm Swifts

14) Black Kite

15) Crested Serpent Eagle

16) Shikra

17) Little Cormorant

18) Cattle Egret

19) Indian Pond Heron

20) Golden Fronted Leafbird

21) Rufous Treepie

22) Large Billed Crow

23) Black Drongo

24) Greater Racket Tailed Drongo

25) Asian Paradise Flycatcher (fully grown male)

26) Common Iora

27) Jungle Myna

28) Red Whiskered Bulbul

29) Common Tailorbir

30) Purple Sunbird

31) Red Vented Bulbul

32) House Sparrow

33) Common Myna

34) House Crow


1) Malabar Spotted Flat

2) Golden Angle

3) Red Spotted Swordtail

4) Lime Butterfly

5) Common Rose

6) Common Grass Yellow

7) Great Orange Tip

8) Psyche

9) Plum Judy

10) Striped Tiger

11) Common Crow

12) Common Bushbrown

13) Baronet

14) Yellow Pansy

15) Chocolate Pansy

16) Blue Pansy


1) Common Bronzeback Tree Snake

2) Forest Calotes

3) Bronze Grass Skink

Monsoon Flora

1) Hill Turmeric

2) Indian Turnsole

The “Transformation” is series of my next few field trips and would be updated accordingly, having next destination at Matheran.