Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) at Dharavi is attracting a lot of birdwatchers these days, thanks to the sighting of Eurasian Thicknee. It’s for the first time that this mid-sized bird has been sighted in the park. Experts say the bird is uncommon to Mumbai and has been sighted in the city only twice before in the last 50 years.It was a nature photographer, who while taking pictures inside MNP on December 26, first clicked the bird and showed the images to deputy director of the Park, Avinash Kubal, who identified it. “Though I knew that it had never been sighted at the Park, we still checked all the records – documented by several birders – and confirmed it,” said Kubal adding the news soon spread and he has been getting a lot of calls from bird-lovers who wanted to confirm it.Kubal found four individual Eurasian Thicknee – two of which seem to be chicks – at MNP. Visitors or nature photographers are being escorted by the MNP nature guides to see the bird to ensure that their habitat or surrounding is not disturbed. “We will keep our vigil,” said Kubal.Avid birdwatcher Adesh Shivkar, who has even prepared a guide, listing the birds sighted at MNP in 2014, sharing his delight said as per records this bird was sighted in 2000 at Dahisar, Gorai belt and in 1940 by Humayun Abdulali and Salim Ali at Andheri and never recorded at MNP.”This scrubland bird, which stays close to the forested patches and waterbody is common in many parts of India but uncommon to Mumbai. Its sighting at MNP should be cheered as it can be said that city has not lost all its biodiversity hotspots. In fact, we can see many birds at MNP, which are not found in city (excluding Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey forest),” said Shivkar adding the bird has been spotted outskirts of Mumbai in places like Dombivli, Karjat and Uran.Shivkar said the sighting highlights the need and importance of green islands like MNP. “We have been hearing proposals to redevelop MNP with bridges and promenade, keeping it lit up till night. All these would only hurt the existing rich biodiversity of this place and time has come where we plan things keeping the biodiversity in mind and not human needs,” said Shivkar.Meanwhile, there have been reports of this bird being sighted in the Sewri mudflats too on Sunday.Eurasian Thicknee, with a length of 38-46 cm and wingspan of 76 to 88 cm, sports a strong yellow and black beak with large yellow eyes. The wings of this bird bears black and white markings.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Original article – 

Eurasian Thicknee comes calling for third time in 50 years