Updated: Jan 2, 2019, 06:40 AM IST
Birdwatching on the first day of the year proved to be quite an exciting affair for an Andheri-based birding enthusiast Akshay Shinde who spotted a Sykes's nightjar at the Bhandup Pumping Station, making it the first documented sighting from Mumbai and adjoining areas in 104 years.
What makes this spotting important and interesting as per renowned ornithologist, photographer and naturalist Sunjoy Monga is the fact that there is just one specimen of Sykes's collected in October 1915 from somewhere in Kalyan area, which is a part of the Bombay Natural History Society's (BNHS) collection.
"There are few unusual bird sightings that are being reported from Mumbai currently and it could be due to cold, unusual weather condition and drought conditions in north-west part of India. Nightjars are nocturnal and very elusive birds and the difference between nightjar species is also very subtle and hence it was a soft flight image that Shinde managed to take helped in tis identification," shared Monga, adding that Sykes's Nightjar is commonly found on the north-west region of the country, including Gujarat and Rajasthan boundaries.