The brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), also known as the red-backed sea-eagle in Australia, is a medium sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. This species is distributed in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia.
The brahminy kite species is a medium sized bird. The female kite is slightly larger than the male. The male measures 45 to 50 cm in length and weights 400 to 650 grams. The female weighs 430 to 700 grams. The wingspan is 110 to 125 cm. The adult has chestnut back, wings and belly. The head and breast have a contrasting white plumage.
The brahminy kite species feed mainly on dead fish, crabs and carrion. They also catch and feed on live preys such as small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. They are known to snatch feed from other birds.
The Red-rumped Swallow (Ceropis daurica) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. They are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to the other aerial insectivores, such as the related swallows and the unrelated swifts. They resemble Barn Swallows, but are darker below and have pale reddish rumps, face and neck collar. They lack breast band, but have black undertails. They are fast fliers and they swoop insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed wings.
Red-rumped Swallows build quarter-sphere nests with a tunnel entrance lined with mud collected in their beaks, and lay 3 to 6 eggs. It normally nests under cliff overhangs in its mountain homes, but will readily adapt to buildings such as mosques and bridges.
These swallows are usually found over grasslands where they hawk insects. They may sometimes take advantage of grass fires and grazing cattle to flush insects into the air.
The little egret is a species of small heron in the family Ardeidae. This white bird is with slender black beak, long black legs and yellow feet. It feeds in shallow water and on land, consuming variety of small creature. The adult little egret is 55-65 cm long with an 88-106 cm wingspan and weights 350-550 g. In the breeding season the adult has two long plumes on the nape that form a crest. Little egrets are sociable birds and are often seen in small flocks.
The Indian pond heron or paddybird (Ardeola grayii) is a small heron. This shallow aquatic habitat bird, sometimes lives at fresh, salt, natural or human made aquatic places. It prefers places like very shallow, non-flowing or slowly flowing aquatic regions. The Indian Pond Heron prefer marshy wetlands as their feeding habitat. Size of Indian pond heron is between 40 cm to 50 cm including tail. Wingspan is between 70 cm to 90 cm.
The oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) is a distinctive black and white bird with a long tail that is held upright as they forage on the ground or perch conspicuously. The Oriental Magpie Robin is found in open woodland, cultivated areas often close to human habitations. They prefer open areas such as mangroves, gardens, cultivated areas. They are not found in the deep forest. Oriental Magpie-Robin feeds mainly on insects caught on the ground, and also flower nectar. It also consumes earthworms, snails, small lizards and some plant matter.
These wading wonders were clicked at the Thane Flamingo Sanctuary. The Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary lies along the western banks of the Thane Creek, which is an inlet of the Arabian Sea. It was declared a sanctuary by the Maharashtra Government in 2015. These mudflats attract flamingoes from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in large numbers between the months of November and May. Some of the other birds that can be spotted here are the black-headed Ibis, Oriental Stork, Caspian Terns and Ospreys to name a few. The easiest way to reach the sanctuary is through the Airoli Vashi Bridge.