Bhandup Pumping Station (BPS) – Birder’s Paradise in Mumbai

Bhandup Pumping Station – Best Place for Bird Watching and Photography Around Mumbai

As the name suggests, Bhandup Pumping Station is one of Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s sewage and waste water treatment stations. It lies on the Eastern Express highway near the junction of the Airoli bridge. Surrounded by salt pans and marshes leading up to the Thane creek area this location has fast become the biggest bird watching/ photography spot of Mumbai.

Bird Species Found:

Till a few years ago this place was unknown to most Mumbaites, but the regular arrival of Flamingos and their publicity in the media has brought this location into limelight.

Bhandup Pumping Station (fondly called BPS by birders) is an excellent bird and macro photography location. Being a mix of marsh and grassland it hosts a lot of White-Eared Bulbul, Prinias and Egrets. The grassland is alive with Baya Weavers and Munias, also commonly spotted are Long Tailed Shrike, Marsh Harrier, Pied Starlings and Kingfisher – both Common and White Throated. Winter makes this location exciting with the arrival of waders – ducks, storks, herons and the Greater Flamingos.

Apart from birding, BPS is an excellent spot to shoot the sunrise over an open horizon across natural habitat, that’s one helluva rare thing in Mumbai!!

NOTE:
Access: BPS can be accessed by bus from various places in Mumbai or from the Bhandup railway station (on the east side) which falls on the Central Railway. Driving is a better option.
Rig:  A crop sensor camera with minimum 400mm focal length lens and a wide angle zoom (18-55mm or 10-22mm) for field shots/ landscapes.

Sunrise at Bhandup Pumping Station
A typical winter sunrise at Bhandup Pumping Station
Black Winged Stilt at Bhandup Pumping Station
BPS mornings give ample opportunities to explore silhouettes
Baya Weaver - Bhandup Pumping Station
A Baya Weaver at breakfast in BPS
White Eared Bulbul at Bhandup Pumping Station
White Eared Bulbuls are a fairly common sight here
Crimson Marsh Glider
Post monsoon is when you get that green background and all you need to to pick the right subject
Grey Heron
A pair of Grey Herons at BPS. There are Purple Heron, Asian Openbill and Spoonbills too
Stonechat
Migration period brings in Stonechats
Painted Storks
… and Painted Storks

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