Bird Photography at Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary

Located within a driving distance of just 2 hours, Tansa is the best place to photograph the elusive Forest Owlet near Mumbai city.

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About: Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled 90 km northeast of Mumbai, finds its home in the foothills of the Sahyadris, a part of the Western Ghats. It spans across Wada, Shahapur, and Mokhada talukas within the Thane district. The sanctuary derives its name from the Tansa River, which gracefully divides it into two distinct parts. It serves as the primary catchment area for Tansa Lake, encompassing the surrounding forests of Khardi, Vaitarna, Wada, and Shahapur ranges. Tansa Dam is the source of water from Mumbaikar.

The sanctuary’s terrain predominantly features hills, with Suryamal Hill in Palghar district to the northeast and Mahuli Hill in Thane district at its southern extremity. Notably, in 1986, local tribals and Forest Department personnel reported two tiger sightings near Suryamal, underscoring the sanctuary’s ecological significance. The Tansa forest, an integral part of the northern Western Ghats, stands as a treasure trove of biodiversity, with the towering Teak Tectona grandis as its dominant tree species. Notably, this sanctuary is home to the elusive Forest Owlet, a species that has eluded discovery for over seven decades. Previously considered extinct, it was later found in the Melghat tiger reserve in the late 1990s. In Tansa, this remarkable bird made its debut appearance in 2014, offering birdwatchers a unique opportunity to photograph this enigmatic species.

Nearest Train station: Atgaon

Target species expected: Apart from Forest owlet, the Tansa Wildlife sanctuary hosts approximately 280 bird species, including uncommon migratory ducks such as the Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, and Eurasian Wigeon, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Furthermore, Tansa provides an ideal setting for capturing images of the Malabar Trogon, White-naped Woodpecker, Western crowned Warbler, Vigor’s Sunbird and Jungle Owlet, adding to its allure as a remarkable destination for both wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Pricing: INR 1750/-

Group Size: 5 Participants + 1 Leader

Itinerary: 7 Apr 2024

  • Meet Jungle Buddies Expert Mr Milind Ganatra at Atgaon Station West by 6.30 AM.
  • Drive to Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. (Drive time 30-40 mins)
  • Birding in the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary
  • End the session with a group selfie around 10-11 AM
  • Drive back to Atgaon Train Station

Price Includes:

  • Jungle Buddies Expertise
  • NON AC Car transfers from Atgaon to Tansa & back to Atgaon

Suggested Travel Mode to Tansa would be Local Train – 4.19 AM Kasara Slow local starting at CSMT.

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