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Posts Tagged ‘Marsh Harrier’

I accompanied my friend to ‘Sinhagad valley’ on Saturday morning. I started from home at 5:30 AM and reached my friend’s place. Two more friends joined in and we all headed for the valley.

Common Iora‘Sinhagad’ or ‘Sinhagad Fort’ valley is an amazing place for bird watching. In monsoon, there is a stream which flows by the fields and on another hand there are dense trees. Local people use this way to climb up the fort. Valley has now become famous among the birders. All you have to do is – search for a suitable place, sit quietly, set your gadgets (camera, bino, etc) and you could have darshan (glances) of all varieties of the feathered beauties.

I have my friends who have spent hours and hours in valley to get desired shot of ‘Asian Paradise flycatcher’ and believe me friends, it is no more less than doing meditation. 😛

I have been there twice and that was among some of the best bird watching activities I have done. We reached the base and had tea at local hotel. We climbed up and entered the valley. We scattered in search of different birds. We saw a Crested Serpent Eagle hovering in the sky.

Here is the list of some of the birds found in Valley:

  1. Ashy Prinia
  2. Jungle Prinia
  3. Pied Crested Cuckoo
  4. Scaly breasted Munia
  5. Red Munia
  6. Red whiskered Bulbul
  7. Red vented Bulbul
  8. Purple Sunbird
  9. Black Drongo
  10. White-breasted Kingfisher
  11. Common Kingfisher
  12. Pied Kingfisher
  13. Crested Serpent Eagle
  14. Blue napped Monarch flycatcher
  15. Asian Paradies Flycatcher
  16. Ticklle’s Blue Flycatcher
  17. Ultra-marine Flycatcher
  18. Fan-tailed Flycatcher
  19. Red-throated Flycatcher
  20. Cattle Egret
  21. Green bee eater
  22. Little Bee eater
  23. Tailor bird
  24. Black-winged Kite
  25. Marsh Harrier
  26. Eurasian Black bird
  27. Magpie Robin
  28. Grey Babbler
  29. Crested Bunting
  30. Indian Robin
  31. Golden fronted Leaf Bird
  32. Red-rumped Swallow
  33. Dove
  34. Oriental White-eye
  35. Orange Headed Thrush
  36. Common Iora
  37. Small Minivet
  38. Jungle Babbler
  39. Jungle Mynah
  40. Tree Pipit
  41. Yellow Sparrow

And the list is never ending… Along with these birds there are different types of lizards like Garden Colates, etc.

This time I used my binocular more than my camera. Bird watching being the first love, I clicked very few snaps and did more of watching. It is intense pleasure to see these birds. 😀

After spending good amount of time in the valley, we decided to take its leave. We went to same hotel and had breakfast before returning.

This was a pre-monsoon visit and I am desperately looking forward for my monsoon visit to Sinhagad valley. Undoubtedly ‘Sinhagad Valley’ is birder’s paradise!!! 🙂

For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/tags/sinhagadvalley/

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I have been to Kavdi (also called as “Kavdipat“) for couple of times.  Each trip is a treat in itself.

We started for Kavdi at 6:30 AM. After crossing ‘Loni Kalbhor’ toll plaza, we traveled for 2 mins more and took left turn. We found Bush chat (Female) and clicked few snaps on the way. We could also spot a Honey Buzzard along with Bulbuls, Shrikes, Drongos, etc.

To reach Kavdi:

  1. Start from Swargate and take Solapur highway.
  2. Cross Hadapsar, Manjri etc. Travel straight till you reach “Loni Kalbhor” Toll plaza. Get return receipt of  Rs. 22.50/-
  3. After crossing this Toll plaza, drive 2 mins more to see “Kavdipat” sign board on left hand side. Take left turn to go to Kavdi.
  4. After distance of 10 mins drive, we reach bund and river at Kavdi.
  5. You can park your vehicle at temple near by.
  6. Total distance is approx 20 Kms.

Best season to visit: November to January.
Must carry: Binocular and a camera. 🙂

Kavdi BundFlocks and flocks of migratory as well as local birds make their way to Kavdi. Winter mornings are very pleasant. If you reach there at time of sunrise then you could get some awesome sunrise shots.

We climbed the bund and fun began. First there were Wire-tailed Swallows. I approached them closer and closer and they were all set a wonderful photo session.

Other birds found were –  White-throated Kingfisher, Small blue Kingfisher, Teals, Brahminy Ducks, Ducks, Marsh Harrier, Yellow Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Grey Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Black Ibis, Spotbill Duck, Cormorant, Darter, Common Sandpiper, Large Egret, Spotted Ducks.

Blue ThroatA special mention about a bird called “Blue Throat” which flies all the way down from Europe and then north Asia to this place. I saw it for first time. Thanks to Vishal for showing this to me.

If  you are lucky enough, you can also get to see – Pied Kingfisher, Peafowls, Purple Heron, Egrets, Stonechat, Scaly-breasted Munia, Red Munia, Painted Storks. 😉

On the way back, we waited at “Joshi Wadewale” and took a “Wada-paav” break. I returned home with memories of all these wonderful flying beauties.

Kavdi is truly bird watcher’s Paradise!!! 😀

For more pictures – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157603886961076/detail/
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For last few consecutive years, I wish I could go to Bhigwan and see Flamingos. Even last year, I missed a chance to accompany my friend. Finally last Saturday got that golden opportunity.

Pink beauties!We planned to start very early morning and fascination of seeing flamingos made me wake up at 3:40 AM. I packed my sack and we started at 4:30.

P.S – I didn’t (read couldn’t) stay awaken late night or get up early in the morning for my studies but picnics, outings, Photo shoots, and camps are exceptions. I can’t sleep at night thinking about the place and become restless waiting to get up. 🙂

We enjoyed a ‘LONG’ drive to reach Bhigwan. It was 6:45 and we badly needed a tea break. We went to Hotel Sagar. It was neat clean and breakfast was good. We enjoyed Upma and Idlis with hot sips of tea.

To reach Bhigwan:

  1. Take Pune-Solapur highway.
  2. Drive approx. 100 Kms to reach Bhigwan village.
  3. Take left turn to go to ‘Diksal’ village.
  4. Drive more 8-9 Kms to reach Water bodies.
  5. After reaching Diksal, take right to go to an old bridge.
  6. Total distance is approx. 110 Kms.

Fishermen at BhigwanWe saw a flock of Asian Openbills and we took our first halt here. Another new bird called “Rosy Pastor” (also called “Rosy Starling”) caught our attention. Then there was a pair of Pied Kingfishers, Sea gulls, Teals, Bulbuls. We clicked few snaps and proceeded further. We came at extremely narrow but beautiful road. This road covered by water on both the sides, was earlier a railway bridge and now converted into road. Heavy vehicles are not allowed on it. We have to take care that we don’t wait while crossing this stretch. We found Marsh Harrier sitting on the tree here. We crossed the bridge and parked our car. It was pleasant morning and sun rays made water to sparkle. Fishermen were all geared up with their boats for fishing. We enjoyed watching and clicking River terns, Pond herons and sea gulls in action.

Take off...We waited there for while for boat to come. My friend, who had been to Bhigwan many times has befriended a boatman called “Gangaram”. Gangaram knows exact location of flamingos but he was busy fishing in mid water. We took up another boat and reached him. His own ship was full of fresh fishes that he caught. He jumped in our boat and we started heading in search of flamingos. After 30-35 mins of rowing, we could trace few flocks of flamingoes. It was amazing, just 5 of us, water all around and then there were marvelous flamingos. I was seeing them for first time in natural habitat. I took out my binoculars and kept watching them till we were considerably near to click them. We took our cameras and captured as many shots as we can. My friends with Canon 100-400mm lens were literally ‘shooting’ and their camera sounded like machine gun – “khat-khat-khat-khat!!!”. We found 3 flocks and approached each one in descending order. We turned to second after third flew away. For first time I caught birds in take-off and flight and that too flamingos. My happiness knew no bounds. Research says that flamingos get their pink color due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply.

We also found Cormorants, Brahminy ducks, terns, teals, Great (White) Egrets in water. We came back with immense satisfaction.

My friends continued shooting few more River terns and I was keen to walk on that narrow road covered by water on both the sides. I found Tree Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Drongos, Small Green Bee Eaters, While-throated Kingfisher, Prinia. The herd of sheep blocked the road for some time. Skilled shepherds guided crossing vehicles instead of controlling their herd. It was fun watching a typical rural life.

We came back at Bhigwan and had some snacks before returning back to Pune.

Pink beautiful Flamingos are still lingering on my mind… It was like a dream come true! 😀

Note: For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157609126814258/detail/

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