Friday, February 18, 2011

2011-02-13 Pune

Me, Ritesh Bagul and Dr Saurabh decided to do birding in pune this weekend.
We decided to cover Kavadi in the morning and Dive ghat and road to Bhuleshwar in the afternoon.

Route taken for the trip was as follows
Started at 6am from Kothrud
Birding on the road from Kavdi phata till the river.
Birding at the river.
Started return by 10:30am.

Took the road exactly opposite the kavdi phata going towards Phursungi
Kavdi-Phursungi-Pune Saswad Highway-Dive ghat-Saswad-Road towards bhuleshwar

Started back at 3pm
Saswad-Dive ghat-Manterwadi phata-Katraj bypass-Katraj-Banglore highway-Chandani chowk-Expressway-Mumbai
Reached Mumbai by 7pm

The start
The road leading from Kavdi phata to the river is also full of activty.
Good place to spot pied bushchat, bulbul, laughing dove, babblers, barn swallows.
Pied Bushchat (male & female)

Crimson breasted barbet

Large Grey Babbler

Bank Myna

Brahminy Myna

Jungle Myna

Ashy Prinia

Ashy Drongo

Common Rosefinch

Clamorous Reed Warbler



Laughing Dove

Wire Tailed Swallow

White Throated Kingfisher

Yellow Wagtail

White wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Kavdi is the best place i have ever seen to spot a snipe.
In a single frame you can spot atleast 10snipes sitting pretty in open if not in complete open and far away for a camera but very good view for a scope.
Common Snipe.

Brown Shrike

Purple Heron

Northern Shoveller

House Sparrow

From Kavdi via Phursungi we joined the pune saswad highway.
Had amazing maharashtrian lunch of bhakari, pithla, vangyacha bharit (baigan bharta), bhajanicha thalipith at this junction.

Proceed after lunch to Saswad via Dive ghat.

As we reached the top of Dive ghat we spotted a raptor and stopped the car to a side and observed the raptor. There were black kites and within them was a single steppe eagle.

Steppe Eagle

Just look at the difference in size of a black kite on the left and a steppe eagle on the right.

After reaching saswad turned left towards bhuleshwar.
Indian Roller

Rufous Tailed Lark

Common Kestrel

I was looking out for sometime for black bucks and finally saw a group of 4.

They were very far and extremely shy and immediately ran away.
Black buck

As we were returning back we saw a huge raptor sitting on a leafless tree. It was a steppe eagle.

Soon it took off and then flew right above. It was amazing experience to see such a huge raptor just above us.
Steppe Eagle

Sunday, February 06, 2011

2011-02-06 Rabale

How to reach Rabale. Refer Map below.

While going from Rabale to Airoli take the first right after rabale station.
Take the first right, there is an MIDC map on the corner.
Take left from where the road ends, there is Indoco research at this corner.
Take the right on the main road.
Take left from Alfa Laval.
At the end of this road on the right side is some open space in front of a factory and a small garden.
Park your car here and walk from the right of the wall in between the wall and the hill.

Today morning me and friend Dr Saurabh decided to do birding at a place where we had not gone for a very long time - Rabale. This place was introduced to us by Mr Julius some years back and at that time we had seen an oriental dwarf kingfisher back in June 2007. Later had gone again in 2008 and had seen the beautiful Black Eagle. Here is the link to that blog

Its a fantastic place where you can have birding along with some mini trek :-)
The route is along a stream which is full of boulders. So you have to walk up and down on these boulders.

Today however i did not feel like taking my camera out (which is not very often :-)) and did only birding most of the time. It was really very nice experience as was not carrying the weight of the camera on my hand and neck :-)

We decided to start little early than usually required because I was not sure if I could find the place at the first go. But I had gone through the google map a day before to see the possible route to the possible place.
It helped a lot and bang at 7am we were at Rabale.

Since its a valley which opens on the west the sun does not come in till late morning and mostly because of the same reason the activity started a little late in the morning.

But at the start of the trail itself we saw some ashy prinias and a flock of yellow eyed babblers. Both of these were seen almost every where on the trail along with redvented bulbuls and the red whiskered bulbuls.
Red Whiskered bulbul

The bushes that grow along the stream seem to provide a shelter to many fantail flycatchers too.

We could also see a couple of common ioras and crimson sunbirds.

Crimson sunbird

We sat on the boulders on the stream from time to time and could watch the ashy prinia and a warbler(mostly blyth's reed) flitting nearby on the grass around the stream.

When the sun was hitting the trees along the stream we could enjoy the redwhiskered bulbul, crimson sunbird and tailor bird feasting on a red silk cotton flower. During this time i was tempted to get my camera out. Took some shoots and then decided to put it back and just enjoy birding.

The interesting part of this trail is that since its a stream at many places small/big patches of water are still remaining. We were hoping to see some activity on these water bodies which were formed. For some time we could not see any but on our way back at a particular place the bushes had branches were very near the ground and there was water just below it.
This formed a ideal condition for many birds to hop on these branches and then zoom down to drink water.

We sat down and observed the species coming there. It contained 3-4 fantail flycatchers, a pair of crimson sunbird, a single warbler (mostly greenish leaf), a tickel's blue flycatcher and a paradise flycatcher female.
At some distance we felt that we saw the white morph male but was it actual or just our wish which transformed into a visual could not be confirmed :-)
Here again i was tempted to take out my camera and take some pics again not much pics taken but watched them for a long time.

Tickell's blue flycatcher

Crimson Sunbird

Warbler (ID please)

We decided to call it a day and return by around 10:30am.

Also seen were some butterflies like the common crow, blue tiger, plain tiger, common sailor, stripped tiger and yellow orange tip. Many of them mud pubddling along these wet patches on the stream.

So a nice mini trek along with good birding.