Friday, January 30, 2009

2009-01-25 Kavadi, Pune

When at Sihgadh valley we had met a gentleman, Manoj Baghwat. He had guided us on how to visit this place.
So we took the PMT bus to hadapsar and from there another bus going to KanchanUrali passing via Kavadi fata.

From this fata it was told that it is around 1 1/2 km. But this walk was also very enjoyable and fruitful with respect to birds. The first that we encoutered was the male ond female of the pied buschat. Little ahead we also saw the siberian stonechat.

Common stonechat

Pied buschat (Male)

Pied bushchat (Female)

There were lot of wagtails in the fields which were stretching far on both the sides of the road. A car passed us and we observed that the gentleman had stopped at the pied buschat and then proceeded ahead and so we thought that he must be a birder.

Wood sandpiper

Pond heron

Wood sandpiper

Pied wagtail

Yellow wagtail

Yellow wagtail


Big flock of ducks

Duck flock

Duck flock with garganey female

Glossy ibis in flight

Brahminy duck group

Complete flock

Brahminy duck in flight

Common teal and Garganey female(?)

Garganey Female (?)

Common teal

Glossy Ibis

Brahminy duck

Wire tailed swallow

2009-01-24 Sinhgad Valley

Saturday morning myself and dad had planned to meet Jayesh and Babasaheb Gaikwad at Sihgadh Valley.

Jayesh had given us directions on how to reach the valley.

We reached the base of Sihgadh using six seater auto and bus as transport at around 8. We had started from Kothrud at 6am.

One needs to take the road which leads to the top of Sihgadh by foot.
There is a small settlement mainly shops/hotels/bus stand and parking at the base.
The point where the road starts climbing to the top from the right there is a similar road which leads to the left.This road will take the valley.

Just at the base there are rocks which seems like some stream. There was some water at different places and we saw Jayesh that had already taken a position near a pool.
Some distance ahead we could see a group of 5-6 photographers pointer their cameras at the water just few feet away from there.

I was not sure how many birds would be seen in presence of so many people and that too at few feet from them. But soon I was going to be surprised.

Myself and my dad decided to explore a bit on the top plateau before setting down to take position if it was worth enough.

There was a field on the top and there were around 30+ jungle babblers flying around. There was a lot of noise made these. But there also one more call which was bigger that them and that was of the Rufous tree pie.

Rufous treepie

Red Vented bulbul

There were 5+ olive backed pipits on the tree near by.

Olive backed pipit

While observing them i saw a streak of white flashing by down below and it was the white morph of paradise flycatcher male. We decided explore more on the top and came across a huge flock of grey breasted prinias, couple of ioras and a tawny bellied babbler within them.

Tawny bellied babbler

Grey breasted prinia

Common Iora female

There was a lone shrike sitting on a tree in the field. While observing all this I heard a knocking like sound and knew it was woodpecker. On nearby tree we spotted a maratha woodpecker knocking away on the bark.

Maratha woodpecker

After having a heart full of some good shots here we decided to join our friends down below. As soon as we arrived Jayesh announced that he had got a full frame of paradise flycatcher. As we were discussing this on the small tree just in front came the tickel's blue flycatcher.

Soon there was a flury of birds that i could see. There were olive backed pipits anyway plus magpie robin pair, Indian robin pair, lots and lots of red vented bulbuls, red whiskered bulbuls.

Olive backed pipt

Magpie robin

Just as i was enjoying this came the white morph of paradise flycatcher. But this bird is very shy a very slight moment and it would immediately hide away. Managed a few decent shots.

Paradise flycatcher

Also saw the female paradise flycatcher. There a white breasted kingfisher giving good poses and there came a shikra sitting on the tree just above us.


I moved a bit towards the main water pool and soon got a chestnut shouldered petronia, red breasted flycatcher and a fantail flycatcher.

Fantailed flycatcher

Chestnut Shouldered petronia

On a tree just ahead we could hear a continous call and on observing careful I spotted the green backed tit.

The tickel's blue flycatcher again gave us very good poses. Also not to miss there were the green bee eaters and laughing dove.

Tickell's blue flycatcher

From there we then decided to start back at around 11am.
On the way back just at the settlement we got the white eyes, red vented bulbul and maratha woodpecker.

Maratha woodpecker in the field

Red vented bulbul at the settlement

Orinetal white-eye

There were also plum headed parakeets, tree pies and a grey hornbill calling away at some distance.

On the way back we met a birder from Mumbai Nikhil who had gone trekking to the top of sihgad.

And there in front was a red breasted flycatcher. What a fantastic bird and what a fantastic way to end the trail.

Red breasted flycatcher

All in all it was a fantastic time spent, but not enough.
Plan to make a bigger trip to this place again soon !!