Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016-10-08 Bhandup Pumping Station

Last time had gone a month back to BPS when it was raining a lot.

Blue tailed beeeaters were still there, weaver activity had slowed down though there were a lot of weavers every where and migratory species were back.

Some bird activity in terms of regulars like White cheeked bulbul, cattle egret, yellow eyed babbler, sandpiper, painted storks, glossy ibis, pied crested cuckoo, red munia and ofcourse blue tailed beeeaters.
Cattle Egret

White Cheeked Bulbul

Blue tailed Beeeater

Painted Stork

Long Tailed Shrike

Blue Tailed Beeeater

Blue Tailed Beeeater

There was also a lot of butterfly activity and flowers.
Stripped Tiger

Grey Pansy

Darp Tulas (Hyptis suaveolens)

In migratory there were whiskered terns, river terns, marsh harrier and gull billed terns

Got some very nice cloud formations and sunset.

And after sunset before getting dark got to see the display of 100s of blue tailed beeeaters.

2016-09-25 Talawe

Sudden heavy continuous showers for a week had put off all birding plans on the weekend.

2 of my friends had come to my place to just have a chat post lunch and around 3.30pm it was quite bright with some sun rays shining and we decided impromptu to do a quick trip to Talawe.
They were ofcourse not prepared in terms of binoculars and camera but I had an extra pair of binoculars and started.

As we parked the car on the side of palm beach road and started to move down the path we started to hear the usual ashy and plain prinias.
Grass had grown very high, there were some flowers and butterflies too.
Ashy Prinia

On the wet land on the left there were again the usual suspects the Eurasian Curlew, Common Greenshanks, Common Redshanks and whiskered terns.
Eursian Curlew, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank and Whiskered Tern

Eurasian Curlew

Pure white in color with a very long neck moving too and fro in the very back of wetlands gave a feeling of a white cloth hanging on a stick but it was a Great Egret :-)
Great Egret

Red and Black headed munias were conspicuously missing from the scene though saw a few red munias flying overhead. Scaly breasted munia gave some good view.
Scaly Breasted Munia

The narrow path with bushes on both sides had lot of darters and damselflies.

A beautiful fresh common leopard butterfly with these gave me good time to take some shots.
Common Leopard

A little ahead green beeeaters were busy catching flies.
Green Beeeater

On the farash tree the long tailed shrike was busy claiming its terrotory calling out aloud.
Long Tailed Shrike


In the pond on the right 2 spot billed ducks were swimming around.
Spot Billed Duck

On the high plateau the baya weavers were busy going to and from the nests but they were quite inside.

The sun was already ready to set and finally from here we decide to call it a day and decided come back soon to observe some nice butterflies and birds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016-01-24-26-Kokan Trip

Long thought trip was utltimately planned around dapoli with my parents on 24th, 25th and 26th Jan 2016.

The trip was done as follows
- Left Mumbai on 24th Jan.
- Reached dapoli by afternoon after lunch on the way.
- Stayed at Tekdi Homestays in dapoli. A wonderful stay in bunglow with food at Advait Nitsure's place. He is the one who manages the Tekdi homestay (which is a set of 10-11 bunglows next to Aryawartha). A very nice person to talk to and also very good management.
- Visited Tamasthirtha and Parshuram bhoomi in the evening
- 25th Morning visited Koleshwar temple, Kolthare (our Kuladaiwat) and covered Tamastirth during hightide
- Returned to Dapoli for lunch and short rest
- Proceeded in the afternoon to Durga Devi temple, Murud, Murud Beach, Kadyavarcha ganapati Anjarle and sunset at Harnai
- 26th Morning visited Keshavraj and Vyaghreshwar temple at Asud
- Afternoon started from Dapoli and Reached Mumbai by 6:30pm

24th Jan 2016
Started early morning from Mumbai and reached pali via Mumbai-pune expressway and Khopoli-Pali road.

Visited the Pali ganapati temple, had breakfast there and then proceed towards Dapoli via Wakan-Lonere-Goregoan-Nandvi-Ambet-Mhapral-Mandangad-Dapoli, with a short halt at Goregoan to visit some relatives.

With breaks and Lunch (at Shreyas restaurant, Dapoli) reached in the afternoon at Tekdi Homestay.

Host, Advait Nitsure, was a very welcoming and allocated us a beautiful bunglow which had a living room and a room on the same level as the entrance and 3 rooms at the level below.

The rooms would generally be allocated to other guests but since this time there were not many guests it was just 3 of us in the whole bunglow.
Bahar Bunglow where we stayed
The bunglow complex
Tekdi Homestay reception bunglow
View from Tekdi Homestay
Since he himself is very much interested in travelling and has actually visited all the places around he is able to give very valuble inputs in terms of which road to take, when to visit and how much time it will take.

So as per his advice we decided to do Tamastirth beach along with Parshuram bhoomi and tamastirth in the evening instead of Anjarle which was our earlier plan.
We started by around 4pm and we were at Parshuram Bhoomi, Burondi at around 4:30pm.

Parshuram Bhoomi

Very peaceful place with a great view of the valley down and the complete ocean and beach stretching behind.
Beach visible on the left
Forest seen on the right

From there we started down towards the Tamastirth beach. Had a quick tea at a very nice resort Sagar Sawali just next to the beach.

Then went down on the beach to see the sun set behind the sea.

Sagar sawali from tamastirth beach

Ladhgar Beach in the distance

Sunset on Tamastirth beach
Pattern made on sand by Crabs
Water sports on Ladhgar Beach

As the night sky was very clear, we decided to do some low light level photography of the night landscape of the mountains and stars.
Mrug Nakshatra (Orion)
25th Jan 2016
Next day morning I did a quick morning walk to observe some natural beauty around and birds.
Got some quite good photographs just behind our bunglow and some around other plots.

Eurasian Black Bird

Small Minivet

Pale Billed Flowerpecker

Koel (Female)

After breakfast at Nitsure's (wangi pohe a speciality around that place) we left for Kolthare via dabhol road.

Kolthare is a small village south of Burondi and North of Dabhol.
There is a Koleshwar temple which is our 'Kul Daiwat' and also is famous for 'Agom Aushadhalay' an ayurvedic medicine.

Being a birder my ears and eyes are always open. As soon as we were approaching the temple heard a very load call from top of coconut trees.
It was a beautiful pair of Malabar Pied Hornbills.
Malabar Pied Hornbill (Pair).
Note the female with with white ring around the eye.
Koleshwar temple is very peaceful and located at a nice spot.
We had darshan and then started back for Dapoli.
We planned to take the route via Burondi-Ladghar to have a view at the Tamastirth beach during high tide.
We had lunch in Dapoli (At Hari's) and returned to the room to take a break.

Then started back in half an hour or so to go to Kadyavarcha Ganapati, Anjarle.

On the way stopped to visit the Durga Devi temple and Murud and the Murud beach.

We took the costal highway, the road which climbs on the mountain just before the Harnai village and bypasses it from the top. Then again climbs down after the village where there is a bridge to cross the creek to reach Anjarle.

The ganapati temple is at the top of the hillock overlooking the Anjarle Village and Beach down below. There is a well stepped route to climb down to Anjarle village. At the start of this route there is a small shrine covering what is believed to be Ganapati che Paul (footmarks).

Ganapati che paul (Footmark)

In return we took the same road but this time stopped on the coastal highway for sunset.

Indian Roller
Since the road is on the top of the mountain overlooking the Harnai Village, one gets an uninterrupted clear view of the beaches below (Anjarle on the right, Harnai just below and Murud on the left) with the sun setting in the sea.

It was a wonderful view and we returned late evening at Dapoli to have dinner at Nitsure's at around 8:30pm.

Again at night did some photography of the moon.

26th Jan 2016
Did some photography around before leaving.

After breakfast at Nitsure's by around 9:15am we started for Asud to visit Keshavraj temple.
A very ancient temple situated in between a very good forest and a stream flowing throughtout the year.
This is situated 8km from Dapoli. We parked the car on the road just outside Dabake wadi, Asud Bag road.
From here its around 30min walk if we walk very slowly through very thick Beetlenut plantation.

One does not feel the heat of the sun while walking through this beautiful place.

The way to the temple is a well constructed rock pavement with steps in between to climb up and down.
There was an old bridge across the river which is now replaced with a concrete bridge but it has not destroyed the beauty of the place.

At the top of the temple there is a stream which flows throughtout the year non-stop and the water of this stream is collected through a Gomukh in a small pond inside the temple where one can wash their had and feet.
From there we went to the vyagreshwar temple and returned back to Dapoli by 12noon.

We were already quite late to start from Dapoli so after bidding quick goodbyes to Advait we started our journey back to Mumbai by 12:30pm. I was worried of the returning traffic.

But it was not much painful journey till we hit the expressway.
This was may be because we took a little longer road but with almost no traffic via Mangaon-Nizampur-Vile-Pali. Vile is the place from where one road goes to Pune via Tamhini ghat.

But expressway being expressway we did not get caught in long traffic jam and got home in quite good time of around 6hours.