24 Belvedere Estate

Birding Journal – Sinhagad

Posted on | June 5, 2012 | No Comments

This has been on my mind for a while now.
A record of my birding trips that I can share with anyone interested.
And Sinhagad seems like a good trip to start with.

We started from Mumbai at 3.30am on Sunday.
Six of us in a Scorpio, with Jeetu at the wheels.
A minor delay as we hunted for a fuel station – ultimately found one a little before the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Jeetu lived up to his reputation.
We crossed Khandala in the blink of an eye.
And reached Pune outskirts in no time at all.

Sinhagad Valley is very close to the Sinhagad Dam, a few miles out of Pune.
Almost adjacent to Khadakwasla.

A cup of chai later, we were at the entry to Sinhagad Valley.
The road becomes too narrow for a vehicle to pass.
There are 2-3 parking areas run by locals.
It being Sunday, the parking was almost full.

From the parking, it’s a 5 minute walk into the Valley.
There are two routes:
The left one goes into the Valley.
The right one goes up the hill to the Sinhagad Fort – I guess trekkers prefer this.

We chose the left trail and walked a bit ahead.
There is a clump of mango trees right there – a beauty of a spot.
We walked past this spot only to return here quickly.
Fact is, once the Sun is up, the rays hit this side first.

Birds spotted here:
Small Minivet, Black-naped Monarch, Blue-Tailed Bee Eater, Green Bee Eater, Bay-Backed Shrike, Indian Robin, Common Iora, Baya Weaver, Ashy Prinia, Indian Gray Hornbill, Woodshrike, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Fork-Tailed Drongo, Purple Sunbird, Oriental White Eye, Brahminy Myna, Laughing Dove – to name a few.

We didn’t need to do anything.
We just waited and they all arrived at the spot.
One by one.
The Bee Eaters literally performed for us. In numbers.

If you sit quietly near the clump of Mango trees, you’ll see most of the birds.
The Indian Gray Hornbill was a lucky spotting – thanks to a tip-off from a birder I met there.

The irritant?

A group of students who were behaving as if this was a picnic spot – loud, disturbing, completely unwelcome.

Given the volume of visitors (trekkers, serious birders and general public) – birding spots like the Sinhagad valley needs stricter monitoring.
The picnikers need to be kept out.

With the monsoon barely a few days away, guess I might get just one more trip this weekend before everything gets drenched.

If I do, the update will come here.

For a glimpse of some of the images captured at Sinhagad, try either of these links:

Flickr : Click Here

Facebook : Click Here

If you ‘like’ the FB page, you’ll automatically be updated every time I post a new image there.

Maybe I’ll figure out one of those link-backs to the FB page to this blog.

And yes, one tip. If you intend to go to Sinhagad Valley, go on a Saturday morning or a weekday.

That way you’ll avoid the Sunday rush.

And hopefully see more of the bird kind :-)