5-6th Jan 2008
Started from mumbai 7:15 am in a 25seater bus.
We were 18 of us lead by Adesh Shivkar.
We reached Bhigwan ,after a breakfast stop at the food mall on the expressway, at 1:30pm.
He had our lunch at a restaurant in Bhigwan and proceeded towards our first site Diksal around 3:30pm.
Actually the complete place is a site as you can see birds right from the road.
On both side of the road one see birds because of the backwaters of the Ujjanni dam.
Bhigwan is around 100km from pune on the pune-solapur road
The variety and the sheer number of birds was amazing.
While Adesh and myself were trying to focus on 1 bird we would spot another bird.
First we spot a huge number purple swamphens and Rudy Shelducks. There were a lot of waders mainly black tailed godwits and sandpipers.
At one time in frame on the spotting scope we could see 3 storks, Painted stork, wolly necked stork and the open billed stork.
There were Glossy ibis, common teals, whiskered terns, comb ducks, phesant tailed jacana's(non breeding), common pochard.
One more bird that raised everyones excitation was a Pied kingfisher flying very near the surface of the water. One of my favoraties for its elegancy and color combination.
One river tern gave us a very good view through the binoculars and the spotting scope.
At the very far end we could see a huge congregation of ducks containing around 2000 or more ducks mainly common pochards, northern shovellers and mallards.
As the sun was setting we could see a huge flock of birds flying presumably going to their roosting place. That consisted of ducks, glossy ibis and open billed storks.
Here given below for comparison how the open billed and glossy ibis different in flight.
(Posting only these 2 as i have silhoutte images of only these 2 ..:-))
NOTE: Glossy ibis's curved and slender bill as compared to open bills thick bill.
Also when seen in actual you can see Open billed would be much larger as compared to glossy ibis
Open billed Stork Silhouette
Glossy Ibis Silhouette
Sunset at Bhigwan on day 1
The gulls were still flying around.
Brown headed gull (First winter)
(How to identify ?)
Brown Headed Gull
We were back to the hotel by 7:00.
After that we had a session of bird quiz, a quick summary of birds viewed and everyone guessed what would be the species count the next day.
Kumbhargoan and Dalaaj
Next day we started at 7:00am from hotel.
We stopped at 2-3 places.
At the first stop where near the road we could see waders in the water.
There was a snipe, little ringed plovers, wagtails, open billed stork, little stints, Godwits, ducks, wagtails.
On the trees we could see brahminy starlings, large grey babbler, Spotted dove, Bee eater, Barn swallow
Little Ringed Plover
Eurasian Collared Dove
At the second spot there was plain open land on the right and water on the right.
In the open field lot of land birds were spotted like purple sunbird, small minivet, eurasian golden oriole, red breasted flycatcher, chiff chaff, booted warbler. We could also see a spotted owlet.
Red throated flycatcher (Record shot)
Green Bee eater (Tried with Sun behind)
Going a little ahead we entered the yellow wattled lapwing area.
There we saw a lot of wagtails, large babblers, Indian silver bill, ashy crowned sparrow lark, brahminy kite.
Large Grey Babbler
At the third spot we reached a place where we could go very near the water area.
Here we could see lot of ducks, gulls and flamingoes from very close quarter.
Also there we spotted a tawny eagle and greater spotter eagle.
Marsh harriers and black kites were seen pretty regularly.
In the fields we spotted the pied buschat and the paddy field pipit.
Green bee eater
Green Bee eater closeup
Purple Swamphen in flight
Oriental white ibis
Painted Stork in flight
Black eared kite (Thanks Adesh)
Open Billed Stork
Gull Scape (Mainly Pala's gull)
Oriental White Ibis and Open billed Stork
Flamingos in flight