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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 !!