Thursday, March 08, 2012

2012-02-18 Bhigwan Diksal

It was mid February and as was decided between 4 of us (Ritesh, me, Abhijit and Rohit) we planned our trip to Bhigwan.
As always it was expected to be a BIG ONE for birding.

We had planned for mid February as by this time most of the migratory birds would have come and also the water level of the ujani dam would have gone done a bit to give more place for the birds to feed on the shore.

The main attraction at bhigwan is the shear quantity waterbirds one can see at a time, like 100s of ducks, gulls, terns sitting or swiming together.

Started from Pune at 5:15am and reached Bhigwan at 7:45am.
Had a quick breakfast consisting of poha and misal and a fantastic tea and Jyoti restaurant in Bhigwan right on the solapur road.
The road from Pune to Bhigwan has improved a lot over the years with atleast 40% of the road now 2 lane and the remaining would start soon as work is going on everywhere on the road.

We started for our first destination Diksal and started to spot birds right after taking the left off the solapur highway.

On the left side were fields and on the right the huge waterbody.
In the fields we could see paddy field pipit, pied bushchat, baya weaver and in water were Black tailed godwits, spot billed duck, common redshanks, garganey and grey heron.

Just then a Marsh Harrier came and sat in some reeds just by the road. We immediately removed the spotting scope from the car and observed the Marsh Harrier.

Ahead we crossed the bridge seeing a whiskered tern fly across.

This road looks like it is cutting across the water as for most of the time we see water on both sides of the road till we reach the village.

As we stopped by to have a look at the birds in the waterbody, a pair of purple herons landed on the right and then immediately flew away. Also seen landing were ruddy schelducks and glossy ibises.
Ruddy Schelduck

There was also a common snipe, spotted sandpiper, common sandpiper, yellow wagtails and rosy startlings on short bushes near the water.
A collared dove was sitting on the wire just besides the road.
Collared Dove

On the left side in waterbody we could see Black headed ibis, Great Egret, Asian openbill, Glossy ibis, Garganey, brahminy schelduck, Northern Shovellers and Northern Pitails.
Black Headed Ibis

Great Egret

Just then in the sky saw a raptor flying high. It was a wonderful Adult brahminy kite.
Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite with a swallow

Brahminy Kite

Whiskered terns and River terns were flying around and fishing.

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern


River Tern
A single gull was sitting in the middle and it did something interesting.
A cormorant was fishing nearby. The cormorant went underwater to fish and after sometime when it came back on the surface the gull pounced on it and stole the fish from the cormorant and had a feast of that fish.
Black Headed Gull

A common chiffchaff was fluttering on the shrubs near the road.
Common Chiffchaff

Common Chiffchaff


Just then we heard a common kingfisher flying past and sitting on the rock in the water some distance away. As we were observing, it dipped into the water and fished out a fish. Sat there for some time and then moved away.
Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher

A pond heron was sitting on the rock nearby very still and almost camoflaged.
Pond Heron

A little ahead were a flock of ducks mainly consisting of Norther Shoveler, Pintails, common teal, brahminy schelduck and spot billed duck.
Brahminy Schelduck
Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail

 A grey heron was fishing on the shore and we could happily click it without disturbing it.
Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Almost all the waterbirds were around and so were the little cormorants.
Little Cormorant

Little Cormorant

Little Cormorant

White breasted kingfisher was sitting on the wire near the road.
White Breasted Kingfisher

With so much birding at the start of the road itself. It was already past 11am.
Finally we decided to move forward and reach the end of the road.
There are a few huts of fishermen here and there boats.
One can hire a boat from here to go and see flamingoes.

Before hiring the boat we decided to go a bit ahead and have a look around.
We saw open billed storks feeding on snails very near the road.
Asian Openbill

On the other side were the spotted sandpipers, Black tailed godwits, Egrets, etc.
Spotted Sandpiper

Black Tailed Godwit

After clicking for sometime we decided to venture into the waters to observe the flamingoes.
We heard that just a flock of 15 Greater Flamningoes.

There were around 10-15 Greater flamingoes. One of them was very bright pink colored.
As usual it was fun watching them move elegantly.

Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Around the flamingoes were paitend storks, grey herons, little cormorant, Black winged stilts, Black headed gulls and Whiskered terns.
Painted Stork

Grey Heron
Black Headed Gulls

Whiskered Terns
On the way back in the boat we saw
Pintail and garganey in flight
From top to bottom, Gargney male, Pintail Female, 2 Pintail Males

A spoonbill in flight
Eurasian Spoonbill

Brown headed gull (Note the white iris)
Brown Headed Gull

It was already 1pm and we headed for lunch at Bhigwan.

1 comment:

Jeevan G said...

Gorgeous pictures!