Reminiscing the good old days when we used to travel – sometimes planned sometimes impromptu. It has been more than 3 months at home. The things we can do is to plan, do virtual tours, read books or recall memories by looking at the photographs. So, today I was going through the last trip we did just before the lockdown was to Sinhagad Valley – Birders’ Paradise! This post is the combined experience of our multiple visits to Sinhagad valley.
Sinhagad Fort is the most popular tourist spot in Pune because of the stunning views and delicious Pithla Bhakri. Those who love trekking take the Sinhagad Paytha (Base) for starting their trek and the nature enthusiasts as well as Bird lovers choose to go to Sinhagad Valley.
Bird watching needs a lot of patience and determination. The story of the last visit to Sinhagad Valley is quite interesting! Do you remember Dalgona Coffee? Yes, I made the coffee on a Friday night which fortunately or unfortunately kept me awake for the whole night! We just love being in the lap of nature and mostly never miss a chance to get lost in the wilderness. So at 4 AM, this weird impromptu plan came on to my mind to go for bird watching and trust me that was the best decision!
We have been there multiple times so without the second thought, we got ready in jiffy and loaded our camera gears. Super excited and without any plans we just started driving at 5 AM in pitch dark and it felt so good to go out so early. Empty streets, cool breeze, chirping birds and the fresh air motivated me to get up this early everyday!
After parking the car, and a walk of half a km, we settled down at our favourite spot. As I said, patience is the key for bird-watching. Don’t get hyper, don’t move much, don’t talk loudly as it disturbs the birds. Sit at one place and if you can not capture in first go, don’t get upset as the birds frequently come to the same place. If you want to keep it in your heart forever, just take no photographs.
Those who want to take photographs, there are a couple of spots where you can camouflage, sit and capture the beautiful feather friends. You can spot varied flycatcher, eagles, munias, monarch, pipit. If you are lucky you can spot so many bird species on your first visit. The valley is a hub for bird-watching. But the most gorgeous, popular and photogenic bird is The Asian Paradise Flycatcher which translates to एशियाई दिव्यलोकी कीटमार also known as दूधराज या सुल्ताना बुलबुल in hindi and स्वर्गीय नर्तक in marathi. It is so beautiful that seeing it for the first time seems like a dream! When it flies it feels like a feather floating in the air! The crown says it all…
Did you know? Asian Paradise Flycatcher is the state bird of Madhya Pradesh.
You can enjoy the flora and fauna around the valley. The rising rays of sun bring all the joy. Birds start to come near water bodies to drink water and bathe.
The most playful and cute bird is the Female Red Breasted Flycatcher. It is quite camera-friendly and attention-seeker. LOL. Even if you try to capture the other birds it will come and pose and you won’t be able to resist but click. The male is shy but the bright blue color is worth clicking!
Red vented Bulbul, Red Whiskered Bulbul are quite common on sight.
The Scaly Breasted Munias are too shy and they can be seen just for few minutes.
After some time we spotted Yellow wagtail. It spends a lot of time walking and running on the ground with its tail wagging from time to time.
Playful but shy Oriental White Eye is another beautiful creature. As the name suggests, you can see a perfect white circle around its eyes. So pretty!
This fluffy ball is so cute!
If you are fortunate, you can capture Owls, Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Rufous Treepie, Scaly Breasted Munias. We also spotted Serpent Eagle’s huge nest!
Have you seen Angry Bird in real life? Here you go….This little naughty creature has the natural angry face! This is fantail for you. Haha…
The most sweet vocal artist is the Oriental Magpie Robin. The day starts with it singing in multiple voices. It is purely magical.
There are other birds also which are gorgeous and you are lucky enough to capture them.
Also, past 9 AM, you can see a group of langurs coming.
After so many visits, we realised there is a certain time range when you can see particular birds. It is surprising, but that is our observation.
There was not much activity after 10 AM so we left, had breakfast on the way and this sudden plan to Sinhagad Valley was the last visit to any destination before lockdown. I can’t wait for everything to get back to normal so that I can again see my feather friends.