Indian Pitta

It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest.

Nilgiri Flycatcher

An endemic resident in the Western Ghats of southern India.

Brown-winged Kingfisher

These kingfisher species excavate their nests in a river mud bank.


Tales from the Land of Mowgli


Feeds mostly on small birds, capturing them in mid-air in rapid pursuit.

Malabar Trogon

A resident of dense tropical forests.

Malabar Pied Hornbill

This species is omnivorous, taking fruit, fish and small mammals.

Crimson-backed Sunbird

Diet of sunbirds is based mostly on nectar

Golden-breasted Fulvetta

They prefer dense undergrowth, usually dominated by bamboo forest.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Birding in Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary

Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is an excellent habitat for wetland birds, also popularly known as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra. NMBS is located close to Nashik in Maharashtra, India. Though, the best time to visit this place is December to March, we planned a visit in the first week of April 2012.

We started our drive towards Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary from Mumbai very early in the morning. By the time it was lunch hours, we (Myself, Yash, Avinash and Aditya ) were there. Our guides Mr. Pramod and Mr. Amol, were waiting for us. They connected us to Mr. Tanaji, who checked us into the Forest Guest House located a couple of kms from the water body, along a river.
Ruddy Shelduck
After lunch and some rest headed toward the Lake. The water level were low that particular day, hence taking a boat ride was not possible. So we walked around the periphery of the Lake, Ruddy shelducks in large numbers were present. 

We also sighted Black-winged Stilts, Yellow Wagtails (in large numbers), Pacific Golden Plovers, Herons, Egrets, Little Ringed Plovers. They were shrubs along the periphery and Indian Silver Bills, Oriental magpie Robbins were seen hopping and chirping.
Indian Silverbill
By the time the evening set in located a spot, where there was a large flock of Oriental White Ibis, Purple Moorhens, Spot-billed Ducks. It was to get dark soon, so we returned to the Guest house. We were served delicious home cooked meals by Mr. Tanaji.

As the night set in, the temperatures dropped and was very cool. We decided to move around  to spot Nightjars. We could hear them call, but could not photograph them. Finally, retired for the night.

Early morning, we were again greeted by Mr. Tanaji and his family, who bought home cooked “Poha” – ( ) and tea.

While, we were enjoying the breakfast, heard White Throated Kingfishers call and rushed out. It was a wonderful sight as a pair was around, just near the Guest house gate. 
White-throated Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
They had their nesting in the rock surface. We kept our distance and watched them. Little later, we decided to walk towards the river. We sighted Barn swallows, White-browed Wagtail, Streaked Swallows, Laughing Dove. We were particularly excited when we sighted a pair of Spotted Owlets! 
Spotted Owlet

Laughing Dove
Little Ringed Plover
Overwhelmed, with the sighting we were ready to meet Pramod and Amol near the water body again, where we had been the previous evening. The water levels were surprisingly higher than the previous visit. So we took the boat, but soon realized it was not deep enough. The boat would get stuck in the weeds, making it difficult to even pull it!
Walk into the lake towards the Grasslands...
So we gathered the enthusiasm and started to walk towards the centre of the lake, the water was initially knee deep, but at some spots it was till our waist. The view was amazing, with grasslands all around the periphery.
Common Stonechat
We managed to cross a large water body on foot, wading and balancing. The flocks we had seen from far, were now very close to us. Large flocks of the Woolly Necked storks were sighted. We had a another lifer, the Oriental Pranticole. There were four of them that particular day.
Oriental Pratincole
We found a spot in the lake, where the depth was not much at all. We decided to sit and wait. The patience paid off, we had a flock of Eurasian Spoonbills, Spot-billed Ducks, Painted Storks, Black-winged Stilts flying all around us. Perching and taking off…Soon we sighted a Western Marsh Harrier circling over the flocks, scaring them.
Eurasian Spoonbill
Western Marsh-harrier
Painted Stork
Rufous-tailed Lark
Yellow Wagtail

Spot-billed Duck

Pacific Golden Plover
It was almost mid afternoon and the sun shinning bright on us. Moreover, we had to head back towards Mumbai and reach before it got dark.

We were told by our guides that in the month of December/ January Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary homes thousands of beautiful and migratory birds. There are more than 230 species of birds, out of which 80 are migratory species. The migratory birds we missed sighting were White Stork's, Flamingo's, Pintail's, Mallard's, Wigeon's, Gargenery, Northern Shoveller, Pochard's, Cranes, Shanks, Eurasian Curlews, Godwits, Weavers, etc.

On the way back we stopped for sugarcane juice, which tastes the best in summers.

Promising our self's that we would visit this place soon, bid good bye to the wetlands...

Happy Birding!

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