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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  1. owlets are really cute and I actually read what Poha means on wiki... :)
    Thank you for sharing the experience.

  2. @resham - Yes they were very cute and it was a lifer for us. Had spend a good 15 mins of our lives watching them.

    Sure you know, what Poha means otherwise as well :)

    Thank you for passing by.

  3. hi aseem, lovely pics, can you please provide me a little detail info on the guides pramod/Amol + tanaji + how to book the FRH

  4. @Arun - Thank you, have sent you all the relevant details on email. Happy Birding :)

  5. Hey Aseem, lovely pics.. very informative post. Can you please send us some details as - best time to visit, stay / Guide options and contacts please?

  6. @Devesh - Hello, thanks for passing by. Thank you for your kind comments. You can contact Mr. Pramod and his brother Mr. Amol on 8007795117or 8007858599, they are residents and can help you sight birds. They will also assist you to stay there. The best time depends on the water levels, which again can be checked with them.
    Happy Birding !

  7. Very nice clicks sir.. & thanks for sharing contact details of Pramod & Amol.. :)

    1. Welcome anytime. Feel free to connect anytime. Happy Birding.

  8. We plan to visit NM this December and we do not know where to stay. Is it possible to get Mr Tanaji's number or email?

    1. As far as I know, basic arrangements can be made for stay by Pramod. I am sharing Tanaji's number, not sure if it's still valid (+91 95-52-242596)

      Happy Birding


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