There are many good birding spots in & around Pune. Mumbai people can easily go there on weekends. Bhigwan, Varvand Dam, Kavdi, Pashan are very good places in winter, specially for ducks. But an all season favorate birding spot is Sinhgad valley.
It all started with a call from Adesh, asking for going to Pune for Raja Purohit's exhibition. We* decided to leave Mumbai by Saturday afternoon, reach Sinhagad valley by night, stay there, Morning birdwatching in singad valley, visit Raja's exhibition in the afternoon & come back to Mumabi.
Sinhgad is apprx. 25kms from Pune. We stayed at "Ranvara" resort, situated at the foothills of Sinhgad. The area around the resort has a cultivated land on one side & valley on the other. Early morning the area was very active with various bird acitivities. Eurasian Black Birds, Plum Headed Parakeets, Baya Weavers, Spotted & Laughing Doves, Oriental White Eye, Indian Robin, Red Rumped Swallow and a Black Shouldered Kite.
Later on we were joined by Gaurav Purohit and his colleagues from Pune. Tickell's Blue Flycathers were seen almost everywhere. Some pairs busy in hatching the eggs, some busy in preparing the nest. A changeable Hawk Eagle was sitting majestically high in the valley and a pair Crested Serpant Eagle was circling around.
But still we were not satisfied as one special bird was still remained to be seen. A beautiful "Crested Bunting", which is commonly seen in Sinhgad valley. But no luck... till afternoon when we all were ready to leave the place. Just in front of the rest house this beatiful bird came & rested on a barren tree branch in full sunlight to give us some splendid views. The dark blue & copper colors were shining brightly and its crest.. ohh... what a beauty!! No doubt why it is called a "Yuvraj"!!As now mansoon is ready to set, it will be interesting to visit this valley again in August, when Black Eagle comes to the valley.
Later in the evening we visited Raja Purohit and Anant Zanjale's Wildlife Photography exhibition. We all were stunned to see those beautiful captures from varioues wildlife sancturies of India & few from Africa as well.