If you are into bird watching and from Pune, then Sinhagad is surely one of the must visit places. Till now I have visited Sinhagad multiple times, out of which we have trekked all the way up to the fort twice.
The Sinhagad valley is pretty famous amongst birds especially for sighting the Asian Paradise flycatcher, Verditer flycatcher and the Ultramarine flycatcher. Once you take the left, you will start hearing calls of different birds and will start spotting birds in the valley. Soon you will see a huge tree which has a shrine at its base and small stream passes next to it. A lot of birds come at this point for water, hence a place with sure-shot sightings. Moving forward; you can keep moving along the trail which passes through the paddy fields; and after crossing the fields you need to take a right. You will realize that the trail disappears soon and you reach an open space beyond which is a relatively dense and woody jungle buzzing with bird calls. You may also occasionally hear and spot the barking deers.
Best time to visit the valley is as early as possible, and you will surely get to see some “not-so-common” birds perching. We generally try to reach at least by 6 AM or at max by 6:30 AM. When we went to Sinhagad for the 1st time, we got to see a pair of the beautiful Crested tree-swifts..! Credit goes to my wife Shraddha for spotting it and Sandip for identifying it. Yes, it was this place where I 1st met Sandip. Other species which we have spotted till date are white-spotted fantail flycatcher, Tickell’s blue flycatcher, Oriental white-eye, Scaly-breasted Munias, Black-naped Monarch flycatcher, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Black-shouldered kite, Jungle bush quail, Orange-headed thrush, Rufous Treepie, Coppersmith Barbet, White-cheeked Barbet, Black Drongo, White-bellied Drongo, Jungle Myna, Brahminy Myna, Indian Lored tit, Great tit, Sunbird, Common tailorbird, Jungle babbler, Tawny bellied Babbler, Puff-throated babbler, Common Iora, Indian robin, Oriental Magpie Robin, White-throated Kingfisher and the Indian blackbird.
You may also choose to trek to the fort, and you will surely get some good shots at the Crested Bunting, better known as the “Yuvraj”. When we trekked to the fort, we also managed to see the Yellow-eyed Babblers, Grey-breasted Prinia and the majestic Black Eagle. Once you reach the fort, you will be greeted by Jungle Mynas and the Indian Blackbirds. However the highlight was a pair of juvenile Pergerine Falcons we were able to spot from the fort…! Undoubtedly that was my best sighting till date.
Till now we have been to Sinhagad both in the summer season (May, June), once in the rainy season (August) and twice in winter season (October, December). Eagerly looking forward to visit this place more in the winter season.
Watch out for the more updates on this post… till then enjoy some of the birds I managed to click at Sinhagad Valley.
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Directions: Once you pass Khadakvasla, you need to take the route all the way up-to Aatekar Vasti. This is the base village from where the trekking route to Sinhagad fort starts. In-order to access the Sinhagad bird valley; one should take a left just at the start of the trek route.
Preserve Nature and enjoy birding 🙂
Here is a list of birds I have spotted at Sinhagad (Updated as on 26th Dec 2014):
Asian Paradise Flycatcher
White-spotted Fantail Flycatcher
Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
Black-naped Monarch Flycatcher
Dusky Craig Martin
Gold-fronted Leaf Bird
Large Grey Babbler
Oriental Magpie Robin
Scaly breasted Munia
Crested Serpent Eagle
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Few more additions from Khadakvasla (Updated as on 26th Dec 2014):
Indian Spot-billed duck