Bird-watching at Veer Dam – Pune

Veer Dam is a key bird-watching hotspot around Pune; especially famous for the Bar-headed Geese & Demoiselle Cranes. We have done multiple trips to this place in different seasons and have been pleasantly surprised with some of the sightings at this place. Till date we have sighted over 170 different species of birds at Veer Dam. One of the best parts about this place is that you will get to see Waders, Raptors as well as Flycatchers in and around Veer Dam. Not many places offer such variety.. Located around 70 KMs from Pune, this place offers a good stretch of 7-8 KMs along the river Nira. This entire belt along the river is extremely rich with Avifauna.

To start with, one can drive via the Tondal village all the way up to the banks of the river. Some of the key sighting at the banks will be the Bar-headed Geese and Ruddy Shelducks. You will also find Wooly-necked Storks, Red-naped Ibis, Asian Openbill storks, Indian Coursers, Common Hoopoes and Painted Storks.


Some facts about the Bar-headed Geese: Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) are known for migrating at extremely high altitudes over the world’s highest mountains, the Himalayas. Every winter, they fly into the Indian Subcontinent and spend their winters at different water bodies. Veer dam near Pune is one such place which they visit every year. There is also a lot of research and study going on around their migration path and the reason they fly so high.


Next one can drive back to the main road and move further ahead towards the dam, and soon you will see the river running parallel to the road. This is the place where one can find a variety of birds; ranging from Raptors like Greater Spotted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Black-winged Kite to water birds like Bar-headed Geese, Ruddy Shelducks, Indian Spot-billed Ducks, Painted and Asian Openbill Storks, Common and Wood Sandpipers, Little-ringed Plovers, Kentish Plovers, Small Pratincoles and Oriental Pratincoles. Do keep your eyes open for Indian Thick-knees and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse as well. One also gets to see Lesser White-throat and Common Stonechats at this place.

Moving ahead, as you reach Veer Dam, you will see some dense vegetation on left side. One can take the road to left where you can see the entire dam wall along the left side of the road. Exploring this place we got some key sightings like the Mottled Wood Owl, Ultramarine Flycatcher and Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher. We also got to see the Large Cuckooshrike, Common Woodshrike, Golden Oriole, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch Flycatcher, White-browed Bulbul, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Brahminy Kite and Red-breasted Flycatcher.

Here are some of the birds that we have clicked at Veer Dam:


How to reach: 

Take the Mumbai-Bangalore highway and drive up-to Shirwal, where you need to turn left onto the Khandala-Loni road to Baramati. Driving for around 4-5 KMs, take a left and you will reach the Tondal village.


Tips:

– Try to reach the place at around 7 AM or so. You may get to see the Raptors perched along the road.
– Take extra care when you walk near the shore in Summer season as this is the breeding season and many birds lay their eggs on the ground.
– Do submit your sightings on ebird.org. Read more on why ebird.org and how it works at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/
– Refer Google maps in-case you are confused with the route. The directions shown on maps are accurate.
– Carry packed breakfast / lunch if necessary. There are not many places for breakfast and Lunch. Shirwal is a good place for breakfast. Also there is a good joint (Shreeram Wada Pav) for breakfast just before turning left towards Veer dam from the highway. Misal is highly recommended at this joint 😀
– Keep the place clean 🙂

Thanks for reading. Let us know in-case of any corrections, queries, suggestions and we will be happy to respond.

Join us in our upcoming tours at www.wild-india.in

For regular updates & information on wildlife subscribe to our FB page on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/whistlingtrails

– Rudraksha & Shraddha


Months visited with Ebird Checklists:

Dec 2014 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23621804
Jan 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21218563
Feb 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23621866
May 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23528776
Jul 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24323500
Nov 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25820771
Dec 2015 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26325121
Jan 2016 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26966541
Nov 2016 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/india/view/checklist/S32530949
Feb 2017 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/india/view/checklist/S34172086
Apr 2017 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/india/view/checklist/S35808308
May 2017 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36830707
July 2017 -> http://ebird.org/ebird/india/view/checklist/S38043363

30 thoughts on “Bird-watching at Veer Dam – Pune

  • December 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm
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    Super writeup. Wish i could write like you.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2014 at 10:46 am
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      Thanks a lot for the kind words Arvind. Looking forward to meet you :-).

      Reply
    • January 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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      Thank you Sir.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm
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    Superb. Thanks for sharing.

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    • January 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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      Thanks Smita. Glad you liked it.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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    Thanks for another informative blog. Didnt know abt veer dam!
    & yes…Great pictures !!

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    • January 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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      Thanks Mitesh. Glad that you are following our blog 🙂

      Reply
  • January 3, 2015 at 11:36 am
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    Super! Thanks for all the info too!

    Reply
    • January 3, 2015 at 11:45 am
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      Thanks Yasmina..

      Reply
  • January 8, 2015 at 11:36 am
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    Nice post. To your checklist I could add a few more when I went yesterday (7th January), including Common and Tufted pochard, Thick-knee, Osprey … I’ll put the list on eBird and on this forum soon.

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    • January 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm
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      Thanks Ashish. Very good sightings indeed. Thanks for the update.

      Reply
  • January 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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    Hi Rudraksha

    Nice and interesting blog. Had a great time at Veer Dam with Satish sir and team.

    Reply
    • January 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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      Thanks Neha ma’am.

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 8:40 am
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    Very Nice Blog and Photos Rudra.

    I am planning for Veer this Saturday with my daughter, so wanted some tips for this birding excursion.

    I am aware of how to reach Veer, it would be nice if you can help me in choosing the spots and where to start from once I reach Veer.

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 9:02 am
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      Hello Abhijit, glad that you liked the blog.

      There are no specific spots as such. We have made around 4 trips till date and have found different species at different places. As soon as you take left post Shirwal, the activity starts. As I have mentioned in the blog, driving via Tondal village all up-to the banks of the river has been beneficial. Other key areas have been the entire stretch of the Nila river banks as well as vicinity of the actually Veer dam.

      Reply
      • February 5, 2015 at 9:59 am
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        Thanks Rudra for the reply.

        I will go straight to the dam and start from there this time.

        Reply
  • May 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm
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    Very informative…..TFS…

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    • May 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm
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      Thanks Akshay.

      Reply
    • July 21, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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      Thanks Kiran 🙂

      Reply
  • July 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    Having only just recently moved to Pune, finding your site has given me some great ideas to go for some wildlife trips! I’d definitively like to join on an outing if that would be possible some time.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    Very informative and well written piece with great images. Trust this encourages more responsible bird watching and photography.

    Reply
    • July 24, 2015 at 11:17 am
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      Thanks Taej Sir.

      Reply
  • August 19, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    Thanks for the post its really a helpful one.
    Will explore the place as per your direction.
    Is there any bird watching group at pune?As I am a newbee and want to know about birds and learn photography….

    Reply
  • October 24, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    Thanks guys! We have been visiting Veer dam for a while however didn’t know about all the three spots. Good informative read. Will let you know further as we are planning to visit the same tomorrow.

    Reply
  • November 28, 2016 at 7:13 pm
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    Came across this blog recently. Nice photos. Can you share which camera and lens uaed

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    • November 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm
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      Thanks Vijay. I use a Canon 7d mark II with 400mm f/5.6 non-IS prime lens

      Reply

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