Bird-watching at Akshi & a visit to Korlai Fort

After fantastic trips to Ratnagiri and Chiplun, we zeroed on visiting Akshi in Konkan; a place around 5 KMs from Alibaug. Akshi beach has the same coastline that extends from Alibaug; however is relatively less crowded and not as famous as Alibaug beach or Kashid beach. Another key aspect we considered to visit Akshi beach was for bird-watching. Akshi beach is pretty familiar name among bird watchers; primarily for the variety and huge number of water birds seen on the beach. Me and Shraddha were joined by our friends; Sachin, Shilpa and Akash for this trip. As with most of our trips; we start early by 6:30 AM and hence reached our destination by 11 AM. We had booked our stay at  Jaswand Holidays, which is a very nice property nestled in Akshi; right next to the beach. Just as we were about to enter our rooms; we spotted the Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Male) right next to our room. After some time, we also spotted another Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Juvenile). We couldn’t have asked for a better welcome. We also saw a Shikra perched on one of the trees next to our room as well as an Oriental Honey Buzzard flying high up in the sky.

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After relaxing for a while, I decided to take a quick look at the beach. At around 12:30 PM, it was low tide that day; which meant fewer birds near the shore.. We could see quite a number of Gulls and Terns far away though. We also managed to see quite a number of waders; Sanderling, Lesser sand plovers, Greater sand plovers and Kentish plovers. We spent around 20-30 Minutes and came back to the resort as it was very hot in noon.

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After a good sumptuous lunch; we took a good nap. At around 4 PM, we started towards the beach in hope of getting the birds a little closer. Water had started coming in; and so did the birds. We got some decent sights of the Heuglin’s Gull, Steppe Gull, Greater Crested Terns and Gull-billed Terns. Again we saw quite a number of plovers along with a pair of Common Redshanks. Soon it was sunset time and we did manage to get some decent sunset clicks as well.

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We came back to resort by 7 PM. It was time for some barbeque which was indeed super fun. We dozed off by midnight as I again wanted to visit the beach early morning just before the High tide hits. High tide was supposed to hit at around 8 AM; hence I was at the beach by 7 AM. Saw most of the Gulls in flight in the morning, however got very good sights of Terek Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones.

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After a good bird-watching session, we were back to resort for breakfast by 9 AM. We soon completed the checkout formalities and proceeded towards Korlai fort before heading back home. Korlai fort is also known as Castle Curlew and is a Portuguese fortification which was built to guard the Revdanda creek. There is quite some fortification at the fort; and it has a lighthouse as well. We were surprised to see beautiful fort which hardly has any mention from tourism perspective. For someone who likes to visit forts and monuments; don’t miss out on the Korlai fort. From bird-watching perspective, we only managed to see a Common Kestrel and few Asian Palm swifts at the fort.

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Coming back to  Jaswand Holidays, it is one of the value for money resorts we stayed at in our numerous trips. Their property is pretty small, however for quality of rooms provided, it’s completely worth it. I am sure there must be more birds at the property which we missed as we hardly spent any time at the resort. It is run by Rajesh and Sarvesh Joshi who are very friendly and will look into any specific requests. Right from booking the resort, till checkout; their hospitality was excellent.

A trip to Akshi can easily be managed with one-night trip stay as there is not much to visit in and around apart from beaches at Alibaug, Nagaon and Kashid. If one likes to visit different beaches then one can consider an extended stay; however note that it’s the same coastline and beaches are pretty similar. One may also visit the Kolaba fort (Also known as Alibaug fort); which is an old military fortification. There is also the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary; however we could not visit it this time.

To sum it up, another lovely trip in the Konkan region; the more we visit, the more we fall in love with nature.

How to reach:
1. The way to Akshi is pretty straight forward; which is via the Pune-Mumbai highway -> Khopoli exit -> Pen -> Poynad -> Alibaug -> Akshi. One can rely on Google maps and follow the directions to reach Akshi. If someone is planning to stay at Jaswand Holidays, do give them a call. The place is little difficult to locate as Akshi is a very small town.

1. For bird-watching; keep a check on the tide. Ideally one should be there an hour before the High tide hits. Hence plan your trip on a day when high tide is at around 8 AM or so.
2. For photography, keep a check on the exposure setting. Light is very good once the sun is up; hence you may want to reduce the exposure a bit to get good details.
3. Please do not litter and keep the place clean. Akshi is pretty clean when entered from its main entrance, but the moment you start moving towards right side; you will see lot of dirt and waste.

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

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– Rudraksha & Shraddha

Here are some of the key bird species sighted in our trip:

– Heuglin’s Gull
– Steppe Gull
– Pallas’s Gull
– Brown-headed
– Black-headed Gull
– Slender-billed Gull
– Ruddy Turnstone
– Lesser and Greater Sand Plover
– Kentish Plover
– Terek Sandpiper
– Sanderling
– Lesser Crested Tern
– Gull-billed Tern

4 thoughts on “Bird-watching at Akshi & a visit to Korlai Fort

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Lovely post! I wish I knew about these places when I lived in Mumbai a few years back… Do keep writing, maybe I will visit them one day 🙂

    • March 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Sangeeta. Glad that you are following our blog.

    • March 27, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Kiran.


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