Bird-watching at Akshi – Day trip from Pune

The winter has arrived and so have the migratory birds. A quick bird-watching excursion to Akshi beach resulted in observing some lovely bird species which included four lifers – Great Knots, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Caspian Gulls. Some other key highlights were the Terek & Curlew Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Whiskered Terns and Ruddy Turnstones. 

Being a day trip we started as early as 4 AM from Pune which ensured we reached Akshi beach by 7 AM.  We were 4 of us from Pune and another 7 of our friends from Mumbai. Just as we parked our cars at the main entrance to the Akshi beach, we were greeted by a lone Brahminy Kite and a pair of Lesser Flamebacks (Lesser Golden-backed woodpeckers). As we moved onto the beach, we could saw waders instantly; most of them being Lesser and Greater Sandplovers; and Kentish Plovers. However as we moved in closer we could spot and identify the different species.

The Ruddy Turnstones; with the bright orange legs were mingled with everyone..! Be it the Kentish Plovers, Great Knots, or the Terek Sandpipers.. pretty social I must say.

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223711589495395905″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”4″ size=”200″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

And there was this particular Ruddy Turnstone who was busy having crab for breakfast 😉

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223712325632500849″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”4″ size=”200″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”left” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

There was a lone Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach; which stood out being much larger than most of these wader and was busy relaxing, preening and foraging on the beach.

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223711419534991441″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”2″ size=”400″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”left” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

“An interesting fact about this species is that during migration they take the longest non-stop journey for any land bird; from its breeding grounds in Arctic to the wintering grounds in New Zealand & Australia – covering more than a 10,000 kms by flying non-stop for over 170 hours..!! Such long flight is achieved by large fat reserves and the ability to shrink the internal organs to reduce weight while in flight. When post-breeding migration begins, Each bar-tailed Godwit is around twice its normal body weight.” – (Information collated from Wikipedia &

Next up were the Great Knots; which again were larger and were busy foraging in a group. We saw 2 flocks of this species; with around 8-10 birds in each flock.

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223711295719307249″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”4″ size=”200″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”left” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

We also got to see the Curlew and Terek Sandpipers, Dunlins, Little Stints along with a good number of Kentish plovers, Lesser & Greater Sandplovers.

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223710735788385745″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”4″ size=”200″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”left” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

It was already 10:30 AM and light was becoming harsh as we moved to the farther end on the right side (once u enter the beach); where in we saw huge flocks of Gulls and Terns. These included Caspian, Steppe & Heuglin’s Gulls, Pallas Gulls, Brown-headed Gulls, Gull-billed Terns, Whiskered Terns, Little Terns, Caspian Terns and Lesser Crested Terns.

[alpine-phototile-for-picasa-and-google-plus src=”user_album” uid=”101410552226652293660″ ualb=”6223711131507825137″ imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”5″ size=”150″ num=”100″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ highlight=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”left” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]

And finally while returning back at the entrance we saw another loner, a Whimbrel this time.

Whimbrel 1600-6674

Rest of the hour we spent getting fresh, having our breakfast and chit-chatting before starting our return journey. Going bird-watching with friends was fun as always and was indeed good to connect with all of you – Medha Karkhanis ma’am, Ravichandran sir, Medha Jain, Suma, Jaideep, Arvind, Dhananjay sir & Najma ma’am, Viswanath and Bhavesh ofcourse..! I also met few birding friends from Pune; Ashish, Pratik, Harshad and Swapnil – its always good to connect in real with fellow birding folks who are your Facebook friends.

ebird checklist:

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.

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

Do subscribe to our facebook page for more information on bird species and regular updates on our trips at –

– Rudraksha & Shraddha

8 thoughts on “Bird-watching at Akshi – Day trip from Pune

  • December 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Awesome coverage! And it was really good to meet you and the rest of the gang!

    • December 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you Medha. Was wonderful to meet you as well 🙂

  • December 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Nicely penned with all the details.

    Yeah that was a nice birding trip and was got to meet you in person …….

    • December 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks Tushar. Lets plan to meet soon again 🙂

  • February 3, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    it is a wonderful observation. i got so much of information from this regarding diversity of avifauna of veerdam.

    • February 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you.

  • February 19, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Hi, I am Pradosh Joshua from Bengaluru. What is the best time to visit Akshi.

    • February 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Hello Pradosh, December/January are the best times to visit Akshi.


Leave a Reply