This sunday (10th June 2018), we decided to visit Kaldari. We were visiting this place after almost 10 months and every time we visit this place, we have got pleasantly surprised. Be it some relatively rare birds or some excellent photographic opportunities. This session was very similar to the previous one, some really good photographic opportunities as we came across Ashy Prinias, Red-rumped Swallows, Crested Hawk Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Rock Bushquails and more!
Location: Kaldari, Pune
Date: 10 June 2018
Time: 0700 hrs to 1100 hrs
eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46491115
As always, Sandip Telang and myself started off from Pune by 0530 hrs and started with the birding by 0700 hours. Its more of a drive through looking for birds along the road. We had planned to have a late breakfast this time after returning so we were on lookout for birds immediately as soon as we entered the area. The climate was super pleasant this time, slightly overcast with clouds acting as perfect soft box. To start off, we came across a group of Rock Bushquails and also a Gray Francolins family right next to the road.
Next up was a pair of Red-rumped Swallows on a small pool. We decided to stay put in the car as they were perched perfectly at eye level and got to make some nice images.
Also while we were busy clicking the Red-rumped Swallows, an Ashy Prinia popped out of nowhere and posed for few seconds letting me make just a couple of images, i did love the way those images turned out though 🙂 . This must be probably the only 2nd or 3rd time I must have clicked Ashy Prinia.
We continued our journey as we came across more Red-rumped Swallows, Crested Buntings, Yellow-eyed Babblers and yes, the Grey-bellied Cuckoos. They were everywhere all along the road.
We also saw a Jacobin Cuckoo fly and perch on tree next to the road. As I parked the car, another flew on the same tree and perched close to it and it also had a kill in its mouth. It was actually a pair and with in couple of seconds they started mating. We observed that the male was feeding the female with the kill while mating, something we had heard off but observing it from such a close distance was special.
Next up was a classic scene, a Black-winged Kite perched on a wire. I was really not interested in clicking this one since it was on a wire but as Sandip clicked few images, I also decide to click a couple of them. Good part was it was pretty close and since the weather was overcast with sky as background, it was perfect opportunity to make a high key image. I pushed the exposure by couple of stops and made few images, one of which turned out really well – when the kite looked right into the lens with more of an inquisitive expression. Hopefully on a natural perch someday 🙂
Soon we saw couple of more raptors, a Short-toed Snake Eagle and a Crested Hawk Eagle. The latter one was especially a pretty bold individual letting us approach it up close. Not the cleanest of images but its always a great feeling to see these raptors from close quarters. We also saw a very unique but not so nice moment as couple of dogs chased an Indian fox. We just hoped that the fox was too fast for them.
The weather was still very pleasant but it was the hunger that made us start our return. While returning, we came across 3 White-throated Kingfishers and again a Red-rumped Swallow, a little far away but this time on a natural perch.
That was it for this birding trip to Kaldari. If anyone plans to visit, better to carry packed breakfast as there is no hotel in the area. One can also decide to drive further via Parinche and join the Veer – Saswad road or drive along and join the Mumbai – Bangalore highway at Kikvi (around 8 KM for Kapurhol). To sum up, a good birding session with some good photographic opportunities.
Signing off until next time, ciao 🙂
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– Rudraksha & Shraddha