This saturday (03rd June 2018), we were off to Veer Dam. With pre-monsoon showers in last two days, the Nira river banks was a little damp and bird activity was okayish but we did get some really good opportunities to make images of common birds. Wooly-necked Storks, Barred Buttonquails, Brown Crake & a pair of Oriental Pratincoles were the highlights with 40+ bird species in total.
Location: Veer Dam, Pune
Date: 03 June 2018
Time: 0700 hrs to 1000 hrs
eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46285446
Sandip Telang and myself started off from Pune by 0530 hrs and as usual after a quick breakfast at Shriram Vadapav, we were off on our birding excursion looking out for birds along the road. The climate was cloudy (thanks to pre-monsoon showers in last two days) although the activity seemed a bit low. We were coming across the usual species – Brahminy Starlings, Cattle Egrets, Common Mynas and Large-gray Babblers. The best part was we got to make some good images of these common birds this time. Oh and yes, we also managed to see a pair of Barred Buttonquails next to the road as well as a lone Yellow-crowned Woodpecker.
We continued our journey to reach the Nira River banks which seemed to have decent bird activity. Spotting the 4 Wooly-necked Storks was pretty easy, add to it they were pretty bold and busy with their breakfast. And so was the case with Little & Intermediate Egrets and Red-naped Ibis.
This is also the best time to lookout for Oriental Pratincoles on the banks of Nira River every year. We parked the car as the river bank was little marshy and decided to explore on foot. We spotted a lone Painted Stork along with a 3 Eurasian Spoonbills and a huge flock (50+) of cormorants. We also sighted Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plover and a group of around 15 River Terns. Missed seeing the Little Terns as they are often seen in this season in breeding plumages.
We walked right till the end but couldn’t spot any pratincoles. Its only our way back we spotted one! We instantly got down to the ground and approached it by crawling either when it was preening or looking the other way and managed to make some decent images.
Its always a good feeling when you are able to approach a bird without disturbing it and make some good images. The sun was out by now and we decided to call it a day. Its only while returning we came across this bold Brown Crake that was waiting to cross the road 🙂
We drove back via Saswad, looking for any activity by road side but with the hot sun, there was hardly anything. All in all a good birding session with some good photographic opportunities. Thanks for reading & hope you enjoyed the blog, do share recommendations if any in comments. For more information on Birding at Veer Dam, visit the link below:
Signing off until next time, ciao 🙂
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