Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bird watching at Veer Dam & Backwater area

Veer Dam is few kms away from Shirwal (on Pune-Bangalore national highway) and best place to spot migratory birds such as Bar Headed Goose, Brahmin Duck and Demoiselle Crane. Being a bird watcher and nature lover, it was not possible for me to skip this place in winter. After visiting Pashan Lake many times, I decided to go to this place; this was my second time here. You can spend plenty of time just watching birds and their activity especially Bar Headed Goose – Angel birds from Mongolia.

Bar Headed Goose

About veer Dam: 
Map to Veer Dam
Veer Dam is constructed on Nira River. It is situated on south of Pune around 15 km from Shirwal city. Back water area is popular for bird sighting in winter season. I am not aware about Dam but surrounding area is excellent spot for migratory birds.

To reach Veer Dam, Join National highway 4 at chandani chuwk or at Varje Bridge – Drive towards Kolhapur/Bangalore side – Cross Nira River Bridge – Cross Shirwal city – After Crossing Shirwal, Drive for around 2-3 km – Take a Left Turn (a.k.a. Pandharpur phata OR Turn opposite to Sripatrad Kadam college) – You will be on Khandala-Loni Rd. – cross one village and look for second village name Tondal – Take left for village and drive till you reach close to water body. Due to dry land from back water area, you can reach quite close to back water. But make sure that driving land is not muddy.

Also there are other places where you can go to spot birds. Once you are on Khandala-Loni Rd. – bypass Tondal village from main road – Drive for around 1 / 2 km and look for a small dirt road – take left there and park your vehicle on safe position. 

Please do not drive you vehicle close to birds. Best way to explore this area is on your own foot along the water body without disturbing them.

I visited this place twice and both visits were made by me and my wife Renuka.
 
Standing tall at Veer Dam

January 2014: Kothrud, Pune to Veer Dam backwater (Total distance is approx. 148 km):
         We woke up in early morning and left home around 5.30 AM. After a smooth Drive we reached Khandala-Loni Rd. Road is in excellent condition expect few small patches. There was hardly any traffic which gave us a nice driving experience. Soon we reached Tondal Village. We were about to park our car in village but villagers told us to take a car in back water area. When dam back water level decreases then many farmers use that land for farming. You can drive easily on that land.
        When we reached that area, our bird spotting activity started. We saw around 50-100 Bar Headed Goose along with few Brahmin Duck busy with their breakfast and some of them were resting. We approached them by crawling on mud. We kept safe distance and I clicked a lot of Photos. We enjoyed for an hour observing their activity. An astonishing fact about these birds is that they are one of the world's highest flying birds; they migrate over Himalayas (flying higher than 21000 ft.) to spend the winter in parts of India. It was more fun when we saw 2-3 Jungle crow approaching towards this group and everyone flew. After this we saw some other birds Like Ibis, spoonbill, common Pochard and many more. We spent around 3 hours and then left this place. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any Demoiselle Crane. On asking villagers, we got to know that it was not spotted last year as well. 

Bar Headed Goose at Veer Dam
Bar Headed Goose

Bar Headed Goose at Veer Dam
Bar Headed Goose
I wanted to check some others birds hence we drove till Veer dam’s wall. Due to water channel and nearby farms, you can see some raptors, Kingfishers, Red Avadavat, Wagtails etc. There were many birds (Not wet land birds) and I tried some clicks there as well. By 11:30 AM, We left this beautiful area. 

List of birds which you can see in Veer Dam 
Bar-Headed Goose 
Brahminy Myna 
Laughing Dove 
Ruddy Shelduck 
Jungle Babbler 
Purple Sunbird 
White-Breasted Kingfisher 
Large Grey Babbler 
Indian Robin 
Rose-Ringed Parakeet 
Little Cormorant 
Pied Bushchat 
Blossom-Headed Parakeet 
Little Egret 
River Tern 
Lesser Whistling Duck 
Common Tailorbird 
Pied Kingfisher 
Spot-Billed Duck 
Black Ibis 
Common Hoopoe 
Common Pochard 
Oriental Ibis
Indian Roller 
Tufted Duck 
Spoonbill 
Ashy Prinia 
Eurasian Collared Dove 
Spotted Munia 
Plains Prinia 
Yellow-Crowned Woodpecker 
Black Drongo 
Red Turtle Dove 
Little Ringed Plover 
Red Avadavat 
Barn Swallow 
Common Sandpiper 
Green Bee eater 
Grey Wagtail 
Marsh Sandpiper 
House Crow 
Citrine Wagtail 
Wood Sandpiper 
Jungle Crow 
White Wagtail 
Red-Wattled Lapwing 
Little Grebe 

Yellow-Wattled Lapwing 
House Sparrow 

Red-Rumped Swallow 
Rock Dove 

Common Pochard 
Grey Heron 

Common Myna 
Jungle Babbler 


Below are snaps taken during my visits to Veer Dam:- 

Ruddy shelduck a.k.a Brahmin Duck
Ruddy shelduck a.k.a Brahmin Duck

Brahmin Duck
Brahmin Duck

Brahmin Duck in Flight
Brahmin Duck in Flight

Rest - Bar Headed Goose
We are together - Bar Headed Goose and Brahmin Duck

Bar Headed Goose in Flight

Oriental Ibis a.k.a. Black naked ibis

Rose-ringed Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet

Red Avadavat
Red Avadavat

Green Bee-eater with Catch
Green Bee-eater with Catch

I will try to upload more and more travel blogs. Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.

Pritesh Kulkarni 
Pune

16 comments:

  1. one of the best photo-blogs i ever visited.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once again, I have not visited this. Will plan soon. Thanks for sharing.
    - Mahesh

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Pritesh,

    I am planning to organise a bird watch trip in pune and wanted your help for it. its corporate travel so you will be paid for assistance...


    You may call me on 8286128511 or drop me a text if cell is not reachable.
    You can also write to me on sachin.elenjikal@usa.com

    Awaiting your response...


    Regards
    Sachin

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment.
      Happy traveling

      Delete
  5. Those are some breath-taking captures Pritish! Each one is superb. I'm not much of a photographer but my hubby is and we'd recently been to this resort called Old Magazine House in Ganeshgudi Karnataka. I loved simply watching these beautiful creatures and you just brought those memories back, so thanks!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for comments
    Check my blog on OMH:- http://pritskulkarni.blogspot.in/2015/02/old-magazine-house-birding-paradise.html

    Pritesh kulkarni

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks for uploading such a great information and also for the navigation.
    we followed the same pattern as you told and found their location. thanks again. this was an important information for a birdwatcher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for comment

      Regards,
      Prits Kulkarni

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you very much for comment

      Regards,
      Prits Kulkarni

      Delete
  9. नमस्कार प्रितीश,तुझा ब्लाॕक वाचला. खुप माहितीपूर्वक वाटला. मी 2 दिवस गोव्याहून पुण्याला येणार आहे. तेंव्हा birding साठी कुठे तरी जायचय. भिगवण का वीर डॕम हे ठरत नव्हते. पण तुझ्या ब्लाॕक मुळे मला वस्तुस्थिती कळली. धन्यवाद . आपण बघून आलेल्या ठिकाणां विषयी एवढी detail माहिती लिहीण्याचे कष्ट तू घेतोस हे अभिनंदनीय आहे .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your comment...मनापासून आभार

      Regards,
      Pritesh kulkarni

      Delete
  10. नमस्कार प्रितीश,तुझा ब्लाॕक वाचला. खुप माहितीपूर्वक वाटला. मी 2 दिवस गोव्याहून पुण्याला येणार आहे. तेंव्हा birding साठी कुठे तरी जायचय. भिगवण का वीर डॕम हे ठरत नव्हते. पण तुझ्या ब्लाॕक मुळे मला वस्तुस्थिती कळली. धन्यवाद . आपण बघून आलेल्या ठिकाणां विषयी एवढी detail माहिती लिहीण्याचे कष्ट तू घेतोस हे अभिनंदनीय आहे .

    ReplyDelete