Top 10 places to go for bird watching near Pune

  • November 18, 2018
  • By shantanu paranjpe
  • 0 Comments

I started travelling around 5 years back and bought my first canon camera in 2016. Though it was a point and shoot camera, due to its 30 X optical zoom ability, it helped me to capture various birds. I started liking this activity called as 'Bird Watching'.

I wander many places near Pune city as well as in Pune district to observe birds and their activities. Hence I decided to write a quick guide on 'Top 10 places to go for bird watching near Pune', so that it will help new bird photographers. 


These places are handpicked by me and trust me you will love these once you visit. of course there is a specific period in which you will find birds here. so also keep that in mind. Along with the birding spots these are also amazing places to visit near Pune if you want to spend some quality time with nature. 


So here we go,

1. Sinhagad Valley - 

The most preferred places to go for bird watching is of course Sinhagad Valley. Sinhagad is one of the most visited fort in the Pune district and is quite popular for weekend treks. If you are interested in bird watching only then you don't have to climb the fort hill. because the ideal places for bird watching in Sinhagad Valley is at the base of the fort only. 

If you go on any weekend, you will find a bunch of bird photographers waiting to capture a glimpse of Indian Paradise Flycatcher. There is a small stream which flows through the valley where all birds gather during the early morning. 


There are many other birds such as the Red-breasted flycatcher, Verditer flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch flycatcher, Ultramarine flycatcher, various types of wagtails, munias, drongos, sunbirds, eagles can be seen here easily. 


You can find the detail list of birds found in the valley here

The best time to capture the beauty is in the winter. 

Distance from Pune City - 16 KM
Best time to visit - WInter season
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - There are hotels at the base of Sinhagad 
How to go - Either by your own car or by PMPL buses. 

Indian Paradise Flycatcher
Indian Paradise Flycatcher (F) - Captured by Srihari Kulkarni
Sinhagad
Sinhagad Valley as seen from the Sinhagad fort - Photo credit Dhinal Cheda

Red breasted Flycatcher
Red breasted Flycatcher - Photo credit Yogendra Joshi


2. Vetal/ARAI Hill - 

The vetal Hill or ARAI Hill is situated in the very heart of the pune city. One can see beautiful views of the Pune city from the top. There are different types of landscapes which attract birds quite often such as woodland, grassland. Though this hill is owned by forest department, many people often visit it for early morning walk.

One can see many common birds here as well as some new comers which arrives in winter. You can find the list of birds here.  

Distance from Pune City - 2 KM
Best time to visit - Anytime during the year. 
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - Can have some food near MIT college 
How to go - Either by your own car or bike. 

Shikra Male - Captured by Me


3. Kavadi Pat - 

Kavadi pat is a famous birding spot for winter waterland birds. It is situated at around 20-25 km from Pune on Pune-Solapur Highway. If you want to learn basics of bird photography then it is a perfect spot for you.

The location of Kavadi Pat is pretty awesome. There is bridge on the river where you can sit and enjoy activities of various water birds.There is also a small area of Jungle near the river where you can find some common birds. Overall if you are interested in water birds then this is a perfect spot near pune. You can find the list of birds here.    

Distance from Pune City - 20-25 KM
Best time to visit - In winter season 
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - Can have some on the highway 
How to go - Either by your own car or bike. 

Stilt by Yogendra Joshi

4. Pashan Lake - 

I know, you are not believing me after seeing this name in the list of Top 10 places to go for bird watching near Pune but trust me, just like Kavadi Pat it is also a home for many migratory winter birds. 

Though due to indiscriminate garbage dumping and the spread of water hyacinth the ecology of the Lake has been affected but it is a great place where you can find various types of ducks, herons, terns, etc. If you are lucky you can even witness the beauty of Pheasant-tailed Jacana when it is in breeding plumage. The entire list of birds found @ Pashan Lake can be seen here.

Distance from Pune City - 7 KM
Best time to visit - In winter season 
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - In Pashan area you will find many hotels 
How to go - Either by your own car or bike. 

Pashan Lake are captured by Soham Banerjee

5. Bhigwan Bird sanctuary - 

I don't have to explain to you what the location of Bhigwan provides. But if you haven't visited it yet then do it ASAP. The place is a paradise for wetland birds. Winter is the perfect place to visit the place.

Bhigwan is a small town situated near the Ujani Dam. The bird sanctuary is located in and around the dam area only. Many migratory birds such as Greater flamingos, various types of ducks, storks visit this place during the winter and stay here for around 3-4 months of periods. The detail list of birds recorded at bhigwan can be seen here.  

Though the number of birds varies year to year but the every visit to this place definitely gives you something new.  

Distance from Pune City - 100 KM towards solapur
Best time to visit - mostly in winter season 
Entry fee if any - Nil ( You have to pay for the boat ride around 700/- per boat)
Lunch or breakfast - There are number of hotels and resorts where you can stay or dine
How to go - Either by your own car. You can also go there by state transport or even by train also. 

Birds standing in the water by Amit Shah
brahmny duck Haresh Patel

6. Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary - 

It is a wildlife sanctuary visited in Baramati Taluka of Pune District. The vegetation of the sanctuary mostly includes scrub forest hence it is a home for many grassland birds as well as raptors. 

Some the birds species found here are  Indian rollerblack-winged kitegrey hornbillgrey partridgeEurasian collared dovewhite-throated kingfisherashy-crowned sparrow larkshrikelaughing doveblue-cheeked bee-eaterIndian silverbill, Gray Francolin, Red-wattled Lapwing, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Short-Toed Snake Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Rufous-fronted Prinia, Indian Bush-Lark, Bay-backed Shrike, Southern Gray Shrike. Check out here for entire list. 

Distance from Pune City - 72 KM from Pune city
Best time to visit - Anytime during the year except in rains.
Entry fee if any - Rs. 100/-
Lunch or breakfast - There are few hotels on the way
How to go - By own car or bike.

Grassland of Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary - Image by Elroy

7. Pabe Ghat - 

You will fall in love with Pabe ghat, if you visit the same during the rainy season. But Pabe ghat is also a popular location for bird watching. It is a good location for watching and observing common birds.

However records of White bellied sea eagle, Black eagle, wooly necked stork are also observed here. Here is the list of birds recorded at Pabe Ghat. 


Distance from Pune City - 30 KM from Pune city.
Best time to visit - Anytime during the year.
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - Own food preferred. 
How to go - By own car or bike.

Steppe Eagle in flight - Image by Francesco Veronesi

8. Saswad - 

Saswad is a recently developed birding site which is famous for grassland birds, raptors as well as wolves, foxes etc. Since it is just about 1 hour ride from Pune, many birds photographers visit this place.

Various types of birds such as shrikes, buntings, larks have been recorded here. Check you the detail list of birds here. Dive Ghat, Waghapur, Bopdev Ghat are some famous birding sites in Saswad region.  

Distance from Pune City - 30-35 KM from Pune city
Best time to visit - Anytime during the year.
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - Own food preferred but there are hotels in Saswad City.
How to go - By own car or bike.

Montagu's Harrier - Image by Francesco veronesi

9. Tamhini Forest - 


Tamhini has been a great paradise for forest birds. It offers magnificent views of western ghats. People often visit this place during the rains to enjoy various waterfalls on the roads. But bird photographers, nature conservationist visit this place to observe the rich flora and fauna of Tamhini Forest.

Crimson-backed Sunbird, White-cheeked Barbet, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Indian Scimitar-Babbler are some of the great finds of Tamhini Forest. You can see the entire list here.

Just few kilometres ahead of Mulshi Dam, tahmini forest won't disappoint you.  

Distance from Pune City - 60 KM from Pune city
Best time to visit - Anytime during the year.
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - Various Hotels near Mulshi Area 
How to go - By own car or bike.

Oriental Turtle Dove - Image by JIn Kemoole

10. Veer Dam - 

Veer Dam are is very famous for Bar headed geese and demoiselle cranes. It is again a paradise for wetland birds as well as raptors. It is the place where you can see wetland birds, raptors, flycatchers, grassland birds all together. 

Veer dam is around 1.5 hour distance from Pune and could be a great bird-watching site during the winter season. 

Distance from Pune City - 60 KM from Pune city
Best time to visit - Preferred in winter.
Entry fee if any - Nil
Lunch or breakfast - You can have lunch or breakfast on Pune-Satara HighwayHow to go - By own car or bike.

Haresh Patel
Chirag Jog

© 2018, Shantanu Paranjape

You Might Also Like

0 comments

$(document).ready(function(){ $('#mscontent').css('opacity','0'); });