Birding at Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

Malshej Ghat is one of those destinations you can quickly go to and not regret, when you don’t have the time to drive too far. There is a large reservoir next to Malshej Ghat called Pimpalgaon Joga. It is a delight for birds in the winters. A walk down to the lake in winters can show up so many birds. I saw this Bay-Backed Shrike right outside my window, waiting for the morning sun.

Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)
Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)-
black-throated-accentor
Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)
little_ringed_plover
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

I was lucky to get this shot of the Little Ringed Plover. It landed close to me, gave me only a shot and flew off. The bright yellow ring around the eye suggests it’s a breeding adult. Both males and females take turns to incubate the eggs.

Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus).
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus).
Great Egret, also known as Large Egret (Ardea alba)
Great Egret, also known as Large Egret (Ardea alba)
Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
Looks like a Godwit
Looks like a Godwit
Richard's Pippit (Anthus richardi)
Richard’s Pippit (Anthus richardi)
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life

Post monsoons the reservoir waters swell and submerge trees around the ‘lake’ edge. These become a great roosting place for the birds.

River Terns (Sterna aurantia)
River Terns (Sterna aurantia)

“This species breeds from March to May in colonies in less accessible areas such as sandbanks in rivers. It nests in a ground scrape, often on bare rock or sand, and lays three greenish-grey to buff eggs, which are blotched and streaked with brown.”

Couldn't identify this one
Couldn’t identify this one
Syke's lark (Galerida deva)
Syke’s lark (Galerida deva)

Syke’s Lark. The bird with the beautiful song and the cute crown.

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)

Malshej Ghat is a nice weekend getaway from Mumbai or Nashik. Even Pune. Please be environmentally responsible when visiting this beautiful bio-diversity rich area.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]The best place to stay at Malshej Ghat is the MTDC Resort. The room rates vary between some 1700 to Rs 3000 or so. The food is terrible. Try looking for some local cuisine in the villages around. It takes some 4-5 hours from Mumbai to reach the MTDC, Malshej Ghat. We take long because we take frequent view-breaks.

A decent place to snack, with a stunning view, is Rainbow Hills Restaurant (its more like a dhaba), just some 15-20 minutes before reaching Malshej Ghat. Food as usual is NOT great, but the views are worth a stop.[/box]

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