Birding Near Nashik

The early bird gets the worm, and the earlier the birder, the better the birds. Birding is a joy in the grasslands around Nashik. However lazy one gets in the winters of midland India, it’s always more than worth pushing oneself out to the field with the first rays of the sun.

Pushing ourselves out of a comfortably warm room, we moved towards a tiny patch of privately owned grasslands near Nashik, in the hope of a morning well spent birding. A cold breeze number my shutter finger as I tried approaching the tiny rockchats and pippits, already out looking for breakfast, keeping the grassland ecosystem in good shape. We had only about two hours before work made us leave, so we tried making the most of it.

A Black Winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) circles overhead looking for prey. By eating up any rodents and reptiles these beautiful raptors prove to a farmer’s good friends.
What looks like Cassia grandis, one of several species called Pink Shower Tree. These blossom in the dry season when the leaves fall off.
A Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) in the field. Looks like a female, she let me get fairly close for good photos.
While I was busy with the Siberian Stonechat, the Black-Winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) had made a kill and was enjoying her meal on a nearby hay stack.
A passing tractor made her promptly leave with her take-away meal.
So I turned my attention back to the playful Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus).
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
She posed for me…
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
And let me come closer…
Even though the cold breeze made her balance difficult at times…
Paddyfield Pippit
And I turned my attention to what looks like a Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus Rufulus).
Meanwhile the Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) jumped onto the next stalk of grass.
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
And found balance there…
We moved slightly into the denser forest growth to find this beautiful Green Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis).
The Green Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis)
What looks like a Long-Tailed shrike or Rufous-Backed Shrike (Lanius schach) sittinf on Prosopis juliflora.
And above us sat the Black Winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus). Was it the same one we saw earlier in the morning? Perhaps not. I am always fascinated with their large bright red eyes…
A couple of local tribal women come to collect grass and firewood. If only we could provide them with kitchen fuel…
The temperature read 16 degrees in shade. Not bad.

16 thoughts on “Birding Near Nashik”

  1. Love the first line of the post! Though am not too much into birds I did enjoy the bird watching in Ranthambore!
    Btw – did you visit my new travel site? Would love to get your feedback on it! It’s


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