Bhigwan – Bharatpur of Maharashtra

Bird watching at Bhigwan

Bhigwan, a small town around 100 kms away from Pune and is also referred to as the “Bharatpur of Maharashtra”, as it becomes a hotbed of migratory birds during the winter. Bhigwan is at one end of the huge Yashwant Sagar reservoir, forming the backwaters of the Ujain dam. One of the main attractions during the migratory season is the arrival of the pink greater flamingos. During the months of early Jan – late Feb, this place is thronged by bird lovers from all over Maharashtra.

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Most of the bird sightings happen around two places, Diksal and Kumbhargaon. To reach Bhigwan, take the Solapur road and drive for around 95 kms (from Hadapsar).

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Diksal: Once you reach Bhigwan, turn left to go to Diksal. The “bird watching” place i.e. the waterfront is around 5-6 kms inwards. Ask for “Juna Phul” meaning “Old bridge”. This is the spot where many birds gather and also the place to rent a boat to go into the waterways.

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Kumbhargaon: To reach this village, you have to drive ahead of Bhigwan for around 2 kms and look for sign boards saying “kumbhargaon” or “flamingo point”. There are multiple entry points to this village and we happened to choose the one with the “kuchcha-est road”.

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Birds to spot;

Asian Open bill Stork – Black Ibis – Black Tailed Godwit – Black Winged Stilts – Cattle Egret – Comb Duck Common Coot – Common Kingfisher – Common Moorhen – Common Sandpiper – Common Swallow – Curlew Sandpiper – Eurasian Spoonbill – Garganey Duck – Glossy Ibis – Greater Flamingo – Grey Heron – Grey Wagtail – Gull billed Tern – Large Egret – Little Cormorant – Median Egret – Northern Shoveler – Oriental White Ibis – Osprey – Painted Stork – Pallas Gull – Pied Kingfisher – Pond Heron – Pueple Swamphen – Purple Heron – Purple Rumped Sunbird – Red Rumped Swallow – River Tern – Ruddy Shelduck / Brahminy Duck – Spot-billed Duck – Spotted Sandpiper – Western Marsh Harrier – White Throated Kingfisher – White-breasted Waterhen – Wire-tailed Swallow – Woolly Necked Stork – Yellow Wagtail

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You can contact Contact Sandeep Nagare (9960610615), a kumbhargaon resident. A a renowned local Bird Watcher / Local Guide in Bhigwan , who own’s few fishing boats, which he gives on hiring along with a guide. More about Sandeep http://bit.ly/1HkMNXh.

Where: Kumbhargaon, Bhigwan, Maharashtra
When: 26-27 Dec’14
Route: Mumbai – Pune – Hadapsar – Pune Sholapur Road – Bhigwan
Stay: Local Highway Hotel
With: Robert Nelson
Agenda: Greater Flamingo
Highlights: Homemade (villagers) Zunka Bhakri / Greater Flamingos

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