Bhigwan is a small dusty town located on the Pune Solapur highway. The distance from Pune to Bhigwan is 100 kms. The nearest town is Baramati which is 27 kms. The major birdwatching points are Kumbhargaon and Diksal on the periphery of the catchment area of the Ujani dam built on the Bhima River. Kumbhargaon is aptly called as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra. During winter season this area hosts large variety of migratory birds.
Boating services are available from “Agnipankha Flamingo Birding Point” managed by Mr. Sandip Nagare (Contact no. 0996061065/8975017405). Mr. Nagare also arrange for the stay and food at Kumbhargaon for bird enthusiasts. It is an excellent place to try the home made food and also fresh fish from the backwaters. His competent guides can take you in their boats to the major points where you can observe flamingos and other water birds. The guide who accompanied us during our visit was very cooperative and was patient enough to wait for us to take the photographs of the birds and was very helpful in identifying the birds. You need to make advance bookings for accommodation during weekends as they have very limited facilities available in the village. Alternatively you can get accommodation in Baramati which is 27 kms from Kumbhargaon where there are many decent hotels available. The best time to visit this area is from December to March.
During our visit we could spot a variety of birds like Greater Flamingos, Painted Stork, Open Billed Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Cormorants, Black Headed Gulls, Purple Heron, Rudy Shelduck, Wooly Necked Stork, King Fisher etc. etc.
Ducks, Terns Etc.
Mayreswar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated near Supe village in Baramti Tehsil, in Pune District. It is 40 Kms from Baramti town and 74 Kms from Pune. The forest department office at the entrance will issue the entry pass and vehicle pass. They are also supposed to provide a guide but unfortunately when we reached at the gate in the early morning there was no guides available. The entrance fee is Rs. 30/- per person and the vehicle entrance fee is Rs. 100/- per vehicle. Camera charges Rs.50/-.
There are around 125 Chinkaras in the sanctuary and sighting is almost guaranteed. There are few observation towers, where you can wait for the Chinkaras. This sanctuary is home to many bird species as well.
Shrikes, Robin Etc. Etc.