/ Vivek Kale Nature Photography / Vivek Kale Nature Photography


Birds of Kavdi

Kavdi is a small village near Pune city in Western India known in Puneites as Birding place in winter. The place was once on the outskirts of the city. Now it is about to become part of city. And looking at the way the city is developing, in next few years from now the village and the farms may not last long. This may sound harsh, but hopefully the nature will find its way out. There is a small stone wall on the Mula-Mutha river at Kavdi. Migratory and local birds are attracted towards this part of the Mula Mutha river. The river is no more the clean river it was. It is typical modern day city river carrying pollutants. Still the place is great for birders. On Winter Holidays enthusiastic birders gather here with their binoculars and cameras to watch the birds.

In 2007 winter I visited Kavdi with my new photography kit and my two friends Chintamani and Ajey. The birds can be seen from November upto January. The information abot this place is mentioned in graphics below. My photography kit consists of Canon EOS 350 D Camera with 100-400 mm L IS lens. Sometimes I used my monopod. I got some good amateur images. Please enjoy the images. Criticise the images and help me in improving my photography.

The Birds I saw this winter at Kavdi : 1) Small Kingfisher 2) White bellied Kingfisher 3) Lesser Pied Kingfisher 4) Black headed White Ibis 5) Red capped black ibis 6) Glossy ibis 7) Yellow wagtail 8) Grey wagtail 9) White browed wagtail 10) Red adavat 11) Scally breasted Munia 12) Red vented Bulbul 13) Red whiskered Bulbul 14) Purple Heron 15) Grey Heron 16) Pond heron 17) Night Heron 18) Cattle egret 19) Small egret 20) Large egret 21) Painted stork 22) Indian River tern 23) Black winged Stilt 24) Peacock 25) Grey Drongo 26) Black Drongo 27) Pied Bushchat 28) Siberian Stonechat 29) Ruddy Shelduck 30) Little Grebe 31) Spotbill duck 32) Ashy prenia 33) Hoopoe 34) Red breasted Flycatcher 35) Hornbills 36) Wire tailed swallow 37) Small Green beeeaters 38) Common Sandpiper 39) Indian Robin 40) Syke's crested Lark 41) Red wattled Lapwing 42) Yellow wattled Lapwing 43) Brahmini Kite 44) Black Kite 45) Purple rumped Sunbird 46) Tailor bird 47) Cormorant 48) Little Cormorant 49) Darter 50) Grey Quail


Rudy shell ducks, spotted Ducks are seen in plenty at Kavdi. When they fly all together a flutter noise is filled in the air. The small ducks are worried because of kites.


Green Beeeaters

The green bee-eaters are seen all along the river sides, grasslands. This is a common bird around Pune. The bird eats insects. The image of this bird was taken by me while it was enjoying dragon fly. The birds fly irratically, this bird is known as veda raaghu in marathi, due its crazy hunting of the insects. In early moring in winter these birds sit together close. These birds were seen on the other side of the river.


Wagtail Birds

If one visits Kavdi in winter, sometimes you may not see many large water birds. Larger water birds keep changing their stay location depending on the water level, their safety and food availability. However I have seen that the entertaining Wagtails are always present in the winter. These birds are busy in the marsh around the river in search of small worms and insects. They keep waging their tails and do not stay at one location for long. However they walk in search of food and fly away only if threatened. Such one yellow wagtail was photographed by me early in the morning with its reflection in water. The image was taken early in the morning in low light and at low water temperature. This ensured good reflection of the bird in water. The other image of yellow wagtail was taken so that I could get eye level shot. I took this image by lyeing down on the rock. Both these images were taken on the other bank of the river. I took the image of White browed wagtail, at the eye level, while the bird was singing. This bird is always seen in pair. They sing and wag the tail. I have also enclosed the Histogram for this image.


Close Encounter with Wire Tailed Swallow

Wire tailed swallows are the birds, which are rearly seen sitting. These birds are all the time flying in the air looking for insects on the water surface. This type of birds are seen relaxing on the stone wall of Kavdi quite often. Once I got opertunity to take image of this bird from the diastance of 2 meters. The colors of this bird are very nice. Often they are seen in pair at Kavdi.


The Kingfishers

Small kingfishers are very fresh little birds. I have taken hundreds of images of small kingfisher. I still enjoy taking pictures of this bird. I like the relentless fishing struggle of this bird. It is one of my favourites. At kavdi one can see three types of kingfishers. Small, White bellied Kingfisher and Pied kingfisher.


Ibis Birds

Plenty of Ibis birds arrive at Kavdi. They are mainly of three four types. Black, White, Red capped black ibis and Glossy ibis. The birds wonder all along the marsh around the banks of river. The birds are very busy insearch of food. Out of Ibis images taken by me here, flying red capped ibis is my favourite images of flying birds.


Stilts, River Terns and Sandpipers

The stilts are group birds. They are very elegant tall legged birds. Flight of these birds is elegant. The river terns are also seen in plenty at Kavdi. These birds keep wide open mouth while taking sunbath. They try to catch fish and insects in the flight from the surface of water. Flight of these birds is also elegant. The plovers keep waging their tail. They wad in the marsh along the banks.


Egrets, Herons and Cormorants

Egrets are bit difficult as far exposure is concerned. Some funny poses of these birds can be seen in the images here. In first image some kind of romance flight dance can be seen. In other image the birds are can be seen in post mating pose. On one Thursday, I found this little cormorant relaxing o on the other side of the river. I crawled and managed to reach at 2 meters from the bird in the end. The bird happily gave me poses so that I could take images for about 5 minutes.

This is a Purple Heron. The bird image was taken when it was trying to land at its favourite fishing spot on the otherside of the river. In the background of the bird one can see the blurred stone wall. One can walk across the river on this stone wall. As you can see in this image, the direction of light is very important particularly in flight shots. To make the good use of my 100-400 lens, I always use higher ISO so that sevo focussing is fast. At kavdi, I always walk towards the sun along the banks of the river keeping my self out of sight of birds. Once I am at the east end of the area, I start walking in the opposite direction, so that sun is on my backside. This is what needs to be followed at any location. The Purple heron is a nice tall bird with wide wings and long neck. The bird is very beautiful and easy to photograph, from the point of view of exposure skill, because it is not white.


Painted Stork

Painted storks were seen in very large numbers when I visited the place in December. About 40 birds were seen on left side of the wall.


Other Birds

Never underestimate the village farms, bushes along the banks and trees. They host plenty of flycathcers, Munias, Peacocks, Huppos and Robins.


Contact me at kale_v@rediffmail.com for any queries and suggestions.