Gandhari-The Birding Paradise of Kalyan

Ashish Khadakban
Science teacher

What are your plans for mornings on holidays????  Sleeping till 9am, reading newspaper…….  I have some better plans for you which will take you little a bit more closer towards nature.  Most of Kalyan’s residents would be aware of a place called “GANDHARI RIVER”. Gandhari is the area located ahead of Agarwal College. Ahead of Gandhari bridge there is a forest area which is a dwelling place to most of the birds and reptiles. Yes you read correctly….. Birds and Reptiles!!!!!! Now can you make a list of how many different species of birds and reptiles you see commonly in your day to day life??? 6…8…10…. Or max to max 15!!!! 
You will be amazed to know that more than 70-80 species of birds and 15-20 species of reptiles (which includes snakes, lizard and scorpions) dwell in Gandhari area.


Gandhari area comprises of three different kinds of habitats namely grassland, aquatic and forest.  Different species live in different habitats of the area.  Several nature trails are organized in Gandhari forest. It starts at around 7am from Gandhari bridge and first covers the grassland area, then moves towards aquatic and lastly to the forest area. It is also a pleasure to view the scenic beauty of sunrise at Gandhari River. Several species of butterflies can be seen during the nature trail.  You are too lucky if you spot a snake in your way.  There are number of venomous and non-venomous snakes in all the three kinds of habitats.  So make sure that you visit the area with an expert guide only. So now plan a Sunday to take a visit to Gandhari forest with your family and friends. Best time to visit is from October to March when you can observe most of the bird species.  Even migratory birds are seen in these five to six months.

Here is the list of common sightings at Gandhari

Birds

1

Koel (male and female)

2

Purple rumped Sunbird 

3

Vigour’s sunbird

4

Indian robin (male and female)

5

Oriental magpie robin

6

White browed flycather

7

Fantail flycather

8

Common Myna

9

House crow

10

Jungle crow

11

House sparrow

12

Barn swallow

13

Wire tailed swallow

14

Asain palm swift

15

White throated kingfisher 

16

Common kingfisher 

17

Grey hornbill

18

Southern coucal

19

Little and Indian  Cormorant

20

Little, intermediate and large Egrets

21

Black kite

22

Jungle babbler

23

Plain prinia

24

Ashy prinia

25

Black drongo 

26

Red wattled lapwing

27

Black shouldered kite

28

Yellow wagtail

29

Grey wagtail

30

Citrine wagtail

31

Open bill stork

32

Painted stork

33

Baya weaver

34

Scaly breasted munia

35

Blue throat

36

Pied Bushchat

37

Black naped monarch

38

Tickels blue flycatcher

39

Golden oriole

40

Oriental white eye

41

Indian paradise flycatcher (male and female)

42

Oriental honey buzzard

43

Spot billed ducks

44

Pond heron

45

Common sandpiper

46

Marsh sandpiper

47

Wood sandpiper

48

Rose ringed parakeet

49

Alexandrine parakeet

50

Laughing dove

51

Spotted dove

52

Spotted owlet

53

Red naped ibis

54

Common kingfisher 

55

Green bee eater

56

Long tailed shrike

57

Ziting cisticola

58

Marsh harrier

59

Gargeney

60

Spot billed ducks

61

Greater spotted eagle

62

Northen shovellers male and female

63

Copper smith barbet

64

Leaf bird

Butterflies

1

White orange tip

2

Yellow orange tip

3

Common grass yellow

4

Plain tiger

5

Stripped tiger

6

Tailed jay

7

Common wanderer 

8

Lime butterfly

9

Blue Oak leaf

10

Eggfly

11

Peacock pancy

12

Grey pancy

Reptiles

1

Spectacled cobra

2

Russells viper 

3

Common krait

4

Rat snake

5

Cat snake

6

Sand boa

7

Green vine snake

8

Trinket

9

Checkerd keelback

10

Buff stripped keelback 

11

Russells kukri

12

Wolf snake

1 thought on “Gandhari-The Birding Paradise of Kalyan”

  1. Sir,

    A nature trail is a wonderful idea.

    Local level biodiversity needs exploration, recognition & appreciation before children (and adults alike) could do so for national & global levels.

    The school may plan a Sunday morning from October to March with an expert (as suggested in your Blog post) for interested parents (& more mature students) would be a good starting point.

    I am impressed by your list of fauna found so close to our residence.

    I am sure the various trees in Gandhari Forest would also be interesting to take a note of !

    With regards,

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