India - Asangao (Mahuli fort)

Published by Suyash Katdare (suyashk18 AT

Participants: Alok Chorghe, Kaustubh Marathe, Vishal Rasal, Suyash Katdare


Mahuli fort is located 11kms from Asangao railway stn which is approx. 91 kms from Mumbai. It comes under the area of Tansa WLS. It is at an altitude of approx. 2800ft.

We went, a group of 4 students of ruia college-Alok, Kaustubh, Vishal, Suyash. We reached the village at the base of the fort on 28th evening. We started our ascent on the 29th evening at 4.30 pm.

On the way up we spotted House Sparrow, House Crow, Jungle Crow, Dusky Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Cattle Egret in breeding plumage, Common Myna, Ashy Prinia, Small Green bee-eater, Racket-tailed Drongo, Black Drongo, Laughing Dove, Black-hooded Oriole, Peafowl female and heard the calls of Greater Coucal and Coppersmith.

At night we saw Indian Nightjar and Dusky Eagle owl on the top of the fort. We camped there for the night. In the morning we woke up and did a bit of birding before leaving for the spot from where we would observe the vultures.

In the morning we spotted two raptors which we think were either Oriental Honey Buzzard or Crested Serpent Eagle because it was a bit far off, then we spotted Red-vented Bulbul, Oriental Magpie Robin and Palm Swift. Then we started going to the western cliff of the fort towards the 'Navra-Navri' peaks where we had spotted the vultures earlier in March. On the way while resting we spotted Peregrine Falcon and Common Kestrel soaring by the cliff side majestically!

Then after preparing and having our lunch we spotted the first vulture soaring overhead. Then we immediately ran for the cliff side. However for the the next two hours the vultures were nowhere to be seen and we only spotted the falcon and the kestrel again. On the opposite side we spotted the Indian Langur and the Rhesus Macaque. After sometime when the time had come to leave the for and start our descent, we ate our remaining lunch and were about to leave and luck shone for us...we spotted the vulture soaring in our direction! Once again we ran to the cliff and we arranged ourselves in different positions along the cliff side giving the position of the vulture to each other. Then the village boys which had accompanied us spotted another vulture. Then for another 30 mins we were waiting for the vultures who sat in the cliff. Then one of them flew past and we started our descent.

With content we finished our trek and came down to the village.

Species Lists

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Long-Billed Crow (Corvus macrorynchos)
Dusky Crag Martin (Hirundo rustica)
Wire-Tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Rose Ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Cattle Egret (breeding plumage) (Bubulcus ibis)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)
Green Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis)
Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocerus)
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
Black Hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
Peafowl (Female) (Pavo cristatus)
Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)
Dusky Eagle Owl (Bubo Coromandus)
Red Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)
Asian Palm Swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis)
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Long-Billed Vulture (Gyps indicus)
Common Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Purple Rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica)