The day got off to a flyer this morning with our first Andaman White-headed Starlings posing on a dead snag high up in the canopy, but it was pretty good views through the scope. Birds then kept coming at a steady pace throughout the morning and we continued with the first of many Black-naped Orioles seen today, followed by more Andaman Drongos, Andaman Bulbul, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, and our first and very obliging Andaman Shama.
A pair of huge Andaman Woodpeckers were rather obliging and came in to the call and perched nicely in a large tree right above us, whilst the first of three Andaman Serpent-eagles posed very obligingly.
At an open area with lots of dead trees an Andaman Flowerpecker was working its way around a clump of Mistletoe, 3 Violet Cuckoos were chasing each other, and as we watched them noticed a Black Baza perched quietly nearby.
Then an Andaman Cuckooshrike was spotted and we had really nice looks at several of these endemics. Further on, and a pair of Andaman Treepies joined a mixed flock and were teed up nicely in the scope. Plenty of other common birds were seen this morning including White-bellied Swiftlet, Vernal Hanging-parrot, Long-tailed Parakeet, Collared and White-throated Kingfishers, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, Black-naped Monarch, both Scarlet and Small Minivets, and a not-so-common and all-too-brief Forest Wagtail. So we drove a short distance further along the road and parked up right beside a fruiting tree which held several Green Imperial-pigeons and Andaman Green-pigeons. We then spent the rest of the morning searching for Andaman Crake, and although we didn’t see one, we heard one calling from inside the forest at some distance away. Whilst searching here a few of us had an Andaman Coucal skulking on the forest floor. So after lunch at the lodge we returned to the same forest in the afternoon and again found the birding to be quiet at this time of day, but we did spectacularly nail Andaman Woodpigeon with great views of a pair alongside the forest road. But apart from that all we really had were Red-breasted and Long-tailed Parakeets perched side-by-side, Asian Brown Flycatcher and not a lot else.
We tried the nightjar again at dusk, but this time only heard it, although had prolonged perched views of Hume’s Hawk-owl – so leaving us just 5 endemics to get. And when a pair of Andaman Scops-owls called from close by we thought we’d knock off one more endemic, but try as we might we just couldn’t find them in the dense foliage.