Saturday, 24 November 2012

South India & the Andamans Day 1

Following an overnight flight from London via Dubai we landed in Chennai and were picked up in a small coach and made our way to the interestingly named Hotel Velacity, arriving late in the morning. After a good lunch and a quick look at our first Yellow-billed Babblers, and both Purple-rumped and Loten’s Sunbirds in the garden, we decided to head out and try and find somewhere to go birding for a few hours and after a tip-of about Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary it seemed like a good idea to go there! Not knowing anything about the place, except that it was apparently a forest, off we went. Of course, after a 90 minute drive we discovered that it was a wetland reserve with pride of place going to a huge colony of Spot-billed Pelicans and we estimated around 300 pairs were present. Amongst this colony were hundreds of Asian Openbills and Black-headed Ibis, a few Eurasian Spoonbills and Glossy Ibis, and numerous Little Cormorants and Indian Shags as well. We could view the area from a concrete tower hide and it was very pleasant to be able to look down on all these birds and just watch all the action. Overhead, lots of Asian Palm Swifts were present, as well as flotillas of openbills and pelicans continually streaming over. An immature Montagu’s Harrier drifted past a few times, whilst a large flock of Green Bee-eaters and a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters were seen in the distance. A pair of Indian Spot-billed Ducks showed well amongst the islands of vegetation below us, but a flock of Northern Pintails and Lesser Whistling-ducks were a bit more distant. Walking along the bund back towards the coach produced 4 Yellow-wattled Lapwings amongst a load of Wood Sandpipers in some recently flooded rice paddies, whilst an Indian Golden Oriole showed nicely and at least three Coppersmith Barbets posed nicely in a leafless tree. So not a bad little session, although rather unexpected, and we headed back into the city eventually arriving back at the hotel a little later than expected due to the crazy traffic!

1 comment:

  1. Great start guys...... have googled the Purple rumped Sunbird and its a beauty. Happy birding

    Only floods here Jeff!