Sunday, 2 December 2012

In Search of Andaman Crake

A 4.30am departure saw us get onto a local ferry which took us across the bay and as we reached the other side the heavens opened and it rained for quite a while as we drove to a great patch of forest. Along the way we passed some marshes where a couple of Pacific Golden Plovers were present. 

Nice Andamans Scenery

Nice view on the Andamans

By the time we reached the forest the rain had eased to a light drizzle and off we went with brollies in hand along the road in search of Andaman Crake. Over the course of the next couple of hours we made several attempts at luring one in, but all to no avail. It was a little disheartening to say the least as the little trails we followed inside the forest were becoming muddier and muddier. Eventually, we did get a decent view after a very brief showing earlier in the morning. This time it walked across an open area before crossing the path below us and everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief. And that was it, apart from a perched Indian Cuckoo that Jeff found and a few other previously seen species – a pretty slow morning. So we drove on to some pools and scanned the exposed mud for waders, with both Greater and Lesser Sandplovers, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank and more Pacific Goldies present, along with several Striated Herons. As we scanned the pools on the other side of the road, where Stork-billed Kingfisher was seen, 6 Andaman Teals flew in and landed right in front of us. Wow! With that excitement over we spent a few minutes getting to grips with an Oriental Reed-warbler before heading off to the mangroves. Here we called in a Mangrove Whistler almost immediately and also had views of Dusky and Thick-billed Warblers before the rain came in again and we headed back to the hotel for lunch. 

Afterwards we returned to the same forest as yesterday and walked along the road, seeing virtually nothing. But once the sun set we called in an Andaman Scops-owl within a few minutes which totally blew my mind. We followed this up with a brief flyby of an Andaman Barn Owl.

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