We began walking from here and soon notched up plenty of other endemics with imaginative names such as Andaman Coucal, Andaman Cuckooshrike, Andaman Shama, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Treepie, Andaman White-headed Starling, Andaman Flowerpecker, Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Bulbul etc. Well you get the picture. It was a very ‘birdy’ walk this morning and the forest was being kind to us, and we even picked up a wintering Two-barred Warbler high up in the canopy giving its distinctive call and a perched Besra.
|Mount Harriet NP Entrance (and Jeff)|
However, the undoubted highlight happened just before 10.30am when we finally caught up with our last endemic, Andaman Cuckoo-dove, a bird we’d more or less given up on. Vikram, our excellent guide picked this little beauty up perched up in a big tree and as soon as everyone got onto it - it flew off. Success! We’d cleaned up on all of the endemics!
Also got this record shot of Andaman Crake crossing the road - twice!
So we continued walking up until we reached the restaurant area at the top of the hill and celebrated with some moderately cold soft drinks and waited in the shade of a large tree for lunch to be served. Afterwards we drove back down to the marshes and had an enjoyable afternoon notching up some padders for the list, beginning with Slaty-breasted Rail. At our next spot we spent a while trying to tease out a Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler (Rusty-rumped Warbler) and also Black-browed Reed-warbler and Oriental Reed Warbler – species you just don’t see on the mainland. A Chestnut Bittern flew up out of the marsh and our only Edible-nest Swiftlets of the trip flew over. Leaving here we then checked out some wet paddyfields and had more luck with two Long-toed Stints spotted amongst a flock of Lesser and a single Greater Sandplover, Little Ringed Plovers, Pacific Golden Plovers, Spotted and Common Redshank, Common Greenshank and some Wood Sandpipers.
|Andaman Barn Owl|
So a really good day and we finished off with Andaman Barn-owl perched in a Palm tree to end the day’s proceedings.