So a last morning at Thattekkad and we headed to the viewing rock from our first morning here and saw many of the same species, although did add a confiding Blue-throated Flycatcher to our list. We spent a bit too long trying to call in a Grey-headed Bulbul early on as well and during this time Roy saw a Grey Junglefowl walked across the path behind us. With time running out we still needed White-bellied Blue Flycatcher so tried a few paces in this forest without a response. So we drove further on for several kilometres and tried the path we had walked yesterday. Sure enough our luck had changed, and thanks to David’s vigilance had a cracking male perched close by. Phew!
|White-bellied Blue Flycatcher|
So with that done we drove back to the lodge much later than I’d hoped for but at least got to have a nice breakfast and some hot coffee for a change. Leaving here we then headed up into the Cardamom Hills and the town of Munnar, situated at around 1600m. The drive up was really spectacular with deep sided valleys and huge hills all around. After driving for a couple of hours we stopped at a small tea house and after admiring the splendid view got a scope on a Nilgiri Flowerpecker which gave much better views than last time. So continuing higher up the bumpy road we eventually stopped at a place where loads of trash had been thrown just below the road and spent a bit of time here. As soon as we arrived an Indian Grey Mongoose was found, and then a Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher flew in and was quickly followed by the endemic Nilgiri Flycatcher that posed nicely right in front of us.
Then a Greenish Warbler showed very well, a few Oriental White-eyes passed by, and a Green Pit Viper was spotted amongst the bushes below us.
|Malabar/Green Pit Viper|
When a pair of Nilgiri Woodpigeons flew in I just couldn’t believe it and to get a few photos was remarkable as from my previous experience from tours in Goa they are pretty shy.
We also picked up our first Long-tailed Shrikes and Pied Bushchats further up, and a random stop produced a Tytler’s Leaf-warbler right by the minibus and I had a brief view of a Kerala (Grey-breasted) Laughingthrush but only Jeff managed to get on it.
Our next port of call was just a bit further on and we spent a while scrutinising some bushes along a stream and our patience was rewarded with a pair of cracking White-bellied Blue Robins, another Nilgiri Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch and eventually a very sexy Black-and-orange Flycatcher just before the light went.