Sunday, 17 January 2016

Andaman Islands Day 2

Left the hotel at 5.30am and drove back to Chidiyatapu Forest, seeing Pacific Golden Plover and Yellow Wagtail along the way and followed the road for several kilometres. We had a great few hours with lots of bird activity, lovely light and a very pleasant temperature. More Andaman Drongos and Andaman Treepies were seen, although not as many as yesterday. Instead we enjoyed our first Andaman Flowerpeckers, followed by cracking views of a fine male Andaman Woodpecker, whilst nearby several Andaman White-headed Starlings were feeding close to the road. The same spot also held Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Black-naped Oriole, and an Andaman Coucal

Andaman Woodpecker

Freckle-breasted Woodpecker

A huge fruiting tree held lots of Green Imperial-Pigeons and as we watched them also saw a few Andaman Green-Pigeons. Further on the often tricky Andaman Cuckoo-Dove posed for a several minutes above the road and there was also several Andaman Bulbuls, another Freckle-breasted Woodpecker and more Andaman Flowerpeckers feeding in the same vicinity. 

Andaman Cuckoo Dove - honest!

A little further along the road we had superb views of a pair of Andaman Shama frolicking beside the road. Breakfast overlooking a patch of water was enlivened by a group of Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, a female Andaman Woodpecker posing at the top of a dead tree and flyover Changeable Hawk-Eagle and Brahminy Kite. Other species seen this morning include a flock of Brown-backed Needletails, Glossy Swiftlet, Olive-backed Sunbird, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Red-breasted, Long-tailed and Alexandrine Parakeets, Small and Scarlet Minivets, Brown Shrike, Oriental White-eye, and several Asian Glossy Starlings.

Then we drove to a further patch of forest close to the coast and a short walk failed to produce any crakes, but having a splendid Violet Cuckoo teed up in the scope was ample compensation. In fact it gave walk-away views and we ended up at a very nice beach area where we enjoyed a nice cup of coffee before returning to the hotel for lunch.

After lunch at the hotel we returned to the same forest and just as soon as we got out of the cars a pair of Black Bazas were spotted circling overhead and a pair of Black-naped Monarchs showed well. We walked along the road a short distance but things were predictably quiet so drove on to another patch of forest. We walked around a park area and toyed with several calling Andaman Crakes – or were they toying with us? Anyway, we never saw one and left at dusk but did see our first Orange-headed Thrush feeding out on the open. We drove on to the nightjar spot but only heard it again, but the day finished off on a high with an Andaman Scops-Owl posing in the spotlight at our first attempt. Nice!

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