Sunday, 31 January 2016

Eravikalum National Park

After the novelty of a sit down breakfast and seeing lots of feeding birds in the flowering trees surrounding the hotel such as Square-tailed Black Bulbul, Indian Yellow Tit, Common Rosefinch, Blue-capped Rock-Thrush and a Nilgiri Woodpigeon, we drove to Eravikalum NP, seeing a Streak-throated Woodpecker and Grey Junglefowl along the way.

Scenery at Eravikalum National Park

 Once at the parking area we took the parks public bus 5kms up the hill and upon arrival found plenty of birds feeding below the road. In one area were lots of Kerala Laughingthrushes, White-bellied Blue Robin, Indian Blackbirds, and both Blyth’s Reed and Tickell’s Leaf Warblers feeding out in the open. 

Spot the Nigiri Tahr....

Oh and several Nigiri Tahr were present close to the path.

Kerala Laughingthrush

Blyth's Reed Warbler

White-bellied Blue Robin

Walking up the hill we made several attempts at calling in Broad-tailed Grassbird, but despite our efforts drew a blank apart from one distant call. There were a pair of Nilgiri Pipits, Dusky Crag Martins, Hill Swallows and Plain Prinia despite lots of people walking to the viewpoint. 

Nilgiri Pipit

So we walked back down to the start of the trail and found a close feeding Tytler’s Leaf Warbler, something of a bonus bird.

Tytler's Leaf Warbler

In the afternoon we drove across the hills, seeing a soaring Bonelli’s Eagle, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Indian Scimitar-Babbler amidst the huge tea plantations and then followed a side trail through tall grassland, but still drew a blank on the grassbirds. Also overhead we saw Himalayan Buzzard and Booted Eagle. However, at the edge of a forest was a flock of Western Crowned Warblers, with our first Ashy Prinia nearby. 

Painted Bush-Quail
The undoubted highlight of the day was an incredible encounter with a Painted Bush-Quail feeding at the edge of the trail in front of us for some 10 minutes as we watched in awe. And that was our day…

More fabulous scenery from the Painted Bush-Quail site

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