Saturday, 30 January 2016

Thattekad to Munnar

It was a nice treat to have a ‘sit down’ breakfast at 6.30am before one final fling into the bird-filled forests of Thattekad. This morning was a little different as we visited a feeding station and walked along the forest edge and then patiently waited in a concealed position some 40 metres away from an open area that some grain had been placed to attract Grey Junglefowl and Red Spurfowl

Well after 10 minutes two jeeps with bird photographers pulled up right in front, no less than 6 or 7 metres from the feeding area really obscuring our view. Now, those of you who know me will know of my disdain for the vast majority of this subspecies of human. 

Grey Junglefowl

Still we had nice views through scopes of many Grey Junglefowl and a pair of Red Spurfowl feeding right out in the open. Nice! Oh and a calling Common Hawk Cuckoo was spotted, and a group of Black-throated Munias visited the feeding station as well. 

White-bellied Blue Flycatcher

Following this excitement we drove back to the forest where a male Indian Blue Robin proved to be very obliging as it flew from perch to perch in front of us, a Yellow-browed Bulbul posed nicely, Large-billed Leaf Warbler came in to check us out and some Dark-fronted Babblers were seen well. We also saw Malabar and Black-rumped Flamebacks, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Little Spiderhunter, Purple Sunbird, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Leafbird, another White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and more Nilgiri Flowerpeckers.

After lunch back at the hotel we said our goodbyes to the wonderful Soma Birds Lagoon Lodge and headed up into the hills to Munnar. The scenery changed remarkably to forested hills and we took a little walk whilst our minibus took a detour to avoid a bridge and saw Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bushchat and had a brief look at our first Kerala Laughingthrush

Black-and-orange Flycatcher

Once we had checked in and enjoyed some masala tea, drove a short distance to a drinking pool. Here despite the close proximity to passing traffic we enjoyed close views of some great birds coming to drink and bathe right in front of us. First up was a White-bellied Blue Robin, followed by a pair of Nilgiri Flycatchers, Black-and-orange FlycatcherIndian Blackbird, a group of Kerala Laughingthrushes and Malabar Whistling-Thrush.

Not a huge number of birds today but filled with quality. Once back at the hotel an Indian Scimitar-Babbler appeared in the garden and a Crested Hawk-Eagle was perched in a large tree.

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