Birding in Thattekkad & Periyar
Day 1, 2 , 3 – Thattekkad.
Arrive at Kochi where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems –
riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest,
enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This
is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. One should
sight the Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimsonbacked Sunbird,
White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar
Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood
Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental
Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight
the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia
and the Grey headed fishing eagle. Stay will be at the Hornbill Camp,
located on the banks of the river Periyar.
Day 4 – Periyar.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding
destinations in South India. With over 320 bird species identified and
a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal
destination of the tour. Periyar National Park contains a variety of
habitats from grassland and dry deciduous forest to evergreen forest
and riverside scrub. As a result of its wide range of habitats Periyar
boasts an impressive list of resident species including about half the
peninsular endemics and near-endemics We will spend the day searching
here for some very special species including the very secretive and
wary Wynaad Laughingthrush. Other birds to look out for include
White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard,
Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain
Imperial Pigeon, the migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed
Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked
Fulvetta, and the Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread
species. We may also sight the Woolly-necked Stork, Besra, Vernal
Hanging Parrot, Jungle Owlet, White-rumped Spinetail, Black-naped
Monarch and the Little Spiderhunter. O/N at the Wildernest.
Day 5 & 6 – Munnar.
We will leave for Munnar via the Ghats to Khambam where we should
sight the Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail and
the Grey Fancolin. We will proceed to Bodi Ghats en-route Munnar and
stop over for sighting the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin,
Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the
Black eagle. We will reach Munnar by evening. The next day we will go
birding in the sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands
for the Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black
& Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing,
Broadtailed Grassbird, Grasshopper Warbler. O/N at the Olive Brook .
Day 7 –Top Slip.
We will take the 2 hour drive across the Tamil Nadu border to the
Indira Gandhi national park – a place known for its great swathes of
forests and wildlife – birds, butterflies, elephants, sloth bears,
leopards, gaurs (Indian Bison), dholes (wild dogs), king cobra and the
lion-tailed macaques in their natural habitat – all within an area
known as Top Slip. Your trackers during the safaris will be from the
indigenous tribes. We will go on birding walks as well as go on a
wildlife safari through the forest trails. Target species include
Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Sri
Lanka Frogmouth, Waynad Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and
Grey-breasted Laughing Thrush, besides Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Nilgiri
Flycatcher, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul,
Yellow-throated Bulbul and the White-bellied Treepie. Overnight at the
Banyan Tree Resort.
Day 8 & 9 – Ooty.
We will take the long drive to reach Ooty by afternoon. Ooty – is a
hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills. The Cairnhill
Reserved Forest, 3km from town on the Avalanche road will be our main
destination, where the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied
Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers
all occur. O/N at the Regency Villa.
Day 10 – Kochi for flight back home.