Endemics of South India
India is probably the only country in the world that can boast of harbouring over 1314 species of a varied and rich birdlife. With over 42 species of birds to be found in India only, this country is a veritable paradise for any birdwatcher. South India is the peninsula shaped like a triangle that lies between the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Vindhya and Satpura Mountains. The region has a very tropical habitat and has a number of biodiversity hotspots. A trip to this incredible region is a adventure that dreams are made of for most birdwatchers.
Best Time: October – March
Day 1- Arrival Cochin Airport
Day 2- Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Day 3 – Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Day 3 – Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Day 4- Munnar(visiting Munnar but staying in Thattekkadu)
Day 5- Mudumalai
Day 6 – Mudumalai
Day 7 – Ooty (visiting Ooty but staying in Mudumalai)
Day 8- Mysore
Day 9- Mysore
Day 10 – Bangalore
Day 1: Cochin to Thattekad
Morning arrival at Cochin International Airport ( COK ) . We will drive out by a chartered vehicle to our first destination – Thattekad . The journey can take upto 2 hours .
After checking in to a well kept , clean but basic birding resort , we will explore the resort garden for close range birding opportunities for resident and endemic bird species such as Malabar Parakeet , Lesser and Greater Golden back Woodpeckers , Jungle Mynas, Common and White breasted Kingfishers , Rufous tree pie , White cheeked Barbet and the Indian Pitta – within 5 meters of range . What a way to end first day of our birdingtour. Dinner and overnight at the Birding Lodge and Resort.
Day 2 & 3: Thattekad
After our Morning coffee , we will set up our binoculars on the resort grounds and wait for the arrival of endemic Malabar Hornbills. After taking detailed observation of this endemic giant we will shift to the nearby selectively logged forest area to encounter Grey Junglefowl and highly secretive Red Spurfowl. We will also encounter much sought after the Black-throned Munia from the same area and also look for endemic White cheeked Barbet , Lesser and Great Golden backs , Oriental Magpie Robin , Common Myna etc
After a hearty breakfast at the resort we will venture out for our first tropical forest birding adventure . Our key target for the morning will be the Ceylon Frogmouth . You will be surprised to see them so close. We will also search for colorful Malabar Trogon, Indian Roller , Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, White-bellied Wood pecker , Black-hooded Oreol , Southern Hill Myna, Green fronted Leafbird, Endemic Crimson-back Sunbird ,Loten’s Sunbird , Little Spider-hunter , White-bellied Treepie etc till lunch time .
After Lunch , we will go to the bird bath which is located few miles away from the Resort . We will spend all the afternoon in our comfortable hides, watching and photographing amazing parades of avian beauties flying in from the nearby forest . We will encounter photograph Black-naped Monarch, Asian paradise Flycatcher , Flame-throated Bulbul , White browed Bulbul, Puff-throated Babbler , Blyth’s Starling , Blue Whistling Thrush , Verditer flycatcher , White-bellied Blue flycatcher and many more. Dinner and overnight at the birding resort.
Next day morning is dedicated for Owling. We will track down at-least 6 species of owls and nightjars in daylight and encounter them. We will also search for Pied-Kingfisher, Whistling Duck, Red wattled Lapwing etc in the nearby mashy area.
We will go to visit another side of the lowland forest in the afternoon.
Day 4: Munnar
We will have along day ahead of us today . We will set off to the mountain town of Munnar at 4. 30 Am to reach our birding location at down. We will look for higher altitude species such as Nilgiri Wood Pigeon , Nilgiri flycatcher , endemic black and orange flycatcher , canary flycatcher , Indain black bird , oriental white-eye , Velvet -fronted Nuthatch , Painted Quail , Nilgiri pipit etc .
We will start our decent by 4.30 pm to reach our resort on time dinner after a highly productive day of birding.
DAY 5 : Mudumalai
After breakfast depart to Mudumalai. Birding around Bandipur wildlife sanctuaries .Here you will have a chance of seeing Black and Orange flycatcher, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Nilgiri Thrush, White spotted fantail, Blue capped rock thrush, Nilgiri wood pigeon. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Nest Inn.
(DISTANCE FROM THATEKKADU TO MUDUMALAI – 200 KM. 4 HOURS DRIVING TIME NEEDED ON GOOD ROAD).
DAY 6: Mudumala
Full day unlimited birding at Mudumalai and Bandipur wildlife sanctuaries where you will have a chance of seeing Malabar Lark, Skyes Lark, Singing Bush Lark, Indian Nutatch , Savaana Night Jar. Breakfast, lunch ,dinner and overnight stay at Nest Inn.
DAY 7: Ooty
Birding at Ooty Hill Station. Here you will have a chance of seeing Black and Orange flycatcher, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Nilgiri Thrush, White spotted fantail, Blue capped rock thrush, Nilgiri wood pigeon. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Nest Inn.
DAY 8: Mysore
Depart to Mysoore.Unlimited birding around Ragananthittu bird sanctuary Here you will get a chance for boat riding. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Sandesh.
(DISTANCE FROM MUDUMALAI TO MYSOORE – 100 KM. 2 HOURS DRIVING TIME NEEDED ON GOOD ROAD).
DAY 9: Ragananthittu bird Sanctuary
Birding around Ragananthittu bird sanctuary. Apart from the usual birds one could expect to see River Tern, Indian Vulture, Indian Eagle Owl. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Sandesh.
Day 10: Bangalore Depart
Morning birding around Bangalore. Depart to Bangalore airport.