The Western Ghats (Western Mountain Ranges) are ranges of hills along the western edge of the Deccan plateau in peninsular India. The EBA ( Endemic Bird Area ) extends along the Ghats from just north of Maharashtra to the tip of the peninsula. Western-ghats is home for many endemic species along with much sought after range restricted Indian birds .

Our 5 nights Western Ghats odyssey covers two of the most important birding areas in South India: Lower “Thattekad “ ( Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanuaury ) in Kerala and mountain zone called Munnar.

Best Time: October to April

Physical grade: Very comfortable walks . Lowland birding spots can be humid and sweaty during daytimes but highland areas are pristine and cool.

Tour Summary
Day 1- Arrival Cochin
Day 2- Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Day 3 – Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Day 4-  Munnar
Day 5 – Munnar
Day 6- Thattekkadu

Tour Description

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 1 1/2  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 bird photography tour .Dinner and overnight at the Eldhose Birding Lodge and Resort.

Day 2 & 3

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

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 .
Overnight stay at Rose Gardens.

Day 5

Morning birding around Munnar hill station.Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding lodge.

Day 6

Morning birding around Thattekkadu Bird Sanctuary. Depart to Cochin International airport