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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
South India - The Western Ghats, March 2007 ,
|A week long trip in late March 2007 with The Bird ID Company|
This was a short trip of just 7 days and aimed at seeing as many of the endemic species as possible plus a good range of South Indian birds. We did a standard loop from Cochin taking in the Bird Sanctuary in Thattekkad, Munnar, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Ooty, Sighur Ghat and river, a small bit of Masinagudi and finally the Koele wetland near Thrissur before heading back to Cochin. We were pretty successful seeing 17 of the 21 endemics, only actually missing one we tried for, we also saw lots of other good birds with a total 230 species and a few good mammals including a close encounter with wild Elephants.
24th March 07
We flew from London Gatwick to Dubai and after a fast transfer we boarded the next plane onto Cochin one of the main cities in Kerala, Southern India.
25th March 07
We arrived at Cochin around 3am and got through immigration pretty quickly. Our driver was waiting at the airport and drove us the fairly short distance to Thattekkad. On arrival at Hornbill camp we rested for an hour and then as the sun came up went into the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary with our guide. Lunch and a sleep were taken back at camp, in the afternoon we had a walk outside the sanctuary. Overnight at Hornbill camp.
26th March 07
After an early breakfast we birded around the Damalayar reservoir. We came back for a late lunch then did some late afternoon birding near the camp. Overnight at Hornbill camp.
27th March 07
After breakfast, packed and drove up the western slope of the ghats stopping en route for some good birding. Had lunch in Munnar then went to a good patch of secondary forest and scrub to look for some more of the endemics. Stayed at a hotel in central Munnar.
28th March 07
An early start saw us at the forest patch to get better views of a pair of pied thrushes we had seen the evening before. We then took the road towards periyar for some grassland birding and carried on towards Chinnar having the last 3 hours of the day in the Wildlife sanctuary. Overnight at the Park Hotel in Marayoor.
29th March 07
Up early to go back to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary where we spent the morning, after an interesting encounter with elephants on the road we had brunch in Udumalpet. In the afternoon we stopped briefly at Coimbatore lake then headed back up the ghats to Ooty having a birding stop on the way in some good forest. Overnight at the Regency Villa in Ooty.
30th March 07
Some pre breakfast birding took us to Cairnhill forest then after that to doddabetta. We then headed down sighur ghat birding as we went. We arrived at the river around lunchtime and rested or birded in the shade through the heat of the midday sun. Around 3pm we took a walk up the river seeing some good birds then for the last hour of the day we walked near the Jain resort. We were due to stay in the area but due to a strike in Tamil Nadu had to leave for kerala that evening. Overnight in Nilambus.
31st March 07
After a leisurely start we headed towards Kochi having a lunch stop at the Cheruthurutty River where a few new birds were picked up then onto the very good Koele wetland near Thrissur. We had dinner with our driver and guide then checked into the airport hotel for a few hours before our very early flight home the next day.
Species list (128kB .pdf)
Stuart White - A week long trip in late March 2007 with The Bird ID Company