Birding in Western Ghats
South India is home for 28 endemics and a large collection of amazing avian beauties.Being our home ground, we are in a position to offer you the best of the Industry birding services coming out of our decades of experiences in exploring nooks and corners of this amazing region for birdlife, and also utilising our special relationships with local spotters, speciality lodges and transportation companies. If South India is your next birding destination, you have come to the right place. You just get ready for an amazing period of birding, we will take care of the rest.
Top Birds we wish to show you in this trip are :
Painted-Bush Quail, Red-Spurfowl, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-cheeked Barbet, Malabar Parakeet (Blue-winged Parakeet), Malabar Woodshrike, Malabar Trogon, White-spotted Fantail, White-bellied Treepie, Indian Blacklored Tit, Malabar Lark, Grey-headed, Flame-throated & Yellow-throated Bulbuls, Broad-tailed Grass-bird, Indian Scimitar&Rufous Babblers, Wynaad, Nilgiri & Kerala Laughingthrushes, Malabar Starling, Nilgiri Wood & Greyfronted Green Pigeons, Nilgiri Thrush, White-bellied Blue, Black-and-orange & Nilgiri Flycatchers, Nilgiri Blue & Whitebellied Blue Robins, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, Nilgiri Pipit, Indian Pitta, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Heart-spotted Woodpecker many more .
Habitats covered : Tropical Forests , teak woodland, wetlands, tea plantations, montane grasslands.
Expected Climate : Warm and humid days and cool nights in lowlands, pleasant days and cold nights in mountains.
Tour Duration : 10 Days
Accommodations : Options of basic to luxury to choose from.
Difficulty level : Moderate
Other Attractions : Tea gardens , Temples, Lake Periyar etc
Food : Indian and continental.
Number of Species Expected : + 200 ( including 90-100% of 28 endemics* )
Mammals : Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Guar, Asian Elephant , Sambar Deer, Barking Deer etc.
Photographic : Excellent Opportunities. All our tours are photographer friendly tours.
KOCHI International Airport ( COK )
You arrive at Cochin ( KOCHI ) the business capital of the southern most state of Kerala, also known as “Gods own County” due to her inherited natural beauty, from any one of the many domestic or international gate ways. Our guide will pick you up at the airport and drive you to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary . ( 2 Hours Drive ) .
There is no other place in South India to beat Thattekad when out comes to serious birding. We will be spending next three nights in Thattekad, exploring Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Orunanthanni forest areas along with few other selected habitats looking for mouthwatering array of endemic species and other regional specialists. We will search for Malabar Trogon, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Parakeet, Cylon frogmouth, White-bellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimson backed Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Barbet, White checked Barbet, Grey headed bulbul, Flame Throated bulbul, Grey-fronted green Pigeon, Nilgiri Flowerpecker etc Non endemics like legge’s Hawk eagle, Indian Pitta, Red Spurfowl, Black-throated Munia, etc . Our nocturnal birding may get you Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Indian Scopes Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Great-eared Nightjar, etc.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary ( 5 Hours Drive ) 4000 ft.
After three days of hectic birding at Thattekad , we will travel to a hill station known for its spices and wildlife – The Periyar Wildlife Zone. Our Prime target over here is the endemic Wynad Laughing Thrush. While we search the trails to get a good view of this range restricted and highly sought after thrush , we may also see species such as White-rumped spine-tail, Brownbacked needle tail, Black Baza, Imperial Mountain Pigeon, White bellied Woodpecker, Rusty-tailed flycatcher, Heart-spotted woodpecker etc. We will also search for mammals such as Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Guar, Asian Elephant , Sambar Deer, Barking Deer etc.
Munnar ( 6 Hrs Drive ) 5000 ft.
Our next destination is also a hill station famous for its tea and cardamom plantations. We will drive to Munnar through picturesque landscapes and plantations and stopping in between to search for Yellow- throated Bulbul, White-browed Bulbul, Indian Robin , Yellow billed Babbler, Grey-bellied Cuckoo etc. Post lunch birding in Munnar is primarily to locate high altitude endemic species such as Nigiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orang Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Nilgiri Pipit, While Bellied Blue Robin and if you get lucky , even highly elusive Nilgiri Thrush. Next day we will go to Eravikulam / Pothamdedu areas to search for endemic and and endangered Nilgiri Thar and the range restricted Broadtail Grass bird.
Ooty , The Nilgiris ( 8 Hrs ) 7400 ft.
Today we will have an early morning breakfast before set off to another famous resort town in Western Ghats mountains – Ooty. This postcard perfect colonial hill station is known for old English style bungalows, tea gardens , educational institutions etc . We will take a birding brake on our way at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary to search for Spott-bellied Eagle owl and few dry land species in ridges.
We will stay in a cozy hill station resort for two nights searching for Nigiri Laughing Thrush, Black and Orange Flycatcher,Malabar Lark, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Thrush, Indian Hoopoe, Bee-eaters, Indian Black Bird, Whiteeyes etc. We will also try to locates high altitude species – might have missed in Munnar.
This tour can be linked with 5 days Andaman Endemic Birding Tour OR 5 days Birds and Mammals of Deccan Extension.