Birding Tour to South India and the Andaman Islands
- Day 1 : Chennai- Port Blair
Arrive Chennai morning – Fly to Port Blair (last flight out 10:05 am). Check into Bay Island. Meet & assist at the airport. We will bird around Mount Harriet National Park, a tropical moist evergreen forest. Should sight Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove , Andaman Crake, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie , Black-naped Oriole Andaman Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling.
- Day 2 Andamans
Very early morning drive towards Sippighat, located to the South of Port Blair. The area is a marshy wetland and good for sightings of water birds & waders. Should sight the Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Red-breasted Parakeet, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Edible nest Swiftlet, Common Snipe, Black-naped Tern, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo , Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird. Thereafter proceed back to Mount Harriet to pick up those missed earlier. Return by evening.
- Day 3 Andamans
Very early morning trip to Chidiya Tapu, a patch of moist evergreen forest located to the South of Port Blair and excellent for birding. The track for birding starts 4 km before Chidiya Tapu and 2 km along the seashore forest. Should sight the Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet.
- Day 4 : Andamans
Morning birding for endemics missed out during earlier trips.
- Day 5 Port Blair – Chennai – Kochi – Thattekkad
Board the morning flight to Chennai. Change planes at Chennai and fly into Kochi arriving by noon. On arrival transfer to Thattekkad (1 hour drive). Evening birding for night birds (if time permits)
- Day 6, 7, 8 : Thattekkad
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.
- Day 9, 10 – 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. 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 uncommon migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the spectacular Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species.
- Day 11, 12 – 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. Munnar is also the place to see the endangered endemic Nilgiri Tahrs in their natural habitat.
- Day 13 – Ooty.
We will transfer to the hill station at Ooty & reach by afternoon. Ooty (Udhagamandalam) – is a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills. The Cairnhill Reserved Forest, 3km from town on the Avalanche road and Dodabetta 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. En-route we will stop over at Chinnar in the morning for birding.
- Day 14, 15 – Masinagudi
After morning birding at Ooty looking for the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, we will make our way through the Sirgur Ghats to Masinagudi. Mudumalai at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills, is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. The terrain being varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests is ideal birding country. Should see Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler and Painted Bush Quail.
- Day 16 – Mysore – Bangalore
We will proceed towards Mysore & visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife sanctuary. Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Marsh crocodiles will also be seen. By noon depart for Bangalore to board the late evening flight to Chennai. Tour ends.
- Accommodation with meal plan as given in itinerary
- Birding Guide at Port Blair & in South India
- Non a/c vehicles at Port Blair
- A/c vehicle for S India birding, driver’s allowances, inter-state passes
- All entry fees, permits, passes
- Bottled water throughout
- Air fares.
- Personal expenses
Does not include:
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