Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary & Mannar - Batch2 - 29th Jan. to 01st Feb. 2011

After 3 hectic, hard working days in Cochin, we were ready for Thattekkad Batch-2. I went to Airport to receive almost half of the members and Adesh went to Railway station to receive others. Unfortunately the train was late by about 4 hours. I along with members coming by flight reached early to Thattekkad. After an hour or so Pallavi also joined us. We decided to go for a small walk nearby sanctuary. The light was fading, but still we could see White-bellied Treepie, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Racket-tailed Drongo etc.... The train people came by late night and we all together had diner.

All the schedule was exact the replica of first batch. But each visit to same place is different. At the same rocky patch apart from all other birds, we saw Black Baza going overhead, also saw White-bellied Woodpeckers with nest. The evening session was something special!! You can always expect unexpected in jungle. After looking at Frogmouth, we suddenly came upon on small stream inside the jungle. We decided to wait there for some time and check if some birds come there to drink water before going for roosting. And our efforts paid off.... Next half an hour was something amazing!! Stage was set, audience was ready and the play began. First to arrive was courageous Yellow-browed Bulbul, it was his brave effort that gave confidence to others to come down to drink water. The Bulbul was followed by Rusty-tailed, White-bellied Blue, Brown-breasted Flycatchers, Malabar Blue Whistling Thrush, Orange-headed Ground Thrush, Indian Blue Robin, White-bellied Treepie .... wow..what a show!!! Adesh and me also saw a glimpse of Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher!!! That was an icing on the cake!!

Day 2 Munnar....As usual we started early morning at 4.30. The Eravikulam National Park was as good as last batch. We saw all the specialties, including White-bellied Shortwing, Black & Orange and Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush and Nilgiri Pipit. In the evening we went to Dr. Sugathan's office in the sanctuary to hear about this experiences in Thattekkad.

Last Day.... for the morning session we went to another place a bit far from Thettekkad. It was a nice forest patch, we saw Sri-lanka Frogmouth, Paradise Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Drongo & Banded Bay Cuckoo, Oriental Honey Buzzard etc... Those going by flight left early after lunch. Rest we all went to forest patch, opposite to sanctuary. Apart from Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-hooded Oriole, Emerald Dove etc... I was fortunate to see a lifer!! A Chestnut-winged Cuckoo came and sat on a tree for few the time I called others it flew:-(... I was delighted to see a lifer, but was disappointed as others couldn't see it.

Both the batches to Thattekkad were amazing. We got to see almost all the specialties of the region. Me & Adesh were more than happy and satisfied with the overall trip.

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