Eldho, the magician bird spotter from Thattekad. I got his contact from Shiva A.N and was trying to contact him and book the slot in November. After so many commitment, he failed to give me his time and lastly he tagged me with his friend Girish. I stayed in Girish's home stay. This home stay is only home stay inside the park. Girish also an expert bird watcher from that place.
18th Nov 2010: I catched the train (Ernavikulam Exp) from Yashvanthpur, Bangalore for Aluva. Next day morning around 7:20am I got down at Aluva, Just one station before the Ernavikulam end station. Aluva is the nearest railway station of Selim Ali Bird Santuary and Kochi is the nearest Air port. From Aluva I taken one taxi (60 km) and reached Selim Ali BS withen one and half hour. Sudha-Amma (Girish's Mather) was waiting for me at the gate of the park. After breakfast with Appam and egg I planned to take rest but Sudha-Amma asked me to go with her for bird watching. She is also good bird spotter like her son.
We went to the nearest lake for water bird shooting and found a big gang of Lesser Whistling Ducks was playing in the lake, whiskered tern flying around for fishing and white Breasted King fisher waiting alone in the rain for prey. It was drizzling and light was very poor, So to save my camera from rain water we took place in fishing shades and try to manage some shot in unfavourable condition.
After spending some time in the fishing shade Sudha Amma asked me to come back becouse we ware expecting a heavy rain at anytime. While coming back we found two Grey Jungle fowl, Before I possitioned my tripod and Camera they went off but still I managed some record shot.
At the main gate of the park Sudha-amma spotted one Brown Hawk Owl couple. This is the 1st time I watched the Brown Hawk Owl and photographed too.
At last as a closing event of morning session she showed me Malabar grey Hornbill seating on tree branch just outside wall of her house. I photographed and quickly packed my camera as rain started by that time. I did not expect rain at all and it made me down almost but still during morning session I photographed two new species that I never seen before. I went for bath and plan for a short nap after lunch to keep myself ready with full of energy for evening session.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Three years before I heard about Thattekad BS from one of my friend and about the famous bird watcher Eldho from that place. But I could not manage my time to head out over there. So last November I decided to take this trip. It's a amazing place for bird watcher and a natural rain forest discovered by famous Ornithologist Dr.Selim Ali. Some important information on Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (Presently Selim Ali Bird Sanctuary)
From Wikipedia: The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of hardly 25 km², and located about 60 km north-east of Kochi (Kerala state, India & nearest Airport too), is one of the important bird sanctuaries of India. The literal meaning of Thattekad is flat forest, the region is an evergreen low-land forest and is located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala. The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary has a rich and varied birdlife. Several species of birds, both forest birds as well as the water birds, visit the sanctuaries, and the important ones include the following:
A) Indian Pitta : which visits the sanctuary during winter and spends almost six months here.
B) Ground Thrush : an orange-headed bird.
C) Large-billed Leaf-warbler
D) Jerdon's Nightjar
E) Indian Cuckoo
H) Whiskered Terns
I) Collared Scops Owl
J) Frogmouths==> which are nocturnal birds.
K) Pompadour Green Pigeon
L) Yellow-browed Bulbuls
The sanctuary is a habitat for different varieties of Cuckoos and a region of the sanctuary popularly called Cuckoo Paradise is home to them, and they include the following:
Drongo Cuckoo: which may be easily mistaken for Drongo
Indian Hawk Cuckoo: which is highly vocal
Large Hawk Cuckoo: which looks relatively massive compared to other types of cuckoos, and is characterized by a dark grey and heavily streaked throat
I stayed there for two days only. I realished after reaching, I should have been there at least 4 days to complete 25% of the resident bird species. I'll update my day by day activity from my later post. Before that I would like to list down some species that I spotted and few of them I could photographed.
1. Lesser Whistling Duck
2. White Brested King Fisher
3. Lesser Flameback Wood Peaker
4. Heart Throted Wood Peaker
5. Whiskered Tern
6. Brown Hawk Owl
7. Malabar Grey Hornbill
8. Srilankan Frog Mouth
9. Little Cormorant
10. Crested Goshawk
11. Yellow Throated Bulbul
12. Crimson Back Sunbird
13. Fairy Blue Bird
14. Malabar Blue Parakeet
15. Black Baza
16. Verdict Flycatcher
17. Great Eared Nightjar : One of the instinct species from that place.
Please follow my next post .....