Southern India is home to some of the best National parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India. Being a large country, it has many interesting bird species, including a number of ‘life birds’ to offer most visiting birdwatchers. Many of these species are possible to find on birding tours done in Southern India. Endemic Bird Area (EBA) extends along the Ghats from just north of Maharashtra to the tip of the peninsula. It is home for many mouth watering endemic species along with much sought after range restricted Indian birds. Our journey will take us through the lowland forests of Thattekkad to the high altitude montane forests & grasslands at Munnar, Ooty, the dry forests at Mudumalai & ending up at Ranganthittu near Mysore.
Endemic Birds Sighted During the Trip
Kerala laughing Thrush, Wynaad Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet,Malabar Grey Hornbill, Rufous Babbler, Small Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, White Bellied Blue Robin, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Broad Tailed Grass Bird, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Black and Orange Flycatcher, White Bellied Treepie, Grey Headed Bulbul, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Painted Bush Quail, Red Spurfowl, Painted Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, White Cheeked Barbet, Malabar Barbet, Hill Swallow, Malabar Lark, Flame Throated Bulbul, Blyth’s Starling, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Nilgiri Thrush, Black Throated Munia
Day 1 – Arrive at Cochin airport, then proceed to Thattekkad
Arrival at Cochin International Airport. We will drive out a chartered vehicle to our first destination Thattekkad. The journey can take up to one hour. 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. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is located in the dense tropical evergreen and deciduous forests and grassland patches. The picturesque landscapes here makes it a choicest bird sanctuary for those who love being close to nature. We will settle into Eldhose Birding lodge set in the midst of forest and proceed for birding. We will spend the day by visiting various forests areas in and around Thattekkad, looking for endemics such as Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Black Throated Munia, White bellied Woodpecker, Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle fowl ,Malabar Barbet besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Ceylon Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Brown Hawk Owl ,Indian Scopes Owl and Spot bellied Eagle Owl. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding lodge.
Day 2 – Full day in Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Looking for South Indian forest birds including endemic and nocturnal birds. Also butterflies, forest mammals and other wildlife. Mammals sighting include Slender loris, Malabar Giant Squirrel and many others. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding Lodge.
Day 3 – Full day in Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Looking for South Indian forest birds including endemic and nocturnal birds. Also we will visit another side of lowland forest in the afternoon. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding Lodge.
Day 4 – Munnar
We will set off to the mountain town of Munnar early morning. The drive will take approximately 2 hours. Proceed for birding at Eravikulam National Park where we should sight the Nilgiri Pipit, Kerala Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Yellow Throated Bulbul and more widespread species. We will also visit the shola-grass lands of Munnar to search for Nilgiri Thrush, Painted Bush Quail, Black and Orange Flycatcher etc. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding lodge
Day 5 – Full day in Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary>
Looking for South Indian forest birds including endemic and nocturnal birds. Also butterflies, forest mammals and other wildlife. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding Lodge. Indian forest birds including endemic and nocturnal birds. Also butterflies, forest mammals and other wildlife. Overnight stay at Eldhose Birding Lodge.
Day 6 – Mudumalai
After birding in morning hours we will continue our long drive to Mudumalai. The journey can take unto 4 hour. Mudumalai is a true nature’s delight that provides you best views of nature in its purest form. Morning birding at Mudumalai and Bandipur wildlife sanctuaries where you will have a chance of seeing Malabar Lark, Skye’s Lark, Singing Bush Lark, Indian Nutatch, Savanna Night Jar. Overnight stay at resort close to the reserve. Overnight stay at a resort close to the reserve.
Day 7 – Mudumalai
Full day unlimited birding at Mudumalai and Bandipur wildlife sanctuaries. Overnight stay at a resort near to the reserve.
Day 8 – Ooty
We will start early in the morning birding at Ooty. Ooty – a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills – is where we will look for the endemic Black and Orange flycatcher, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Nilgiri Thrush, White spotted fantail, Blue capped rock thrush and many others. Overnight stay at a resort near to the reserve.
Day 9 – Mysore
We will proceed towards Mysore birding along the way. Apart from the usual birds one could expect to see River Tern, Indian Vulture, Indian Eagle Owl. Overnight stay at a resort near to the reserve.
Day 10 – Departure
After one hour of early morning birding in the Lodge gardens and break fast we will check out from our lodge and start our 10 minutes drive to the Bengaluru International Airport to catch our flight.