Monday, February 13, 2012

Thattekad - Day 3 (Last Day)

Day - 3

The day started as usual at 6am, Girish took us to the same place near the hillock. Today the birds were very less compared to yesterday, may be because of previous day's movement. First we could see Oriental Honey Buzzard then followed many, yesterday i could not make good images, as they were so many species today I was clear which bird to shoot but decided to make some HD videos so started to take first few good pics then start video. This idea went well I could make pretty good videos of some species.

I will share those after editing the videos in my next blog. Today we could see the Heart spotted woodpecker but it was female yesterday was male. Then around 8 am Girish changed his plan and took us to a rubber plantation near by which was very good to see and photograph few more new species to the kitty.

It was a good morning session, after the sun became harsh we returned to the cottage. After lunch again 3pm we left but this time no guide with us, myself and Sanjoy went around the lake did some birding & photography. We returned back early because we had catch our bus from Aluva (50kms) from Thattekad.

The trip comes to an end with lots of new experience, new species of birds overall Thattekad is a fantastic place to visit again...... 

Sighting of the Day...
  1. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  2. Heart spotted woodpecker female
  3. Drongo Cuckoo
  4. Grey Headed Bulbul
  5. Yellow browed Bulbul
  6. Racket tailed Drongo
  7. Oriole
  8. Malabar wood Shrike
  9. Golden flame-back woodpecker
  10. Cuckoo shrike
  11. Darter

Video clip of Orange Headed Thrush

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thattekad - Day 2

Day -2 ...
We started at 6 am this time Girish joined us,  he took us in a car around 6kms and from there we had to walk to a place where the birds come to eat the berries. So the idea was like before the sunrise we should put our gears for photography so that the birds should not get disturbed. Everything went well we could reach in time, its about a km and a hillock. We had one more friend Mr.Nick he is wildlife book writer from UK.

The sun started raising and birds started their usual singing and calls. It was an excellent experience of so many birds calling around you. Today's first sighting was Fairy Blue Bird. What a bird to see amazing color. Then followed so many of them,  we got confused to shoot which one first because there were plenty of different species of birds to eat those berries.
Malabar Parakeet, Fairy Blue Bird & Unknown

Then all of a sudden we hear Girish calling us look look its Heart Spotted Woodpecker the bird was so small & so fast jumping from branch to branch i decided no to shoot that instead see & enjoy after some time it gave me an opportunity to shoot but i could only get a record shot of the beautiful bird. Thought of better luck next time. By then the sun was becoming harsh so we had to return back. Morning session was over we decided to start the afternoon session at 3-00pm.

As usual came back had very good food, relaxed for a while and started at 3pm this time it was towards Bhoothankatte Dam, the locals believe that the dam is built by demons. Girish could call a pair of Stork Billed Kingfisher but we could not shoot it. Then we went in search of Thattekad's famous resident bird The  Srilankan Frog mouth. To find this really hats off to Girish we had to trek atleast 3kms inside the forest & this pair were sitting inside a bush. After taking some photographs decided not to disturb these. We trekked for another km where there was a small water hole where all other birds were coming for bath. After a long wait i could make a HD video of Orange Headed Thrush having bath in the water, will be posting it in my next blog. It was becoming dark we left from there as we need to trek back 3kms we had good tea near the dam & returned back to cottage. Day 2 ends here.

Sightings of Day 2

  1. Fairy Blue Bird
  2. Crimson Throated Barbet
  3. Coppersmith Barbet
  4. Heart Spotted Woodpecker
  5. Ruby Throated Bulbul
  6. Golden Flameback woodpecker
  7. Malabar grey Hornbill
  8. Grey headed bulbul
  9. Yellow browed bulbul
  10. Pied Kingfisher
  11. Stork billed Kingfisher
  12. Srilankan Frog mouth
  13. Rusty tailed flycatcher
  14. White Bellied Tree pie
  15. Orange Headed Thrush
  16. Emerald Dove
  17. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  18. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  19. Cuckoo Shrike  
  20. Oriole
  21. Malabar Parakeet
For more Pics :

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thattekad - Day 1

I had heard and visualized about Thattedad (Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary ) but never been there. One of my friend Mr.Sanjoy Adak had visited my farm near Nagarhole National Park, he had scheduled his trip to Thattekad on 20th Jan to 23rd Jan 2012. We were discussing about his last year's trip to Thattekad, i was getting more interested but in fact last year I had missed the opportunity so this time no miss. He had his train tickets, I booked by bus to Aluva and we met at Aluva on 21st Jan 2012 morning. We hired a taxi to Thattekad its about an hour journey. Sanjoy had spoken to Girish who is our bird guide and also he owns a home stay inside the sanctuary. We reached the gate of Salim Ali Bird sanctuary by 11am. We checked in to home stay got fresh and had beautiful Kerala style home made brunch as we had not had our breakfast.

Sanjoy had a wish list of 30 species of birds (Lifers) to see & photograph.......It was decided that afternoon 3pm we will start our photography session, Girish arranged one more guide with us & promised to join all the remaining sessions for next two days. I was thinking a gypsy or a car will come to pick us up.... Sanjoy tells me, no sir we need to walk. OMG I was tired hearing that because carrying a tripod with big camera & lens & that too trekking in humid condition as it is a tropical forest it was like a blow for me... :( We started off from the Periyar river side, We saw our first bird of the trip Thick billed Flower pecker.

Then the real birding started, it was a bit difficult to carry all the camera gears but had to. After trekking for a while we started seeing good number of birds out of which my eyes locked on some movement inside the canopy it was orange in color, I called the guide who was ahead of me he was like wow sir its
Malabar Trogon     

It was so difficult to shoot because of very low light condition, even though there was good sun light it was not enough for our camera due to thick jungle. After shooting this bird i said to Sanjoy, my day is done with this. We continued and sighted more birds which i will list it later. With this our 1st day photo session comes to an end. Back to cottage with reviewing our images and discussing we could have taken a shot like this like that all those...... but in nature birds gives only one chance to shoot, if you shoot you have the best or else wait for one more chance...........with a great dinner at Girish's home, day 1 comes to an end.

Day 1 sightings :

  1. Thick Billed Flower Pecker
  2. Racket tailed Drongo
  3. Bronzed Drongo
  4. Orange headed Thrush
  5. Jungle Owlet
  6. Malabar Trogon
  7. Golden Flame back wood pecker
  8. Pompadour Green Pigeon
  9. White Breasted King fisher
  10. Oriole 
  11. Wiskerd Tern
  12. Red vented Bulbul
 for more Pics: