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Day 3 (Sunday, 4th February)

After a poor nights sleep with a painful headache, it had thankfully gone for the next early morning walk into the forest. First objective was a Spot-bellied Eagle Owl nest, where the parents were again absent, but the fluffy white chick popped its head above the hole for some time. Birding was hard in the forest as usual, with bird parties few and far between, until we came to another partly dried river bed with pools, where we sat for half an hour, and were rewarded by overflying Malabar Pied Hornbill, White-breasted Kingfisher, and our first white (or light smoky grey to be exact, with white tail) Asian Paradise Flycatcher. Carrying on along this river bed, we eventually came to some more open woods with much lower trees, which was a great deal easier to bird. We had the closest views of Heart-spotted Woodpecker of the trip, and it probably turned out to be one of the most enigmatic birds we were to see. These woods ended at a road, which was actually only a hundred metres or so from the entrance to the Backwoods track. The opposite side of this road was open land with scattered trees and copses, with wooded hillsides behind. Birding was very good here, with quite a variety of species between our wooded exit and the minibus. A couple of Vernal Hanging Parrots landed to feed over our heads, a small group of Jungle Babblers were at the roadside, and female Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike above. The last of the Drongos to fall (White-bellied) was a little further into the trees.

River

River through Backwoods

White-breasted Kingfisher

Forest Wagtail

White-breasted Kingfisher

Forest Wagtail

Back for breakfast, which was a delightful green scrambled egg, we sat and picked off Blyth's Reed Warbler, Koel, and then rambled the camp before leaving with a rather shabby Rufous-bellied Eagle circling overhead. The late morning session was provisionally aimed at raptor watching, and a perched White-eyed Buzzard shortly after getting into the minibus seemed to kick off well. The raptor watch point turned out to be from the section of road where we had seen the Vernal Hanging Parrots earlier. We spent about hour watching the hillside, but visibility was hazy, and all we had was a displaying Oriental Honey Buzzard. So we decided to return to Tamdi Surla, which turned out to be an excellent move. The temple was thronging with people (presumably because it was Sunday), but we quickly left them when we walked up the dry stream bed for about 100m, and sat on the rocks looking upstream. Blue-eared Kingfisher was visible most of the time, as well as occasional Stork-billed & White-breasted Kingfisher. This proved a prime spot for passerines - the bush(es) next to the Kingfisher perch contained Verditer, Grey-headed Bulbul, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, and the hirundine flock overhead included Asian Swiftlets. Back at the bus, Mike had thoughtfully left his bag at the stream, the retrieval of which allowed us to find our first Plain Flowerpeckers. Walking back to the camp with lunch in mind, we chanced upon a Forest Wagtail, which by all accounts is a difficult bird to see. This led (in the camp) to bathing Magpie Robin, preening Asian Paradise Flycatcher, flighty male Fairy Bluebird, and finally male Red-breasted Flycatcher.

Raptor watch point

Raptor watch area

Ashy Wood-swallow

Vernal Hanging-parrot

Ashy Wood-swallow

Vernal hanging-parrot

After a half an hour break, we went back into the forest again, with Malabar Trogon the main quarry. Birding was quite difficult until after about half an hour, when Pramod heard a trogon calling in the distance (nobody else did!). He called back regularly, and within minutes, and with well scratched legs, we had magnificent views of a richly coloured Malabar Trogon, with deep salmon-pink breast, and rich rufous chestnut back. It was well worth the trek and patience. More sparse birding followed. We finally staked out the Spot-bellied Eagle Owl nest for some time, before making yet another good call in returning to Tamdi Surla to look for nightjars again. The Grey Nightjar was perched in the same tree as the previous night, but Loven also picked up a calling Jerdon's Nightjar in his torch.

Tickell's Flycatcher

Black-faced Langur

Tickell's Flycatcher

Black-faced Langur

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Species list

Text only