Saturday, 19 March 2011

Kerala, India February 2011 Thattekad (04.03.11) Day 1

Ok, not exactly UAE Birding but thought I would share my trip to Kerala in India.  I had organised this through an Indian company Birds of Kerala. This was to be an 8 day trip staying at various locations.

In the early hours (2:45am to be precise) on Friday 4th March  I departed Dubai headed for Cochin (Kochi) where I would land about 8:30am and meet my driver.   Shibu was my drivers name and over the course of the week we got to know each other quite well.   He was an excellent driver and knew is way around well.  He would also be responsible for one or two pics that I would have missed without his keen observation ! 

We set off from the airport to Thattekad where we arrived at Hornbill Camp (a tented camp) around 11:00am where I met my guide for the week Jijo Matthew.  And what a guide he turned out to be, I cannot recommend him enough !

After unpacking I was keen to get out around the camp before our 3:30pm excursion.  It was mid-day,  the light was very harsh and it was hot and humid but I was in my element.    Managed to capture some images of Purple-Rumped and Loten's Sunbirds (Long-Billed Sunbird) and one or two other species such as Jungle Babbler and Oriental Magpie-Robin.  Decided it was best to get some lunch and a little sleep before our afternoon sortie.

3:30pm soon arrived and feeling a little groggy ventured out with Shibu and Jijo to a local birding spot for a few ours, birds of note included Brown-Capped Woodpecker, Chestnut-tailed Starling and endemic White-cheeked Barbet.   Jijo also managed to re-find a Mottle Wood Owl (extremely shy) from a week earlier, a skill I that was going to impress me more and more as the week went on.

As I went back to the camp I reflected on 39 species seen in my first couple of hours.

 Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis)
 Loten's Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius)
Loten's Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius)
 Mottled Wood Owl (Strix ocellata)

 White-Cheeked Barbet (Megalaima viridis)
 Chestnut-Tailed Starling (Sturnia malabarica)
 Brown-Capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis)

1 comment:

  1. Great serie, lovelly images. The White-Cheeked Barbet is an awseome bird, very nicelly photographied. On my blog you asked about fill flash, i think its very usefull in bird photography.
    Here is great link to learn about fill flash with the better beamer (not shown on my images...but i use it)

    Have a great day ;)