The Western Ghats Endemic Birding Tour

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Western Ghats Birding: An Overview

Our South India birding tour takes us to the rugged lands of southern India and the impressive Western Ghats Mountains, a land of endless valleys, rolling tea estates, and breathtaking highland vistas known for a superb range of highly localised endemic birds and a slew of special mammals. This comprehensive tour will highlight many of these special creatures, including the stunning Indian Pitta, Wynaad’s Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the rare Sri Lanka Frogmouth, magnificent Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling Thrush, and Heart-spotted Woodpecker, as well as Indian Elephant, Gaur (Indian Bison), Wild Boar, and Smooth-coated Otter. Join us on an unrivalled birding adventure to the south of this vast and rewarding country!

Basic Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Thattekkad is by far the best birding location in the Western Ghats (South India). Over 270 species have been identified in a 25km2 area. Malabar grey Hornbill, White-bellied Tree-pie, Malabar Barbet, Flame throated Bulbul, Grey-headed Bulbul, Malabar wood shrike, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, White-bellied blue Flycatcher, Spot bellied Eagle owl, Ceylon bay Owl, Indian scops Owl, Oriental scops Owl, and others are among the target species for us in this tour.

Morning birding in Thattekad (Urulanthanni forest) for White Bellied Tree-pie, Malabar grey hornbill, White-bellied blue Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul, and non-endemics such as Nightjars, Owls, Frogmouth, and so on.

We will spend the afternoon in our bird hide, with good chances of seeing White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Brown breasted Flycatcher, Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Little Spider-hunter, Crimson backed Sunbird, Asian fairy Bluebird, and so on.

Today we will take a trip to Cheekod in search of Black Bazza, White-bellied Tree-pie, Asian fairy Bluebird, Brown hawk Owl, Jungle Owlet, and other birds. Afternoon at the bird hide, and night birding in Kalappara Area for remaining species
On the fourth day, we will travel to the Bodi ghats en route to Periyar and stop to look for the rare Yellow-throated Bulbul, Hill Prinia, Sirkeer Malkoha, Black Eagle, and other birds. Birding in the afternoon at Periyar Tiger Reserve National Park. Periyar is one of the best wildlife and birding destinations in the world. We’ll spend the evening looking for rare species like the Wayanad Laughing-thrush and the Rufous Babbler.
After our morning birding in Periyar National Park, we will travel to Munnar (1500 MSL) today. Afternoon birding in and around Pothamedu, looking for High Altitude Endemics such as Black and Orange Flycatcher, White-bellied Sholakkili, Nilgiri wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Crimson backed Sunbird, Indian yellow Tit, Velvet fronted Nuthatch,Yellow-browed Bulbul, Malabar Barbet, Malabar Parakeet etc.
Today, look for Palani Laughing-thrush, Nilgiri Pipit, Indian Blackbird, Malabar whistling Thrush, Hill Swallow, Painted bush Quail, Indian blue Robin, Indian white Eye, Nilgiri Thrush, Plain Prinia, ect. around Eravikulam national park. Afternoon at the bird hide (Target species): Southern hill Myna, Golden-fronted Leafbird, White-bellied Tree-pie, Vernal hanging Parakeet, Indian scimitar Babbler, Crimson backed Sunbird, Purple rumped Sunbird, and so on.
We will begin birding early in the morning at Chinnar (dry scrub forest) in search of White-bellied Drongo, Blue-faced Malkoha, White napped Woodpecker, Green imperial Pigeon, Indian Robin, White-browed Bulbul, and other species. We’ll arrive in Ooty by evening after a long drive
Morning birding at Doddabetta Peak (2,637 metres), looking for Nilgiri blue Robin, Nilgiri Laughing-thrush, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Black and orange Flycatcher, Indian Blackbird, Blue-capped Rock thrush, Brown breasted Flycatcher, Nilgiri wood Pigeon, and so on. Afternoon birding around the hotel for any remaining species
Following the morning birding in Ooty (for any remaining species), we will travel to Coimbatore airport (2.5 hours) to fly back home.

Tour Details

Total number of days: 9

Tour starting point: Cochin International Airport/Thattekkad

Tour ending point: Coimbatore Airport

Difficulty level: Easy

Long drives: 3

Photography opportunities: Excellent

We can easily modify this itinerary to include more locations and/or longer stays. We have a variety of birding tour itineraries for other parts of India on file. Please contact us if you are interested in a bird-watching tour in another part of India.

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