Endemic Birding Tour in South India Tour
Duration : 12 nights 13 days
Destination : Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka
Best Season : November-March
This is a tour specifically designed to sight all the 16 endemics of the Western Ghats as well as most of the 68 South Indian endemics, besides the more than 500 species of birds in the peninsula. The tour encompasses Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad, Periyar, Munnar, Top Slip, Ooty, Masinagudi, Bandipur, Ranganthittu & Kokre Bellur.
Day 1 & 2 – Thattekkad. After arriving at Kochi, we will take the short drive to Thattekkad.
This 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. One should sight the Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle. Overnight stay.
Day 3 & 4 – Periyar. Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding destinations in South India.
With over 320 bird species identified and a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal wildlife & birding tour. We will go treks, on jeeps and boats for wildlife and birding in the next 2 days. Asiatic elephants, Gaur, sambar, tigers and sloth bear sightings are possible on safaris into the forest. This is also an ideal place to sight the Great Hornbill. Overnight stay.
Day 5 & 6 – Munnar.
We will leave for Munnar via the Ghats to Khambam where we should sight the Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail and the Grey Fancolin. We will proceed to Bodi Ghats en-route Munnar and stop over for sighting the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the Black eagle. We will reach Munnar by evening. The next day we will go birding in the sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands for the Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Broadtailed Grassbird, Grasshopper Warbler. Overnight stay.
Day 7 & 8 – Top Slip.
We will take the 2 hour drive across the Tamil Nadu border to the Indira Gandhi national park – a place known for its great swathes of forests and wildlife – birds, butterflies, elephants, sloth bears, leopards, gaurs (Indian Bison), dholes (wild dogs), king cobra and the lion-tailed macaques in their natural habitat – all within an area known as Top Slip. We will also bird at the adjacent Parambikulam Reserve as well drive on a wildlife safari through the forest trails. Overnight stay.
Day 09 & 10 – Ooty.
We will take the long drive to reach Ooty by afternoon. Ooty (Udhagamandalam) – is a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills. The Cairnhill Reserved Forest, 3km from town on the Avalanche road will be our main destination, where the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers all occur. Regency Villas Heritage Hotel.
Day 11 & 12 – Masinagudi / Mudumalai / Bandipur.
After a day and a half of birding at Ooty looking for the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, we will make our way through the Sirgur Ghats to Masinagudi. Mudumalai at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills, is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. The terrain being varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests is ideal birding country. Should see Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler and Painted Bush Quail. Bandipur Safari Lodge.
Day 13 – Mysore – Kokre Bellur, Ranganthittu.
We will proceed towards Mysore & visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife sanctuary. Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Marsh crocodiles will also be seen. Also visit the remote village Kokre Bellur for the Nesting Painted Storks and Spot-billed Pelicans followed by birding at a nearby reservoir. Take the late evening flight to the next destination.
To Rollapadu looking for the Great Indian Bustard & the lesser Florican.
Please let us know the number of people travelling on this tour and we will send you the total cost. We also specialize in customizing the tour. Should you need any changes we would be happy to modify the itinerary.
The tour may include arrangements such as accommodation, travel, meals, permit, guides, activities etc. or services as required by the client.