Booking for : Birding tour of south India






Birding tour of south India

Tour Details

Activities: Bird Watching, Nature Walk 

Tour starts from: Cochin Ends at: Bangalore 

Grade: Medium.

Season: Oct to May

Elevation: 700 to 2800 meters 

Mammals: The hotpots is home to about 140 mammal species, although less than 20 are endemic. While mammal diversity is lower here than in some other tropical hotspots, the hotspot does support a significant diversity of bats, with nearly 50 species and one endemic genus, represented by the bat Latidens salimalii , which is endemic to the High Wavy Mountains in the Western Ghats. Among flagship mammal species, the most prominent are the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus), found in highly fragmented tropical rain forests in the Western Ghats, and the endemic Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius), which lives in the montane grasslands of the Western Ghats.

Birds: The avifauna of the Western Ghats is diverse, but endemism is not exceptional. There are more than 500 known bird species from the hotspot, of which about 24 are endemic & the South Indian endemics number 118.

Reptiles: The highest levels of vertebrate endemism in the Western Ghats hotspot is among reptiles and amphibians. Of the region’s more than 260 reptile species, about 175 (66 percent) are endemic. One quarter of the nearly 90 reptile genera in the hotspot are endemic, and nine of these are represented by single species. Families such as Uropeltidae(47 of 48 species), Gekkonidae (18 of 30), and Agamidae (20 of 26) exhibit very high endemism. 

Overview: This is a tour specifically designed to sight all the 24 Western Ghats endemics as well as most of the 68 South Indian endemics, besides the more than 500 species of birds in the peninsula and the endemic mammals like the Nilgiri Tahr and the Nilgiri Langur. Southern India is home to some of the best National parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India. Most of these parks are located on the sides of the Western Ghats, one of the 35 bio-diversity ‘hot spots’ on earth due to its large volume of endemic species and diversity. Our journey will take us through the lowland forests of Thattekkad to Periyar Tiger Reserve and onwards to the high altitude montane forests & grasslands at Munnar, Ooty, the dry forests at Chinnar & Mudumalai & ending up at Ranganthittu near Mysore. 

Best time: Late January and First week of February

Outline:
Day 01: Arrive Cochin and drive to Thattekkad (70 kms/02 hrs)
Day 02: Thattekkad.
Day 03: Thattekkad.
Day 04: Drive to Periyar (125 kms/04 hrs)
Day 05: Periyar.
Day 06: Periyar.
Day 07: Drive to Munnar (110 kms/04 hrs)
Day 08: Munnar.
Day 09: Drive to Valparai (150 kms/04 hrs)
Day 10: Drive to Ooty (214 kms/06 hrs)
Day 11: Drive to Masiangudi (30 kms/01 hr)
Day 12: Masiangudi.
Day 13: Drive to Mysore (100 kms/03 hrs)
Day 14: Drive to Bangalore (150 kms/03 hrs)
Day 15: Depart Bangalore

Day 01,Arrive Cochin and drive to Thattekkad (70 kms/02 hrs)

Today on your arrival you will be welcome by our representative and birding guide and then you can proceed straight to Thattekad. It 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. Upon arrival check in to the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. If time permits we can do birding near the hotel. O/N in Hotel.

Day 02,Thattekkad

Today you have two sessions of birding, one in the morning 6.30 am till 11.30 am and the second session starts by 4pm till 8 pm. Though the Ceylon Frogmouth is the highlight of the bird list found here, you can spot more than a hundred species of birds in a two-day tour.

Day 03,Thattekkad

Today again you have two sessions of birding, one in the morning 6.30 am till 11.30 am and the second session starts by 4pm till 8 pm.

Day 04,THATTEKKAD – PERIYAR (125 KMS/04 HRS)

After breakfast, we drive to Periyar. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. 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 destination of the tour. Periyar National Park contains a variety of habitats from grassland and dry decidu¬ous forest to evergreen forest and riverside scrub. As a result of its wide range of habitats Periyar boasts an impressive list of resident species includ¬ing about half the peninsular endemics and near-endemics Some very special species including the Wynaad Laughingthrush. Other birds to look out for include White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain Imperial Pi¬geon, the migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species. We may also sight the Woolly-necked Stork, Besra, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Jungle Owlet, White-rumped Spinetail, Black-naped Monarch and the Little Spiderhunter. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Afternoon, visit Spice Plantation Tour, where you can see the variety of Spices grown at one place like Cardamom, Pepper, clove & etc., later return back to hotel and overnight stay at Periyar. O/N in hotel.

Day 05,PERIYAR

Today early morning you can proceed for 06 Hrs Nature walk which is provide inside the Periyar wildlife sanctuary, you will be assisted by Naturalist who have good knowledge about the birds, while during the nature walk you can see variety of birds species stork billed kingfisher, pied kingfisher, great hornbill, malabar grey hornbill, Indian grey hornbill, malabar pied hornbill, white cheed barbet, white bellied treepie, black naped monarch, red whiskered bulbul. Lunch will be provided in Aranya Niwas (inside) and after lunch again you can proceed for 03 Hrs Nature Walk inside the forest to watch the birds. Overnight stay at Periyar.

Day 06,PERIYAR

Today early morning we proceed for Greenwalk inside the sanctuary with a naturalist. Lunch will be provided in the restaurant (inside the park) and again after lunch we proceed for Green walk. Later back to hotel.

Day 07,PERIYAR – MUNNAR (110 KMS/04 HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Munnar with packed lunch. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. After lunch we will proceed for birding nearby. O/N in hotel

Day 08,MUNNAR

Morning by Jeep we proceed for birding in Lakshmi Hills to spot the endemic birds of western ghat. Will have lunch in Nature Zone. After lunch we do birding around Munnar. Later back to hotel.

Day 09,MUNNAR – VALPARAI (150 KMS/04 HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Valparai via Chinnar with packed lunch to spot Black and Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Blue faced Malkoha etc.

Day 10,VALPARAI – OOTY (214 KMS/06 HRS)

After breakfast, we drive to Ooty with packed lunch for spotting one of the Western Ghats endemic bird Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Black and Orange flycatcher. Afternoon we proceed for birding to Doddabetta. O/N in hotel.

Day 11,OOTY – MASIANGUDI (30 KMS/01 HR)

Morning we proceed for birding trip to Carne Hill. Here we can spot Black and orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey headed canary flycatcher, Black chinned laughing thrush etc. and then drive to Masinagudi. A part of the Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a declared tiger reserve. The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species including Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, Gaur and Indian leopard. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered Indian White-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture. Out of 15 cat species in India, four live in Mudumalai: Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, jungle cat and leopard cat. There are 44 to 80 tigers in the Mudumalai forest. The single largest tiger population in India (Mudumalai – Nagarhole – Wayanad) includes the Mudumalai tigers. These tigers are a breeding source for populating the Northern and Eastern parts of the Western Ghats. This population exists at high density due to the high density of prey species thriving in its deciduous forests. The Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca), the dhole (Cuon alpinus), the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), the golden jackal (Canis aureus) and the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) are some of the carnivorous species commonly found here. The population of Indian elephants, Elephas maximus indicus, totals several hundred animals. Three primates found here include the gray langur (Semnopithecus priam) and the bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata). Important prey animals for tigers and panthers here are the ungulates including the gaur (Bos gaurus), the sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), the chital deer (Axis axis), Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), the Indian spotted chevrotain, Moschiola indica, and the wild boar (Sus scrofa), all of whom are common here. Rodents include the Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica maxima) and the red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista). Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Enjoy evening Jeep Safari. O/N in hotel.

Day 12,MASINAGUDI

Go for a morning ride with your naturalist to try your luck on spotting wildlife. After breakfast rest and lunch, another round of jeep safari for more exploration. Back to resort for dinner. Asiatic Elephants, Indian Wild Gaur, Leopards, Tigers, Indian Wild dogs, Sambar deers etc. thrive in these jungles.

Day 13,MASINAGUDI – MYSORE (100 KMS/03 HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Mysore. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. After lunch, we visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary by boat. It is a bird sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state, only 0.67 km2. In area, about 40 acres and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. Ranganathittu is located three kilometers away from the historic town of Srirangapatna and 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) north of Mysore. Roughly 170 birds have been recorded here. Of these, the painted stork, Asian open bill stork, common spoonbill, woolly-necked stork, black-headed ibis, lesser whistling duck, Indian shag, stork-billed kingfisher, egret, cormorant, Oriental darter, and heron breed here regularly. The great stone plover, and river tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of streak -throated swallows. During the months of January and February, more than 30 species of migratory birds are found, and the season of the sanctuary is from November to June. About 50 pelicans have made Ranganathittu as their permanent home.

Day 14,MYSORE – BANGALORE (150 KMS/03 HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Bangalore via a birding trip to Kokrebellur village. It is named after the painted stork (Ibis leucocephalus) called “kokkare” in Kannada language. Apart from painted storks the spot billed pelicans, are also found here. Both are classified as “near threatened category” in IUCN Red List of 2009. The village is one of the 21 breeding sites existing in India.. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure.

Day 15,DEPART BANGALORE

Final departure transfer to airport to board flight for onward journey. *** END OF OUR SERVICES ***

Additional Info

  • Duration : 15 nights / 16 days
  • Highlights:  Thattekad, Periyar, Munnar, Valparai, Ooty, Masinagudi, Mysore, Bangalore

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