Posts Tagged ‘Kerala birding’

Black Eagle of Atirapally: Birding the Birthday of the Birdman 2013

// November 11th, 2013 // No Comments » // Eco Watch

Black Eagle at Atirapally in the after noon of 10 Nov 2013. Below the waterfall. Taken astride on the bike.

Black Eagle at Atirapally in the after noon of 10 Nov 2013. Below the waterfall. Taken astride on the bike.

Temminck's Stints at Puzhakal Kol, 10 Nov 2013.

Temminck’s Stints at Puzhakal Kol, 10 Nov 2013.

 

Spotted or Wood Sandpiper at Puzhakal Kol, 10 Nov 2013

Spotted or Wood Sandpiper at Puzhakal Kol, 10 Nov 2013

Black-winged Stilt and Sandpipers at Pullazhi Kol, 10 Nov 2013.

Black-winged Stilt and Sandpipers at Pullazhi Kol, 10 Nov 2013.

Malabar Giant Squirrel at Vazhachal Bridge, 10 Nov 2013.

Malabar Giant Squirrel at Vazhachal Bridge, 10 Nov 2013.

Adat Kol wetland on the morning of 10 Nov 2013.

 

M G Squirrel at Vazhachal Bridge.

M G Squirrel at Vazhachal Bridge.

Malabar Grey Hornbill at Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013. On the return journey shot from the bike again.

Malabar Grey Hornbill at Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013. On the return journey shot from the bike again.

White-bellied Woodpecker at Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013.

White-bellied Woodpecker at Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013.

Yellow-browed Bulbul at Anakayam. 10 Nov 2013.

Yellow-browed Bulbul at Anakayam. 10 Nov 2013.

Rufous-bellied Eagle near Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013.

Rufous-bellied Eagle near Peringalkuthu. 10 Nov 2013.

Nilgiri Langurs or Karimanti at Sholayar pass. 10 Nov 2013.

Nilgiri Langurs or Karimanti at Sholayar pass. 10 Nov 2013.

Bonnet Macaques preening at Vazhachal Bridge, 10 Nov 2013.

Bonnet Macaques preening at Vazhachal Bridge, 10 Nov 2013.

Black Eagle @ Atirapally

Black Eagle @ Atirapally

 

I started from Thrissur and through Puzhakal and Pullazhi Kol wetlands reached Adat Kol.  Plenty of Spotted Sandpipers and a few Golden Plovers and Stints were seen. Marsh Harriers and Raptors were missing in the Kol.  Last year there were plenty of them, even Booted Eagles were here last season.

Then went to Atirapally, Vazhachal, Peringalkuthu and Sholayar the origin of Cholayar or river Chalakudy around 1000m above sea level.  I was fortunate to see and shoot the Black Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle and White-bellied Black Woodpecker.  Nilgiri Langurs and Malabar Giant Squirrels were also seen. Bonnet Macaques are really straying all along the road.  Family groups are feeding and pampering them in gross violation of the law.  These sedan parties are also leaving huge garbage and plastic toxic waste in the last remaining patches of low lying rain forests in the Western Ghats which is home to all the four types of hornbills in South India.  The forest dept guys who allow them in must check their eating and drinking.  Most of the so called family picnic parties are bringing alcoholic drinks and leaving their toxic wastes in the biodiversity hotspots.

Also heard the call of a Serpent Eagle at Tumburmuzhy at noon.  Some Common Albatross butterflies were seen there mud-puddling.  a lonely Chocolate Albatross was also in the group. Blue Tigers and Common Crows were aplenty.   The newly rubberized road is a biker’s delight.    A few Malabar Grey Hornbills also showed up on the return journey.  Reached Abad at Nedumbasery at 7.15pm and returned to Thrissur after the meeting and dinner.

 

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Nilgiris and Kotagiri: Langurs, Gaurs and Birds

// March 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Eco Watch

Indian Gaur crossing the Ooty-Kotagiri road near Dodabeta peak, early March 2013.

Indian Gaur crossing the Ooty-Kotagiri road near Dodabeta peak, early March 2013.

Otakalmand or Ooty in glorious summer morning light, early March 2013.

Otakalmand or Ooty in glorious summer morning light, early March 2013.

 

A White-eye near Gudalur, early March 2013.

A White-eye near Gudalur, early March 2013.

A Nilgiri Langur near Needle Rock, early March 13.

A Nilgiri Langur near Needle Rock, early March 2013.

 

Naduvattam lake in the Nilgiri plateau.

Naduvattam lake in the Nilgiri plateau.

Grey Wagtail near the Frog Rock on the gateway to the Nilgiris from Gudalur.  A migrant from distant lands, early March 2013.

Grey Wagtail near the Frog Rock on the gateway to the Nilgiris from Gudalur. A migrant from distant lands, early March 2013.

 

A local ritual procession in Naduvattam.  The place name Nadu Vattam literally means the Vattam or Kottam or Kuti at the centre of the region.  It once housed the Vattam or Vihara or Pally in the ancient days.

A local ritual procession in Naduvattam. The place name Nadu Vattam literally means the Vattam or Kottam or Kuti at the centre of the region. It once housed the Vattam or Vihara or Jain/ Buddhist Pally in the ancient days.

A Swallow at Naduvattam, early March 2013.

A Pacific Swallow at Naduvattam, early March 2013.

 

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta in a crisscrossed shola patch near the road between Gudalur and Naduvattam, early March 2013.

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta in a crisscrossed shola patch near the road between Gudalur and Naduvattam, early March 2013.

Pykara falls, Nilgiris, early March 2013.

Pykara falls, Nilgiris, early March 2013.  Pykara means the land of the cattle. This grassland sholas and Pykara river were most sacred to the Toda tribe the early inhabitants of the Nilgiri plateau.  The river Pykara originates from Mukurti peak and flows north west through the Nilgiri plateu.

 

The Toda buffaloes grazing in the pastures in Pykara.  The buffaloes are central to their cosmology and myths.  The sacred buffalo only found in the Nilgirri Toda Munds or villages were created first along with the first Toda man according to their creation myth.  The Toda buffaloes have close similarity to the water buffaloes of Assam.

The Toda buffaloes grazing in the pastures in Pykara. The buffaloes are central to their cosmology and myths. The sacred buffalo only found in the Nilgiri Toda Munds or villages were created first along with the first Toda man according to their creation myth. The Toda buffaloes have close similarity to the water buffaloes of Assam.

A Coot in Ooty lake, early March 2013.

A Coot in Ooty lake, early March 2013.

 

Stopped by the bisons/gaur on the way to Kotagiri the hills of the Kota tribe near Dodabetta, south india's second highest peak after Anamudi in the south.

Stopped by the bison/ gaur on the way to Kotagiri the hills of the Kota tribe near Dodabetta, south india’s second highest peak after Anamudi in the south.

A resort in a tea estate near Naduvattam, Nilgiri district.

A resort in a tea estate near Naduvattam, Nilgiri district.

 

A Barn Swallow trying to nest inside a building under construction in Naduvattam, Nilgiris.

A Barn Swallow trying to nest inside a building under construction in Naduvattam, Nilgiris.

Black-lored Tit in Longwood Shola near Kotagiri, early March 2013.

Black-lored Tit in Longwood Shola near Kotagiri, early March 2013.

 

A sudden summer cloud formation above Pykara in the Nilgrirs, early march 2013.

A sudden summer cloud formation above Pykara in the Nilgrirs, early march 2013.

Beguiled by the dim light a Grey Jungle fowl comes to the open near Pykara falls.

Beguiled by the dim light a Grey Jungle fowl comes to the open near Pykara falls.

 

A Kestrel flying above Pykara falls, early march 2013.

A Kestrel flying above Pykara falls, early march 2013.

Indian Gaur bull just above the road near Dodabetta, Ooty, early march 2013.

Indian Gaur bull just above the road near Dodabetta, Ooty, early march 2013.

 

The unique flora and fauna in a roadside shola on the way to Kotagiri.

The unique flora and fauna in a roadside shola on the way to Kotagiri.

At Pykara falls with Jaime, early march 2013.

At Pykara falls with Jaime, early march 2013.

 

A Pied Bushchat singing in full throat near Longwood Shola, Kotagiri.

A Pied Bushchat singing in full throat near Longwood Shola, Kotagiri.

Longwood Shola.  It has become a small patch of the earlier micro climatic ecosystem.

Longwood Shola, Kotagiri. It has become a small patch of the earlier micro climatic ecosystem.