Birds, local mammals, and scenes of Thattekad

July 18, 2008

And finally, all the birds of Thattekad….and some of the scenes we saw.

We were unable to sight the MALABAR TROGON, that we were very keen on (Adarsh: “I knew I should not have come with you for this sighting, given your luck with the SIT”), but we did see plenty of other birds, and got some photographs, and just saw some others….

Here’s the SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER. Salim Ali calls this the COMMON BLUE; but alas, it is no longer so common as the white-throated kingfisher!

small blue kingfisher

Just in case we missed some of the birds that are well-known there, they had helpful signs like this: silence, teals ahead And here are the WHISTLING DUCKS, and TEALS, in the marshy area: whistling ducks (teals) I got a bad shot, because of the pouring rain, of this RUFOUS TREEPIE: Rufous Treepie On the bridge over the river Periyar, we saw this ASHY WOOD SWALLOW: ashy wood swallow There were many of them around. Here are two sitting in the evening, exchanging gossip like we all do: two ashy wood swallows together thattekad 170608 The second morning, it poured SO badly that we could not even step out into the this MALABAR GREY HORNBILL obligingly came to the palm tree in front of the homestay! malabar grey hornbill with food And so did this GREATER FLAMEBACK WOODPECKER: greater flameback woodpecker Sudeesh took us inside the forest, and these SRILANKAN FROGMOUTHS were sooooo close, I couldn't use the Canon 20D, but had to use the S3! The light was still very, very bad. They are such gentle birds...they sat there, perfectly at peace, thinking that they were totally camouflaged...we could have just put out our hands and picked them up! srilankan frogmouth A RACKET-TAILED DRONGO was busy gathering material for the nest; in spite of the bad light, we aimed our cameras! racket-tailed drongo The homestay that we had was very comfortable, and it was inside the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary! Everything was within walking distance...the bus stop, the sanctuary, the Periyar river..... and Sudha,her mother, and Gireesh were very hospitable...and our guide, Sudeesh, pictured here with his Panasonic camera, was very knowledgeable indeed: Sudeesh and the Panasonic Here'sSudha's mother (Sudeesh's grandmother), a venerable and spry lady: Photobucket Here's Gireesh; he was expecting his baby to be born any day, and was ready to leave for his wife's village! gireesh chandran And here's Adarsh, the mammal who accompanied me, getting brainwashed: Photobucket (I have an even funnier pic of this but he won't let me use it.) We did see these SAMBAR, but I can't count them as wildlife as they were in an enclosure: sambar deer at thattekad 170608 And I'd like to share some of the scenes there that I was able to capture, which were so lovely. Here's someone taking a boat out on the Periyar: boat on the Periyar The monsoon rain on the pond that we passed made a nice, if damp, picture! rain on the pond Here's the view of the Periyar (Periyar means, "big river") bridge..isn't it lovely with the monsoon clouds in the distance? periyar bridge Reminding me of the water meadows of England, we saw this COW in the water,foraging for food: cow in the water meadows Sudeesh told us that once, people overloaded a boat with passengers, which resulted in a ghastly tragedy, ever since, commercial boating had been banned on the Periyar. Here are these lovely slim boats, quite literally, sinking into oblivion.... sunken boats periyar Here, through the green, is the road to Thattekad... road to thattekad And here, in the forest, was the pattern of the double helix, the pattern of all life..... double helix in the forest

Here, in conclusion, is the only wild mammal we saw at Thattekad…this MALABAR GIANT SQUIRREL, busy with breakfast!

malabar giant squirrel

Hope you liked your etrip to Thattekad….!