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India 2014 - Kerala and Karnataka

Birds and Wildlife viewing in Kerala and Karnataka
4 December to 17 December
Photos by Kelly Sekhon

In Jaipur we said goodbye to three of the group and were joined four new participants on our flight from Delhi to Kochi on the SW coast of India. It was a long day of travel and we arrived at our hotel late in the evening. We spent the early part of the next morning visiting the historical highlights of the city and then traveled to Thatekkad, arriving there in time for lunch. 

Chinese fishing nets in Kochi

At lunch met our local guide Sudeesh who would accompany us for the rest of the tour. Rest of the afternoon and all of next day was spent birding in the area around the Salim Ali  Bird Sanctuary. Sudeesh was able to find some hard to see birds like Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

Birding in Thatekkad

Sri Lanka Frogmouth

One of several species of spiders

The group with Sudeesh and our bus driver.

From Thatekadd we traveled further inland to Munnar, a very pleasant town at about 1600m, surrounded by tea plantations. The birding around our hotel was excellent and we were able to see many of the endemic birds of Kerala.

Hotel Olive Brook, Munnar

While in Munnar, we visited Eravikulam National Park, established to protect Nilgiri Tahr. Here we saw another endemic, Indian Balckbird.

Eravikulam National Park

Nilgiri Tahr

Indian Blackbird

From Munnar we traveled to Periyar Tiger Reserve and then back to the coast for two nights on the Kerala Backwaters near Allaphuza.

It was another long day of travel from Allaphuza to Mysore via Bangalore. Next day we travelled by bus to Nagaehole National Park.  Here we saw Gaur, wild elephants and on our final safari into the park a quick glimpse of a Bengal tiger.

Malabar Gray Hornbill in Periyar

Kerala Backwaters

One of many Houseboats on Kerala Backwaters

Common Kingfisher

Wildlife safari in Nagarhole National Park

Male Asiatic Elephant

Malabar Giant Squirrel

The group after the safari with our guide and driver


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