Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Birding Mudumali Tiger Reserve - India Part 6

Crested Tree-Swift
We departed the highlands town of Ooty (see following post) for the final leg of our India trip - Mudumali Tiger Reserve and the surrounding dry woodlands of Tamil Nadu state. On the way downhill along Kallatti Road from Ooty, birds seen included Crested Treeswift, Tawny-bellied Babbler and a Tytler's Leaf-Warbler. We arrived at our accommodation, the Jungle Hut, where we found Jerdon's Leafbird in the leafy, very birdy gardens.

Crested Serpent-Eagle
The next morning we hired Jungle Hut's bird expert, Siddha, and were disappointed to discover that he palmed us off to two friends who could not speak English. Nonetheless, we enjoyed a pleasant early morning strolling with them through open Acacia savanna reminiscent of East Africa, with elephants rumbling in the distance. The top bird here was a male White-bellied Minivet, always a difficult species to find.

Indian Nuthatch
 Other birds included Crested Serpent-Eagle and Indian Nuthatch.

Malabar Lark
We drove to a dry, open hillside nearby where a regional specialty, Malabar Lark, was quickly found. (Siddha had told us falsely that this was a difficult bird and we would need to hire him for two days to find it.)

Grey-bellied Cuckoo
At another stop in a well-wooded gully, we found a Grey-bellied Cuckoo.

Oriental Scops-Owl
That evening, I was too ill to join the others for dinner (two of the four of us suffered from food-related illness at the Jungle Hut), when I heard an Oriental Scops-Owl calling. I was able to track it down for excellent views.

Indian Peacock
The next morning we visited Theppakada for a bus ride through the national park, seeing plenty of peafowl.

Nilgiri Thrush
Some of the best birding was in the Jungle Hut grounds, where we birded and relaxed for a full afternoon and morning. Nilgiri Thrush was an unexpected find at this altitude, although we had seen it at Ooty.

Yellow-billed Babbler
The endearing if noisy Yellow-billed Babbler was common in the grounds.

Purple-backed Sunbird
 As was the lovely Purple-backed Sunbird.

White-browed Wagtail
White-browed Wagtail was a fixture at a waterhole near our rooms.

White-bellied Drongo
White-bellied Drongo was another regular.

Two or three Tickell's Blue-Flycatchers were ridiculously tame.

Malabar Parakeet

Malabar Starling
Malabar Parakeet and Malabar Starling were regular visitors to fruiting trees around the Jungle Hut.

Indian Pitta
An Indian Pitta was often out in the open at all times of the day - unusual behaviour for pittas.

Little Cormorant
After Mudumali, we ended our Indian trip with a pleasant two-day trip on the back waters of the Alleppey area on a converted rice boat. Little Cormorant was frequently seen between cocktails on board.
I will file separate posts on mammals, culture and the like.


  1. Great posts of your trip Greg, along with some fantastic birds and photos.Thanks for sharing.
    ps: Hope you are feeling better!

  2. Thanks for that John. Yes all is well now.