Following our successful forays in the lowlands of the Thattekkad area in Kerala province in south-west India, and in the dry north-west province of Gujarat (see following posts), it was on to the high country of the Western Ghats in search of regional specialties. After Hornbill Camp, we moved to the elegant and highly recommended Olive Brook Resort in the hill town of Munnar (1600m).
Our first afternoon saw us beating through shoulder-high shrubs and grasses to reach the top of a ridge known as the key site for a particularly scarce endemic, the Broad-tailed Grassbird. A Besra was a familiar face early in the hike but we were rewarded for our physical efforts by decent flight views of two grassbirds as well as Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Flycatcher and a very close covey of Painted Bush-Quail.
Grey Junglefowl were plentiful about the Munnar area, as they were throughout our south-west Indian visit.
In the late afternoon we visited the Kunniamally shola near Munnar, a tiny scrap of native forest that has several specialties in residence. We saw Kerala (Grey-breasted) Laughingthrush and Blue-capped Rock-Thrush here.
The next morning we went high into the mountains to visit Eravikulam National Park, battling the throngs of local tourists as they crowded onto the buses which must be patronised to reach the park.
|Grey (Jungle) Nightjar|
We had a Grey (Jungle) Nightjar at its roost close to the bus on the way up.