6 January 2009

Thattekkad diaries. Part 1

From the snow in the Himalayas, i was off the very next day to the sea sides of Kerala to spend a few days with my grand parents. After a stay which involved a lot around food & eating, it was time to say goodbye to my grand parents in Calicut. We boarded the train for our journey to Alwaye, from where we took a cab to reach the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Thattekkad.

I had heard my parents talk so much about Thattekkad, i was quite excited at the prospects of been in the midst of all the birds & the thought of the chance to see the the Black Baza was just too much. It was afternoon by the time we reached Thattekkad, we had a quick lunch of rice & fish curry, our host & guide Girish had told us we can go into the sanctuary by 3.30 pm. I was waiting impatiently.

As soon as we entered the sanctuary we saw the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Black naped Orioles & the White Bellied Treepie. Suddenly Girish called out & said ......... Its the Black Baza !!

All of us could not believe our eyes. Here is the bird we have been waiting to see, suddenly making a appearance. That too within our first 10 minutes in the sanctuary, we could not believe our luck. It was beautiful, with a lovely crest, which was flaying in the air. I managed to take a couple of photographs, before it flew away. It was truly an unforgettable moment. (and to think of it we never saw the Baza sitting for the next five days of our stay !!!)

Then i got to see for the first time the Sri lankan Frogmouth.

A very unusual looking nocturnal bird. Girish told us to be very careful & not to touch or move any branches of the trees while observing the bird. Because once it flies away, then it becomes very difficult to sight it again.

The calls of the White Bellied Treepie were just too much. I was wondering who is a better mimic........ the Drongos, or the Tree pies or the Hill Mynahs ??

After birding for about a couple of hours, it was getting dark and also there was an single wild elephant somewhere close by. We reluctantly headed back to our rooms.

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