…continued from: Andaman Endemic Birds Day 4
Day 5: Morning session.
We were due to fly out in the afternoon flight. This morning was going to be our last session.
We had seen most of the birds on our list. The ones that eluded us were the Andaman crake, the Andaman wood pigeon and the Andaman nightjar. One of the birds we saw regularly but did not get a decent image of was the Andaman treepie.
To get closer to completing the list on this last morning we decided to go back to Chidiyatapu. But before that we made a short stop at some mangroves at Corbyn’s cove to try and see the rare mangrove whistler.
We did get a good sighting of not only the mangrove whistler but also a welcome bonus of a slaty-breasted rail.
The images however were not the world’s best unfortunately!
On the way to chidiyatapu we were lucky to spot our only sighting of the Andaman wood pigeon. Yet another bird to strike off the list!
Here too we saw the very common white-throated kingfisher against a beautiful background that made it irresistible to shoot… the twisted ugly wires being the only eye-sore!
We walked the same stretch of forest that I had done on the morning of the first day.
Got this cheeky looking vernal hanging parrot (above)that was feeding on a branch directly over us.
Further down the road the red-chested parakeets were still there. And white-headed starlings made regular visits to feed on the flowering trees in the vicinity.
Below is a nice image I got of a juvenile glossy starling.
Finally we moved to the forested area on the way to Munda Pahad were we finally got great sighting and images of a bunch of feeding Andaman treepies.
And that was it. 4 glorious days birding in the Andamans. I had almost forgotten the 4 days of fishing we had done earlier and to say that it was a good trip is an understatement. It was superb! Without a doubt I will be back!!
A few stray thoughts.
- Stay: We stayed at the Andaman Anchorage in Port Blair. It was off Seashore road and had a great view of the bay. It’s a 3 bedroom flat that is converted into a guest house and is air-conditioned and squeaky clean with a clean, fully functional bathroom. I was very satisfied. The room rate of Rs.2500 per day was also, IMO, reasonable.
- Guides: Our guides were Vikram, ably assisted by Gopal (the driver but a great birder in his own right). Vikram is more comfortable speaking hindi but is reasonably fluent in English. His knowledge of the birds of the area was very good. Over the 4 days they did show us the majority of birds we had on our checklist. Most of them well enough to get very decent images. I did feel he was a bit on the expensive side. I would still recommend this team, however you would be well advised to fix the complete birding package price prior to the trip.
- Birding checklist: In the workup to our trip I had made a checklist of Endemic birds after reviewing relevant sites on the Internet. This is the list:
Andaman Serpent Eagle (Spilornis elgini)
Andaman Crake (Rallina canningi)
Andaman Wood Pigeon (Columba palumboides)
Andaman Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia rufipennis)
Andaman Coucal or Brown Coucal (Centropus andamanensis)
Andaman Scops-Owl (Otus balli)
Andaman Hawk Owl or Andaman Boobook (Ninox affinis)
Andaman Nightjar (Caprimulgus andamanicus)
Narcondam Hornbill (Aceros narcondami) – Restricted to the Narcondam Island
Andaman Woodpecker (Dryocopus hodgei)
Andaman Drongo (Dicrurus andamanensis)
White-headed Starling (Sturnus erythropygius)
Andaman Treepie (Dendrocitta bayleyi)
Andaman Teal (Anas albogularis)
Andaman Green Pigeon (Treron chloropterus)
Andaman Barn Owl or Andaman Masked Owl (Tyto deroepstorfii)
Hume’s Hawk Owl (Ninox obscura)
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos andamanensis)
Andaman Bulbul (Pycnonotus fuscoflavescens)
Andaman Cuckooshrike (Coracina dobsoni)
Andaman Shama (Copsychus albiventris)
Andaman Flowerpecker (Dicaeum virescens)
Of these, if we remove the Narcodem Hornbill is only seen on Narcodem island, and we did not really search for the Andaman barn owl. The only two that eluded us were the Andaman crake and the Andaman Nightjar. I was also thrilled to see and photograph the black-naped oriole.
All in all, I must say it was a very, very successful and enjoyable trip!
I do hope you liked this series of blogs on the Endemic Birds of the Andamans. Please feel free to write you comments below. Many thanks for visiting!