2 Jan 2014

2 Jan 14 - First Morning At Parambikulam

We started pre-dawn to try to seeing an Owl that had been erratically calling throughout the night around the camp. But it was moving around & only calling briefly so we didn't manage to pin it down. Just after dawn, we returned to the clearing for a couple of hours before breakfast. Again there were lots of birds around the clearing. A party of Indian school kids tried to visit the same clearing later in the morning, but had to abandon that idea, when their guide found a party of Asian Elephants were feeding in it.
This was only part of the clearing
There were some decent sized trees between the clearing & the camp
Indian Peacock: Male 
Indian Peacock: Male in partial display with its head just sticking out to see if anybody is looking 
Indian Peacock: The back markings are just amazing when seen close up
Jungle Owlet: The Jungle Owlets were more approachable today
Indian Swiftlet: Easy to identify as this is the only Swiftlet in range
Indian Roller: I had brief flight views of this bird as it flew past 
Indian Roller: Fortunately, it landed in a tree & preformed for the camera
Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker: This kept feeding in this tangle of small trunks making photography difficult
Common Flameback Woodpecker: The single moustachial & white throat separate this from the other similar golden-backed Woodpeckers
White-bellied Treepie: Another Western Ghats endemic
Jungle Crow
Jungle Crow
Southern Hill Myna: Another fairly recent Southern Indian split
Sambar Deer: This large Deer was in the clearing when we arrived
After Breakfast, our forest guide took us along the river that is close to the camp & then into a more open area of forest. At the far end of this was an area of dense bamboo thickets alongside the river, where we unsuccessfully looked for Wynaad's Laughingthrush. However, there was a good selection of other birds along the path as well as several species of Raptors.
Booted Eagle: Dark phase (& not Black Kite as initially identified - see Comments below)
Booted Eagle: Another view
Brahminy Kite
Lesser Fish-eagle: The primaries almost reaching the end of the short tail are one of the features separating this from Grey-headed Fishing-eagle
Lesser Fish-eagle: Grey-headed Fishing-eagle would have a white tail with a broad & clear cut band to the tail tip
Brown Fish Owl: Another Owl for the photo list. This excellent large Owl was roosting on the far side of the river, so a closer approach was not possible
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher: This bird remained skulking in dense bushy cover
Butterfly: There were a good number of these Butterflies along the track
Butterfly: Another fairly common Butterfly which looks like the same species as we saw at Jungle Hut
Vinod: He had clearly read all the books about camouflage