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SOUTHERN INDIA & SRI LANKA

Tuesday 25th October - Saturday 19th November 2016

Dave Farrow

Spot-winged Thrush (Dave Farrow)

Spot-winged Thrush (Dave Farrow)

This years’ tour to Southern India and Sri Lanka was once again a very successful and enjoyable affair. A wonderful suite of endemics were seen, beginning with our extension to the Andaman Islands where we were able to find 20 of the 21 endemics, with Andaman Scops and Walden’s Scops Owls, Andaman and Hume’s Hawk Owls leading the way, Andaman Woodpigeon and Andaman Cuckoo Dove, good looks at Andaman Crake, plus all the others with the title ‘Andaman’ (with the exception of the Barn Owl) and a rich suite of other birds such as Ruddy Kingfisher, Oriental Pratincole, Long-toed Stint, Long-tailed Parakeets and Mangrove Whistler. In Southern India we birded our way from the Nilgiri Hills to the lowland forest of Kerala finding Painted and Jungle Bush Quail, Jungle Nightjar, White-naped and Heart-spotted Woodpeckers, Malabar Flameback, Malabar Trogons, Malabar Barbet, Blue-winged Parakeet, Grey-fronted Green Pigeons, Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Indian Pitta (with ten seen on the tour overall), Jerdon's Bushlarks, Malabar Larks, Malabar Woodshrike and Malabar Whistling Thrush, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Black-and-Orange, Nilgiri, Brown-breasted and Rusty-tailed Flycatchers, Nilgiri and White-bellied Blue Robin, Black-chinned and Kerala Laughingthrushes, Dark-fronted Babblers, Indian Rufous Babblers, Western Crowned Warbler, Indian Yellow Tit, Indian Blackbird, Hill Swallow, Nilgiri Pipit, White-bellied Minivet, the scarce Yellow-throated and Grey-headed Bulbuls, Flame-throated and Yellow-browed Bulbuls, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Loten's Sunbird, Black-throated Munias and the stunning endemic White-bellied Treepie. We also found a mighty Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owls, Brown Wood Owl, Oriental Scops Owl and Brown Hawk Owls. Skipping across the straits to Sri Lanka we had a fine time seeing all of the endemics, some of the highlights being Serendib Scops Owl, Crimson-backed and the newly-split Red-backed Flameback, Green-billed Coucals, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Sri Lanka Woodpigeons, Brown-capped Babbler, Spot-winged Ground Thrush, mixed flocks at Sinharaja containing Ashy-headed Laughingthrushes, Red-faced Malkohas and Sri Lanka Scimitar Babblers, the super stealthy Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, Sri Lanka Blue Magpies, the scarce White-faced Starling, Yellow-eared Bulbul, and Ceylon Whistling Thrush. We also saw Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Yellow-wattled Lapwings, Small Pratincoles, Great Thick-knees, Malabar Pied Hornbills, Grey-bellied and Jacobin Cuckoo, Blue-faced and Sirkeer Malkohas, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Jerdon's Leafbird, Kashmir Flycatcher, Jungle Prinia, Blyth's Pipits, Forest Wagtails, Black-throated Munias, and the nightbird theme continued with Ceylon Frogmouths both at roost and by night, Indian and Jerdon's Nightjars, Jungle Owlet, Indian Scops Owls, Brown Fish Owls and Brown Wood Owl, in fact there were so many Owls on this tour (almost all by day) that we ended up with an incredible 41 individual Owls of 14 species!

Green-billed Coucal (Dave Farrow)

Green-billed Coucal (Dave Farrow)