BIRDING HOT SPOTS IN SOUTH INDIA
The term South India demarcates a geographical region comprising of the Southern Part of the Great Indian peninsula. It comprises the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. In this region our primary focus is on the southern part of The Western Ghats, which runs astride Karnataka and Kerala with a portion of Tamil Nadu in between. This range of hills rise from the West coast to an altitude of up to 2680 m . Birdlife International has recognized it as one of the most important Endemic Bird Areas in Asia. It holds 24 endemic species from India , as well as another 15 species common with Sri Lanka. Most of this region is seldom visited by birders. The habitat comprises sea beaches, inland waterways, lakes, evergreen forests, dry deciduous forests, scrub land, plantations, and grasslands.
Around 550 species can be seen .The focus of our birding tours to this area is the Western Ghats birding circuit starting at the town of Bangalore in Karnataka and extending to Periyar in Kerala. through several hot spots, looking for endemic species, and South Indian specialties. We have also included several lesser known sites.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in honour of the pre-eminent birder of all times in India, is located two hour’s drive from the port city of Kochi, near Kothamanagalam in Ernakulam district, on the northern bank of the Periyar river. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. He described Thattekad in the 1930's as the r..
Munnar & Surrounding Areas
Munnar is a hill station 125 kms from Kochi to the West. The altitude above 1600 m means an agreeable climate throughout the year, though in December-January the temperatures can fall to the single digits. The rain fall of over 300 cm is recorded mainly during June to September. The shola-grassland eco- system so typical of Munnar is home to large numbers of birds, many of them endemic. Sightings of endemics like the N..
Periyar is well located as a centre for seeing most of these ornithological specialties of the Western Ghats, as well as large numbers of other resident hill species and migrants. Its attraction for birdwatchers is enhanced by the proximity of low lying plains on three sides. There is considerable local migration, often in the drier weather, of lowland species up into the foothills, and several interesting examples of ecologica..
Top Slip & Parambikulam in the Anamalais
Between the Anamalai Ranges of Tamilnadu and the Nelliampathy Ranges of Kerala on the Western Ghats is the The Indira Gandhi National Park. The forests, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve consists of the park as well as a sanctuary formerly known as Anamalai Wildlife sanctuary with a combined area of 95,860 hectares. The national park covers an area of 108 sq kms. and the sanctuary is spread over an area of 958 sq km. The ..
The Mudumalai National Park lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills about 80 km north-west of Coimbatore in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu, on the interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. The park was created in 1940 to become the first wildlife sanctuary in southern India. Originally 60 square kms, the sanctuary was enlarged to in 1956 and subsequently to its present size of 321 sq ..
Ootacamund is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills and stands at an approximate height of 7,440 feet (2,268 metres) above sea level. The whole area around Ooty has been largely deforested for tea and only a few small fragments of forest remain in the sholas (patches of evergreen forest) at Cairnhill Reserved Forest, Naduvattum, Muthorai and the Botanical Gardens. The closest shola to the town is Cairnhill but eve..
The Vembanad Backwater (Kayal) is the largest of the series of coastal wetlands of Kerala. Most of the extensive water body, except a central portion of it has been converted to paddy fields, coconut groves and human habitats over the last century. Kumarakom is a part of this vast backwater labyrinth extending over an area of over 794 sq kms. Six major rivers originating in the Western Ghats drain into it. The rivers bra..
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is an International Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats, Nilgiri Hills range of South India. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ km²), conjoining the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. This biosphere consists of a large number of well protected National Parks, Sanctuaries and Tiger Reser..
Thrissur Kol Lands
Kol Wetlands are a winter wildfowl area of international importance and has been declared as Ramsar site. These marshlands & open paddy fields) surrounding the town of Thrissur are excellent for birding. This wetland covering an area of 136 sq.km are spread over a wide region extending from the northern bank of Chalakudy river to the southern bank of Bharathapuzha river.
Mudflats at the mouth/estuary of Kadalundi river with some mangrove forests being regenerated. A sandbar across the river mouth with a small opening to sea creates a shallow lagoon. A new concrete road bridge has been built recently at the river mouth.
Kadalundi bird sanctuary, 19 km from Kozhikode is home to more than a hundred varieties of native birds and over 60 species of migratory birds flock here in large num..
Wayanad District, in the north-east of Kerala, India, is a combination of Vayal (paddy) and Naad (land), making it 'The Land of Paddy Fields'. There are many indigenous tribals in this area. It is set high on the majestic Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 m. With Wayanad having some thick evergreen vegetation and hills, you can sight many endemics of the western ghats in this re..
Arippa is located 52 km from Trivandrum city on the Trivandrum -Shencottai State Highway. This is a deeply wooded area and has an area of about l,000 hectares of forests in a compact area. Kallar is a quiet little town on way to Ponmudi. Kallar is 45 km from Trivandrum. Ponmudi is a further 15km from here. The Vamanapuram River flow