Urallantanni wild forest

2017-11-26| Askar Isabekov

Staff said me that many birdwatchers took good photos of birds in wild forest of Urallanthani not so far from Kothamangalam. I decided to visit new spot. Comparing Urallanatanni and Thattekaad, in latter there is service for tourists, but wild forest of Urallanatanni is just public road in forest. When I tried to deep this forest by the trails, all the time I find the large shit of Elephant and quickly back to the main road. Also should to say the trees in wild forest so tall and dense, that impossible to view birds in the top of them. The clearings are more comfortable to birding, and by the way to birds too.

Today morning was very misty, but some of birds were identified by silhouettes. The crow-sized birds with broad wings, soaring like Bee-eaters and perching in large trees were recognized as Black Baza. I found position near large tree and was waiting Bazas, most of time Bazas were soaring behind the branches or perching inside dense leaves. But some times I had a chance to take photos. Unfortunately weather was mist, I think in another case my photos could be better, but I happy because I found Black Baza. During the waiting of Bazas I saw other birds – Black-crested Bulbul (subspecies with red throat). Grey Wagtail, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Brown-breasted Flycatcher etc. After Baza's photo session I go to the light forest with the tribal settlement. By the road I flushed couple of Malabar Trogons, and I took photo of frontal male. Yesterday I only once saw frontal Trogon, most of time these birds preferred to show me the back. The light forest is not so tall, birds living here are well visible. Numerous Racket-tailed and Bronzed Drongos, Asian Fairy-Bluebirds, Malabar Woodshrikes were catching insects. Asian Brown and Brown-breasted Flycatcher were noticed by one bird of each. In dense forest I some times saw Black-rumped Flameback, but in light forest the Greater Flameback only. All the time in this forest I was hearing the sound (mostly whistle) of Hill Mynas.

The list of species in Urallantanni and Thattekaad are similar, but the numerous tuktuks and bikes of local people always make some troubles, because they horn in each turning. Once I attempted to take photo of Orange-headed Thrush but the going near me tutuk flushed bird by the horn. Thattekaad is the spot of special birwatching service. It's very important.

In back road I hoped to find any birds in the villages but noticed only one Blue-eared Kingfisher, which I couldn't shoot. I later tried to find it in the river side but unsuccessfully. In Kuttampuzha I had a short rest in riverside near the fishermen. During the rest time I saw River and Whiskered Terns, Little and Great Cormorants, Malabar Grey Hornbills, one Asian Openbill.

1. Black Baza (Aviceda leuphotes)

2. Morning mist

3. Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)

4. Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica)

5. Indian Giant Squirrel also lives in Urallantanni

6. me, Askar Isabekov

7. Gray-fronted Green-Pigeon (Treron affinis)

8. Flame-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus gularis)

9. Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)

10. Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus), male

11. Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)

12. Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)

13. Southern Hill Myna (Gracula indica)

14. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)

15. Malabar Gray Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus)

16. Malabar Woodshrike (Tephrodornis sylvicola)

17. Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris)

18. Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus)

19. Idamalayar river in Kuttampuzha

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