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birdwatching blogs

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Backwaters of Pallathuruthy.

2017-12-09 | Askar Isabekov

Twice I visited backwaters area near Pallathuruthy. I planned mostly explore the paddy fields. Some of fields I saw are stubble. I attempted to deep to territory by the narrow wall between two fields. Attempt was not successfully, I found only Prinias and Barn Swallows, but my legs became wet. Here there are no so brad and comfortable roads between fields as in Puzhakkal river area. From a far I saw the flying Marsh Harrier, means it can to find any prey in stubble fields, more likely waders than rodents. Also I saw 4(!) Eagles, three Booted Eagles of different morphs and one Greater Spotted Eagle. I need to say too much people in this area. The numerous of humans and absence of roads inside the fields make uncomfortable birding in fileds, you should to watch birds either directly in the village or near village, both of modes mean a lot of people. One large field was water covered, rice growers reconstructed the walls between fields, of the birds I saw only Indian Pond Herons and Little [...... read more ]

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Seaside in Alappuzha.

2017-12-05 | Askar Isabekov

I specially panned to finish my Kerala trip in the sea coast. I believed I will find some new species of Terns and Gulls in the southern seaside. But one month ago when I visited Fort-Kochin I watch only two species of Terns (both known to me) and no one species of Gull! Seaside without Gulls! But I later saw in FB group “Birdwatchers of Kerala” the photos of Gulls from sea coast. So I expected Gulls, especially Brown-headed one. First day I have very short birding because I tired in long time road from Munnar. But in second day morning I found seven species of Terns and four species of Gulls, including of course the Brown-headed Gull. All field guides pay attention to pale eyes as main feature of Brown-headed Gull, but I have one question - how I can view the little eye of Gull from a long distance? But when I found mixed flock of Black-headed and Brown-headed Gulls I distinguished them very easy. First feature – size; Brown-headed Gull larger at least of 25% than Black-headed Gull. [...... read more ]

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Eravikulam National Park. Munnar.

2017-12-02 | Askar Isabekov

I waited the visit to Eravikulam like a holiday. I changed the date of booking of hotel in Alappuzha because I waited the sunny day to visit Eravikulam. Yesterday I specially checked the bus to Eravikulam. If I had a tuxedo, I would to be in tuxedo. Kuttettan Munnar said me about the spot near cafe inside National Park, near which I can to view many species of birds. I thought I will enter to park, find the spot and will be in this spot 4 or 5 hours. But staff directs all the visitors to bus which should to move us to the point of view of Nilgiri Tahrs, the main target of National Park. I had no choice. In final destination all the visitors went to the 1.5 km road up to mountain. I tried to watch the birds in road sides but found only two species of Leaf Warblers, Pied Bushchats, and or course Red-whiskered Bulbuls. Also me and other visitors took photos of Tahrs feeding in the meadow very close of road. Very nice situation! But when I later saw the same Tahrs walking among the visitors [...... read more ]

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Munnar. Photo Day.

2017-12-01 | Askar Isabekov

Yesterday was rainy, and no power in lodge almost all day. Some hours I was in the room with candle. Today morning is rainy too, the chance to repeat yesterday staying in the room is very large. But I don't want to stay in lodge without power, so I decide to go anywhere by bus despite to rain and late morning. In the beginning I wanted to visit Matupaddy Dam but I waited the bus to this destination too much long time, then I moved to another bus stand and went in destination of Eravikulam National Park. When I got the Park rain become easy, and I went on foot back to Munnar. No new birds, but I took some nice photos of familiar birds, so I am happy.After lunch in Munnar I found no flying Dusky Crag Martins. Every day I watch flying Dusky Crag Martins and Red-rumped Swallows, and all the time I want to view these birds in the wires. But Crag Martins seems never perched in wires. Today I found them in the building again. Then I went to Matupatti Dam and reservoir (1700 m altitude, Munnar [...... read more ]

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Rainy day in Munnar

2017-11-29 | Askar Isabekov

Today is rainy. I tried to visit the Eravikulam National Park, I even enter to th bus to national Park, But I exited after 4 or 5 stands because I understood that rain became hard. I did't wait the back road bus but went in Munnar direction and watched birds. The first bird I noticed was Malabar Whistling Thrush, which is posed to me as comfortable as possible in the rainy morning. Then I quite a long time watched birds in the riverside trees, where I found Nilgiri Wood Pigeons and Square-tailed Bulbuls, both species are my lifers. Then I got the tea farm where I saw from the bus window the Swallows in wires. Unfortunately only three Swallows rested in wires, and one only of them I could to shoot. It is Hill Swallow, also the lifer to me. But I am not sure that all of rest Swallows were the Hill Swallow too.Then I noticed the quick red-brownish birds in bushes near the branch road. I wanted to wait them, but local man said me that it's privet property and I must to go only by the main public [...... read more ]

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First days in Munnar

2017-11-28 | Askar Isabekov

Yesterday in arriving to Munnar I noticed from the bus window one large bird perching in the branch of tree in river side. After the check in lodge I immediately go to view this bird, unbelievable, it continue to perch in the same branch. But I was not so fast when I prepare my camera, bird flew away, and I didn't id it. I had a lunch and decided to walk along the river, because all the road I think about Malabar Whistling Thrush, which should be found in mountain rivers, of course if it behavior is similar to relative Blue Whistling Thrush. I found Malabar Whistling Thrush in the first 500 meters of my walking directly in Munnar. This Thrush sure should to be my first bird in the Western Ghats. In my opinion it's a reason why the large bird I saw from the bus car flew away when I prepare my camera. I found this bird in 15 minutes after Malabar Whistling Thrush in the opposite side of the river. It is Crested Serpent Eagle, the most popular raptor in Munnar. Today I was going to visit [...... read more ]

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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 [...... read more ]

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Main targets of Thattekaad Bird Sanctuary

2017-11-25 | Askar Isabekov

Yesterday I moved from Kottayam to Kothamangalam. Starting at 6am from the hotel in Kottayam I was in Kothamangalam at 12am, and immediately go to Thattekaad Bird Sanctuary. I understood I have only 2 or 3 hour of time to birding. I went directly to the spots where I saw most of all species in my last visits. In the road to the top of mountain I found birds activity and stayed some times. My first and most expecting record of the day was the pair of Heart-spotted Woodpeckers. Also I played with female Asian Fairy-Bluebird. I was replying to each whistle of this bird, after sixth or seventh reply bird came to me and give me a chance to take photo. Next time I noticed a medium-sized bird moved from one tree to another, I thought it's Fairy-Bluebird again, but it was Emerald Dove. Dove was shy but curious, it stayed in shadow of tree but all the time was looking to me, not fly away. When I finished my birding I ask the staff where I can to find Frogmouth? The staff answered it's impossible [...... read more ]

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Paddy fields near Kumarakom

2017-11-23 | Askar Isabekov

When I was going to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary I notice the open area which are more likely paddy fields. This fields locating near the main road are not so large like the Puzhakkal ones, many people live in the sides of local channels, and the large lake Vembanad situated near these fields. In think due the latter reason I saw the flocks of flying birds, twice I saw the large flocks of Northern Pintails, once Lesser Whistling Ducks, once flock of Garganeys, once flock of Black-tailed Godwits, and once two flocks of Glossy Ibises. All of these birds were flying in the lake direction. I think that's locally movements from the places of night rest to the feeding spots. Some fields are covered by water and not look like a fields but like a ponds. Here I found two Bronze-winged Jacanas, some White-breasted Waterhens, all three species of Kingfishers, of course Egrets, Cormorants, and Darters. The trees near channels were observed by me too, but all the birds I found in trees are previously were [...... read more ]

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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

2017-11-22 | Askar Isabekov

Staying a long time in one place make some additional advantages. One of them is opportunity to try to repeat yesterday events. Sometimes it possible. Of course when I understand that I take photos of Black-naped Monarch I again go to Kumarakom. But today I immediately went to the point I saw Monarch, and today I planned to be not more that 3 hour in Sanctuary. About one hour from 8am to 9am birds were not active. The first bird I noticed in the point was the white morph male Paradise Flycatcher which I saw yesterday. I was impressed how Flycatcher good use its too long tail when maneuver flying for insects. By the way, white morph bird is less visible in forest, than red morph one. Red color is still flushed, even in the jungle. Then three Orange-headed Thrushes came to watch to me. Then I noticed red female of Paradise Flycatcher, and then Monarch gave me a chance to make photo. Short time session, of about ten photos only one is more or less good. But this result is best I can to do. [...... read more ]

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