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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mudumalai + (January 2013)

I opened the year by adding the “Nilgiri Wood Pigeon” to “Indiabirds”! A day trip to “Nandi Hills” was indeed a good beginning to the year.

The last three months of 2012 was more or less wasted from the bird photography point of view. During this time, I made a few day trips around Bangalore (added the “Eurasian Roller” to Indiabirds) and made a couple of trips to Goa. Though I had plans to bird in Goa, I somehow did not manage to shoot anything. I however enjoyed a spectacular Christmas dinner on the beach in Goa with family and friends!

Happy New Year! 2013!

The first serious birding trip of the year was again in the “Western Ghats”. 18th to 25th January 2013.

“Oriental Honey-buzzard” 

“Black Eagle” 

18th evening I reached KP’s place outside Bandipur and spent the night there with a few friends. Had a good time with a ““Indian Scimitar Babbler”” on the 19th Morning, before proceeding to “Mudumalai”.

“Anaikatty Rest House at Mudumalai!” 

In Mudumalai, I spent the 19th night at the “Anaikatty Rest House” along with a few friends. This Rest House was built in 1910! A wonderful location in the “Sigur Plateau” to the left of the road leading from Masinagudi to Ooty.

19th evening and the 20th morning, I spent photographing birds in the area. I drove up to the nearby “Siriyur” village and also explored the forest around the “Rest House”. We saw plenty of vultures in the valley beyond the “Siriyur” village. White-rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture, Red-headed Vulture and Egyptian Vulture are all found in this “Moyar” valley region.

“White-rumped Vulture” 

“Red-headed Vulture” 

On the 20th evening we went on a long drive in the forest behind the Rest House. Always a wonderful event for me. Elephant, Gaur, Sambar and Spotted Deer were in plenty. The high point for me was a close view of a “White-bellied Minivet”!

“Crested Serpent Eagle” 

On 20th Night, I checked into the “Jungle Hut” (Such a lovely place!) and spent three nights there. Some superb birding in the area with “Sidda” the in-house naturalist who is very well versed with the birds of the area.

On the 21st Morning “Sidda” led me to a private estate about 40kms away from Jungle Hut (Nadugani). Though we were not able to see the “Wynaad Laughingthrush”! we were searching for, we came across plenty of birdlife in the area including the Rufous-bellied Eagle, a lifer for me!

“Rufous-bellied Eagle” 

“Booted Eagle” 

“Common Kestrel” 

23rd after the morning birding at “Jungle Hut” I drove up to Ooty and spent the next two nights at Ooty before driving back home on the 25th to conclude another superb week of intense birding in the Western Ghats!

At Ooty, (Kariappana Mandu) we had close encounters with a lovely ““Nilgiri Blue Robin””! Such a lovely bird!!

Please visit indiabirds to view bird images...

See you soon!

Vijay Cavale
January 2013

PS: Did you notice the amazing number of raptors in the sky!?