Birds Sightings from Kuwait: owned and managed by AbdulRahman Al-Sirhan

18-30 March 2019 India: Part 1: Kerala, India 18-21 March 2019

Part 1: Kerala, India 18-21 March 2019

The main purpose of the trip is to visit Andaman Island with Sajan and Dr Saraswathivilasam S Suresh and a professional bird guide, Danish Trogan. Since I am already travelling to India, I decided to arrive in Kerala earlier and do four days birding and after returning from Andaman do another three days in Chennai. Sajan reviewed my idea and decided to guide me in both Kerala and Chennai, although he decided to spend only two days in Chennai as he was having a preparation for the wedding of his sister.

Lifers in RED

Day 1: 18/03/2019

Arrived at 1:30 AM at Trivandrum Airport, 10 minutes ahead of schedule on Kuwait Airways. I met my friend Sajan at 2 AM then he drove me towards my hotel, the Sreevalsam Residency, but by 3:30 AM we arrive at the hotel.

I slept for few hours to wake up 7:45, while waiting for Sajan outside the hotel, I had my first two birds for the trip.

House Crow Corvus splendens 3, Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata 3

 

I then met Sajan at 8 AM, he took me to his home, where I met his very nice and polite parents and we all had our breakfast.

Off on a motorbike towards Karingali Puncha wetland, an overflooded paddy field with lots of waders including my first Painted Stork. Before arriving to the wetland, I had my first encounter with a breeding colony of Baya Weavers on large trees. Painted Storks were feeding in good numbers as we drove along the river.

The weather was hot and humid, we parked the motorbike close to a house and walked along the river seeing as we walk a Blue-tailed Bee-eater, a lifer for me, then we encountered a Black Bittern also a life. We had one 1.5 litre bottled water with, and Sajan mentioned the officials warning people against sunstroke. After walking for a medium distance we ran out of water and I got tired and dehydrated as had little sleep. Sajan asked me to rest in the shade as he want to bring water and his motorbike. After meeting Sajan again I decided to go to my hotel for rest and lunch.

 

At Karingali Puncha (9.306296, 76.499047) we had the following species:

 Cotton Pygmy-Goose Nettapus coromandelianus 5, Northern Pintail Anas acuta 1, Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis 1, Grey-bellied Cuckoo Cacomantis passerinus 1, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 10, Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 10, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 4, Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 3 , Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 3, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 1, Common Redshank Tringa totanus 2, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 2, Common Tern Sterna hirundo 6, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala 4, Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis 1, Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus 1, Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis 1, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 1, Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia 15, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 85, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 3, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus 4, Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus 1, Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus 2, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 4, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1, Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis 5, Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus 5, Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei 1, Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundoo 2, Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda 1, Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis 2, Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus 7, Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus 6, Purple-rumped Sunbird Leptocoma zeylonica 1, Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus 6.

 

At Karingali Puncha (9.306296, 76.499047)

 Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 3, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 16, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 2, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus 5, Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus 1, Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 8.

We then had lunch and went to Kuttanad Wetland (9.306296, 76.499047), we walked by a river and paddy fields and had 40 species. We spend a couple of hours finished by sunset.

After I had my lunch I met Sajan again and off Kuttanad Wetlands, a drive for one hour.

At Kuttanad Wetlands we had:

Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus 2, Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis 1, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 3, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 20, Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 14, Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus 4, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 4, Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 3, Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus 2, Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus 2, Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii 4, Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta 1, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 2, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 1, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 12, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 80, Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans 10, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster 1, Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger 8, Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus 1, Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia 7, Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii 29, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 2, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis 3, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 2, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 9, Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus 3, Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus 9, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 5, Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus 2, Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 2, Sykes’s Warbler Iduna rama 1, Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum 2, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 3, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 2, Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus 6, Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis 1, Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava 1, Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava feldegg 2, Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus 1

 

After dark we searched next to Sajan’s house and Sajan’s experience we had the Jungle Owlet.

Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum 1

Day 2: 19/03/2019

Sajan has arranged with his friends to take to a higher altitude forest (860m), it was 3 hours drive. Along the way we had White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis 1.

 

At 10 am we reached Uluppunni Tree house (9.7466, 76.9041) and had 31species:

Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus dicruroides 1, Crested Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus 1, Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus 1, Malabar Trogon Harpactes fasciatus 2, Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 1, Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus 2, Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides 2, Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus 2, Malabar Woodshrike Tephrodornis sylvicola 3, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus 1, Common Iora Aegithina tiphia 2, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 2, Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus 1, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus 4, Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1, Indian Yellow Tit Machlolophus aplonotus 1, Flame-throated Bulbul Rubigula gularis 1, Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus 2, Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides 1, Indian Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii 5, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala 4, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis 3, Malabar Starling Sturnia blythii 2, Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica 1, Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis 1, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher Ficedula ruficauda 1, Nilgiri Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor, Crimson-backed Sunbird Leptocoma minima 4, Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella 1, Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons 1, Black-throated Munia Lonchura kelaarti 1, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1

Day 3: 20/03/2019

I asked Sajan to take us to a place where we can see Malabar Grey Hornbill, so we decided to visit Adavi Eco Tourism (9.245811, 76.922245) along Kallar River.

At Adavi Eco Tourism (9.245811, 76.922245) we had the following:

Little Swift Apus affinis 5, White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1, Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis 1, Striated Heron Butorides striata 2, Black Kite Milvus migrans 1, Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus 3, Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis 1, Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis 4, Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 4, Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa 3, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 1, Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus 5, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 2

 

Then we drove 10 minutes north and stopped at (9.2854,76.9223) and another 10 species:

Mountain Imperial-Pigeon Ducula badia 1, Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus 3, Malabar Barbet Psilopogon malabaricus 1, Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus 2, Orange Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus 2, Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus 1, White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra 1, Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica 2, Malabar Starling Sturnia blythii 4

 

We then walked into the forest and where able to add another 10 species (9.287472, 76.919863):

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 1, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri 1, Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundoo 1, Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus 1, Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda 1, House Crow Corvus splendens 4, Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos culminatus 1, Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus 3, Crimson-backed Sunbird Leptocoma minima 2, Loten’s Sunbird Cinnyris lotenius 1, Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons 1

Day 4: 21/03/2019

We went to Karingalichal Lake (9.218445, 76.645921) and had 31 species:

Garganey Spatula querquedula 3, Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 1, Grey-bellied Cuckoo Cacomantis passerinus 2, Alpine Swift Apus melba 1, Little Swift Apus affinis 1, Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus 19, White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 1, Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus 2, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster 2, Great White Egret Ardea alba 2, Little Egret Egretta garzetta 2, Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 30, Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus 1, Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus 1, Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis 1, Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus 4, White-cheeked Barbet Psilopogon viridis 1, Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus 2, Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda 2, House Crow Corvus splendens 2, Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis 4, Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 2, Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus 1, Pale Sand Martin Riparia diluta 1, Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer 1, Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata 2, Indian Robin Copsychus fulicatus 1, Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata 2, Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos 1, Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus 6

 

Nest we drove for 3 hours north to meet up with Mr Polly Kalamassery. Sajan arranged with Polly to meet us at a place next to chicken farm (10.052036, 76.338470) to find some birds. Polly is a friend on Facebook since I met him back in 2016 in Kerala. He was very helpful to find us a number of birds including a breeding pair of Jerdon’s Lark in which I added 4 lifers to my list.

At the chicken farm (10.052036, 76.338470) Ernakulam we had 13 species after which we concluded our day.

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis parroti 1, Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii 1, Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus 3, Indian Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi 2 , Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1, Jerdon’s Bushlark Mirafra affinis 4, Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 3, Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis 5, Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica 6, Malabar Starling Sturnia blythii 25, Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina 1, Indian Robin Copsychus fulicatus 1, Yellow-throated Sparrow Gymnoris xanthocollis 5.

The next day we travel to Chennai then Andaman Island.