With over 4 decades of experience in Ornithology Tours in South India, Indian Expeditions brings you the finest Western Ghats Bird Watching Tours and Holidays in South India. On the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Tours and Holidays, our expert naturalists and bird watching guides take you on a carefully chosen and time tested route to let you spot almost all the species endemic to the region,
Southern India is home to some of the best National parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India. Most of these parks are located on the sides of the Western Ghats, one of the 35 bio-diversity ‘hot spots’ on earth due to its large volume of endemic species and diversity. The South India Endemic Birding Tour will take us through the lowland forests of Thattekkad to Periyar Tiger Reserve and onwards to the high altitude montane forests & grasslands at Munnar, Ooty, the dry forests at Chinnar & Mudumalai & ending up at Ranganthittu near Mysore. Travelling with trained, expert bird watching guides and naturalists, you have a high chance of spotting almost all the endemic birds of South India.
The Western Ghats of Southwestern India, locally known as the Sahyadri Hills, are formed by the Malabar Plains and the chain of mountains running parallel to India’s western coast, about 30 to 50 kilometers inland. The Western Ghats intercepts the Southwestern Monsoon winds. The Western slopes of the mountains experience heavy annual rainfall (with 80 percent of it falling during the southwest monsoon from June to September), while the Eastern slopes are drier; rainfall also decreases from South to North. Dozens of rivers originate in these mountains, including the peninsula’s three major eastward-flowing rivers. The wide variation of rainfall patterns in the Western Ghats, coupled with the region’s complex geography, produces a great variety of vegetation types. These include scrub forests in the low-lying rain shadow areas and the plains, deciduous and tropical rainforests up to about 1,500 meters, and a unique mosaic of cloud forests and rolling grasslands above 1,500 meters. It is no wonder then that the changing eco-tones and the vast variety of eco-systems are home to numerous endemic species of birds, mammals & vegetation.
Price per person on twin sharing basis. Accommodation in luxury air conditioned hotels with a three star rating or higher. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. Transport in a luxury air conditioned SUV/Sedan/Mini Bus. Looking for 5 star accommodation? Contact us. Please read the Indian Expeditions Booking Terms and Conditions
Day 1, 2 , 3 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Thattekkad
Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems – riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest, enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. One should sight the Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet and Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle.
Day 4 & 5 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays– Periyar
Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding destinations in South India. With over 320 bird species identified and a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal destination of the tour. Periyar National Park contains a variety of habitats from grassland and dry deciduous forest to evergreen forest and riverside scrub. As a result of its wide range of habitats Periyar boasts an impressive list of resident species including about half the peninsular endemics and near-endemics We will spend the day searching here for some very special species including the Waynad Laughingthrush. Other birds to look out for include White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain Imperial Pigeon, the migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species. We may also sight the Woolly-necked Stork, Besra, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Jungle Owlet, White-rumped Spinetail, Black-naped Monarch and the Little Spiderhunter.
Day 6 & 7 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Munnar
We will leave for Munnar via the Ghats to Khambam where we should sight the Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail and the Grey Fancolin. We will proceed to Bodi Ghats en-route Munnar and stop over for sighting the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the Black eagle. We will reach Munnar by evening. The next day we will go birding in the sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands for the Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Broadtailed Grassbird and Grasshopper Warbler.
Day 8 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Ooty
We will start early in the morning birding at Chinnar (dry scrub forest) looking for White-bellied Drongo, Blue faced Malkoha, White-naped woodpecker, Blue-beared bee-eater, Sirkeer Malkoha, Jungle Bush Quail and the Yellow-legged Button quail. From here taking the long drive, we will reach Ooty by evening. Ooty – a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills – is where we will look for the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers.
Day 9, 10 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Masinagudi/ Mudumalai
After birding at Ooty, we will make our way to Mudumalai located at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills. The terrain is varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests and hence is ideal birding country. Here we can spot the Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler, Malabar Lark and Painted Bush Quail.
Day 11 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Mysore
We will proceed towards Mysore birding along the way. Here we have a chance to look for any of the endemics missed especially the very rare Broadtailed Grassbird near the Bandipur Reserve. Also seen are the Paddyfield Pipit, Richards Pipit and the Ashcrowned Finch Lark.
Day 12 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Bangalore
We depart early morning to visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife sanctuary. Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Transfer to Bangalore birding along the way. Check into the airport hotel by late evening.
Day 13 on the Western Ghats South India Bird Watching Holidays – Depart
Drop to the airport. We end our South India Birding Tour.