Next day was spent exploring the Tambdi area again. Our primary target was blue-eared kingfisher. As we approached the bridge leading to the temple, a lil blue dot streaked through the stream and went in one direction. As much as we looked around, we just could not find this lil guy again. May be something for next time. On the way back we went to a fruiting fig tree, and were treated to many Malabar Barbets feeding on it. Ah what cute lil darlings with their crimson head. Again this bird is generally found in western ghats. As much as we tried, these guys would always prefer to remain on higher branches. Finding them in the viewfinder was another challenge for me :-). I only managed to get some record photos. Aadesh told me that Thattekad would be a better place to get some images of these beauties. Well, he might have set my next vacation plan in motion 🙂
One of the day was dedicated to boating on river Zuari. This is definitely a highlight for anyone who is planning a wildlife related trip to Goa. Mr. Kamath conducts boat trips on the river in his boat and I have heard all good things about him. We started early from the camp and reached about 30 minutes early at the jetty. Sipping tea and seeing people pass by is a great feeling (only those of us who are on an extended holiday can appreciate it). Mr. Kamath arrived there on time and make introductions. We met our boat mates. This was a lovely newly married couple from Pune (me think, my memory is not what it used to be a few kingfishers before).
The Boat was a spacious one, with enough space for a few photographers. Luckily Omkar and I were the only other occupants of the boat besides Gaurav and his wife. Mr. Kamath’s confidence was infectious and my wish list was rather simple. Osprey, Kingfishers (common, blue eared, collared and black caped) and crested terns. Everything else was a bonus. Omkar assured me of a lot of bonuses. The boat ride was very smooth, and Mr. Kamath a wealth of knowledge. He could spot birds from way far off and then we would slowly approach them. Very quickly we were seeing the waders like Whimbrels, red shanks, green shanks, night heron, mangrove heron, ibis and many more. We quickly found a juvenile Osprey and common kingfishers. Black caped kingfishers were a bit more shy and evaded our advances. After a few hours we returned back to the jetty for lunch and an afternoon siesta. We returned back to the river a little later and we were treated to more Osprey action, crested terns and a somewhat obliging collared kingfisher pair. The boat trip on Zuari was surely one of the best part of the trip.
Next day was spent relaxing a bit around the Canopy’s campus and surrounding areas. There were numerous sunbirds around and it was a riot of colors. Purple rumped, purple & crimson backed sunbirds were having a party on the power puff trees. We were hoping for some vernal hanging parrots to grace us as well, but these guys were playing hard to get and stuck to their favorite tree tops. We also explored some plots nearby for Tri-colored Munias, and rose finches. The evening was spent looking for the Frogmouths but their roosting site had been disturbed. It looked like it was disturbed by the wind last night (a branch had fallen on top of their roosting place) and I did not get to see them. Hopefully I would meet them somewhere else. We waited on the Slop till the sunset to start looking for night-jars. We did manage see some (I am guessing Jerdon’s night-jar). This was my last night in Goa for this trip. I went back to the hut feeling the same thing that I felt as a child whenever I had to leave a place full of adventures.
Next morning we decided to take a chance on Malabar Trogons again. On the way we stopped at the fruiting fig tree and was rewarded with Rufus woodpecker, whistling thrush, verditer flycatcher, white browed bulbul to name a few. I even saw my first ruby throated bulbul there. After a while we encountered a pair of Trogons and spent time with them while the flited in and out of thick canopy. At one point the male even caught a frog (tree frog??). Light was bad and canopy thick, but the birds kept us glued for a while. Omkar then made an executive decision to hit the road if I wanted to make it in time for my next destination (Ganeshgudi). Reluctantly I agreed and we left for Canopy to grab a little lunch before we start for Ganeshgudi.
Now, onto the lazy birding of Ganeshgudi, may be now I would be able to laze around while trying to find birds..