Magical Nature on the Birding Trails of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Thursday, October 04, 2018

Magical Nature on the Birding Trails of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Beautiful insect seen on the birding trail of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

India’s famous ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali, calls this place, the richest bird habitat in peninsular India. I say, this place is so much more! It is where nature weaves a web of magic across a 360 degree spectrum. I am talking about the small, but rich, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala’s first bird sanctuary that is an evergreen low land forest located between the branches of the mighty Periyar river.

Entering the birding trail of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

A great day trip from Kochi and Munnar, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, which is also fondly referred to as Dr Salim Ali bird sanctuary is perfect for nature lovers, insect lovers, plant lovers and of course for those who love the avifauna. Arrive here at 7 AM when the gates open and watch nature unfurl its magic in front of your eyes and ears.



Right from the shrill sound of the cicadas at dawn to the cacophony of the mynas, babblers, drongos, hornbills, cuckoos, parakeets and other birds that greet you straight after, this place is bound to awaken all your senses and may be even put them into overdrive. Once you start walking on the different trails inside the bird sanctuary, you will notice richness of life almost everywhere.

A colorful caterpillar and her young one

From caterpillars to dragon flies, butterflies and moths, from interesting plants to fungi and ferns and from over 284 species of birds to many mammals, amphibians and reptiles, all the trails inside the Thattekad bird sanctuary is filled with mother nature’s rich drama. To me, standing in the middle of nature’s cacophony and drama is the best way to forget the chaos of the fast paced world outside and be one with yourself and the nature that surrounds you.



Each side of the bird sanctuary is bound to astound you. Sometimes, the experience is so good that you lose your way and end up in the middle of nowhere. That is what happened to me and my friends. And which is why I would recommend that you opt for a forest guide or go with a good map.



A lot of people visiting this bird sanctuary come with a bucket list of birds to spot, see and photograph. Very high on this list is the Ceylon Frogmouth, a beautiful and rare bird found in this region. Most forest guides take you directly to the spot where the birds live and help you take your pictures. While this is great for photography, it does take away the whole charm of being one with mother nature where every new sight, smell and sound is a treat to your senses.

Dew Drops

It’s amazing location on the fringes of many forest ecosystems such as Chinnar, Sholayar, Paramabikulam, Eravikulam and others ensures that this belt supports diverse vegetation, which enables seasonal migration of birds. This means that as a bird lover, irrespective of time of year, you are never short of quality bird watching.



When visiting this place, opt for a good pair of binoculars and don’t be disappointed if you do not get a lot of quality bird photographs. The dense foliage and the tall trees ensures that lighting is always poor inside and the thicket ensures that you struggle to get good focus. Hence, just enjoy your walk on these birding trails and soak in the beauty of mother nature. This is one place that you should plan to visit on a holiday to Kochi or Munnar. It is an even better experience if you stay inside the bird sanctuary or in the nearby villages surrounding the Neriamangalam forest and by the Periyar river.



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