Birds of Goa

Extending my winter vacation in early Jan this year, I was with Sudhir Shivaram's bird photography tour in Goa. The arrangement was at Nature's nest and while the accommodation was basic the birding was fabulous. Pankaj is a very passionate nature enthusiast and his guidance was invaluable.

Day 1 we spent shooting the Blue-eared kingfisher near the Tambdi Surla temple. Needless to say it was a lifer for me.

While shooting the kingfisher there were some distractions nearby...

... and we had a quick glance of the historic temple

Next day we were birding near the Bondla forest and this chestnut -tailed starling was having it's breakfast.

The Malabar region is known for the Malabar Grey hornbill. Here is an extreme closeup and I never knew Hornbills had eyelashes !!

this one  trying to hold on to a dropping fruit.

The purple sunbird was common

and so was the Black-Hooded Oriole.

A Brown Headed barbet

a Pompadour green pigeon which looked well fed and barely moved

We then moved on to another area and did spot a Trogon from far. There was a white bellied blue flycatcher

White-rumped Shama

and a Brown-breasted flycatcher

In the second half we saw the Srilankan Frogmouth

Day 3 we started shooting in the campus of Nature's nest. It is usually a feast time in the morning with a Purple sunbird immersed in nectar and pollen !!

a little spider hunter

and a vernal hanging parrot

Later we went towards the Tambdi Surla temple and got this rare Dark-Fronted Babbler

In the second half we went for a boat ride in Zuari river

and saw the Osprey

a distant ( and not clean) shot of the collared kingfisher

Lots of Brahminy kites

and an Eurasian curlew

On the final day ( Day 4) we were scheduled to catch flights in the afternoon.We started with a few shots of the Thick billed flowerpecker

and the Nilgiri flowerpecker

But we were desperate to catch a glimpse of Malabar Trogon. We could hear their calls but it continued to be elusive. In the meanwhile I got to the see the Brown-breasted Flycatcher

and the Yellow-browed Bulbul

and as luck would have it I heard some frantic summons saying that the trogon has been spotted. The Trogon is a bird that hardly makes a sound and also is very steady. It is difficult to spot because of lack of movement and sound. The Malabar Trogon (female) was right in front of me.

After a few mins we spotted the male..

and ended with spotting a juvenile as well.

What a day to end spotting an entire family of Malabar trogons. With hearftul of content and gratitude we left for our flights from Goa :)

More photos here


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