Saturday, 7 June 2014

Destination Thattekad

Leap of faith! An unforgettable moment on my short visit to Thattekad was when the nimble Malabar gaint squirrel  sprang from one tree to another at a height of more than 20 feet. What was even more amazing was that my guide let me know the possibility of this moment much before it happened.The flight from the tip of a slender branch to another was among many moments that got me closer to nature and accentuated the importance of understanding the behavior of  its inhabitants  both the animal kind and the man kind. Now my experience says understanding animals is far more easier than understanding some of our fellow men. Am i wrong?

Thattekad had been on my wish list for sometime as it is considered  one of the richest bird habitat in India. The fact that two of favorite activities were offered at one place , made it even better. What was the second activity. Let me get back to it later For the less informed Salim Ali bird sanctuary is situated between branches of Periyar river and the best time to visit is during winters as the foliage is minimum and hence spotting birds is easier.

The place we called home for a day was The Horn bill camp. The tented accommodation overlooked the sanctuary across the river. The tranquil setting was broken only with song of birds and the sight of terns swooping across. The bird list at flat forest is endless but most  photographed celebrity out there are the frog mouths. Difficult to spot and with beaks shaped like that of a frog, they are a must on everyone's list. My guide left them undisturbed till the end of our walk to make it a finale but  Somebody said life is so uncertain , why have the dessert last? So here i introduce ladies and gentlemen -The Sri lankan frog mouth

Frog mouth is followed by Malabar Horn bill, Banded bay Cuckoo, Blyth's Starling, Indian Pitta and
Female Plum headed parakeet. These guys and gals were good to me and allowed me to take some potraits of them but there were several more who played hide and seek  allowing me to enjoy them only through binocs.

 The experience at Thattekad was enhanced by the fact that they offer kayaking and birdwatching together along the Periyar. Yes , kayaking is second activity i was talking about earlier. Nothing beats the swish swash of the paddle with you gliding across the water inches away from it and are greeted by feathered folks. This can only be topped with setting sun across river and i don't think it can get more romantic than that! Here's to many more settings like this one!

Date : March 2014
Place : Thattekad, Kerala

Tip :  Take the guided walk.
First : Kayaking Birdwatching and the Sun set!
The travel connection : Mother Nature, Nana Nature Maw maw Nature !

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