Birding trip to Nilgiris

9:27 PM

Nilgiris is famous for Ooty & Masinagudi as a hill-station, less known is the fact that its an amazing place for Birding. Have you ever gone for the Nilgiris for a Birding trip?? This page may drive you to do that. 
Nilgiris have a wide range of exotic bird species, some of them which I was able to capture on my Canon 550D with 250mm lens were Bulbuls, Blackbirds, Flycatchers, Mynas, Nuthatch, Spotted Dove, Peacocks, and Great Tit.
Great Tit (Parus major) 
Measuring about 14cm in length, with black bill, neck & head and white cheeks, it is easily recognizable. They have grey upper parts and a whitish under parts with a black stripe down the center.
Great Tit, Ooty
Great Tit (Parus major)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Blackbird (Turdus merula/ Turdus simillimus)
Common Blackbirds or Indian blackbirds are about 20cm in length. Male and female differ in their appearance.
Adult males are blackish with yellow eye-ring and bill.
Indian Blackbird Male
Indian Blackbird Male at the Ooty Rose Garden
Females have brown plumage and a yellow-brown bill. The under parts are speckled and usually has a pale throat.
Blackbird Female
Velvet-fronted nuthatch (Sitta frontalis):
It is a member of the Nuthatch family, with an interesting ability to climb up, down and around the tree trunk and branches using its strong toes with long claws, unlike the woodpeckers which can go only upwards.
Velvet-fronted nuthatch at Ooty
Velvet-fronted nuthatch at Ooty
It has the typical nuthatch big head, short tail and long, sturdy, pointed bill. It is 12.5 cm long. It has violet-blue upper parts, with lavender cheeks, beige under parts and a whitish throat. The bill is straight and reddish with a black forehead patch and male have a black superciliary line.

Bulbuls:
Red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus):
They measure about 20cm in length. It has a brown plumage on the upper side, while the under parts are whitish with buff-colored flanks and a broken dark chest band. They have a tall pointed black creast and a red face patch with a thin black moustachial line. The tail is long and brown with white feather tips with a red vent area.
Red-whiskered bulbul at Ooty
Red-whiskered bulbul at Ooty
Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer):
About the same in size as Red-whiskered Bulbul, They are identified by their short crest and a squarish appearance of the head. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. It has a long black tail tipped in white, and a red vent.  
Red-vented bulbul at Masinagudi
Red-vented bulbul at Masinagudi
Myna:
Common myna or Indian Mynah (Acridotheres tristis):
The common myna is readily identified by the brown body, black hooded head and the bare yellow patch behind the eye. The bill and legs are bright yellow. There is a white patch on the outer primaries and the wing lining on the underside is white. The sexes are similar and birds are usually seen in pairs.
Common Myna or Indian Mynah
Common Myna or Indian Mynah
Great Myna (Acridotheres grandis)
Sometimes called as White-vented Myna or Jungle Myna, it differentiates itself with the common Myna by its feathers of the forehead elongated, hackled and erect, which forms a creast that curve backwards or sometimes lank. The plumage is glossy black on the crown, nape, crest, and duller elsewhere. The wings are black with a bronzy wash. They measure about 26cm in length.
Great Myna at the Ooty gardens
Great Myna at the Ooty gardens
Spotted dove (Spilopelia chinensis)
Generally about 30cm in length, they are widely found in India.
They have a white-spotted black collar patch made of black feathers on the back and sides of the neck. The upper parts have brown feathers with rufous spots and the vent is white. The outer tail feathers are tipped in white. The head and chest is pinkish-grey turning pale grey on the lower abdomen.
Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove, Masinagudi
Some of the other birds include…
Black flycatcher entirely black, with a black beak and black legs. 
Black Flycatcher at Ooty
Black Flycatcher at Ooty
Peacocks, Indian pond herons,
Peacock at Masinagudi
Peacock at Masinagudi
Indian Pond Heron at the Ooty Gardens
Indian Pond Heron at the Ooty Gardens
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