The sense of equanimity that the Andaman Islands shower on the travellers is breathtaking and recharges one’s body and mind. Every year many people plan a vacation to the sandy beaches of Andaman in search of solitude, natural beauty and adventure but very few are aware that the Andaman Islands are known as the paradise of Birds. It is said that the Andaman Island is home to 270 species of birds including migratory and endemic birds. Every year many species of birds migrate to these enchanted islands and travellers can enjoy bird photography which in itself is a soulful experience. In this blog, we will discuss ideal locations to go for bird watching in Andaman, best season to go for bird watching and different species of the birds.
It is suggested to visit the park early in the morning as the birds are active at that time and as the day proceeds, they will be in their nests lazing around. At evening also one can see the birds before 5 pm but after darkness, there is no point visiting the park.
After discussing the different location where one can sight different species of birds and the types of birds in the Andaman. Next, we will discuss the ideal time and season for bird watching. Well, Andaman is the collection of islands where the summer never ends and winter never begins. The tropical weather of the islands has made it a year round destination for vacationing and is congenial for birds to stay. Though migratory birds keep visiting and leaving the island but the majority of the species can be found on the island that may not be seen at any other place.
Having said that, the ideal season to visit the island, especially for bird watching is pre or post monsoons as the monsoons are the time when bird watching is a rare sight. So from Feb to May one should definitely plan a vacation to the islands and opt for bird watching or bird photography package as the experts will guide the travellers to remote locations where birds can be observed.
On the Andaman Islands Endemic Birding Tour, we will be visiting the Andaman Island in search of these birds especially the endemics – total of 20 in number. But since five occur only on the Nicobars (currently off-limits to foreigners), only 15 would be sighted. The notable areas visited during the Andaman Endemic Birding Tour are Mount Harriet, Sippighat, Chidiyatapu, Ferrargunj & Wandoor. The endemics include four owls and other species such as Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake and Andaman Serpent Eagle.
Day 1: Port Blair
Arrive at Port Blair by the early morning flight to start the Andaman Endemic Birding Tour. Meet & assist at the airport. We will bird around Mount Harriet National Park, a tropical moist evergreen forest. Should sight Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove , Andaman Crake, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie , Black-naped Oriole Andaman Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling.
Day 2: Port Blair
Very early morning drive towards Sippighat, located to the South of Port Blair. The area is a marshy wetland and good for sightings of water birds & waders. Should sight the Andaman Scops Owl , Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Indian Pond Heron, Yellow Bittern, Andaman crake, Lesser Whistling ducks, Swamphen and some migratory birds.
Thereafter proceed back to North wandoor, wherein we will do birding form the shore end to the village area covering almost all sort of habitat where we should sight Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Red-breasted Parakeet, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Edible nest Swiftlet, Common Snipe, Black-naped Tern, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-Naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo , Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White Rumped Munia.
Day 3: Chidyatapu
Very early morning trip to Chidiya Tapu, a patch of moist evergreen forest located to the South of Port Blair and excellent for birding. The track for birding starts 4 km before Chidiyatapu and 2 km along the seashore forest. Should sight the Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Black-Naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Long Tailed Parakeet.
Day 4: Port Blair
Birding at Ferrargunj and in the afternoon visit areas for Andaman endemics missed out during earlier trips.
Day 5: Flight back to mainland.
The Andaman’s Endemic Birding Tour ends
PLACES FOR BIRDING AS RESEARCHED BY BIRDWATHCHING IN ANDAMAN TEAM:
Arun Singh, an eminent bird watcher and his team will be there with you during the birding tour program.
To conclude, apart from the high tidal time of monsoons one can visit the islands any time and will be able to watch birds but summer time pre monsoons is the ideal time to come for bird photography and make the most of your vacation at the Andaman Islands.