Best places to visit and things to do in India and South-East Asia
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
A favoured haunt of migratory birds located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary A visit to the sanctuary set within the wooden forests enlightens you with a variety of flora and fauna. The main residents of the reserve are the native birds like waterfowl, egret, heron and the water duck - the most popular among others. The best experience of the ornithologist's paradise can be best enjoyed on a cruise around the park. You can go on rides in motorboats and houseboats. This piece of island is home to many endemic birds and you can get enthralled by the flocks of migrating birds such as the kingfisher in vibrant colours and golden backed woodpeckers. You will watch in awe as the birds here perform their own style of gymnastics. It is the perfect place for bird enthusiasts to quench their thirst for avian species.
Siju Bird Sanctuary
Close by on the other side of Simsang River is the Siju bird sanctuary, a home for many rare and protected birds and other wildlife. The Siberian ducks also migrated here during the winter months. The lesser or Grey Hornbill is also seen around Siju. One interesting and rare bird is the Peacock Pheasant seen in Siju. Although you can visit any time in the year, November to March is the ideal time to visit Siju Bird Sanctuary where you can come across with many birds migrating from foreign regions.
Apart from a large variety of wild animals, Sariska also offers you a rich variety of birds, resident as well as migratory. Golden-backed woodpecker, tree pie, peafowl, crested serpent eagle, sand grouse, the great Indian horned owl, grey partridge, and bush quail, are some of the species that you can easily spot inside the national park.
Bird Watching in Coorg
Coorg, popularly known as the Scotland of India is a temple for an orthinologist. The whole area is large and green with evergreen forests and grasslands. 300 species of birds abode this holy place of nature and many others come as visitors during their migratory period. There are four main spots famous for Birdwatching in Coorg namely; Brahmagiri, Pushpagiri, and Talacauvery wildlife sanctuaries and Nagarhole national park. Different varieties of birds are found in different regions of the land. Main birds of Coorg are white bellied short wings, Nilgiri laughing thrush, and black and orange flycatchers. Along the streams and rivers, birds like oriental dwarf kingfisher, blue-eared kingfisher, and stork bellied kingfisher can be spotted whereas some common birds like Sri Lankan frogmouth, white-bellied treepie can be found everywhere. Or one can look for orange-headed thrush that feeds on insects in coffee plantations, an oriental white eye with a distinctive eye patch in the woody areas of Coorg. Birds like Waynad laughing thrush a small-bodied bird with white fronts and glossy wings is difficult to spot.
Bird Watching at Singalila National Park
Singalila National Park is enriched in biodiversity, especially a paradise for bird watchers. The avifauna is a rare blend of Himalayan and Indo-Burmese forms, growing in the hilly terrains interspersed with sinuous streams of water. The ecosystem here is indeed unique, boasting of a collection of birds and mammals, hard to find elsewhere in India. The bird trail extends from Maneybhanjan to Sandakphu. The reserved forest consists of around 200 recorded species. Blood Pheasants, Fulvous Parrotbills, Satyr Tragopans- they all turn up to enthral the eager tourists. The rhododendron forest is home to Fire-tailed Myzornis and Golden-breasted Fulvettas. Accommodation is provided by the Govt Tourist Lodge and Trekkers Huts. The ideal time for witnessing the flock of glorious birds is November-March. No entry fee is required. Tourists planning to visit this delightful dwelling of birds should keep a few days in hand in case the rains play spoilsport. Hurry, the birds are calling out!
Birding at Dudhwa
Dudhwa is home to nine species of Endangered Birds. These are the Black Crested Baza, Great Indian and Indian Pied Hornbills, Laggar Falcon, Shaheen Falcon, Red Headed Merlin, Osprey, Peafowl and the Bengal Florican. A binocular is a great help as it allows unobtrusive observation without disturbing the bird by approaching too close. A binocular with a magnification of 8 to 10X and field of view 5.5 degree to 8 degree will be adequate.