Southern India - Project Tiger parks - 2nd - 5th February 2009

Published by Mary Crickmore (crwrcwamt AT

Participants: Mary Crickmore, Bill Ball


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

Bandipur Safari Lodge
Bandipur Safari Lodge
Indian  Peafowl Pavo cristatus
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

I went on this trip as part of an organized India tour with Passport Travel. We had a film crew with us and there should be a television documentary of this in September 2010 on PBS. All of our transport and lodging was coordinated by the tour operator. The emphases of the tour were both history/culture and wildlife conservation.


February 2 & 3
Nagarhole National Park
Kabini River Lodge
011 91 80 255 970 21 Regional office

The Kabini River Lodge is the former hunting lodge of the Maharaja. The grounds, which include a forested area and riverfront, are excellent for birding. The jeep safaris into Nagarhole are three hours long, two per day, one in the early morning and one in the afternoon. I went on the nature trail from 10 until 12, and saw so many birds that were not visible from the jeep that I wished that I had more time on the nature trail.

The nature guides were very good at finding birds and quite good at ID although there were a few times that I corrected the guide (they did not have binoculars).

February 4 & 5
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur Safari Lodge
011 91 80 255 970 21 Regional office

Our guide for Bandipur was a park ranger and he was excellent at bird finding and identification, including ID of songs. The Bandipur Safari Lodge is a recently constructed fenced compound surrounded by farms. There were a few interesting species, however, in the garden areas of the lodge, including Pale-billed Flowerpecker and Common Iora.

The system of morning and afternoon jeep safaris in Bandipur is the same as for Nagarhole. There is strong conservation awareness at both Lodges and with the park staff. Both areas are involved with Project Tiger and sloth bear conservation. At one point we stopped our game drive so that the ranger and the driver could chase three poachers that they saw carrying bags (we don’t know what they had, it may have been plants.)

My jeep safaris in Bandipur came across tiger tracks, but not a tiger. I did not mind because of the excellent birds; but my non-birding fellow tourists were disappointed not to see a tiger.

Species Lists

Southern India - Karnataka

B= Bandipur N= Nagarhole K= Kabini River Lodge BSL = Bandipur Safari Lodge

Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii N B
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus N B
Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica N
Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha NB
Common Teal Anas crecca B
White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis N
Heart-spotted Woodpecker Hemicircus canente N
Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos nanus K B
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Dendrocopos mahrattensis N
Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus Xanthopygaeus N B
Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense N B
Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus B
White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis N B K
Common Hoopoe Upupa epops B
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis N
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis N B
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis N, BSL
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus K
Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni B
Common Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx varius N B
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis K BSL
Vernal Hanging Parrot Loriculus vernalis : seen only at Elephant camp at N
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri : N B
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala N B
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides Elephant camp at N, abundant there
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria N
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis entrance to N
Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum N
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea N
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis N
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera N
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus N B
Common Coot Fulica atra K
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos K B
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia K
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus N B
Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda K
Osprey Pandion haliaetus N
Black Kite Milvus migrans abundant BSL
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus N K
Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus B (at gorge)
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela N B
Shikra Accipiter badius N
Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus N B
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus N B
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis B
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster N
Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger N K
Little Egret Egretta garzetta N K B
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia N
Great Egret Casmerodius albus N
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii N K B
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea N
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus N
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala K
Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura another jeep filmed one in N; my jeep saw one in B
Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons N
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus N B
Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus B
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach N
Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda N B
House Crow Corvus splendens K
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos K
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus N
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus N B
Black-headed Cuckooshrike Coracina melanoptera K
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus N B
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus N
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola B
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus outside N
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus K
White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens N B
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus N
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus N B
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi B- 1 female
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia BSL
Malabar Whistling Thrush Myophonus horsfieldii B- heard only
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica N
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis N B
Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata B
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata N B
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus N B
Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum B- common there
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis N B
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus N B
Hill Myna Gracula religiosa N
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea N
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis N
Great Tit Parus major N
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica N
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus N B
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus caferN B
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis K BSL
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus B
Booted Warbler Hippolais rama K BSL
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius BSL,outside N
Tickell’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis BSL
Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum palustre K
Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus N B
Common Babbler Turdoides caudatus B
Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis B
Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythroryhnchos BSL
Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor N, at elephant camp
Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarina zeylonica K N B
Purple Sunbird Necatarina asiatica K N B
House Sparrow Passer domesticus B headquarters
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus K N
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea K B