Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Andaman Islands - 29th November (Day 5)

Today we were up at 03:45 for a 04:15 departure from our hotel in Port Blair with a limited number of endemic birds to see. We headed back to the Government Secondary School in Port Blair to try for Barn Owl of the endemic subspecies deroepstorffi. Arriving just as the sun was rising we waited for 30 minutes and once again despite hearing the bird there was no sight of it.

We then headed around Flat Bay stopping at various wetlands looking for Andaman Teal. The water bodies held good numbers of birds with Purple Gallinule, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Lesser Whistling Duck, Intermediate Egret, Striated Heron, Pacific Golden-plover, Red-throated Pipit and Eastern Yellow Wagtail, but we had no luck with the Teal. We reached the main pool for the Andaman Teal located approximately 1.5km south-east of Tusnabad, this was a very large lake surrounded by rushes, sedges, reed and papyrus with extensive areas of open mud. There were many waders with the highlights being Long-toed Stint (55), Red-necked Stint (15), Oriental Pratincole (1), Wood Sandpiper (c.75), Whimbrel, Pacific Golden-plover, a winter plumage Broad-billed Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper (6). In the surrounding scrub we recorded Oriental Reed-warbler and Dusky Warbler but again there was no sign of the Teal.

Purple Gallinule - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Pacific Golden-plover - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Whimbrel of subspecies variegatus - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

White-breasted Kingfisher - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Great Egret - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Yellow Bittern - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Redshank of subspecies eurina - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Wood Sandpiper - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Eastern Yellow Wagtail - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

Lesser Whistling-duck - Near to Chouldari, Andaman Islands

We then headed over the island to Chidiatapu Biological Park. It was fairly slow going but we had only two main targets. Walking past the pens containing various deer we recorded Grey-capped Emerald DoveGreen Imperial-pigeon and Changeable Hawk-eagle. There was a shout and a quick sprint and Jejo had found our first target, an Andaman Serpent-eagle soaring over the canopy. Wandering on we recorded Greenish WarblerYellow-browed Warbler and then Barry found our last target, three Andaman Wood-pigeon perched quietly within the under scrub and lower canopy.

Andaman Green Bronzeback - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

Grey-capped Emerald Dove - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

Andaman Serpent-eagle - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

Andaman Woodpigeon - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

Dragonfly species - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

Changeable Hawk-eagle - Chidiatapu Biological Park, Andaman Islands

We headed back to the hotel for lunch and a siesta in the heat of the day before heading back out at 2:45 for another try for the Andaman Teal south-east of Tusnabad. We briefly scanned the first ponds making our way for the main pond. There were far more waders this afternoon with perhaps 175 Long-toed Stint and 25 Red-necked Stint with larger numbers of most of the other species we had previously recorded. Barry then located four Andaman Teal and we enjoyed rather distant views of this rare species as they preened on the edge of the pond. This was the last endemic species we needed. Come 16:30 we needed to head for the bus to get back to the Barn Owl site before dusk. Once again we were unsuccessful with this subspecies and all that we succeeded in was being eaten alive by mosquito. We headed back to the hotel to pack for tomorrows flight to Chenai and enjoyed our final Indian buffet and Kingfisher beers.

Distant shot of our last endemic, Andaman Teal - Near to Tusnabad, Andaman Islands

List of Birds Recorded in the Andaman Islands
We recorded 114 species, 22 of which were ticks for me (shown in bold). All ticks were Andaman endemics with the exception of Lesser Cuckoo and Indian Cuckoo. We saw all of the endemic species of the Andaman Islands.

Lesser Whistling-duck
Cotton Pygmy-goose
Andaman Teal
Rock Dove
Andaman Woodpigeon
Red Turtle-dove
Andaman Cuckoo-dove
Grey-capped Emerald Dove
Andaman Green-pigeon
Green Imperial-pigeon
Andaman Nightjar
Brown-backed Needletail
Glossy Swiftlet
Edible-nest Swiftlet
Pacific Swift
Andaman Coucal
Western Koel
Indian Cuckoo
Lesser Cuckoo
Andaman Crake
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Yellow Bittern
Cinnamon Bittern
Green-backed Heron
Chinese Pond-heron
Cattle Egret
Purple Heron
Great White Egret
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Pacific Reef-egret
Pacific Golden Plover
Lesser Sandplover
Greater Sandplover
Eurasian Curlew
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Long-toed Stint
Red-necked Stint
Pintail Snipe
Common Snipe
Common Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Redshank
Wood Sandpiper
Oriental Pratincole
Whiskered Tern
Common Barn-owl
Hume's Boobook
Andaman Boobook
Andaman Scops-owl
Oriental Scops-owl
Oriental Honey-buzzard
Black Baza
Crested Serpent-eagle
Andaman Serpent-eagle
Changeable Hawk-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brahminy Kite
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Oriental Dollarbird
Common Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
White-breasted Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Andaman Woodpecker
Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
Common Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Vernal Hanging-parrot
Red-breasted Parakeet
Long-tailed Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet
Black-naped Oriole
Scarlet Minivet
Andaman Cuckooshrike
White-breasted Woodswallow
Andaman Drongo
Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo
Black Drongo
Black-naped Monarch
Brown Shrike
Andaman Treepie
Large-billed Crow
House Crow
Oriental Reed-warbler
House Swallow
Barn Swallow
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Andaman Bulbul
Yellow-browed Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Oriental White-eye
White-headed Starling
Common Myna
Common Hill Myna
Orange-headed Thrush
Oriental Magpie-robin
Andaman Shama
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Asian Fairy-bluebird
Plain Flowerpecker
Olive-backed Sunbird
House Sparrow
Red-throated Pipit
Grey Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Links to Other Days of the Trip (Click to View)