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Birding in South Andaman and Good Nicobar (Islands) ~ Snug’s Click on on


Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been usual as a consequence of a collision between Indian Plate and Burma Minor Plate, there are quite a few such theories that counsel how the formation of Andaman and Nicobar Islands may have taken place, though neither of the theories have been totally accepted or denied.


All we’re sure is that these forces of nature did give us an exquisite island, that in now within the midst of a turquoise blue sea with some endemic species of birds, which merely means these species is not going to be found elsewhere, giving us a superb trigger to be there so see them.

The Andaman islands are divided into three vital islands i.e. North, Middle and South. Whereas, among the Nicobar islands, the Good Nicobar is the most important. It is the southernmost island of India and could also be very shut (180kms) to Sumatra island of Indonesia. We choose to spend one week in South Andaman and one week in Good Nicobar (which acquired extended to 10 days in each place, on account of delay of the ship sailings into Campbell bay from Port Blair)


The areas we lined and visited in South Andaman between 9th March 2021 to fifteenth March 2021


1.     Chidya Tapu Natural Park and adjoining areas of the Reserve forest


The realm is about 35-45 minutes (18kms) drive and our first trip spot for this journey, after landing in Port Blair throughout the afternoon. On the sting of the Natural park, there is a sunset stage, which appeared very good. Alongside this small seashore a meals stall offered assorted fritters (banana and potato) with spiced tea. We munched on these snacks and waited patiently for the photo voltaic to set, not on account of we wanted to leisure, nonetheless on account of it’s the time one can see the nocturnal species which is perhaps endemic to the realm. 

Sunset at Chidya tapu – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Over the two visits to the realm we seen Andaman Nightjar, Hume’s Boobook, Andaman Boobook and Oriental scops Owls (Walden’s) all through the night and to our pleasure the endemic Andaman Crake all through the day.

Andaman Nightjar - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Nightjar – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Hume's Boobook - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Hume’s Boobook – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Oriental Scops-Owl (Walden's) - Image by Yash Kothiala
Oriental Scops-Owl (Walden’s) – Image by Yash Kothiala

Andaman Boobook - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Boobook – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Andaman Crake - Image by Yash Kothiala
Andaman Crake – Image by Yash Kothiala

After each sighting we would hear Dhanish hum a music, for individuals who know him definitely know he is a proficient singer too!

One can stop en route on the seashore to seek for the White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Collared Kingfisher. We explored the areas of Munda seashore, the place we sighted the Pacific Swallow merely after we visited the Natural park.

The park does host some mammals and endangered birds (zoo) which did not curiosity us quite a bit. However the stroll alongside the properly paved pathways ensured we seen loads of endemic birds identical to the Andaman Shama, Andaman Bulbul, Andaman serpent Eagle apart a variety of various endemics along with the Andaman Drongo. The endemic tree and native to Andamans might be seen proper right here, the Padauk. They’re large with buttresses one can merely admire and shock. 

Andaman Serpent-Eagle - Image by Yash Kothiala
Andaman Serpent-Eagle – Image by Yash Kothiala

As we continued strolling we would see the Plume-toed Swiftlet and Brown-throated Needletails doing their acrobatic flights. On the best way during which out on the doorway, sighted the beautiful Violet cuckoo and a pair of Vernal hanging parrot except for a flock of White headed starlings, which were feedings on a fruiting tree near the parking house.

Adjoining to the natural park is Badabalu seashore, which is pristine nonetheless it’s an ideal prolonged stroll from the realm the place one can park the automotive. It was low tide, after we visited and sighted Collared and Stork-billed Kingfishers except for the nesting of the Plume-toed Swifts (beneath a bridge) and a pair of nesting White-breasted Woodswallow.


2.     Mount Harriet Nationwide Park


Mount Harriet is the easiest peak in south Andaman island and the second-highest peak in the complete of the Andaman islands. To attain this place from Chatham Wharf we took the ferry that accommodates passenger and the cars that want to attain Bambooflat Wharf. 

We heard the calls of the Andaman crake, on the trek that leads to kalaphathar, nonetheless sighting one did not seem easy. We saved birding throughout the stretch of vital freeway that led to the Nationwide Park, sighting the Andaman Coucal and Andaman Bulbul to name a few. 

Andaman Coucal - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Coucal – Image by Aseem Kothiala

The view from the watchtower was very good and birds identical to the Dollarbird, Vernal Hanging Parrot have been seen except for Inexperienced imperial pigeons.


3.     Sippi Ghat and Jirkatang


An outstanding place to see waders identical to the Prolonged-toed Stint and the Purple-necked Stint along with the commoners. Some water our our bodies which were created after the 2004 Tsunami in the meanwhile are being reclaimed by the land householders. Widespread Snipes and Oriental Pratincole’s have been seen. The realm was practically 6-7 kms from metropolis of Port Blair

A drive further down on the freeway that leads within the path of North Andaman had some very good water our our bodies on both facet, it was the place the place we would see the Andaman teal in large numbers along with Yellow Bittern’s and a extremely large flock of lesser whistling Duck’s. They’ve been all busy dabbling. A flock would fly off and a model new one would can be found in.

Andaman Teal - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Teal – Image by Aseem Kothiala

There was a pathway that went spherical this large water physique and we decided to walk spherical it, Andaman coucal saved calling nonetheless would not oblige and pose. Olive-backed Sunbirds are seen in good numbers proper right here.

We drove further ahead within the path of Jirkatang on the freeway that was beneath restore, the fowl density throughout the forest spherical proper right here was a lot much less, most likely as a consequence of disturbance attributable to growth. We heard and seen a flock of Andaman bulbul’s proper right here. This space passes by means of the territory which was as quickly as inhabited by the Jarwa tribe, who nonetheless occupy areas which is perhaps deeper into the forest. 

The local weather was very humid and the morning photo voltaic was shining very vivid so we decided to drive once more, as normal Dhanish opted to walk for some further time, we’ve been rewarded as we sighted the endemic Andaman picket pigeon, there was a pair who barely sat for decrease than minute, sooner than disappearing into the dense forest.  

Andaman Wood-Pigeon - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Wood-Pigeon – Image by Aseem Kothiala

4.     Forests and Mangroves in Shoal Bay


Shoalbay a village in south Andaman was certainly one of many places we visited twice. Each time, we would drive to Chattam wharf and take a ferry to Bambooflat wharf, the journey on this boat was spherical 20 minutes after which proceed driving further to the forests that exists after a spot known as Wimberlyganj

We walked on the freeway that end in Shoal bay, that was paved amongst the stretches of forest, loads of endemic and customary species have been sighted proper right here, identical to the Andaman treepie, Andaman bulbul, Asian fairy Bluebirds, Orange-headed Thrush , Forest Wagtail, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Cuckooshrike, Andaman inexperienced pigeon.

Timber have been tall and appeared even longer proper right here as compared with Jirkatang. We gazed into them, rays of the morning photo voltaic that received right here by means of the branches was clearing the morning mist, the phenomena appeared mesmerising. Prolonged-tailed Parakeets and Asian shiny starlings have been seen in good numbers. They’ve been chasing each other away from nest holes. The forests echoed with fowl calls. Listening to them with eyes closed felt blissful.

Inside a fast time, we had sighted the Freckle breasted woodpecker and the Andaman woodpecker. These are the one two varieties seen on this island. 

Andaman Woodpecker - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Andaman Woodpecker – Image by Aseem Kothiala

At current the Ruddy Kingfisher was not sighted throughout the mangrove forest alongside the freeway and could have gone deeper inside, so we decided to journey further into Shoal bay. Whereas we waited for the Ruddy Kingfisher to level out up, sighted the Dusky warbler that was busy looking out and shifting swiftly. 

As photo voltaic set, Dhanish quickly seen Andaman scops-Owl who was definitely giving us some sturdy seems, clearly we’ve been intruders in his territory. Ought to admit, Dhanish definitely had a keen sense to establish these nocturnal species.

Andaman Scops-Owl - Image by Yash Kothiala
Andaman Scops-Owl – Image by Yash Kothiala

We drove once more to Chatham wharf by means of Bambooflat Wharf to  return to this very good Lodge Seascape in Port Blair, the place we’ve been put up. Ought to level out the rooms listed beneath are immaculate and meals served all through our hold, was certainly one of many most attention-grabbing we ever had on a birding journey. The home house owners (Ms. Punam Nanda and Capt Nanda) and her staff offered the hospitality that was in a class of its private.

We had not realised that the complete week had handed away and it was time to wind up and pack to exit to the next island.

Early morning of the 16th of March, we headed out to within the path of Haddo Wharf, to board the ship to Good Nicobar. The ship sails from Port Blair alongside the island of Little Andaman sooner than taking a stop at Kamorta, (counting on the cargo that must be offloaded) and attain its closing trip spot Campbell Bay. Merely sooner than we reached Campbell Bay, the Andaman sea appeared fabulous and in order so as to add to its magnificence, seen some dolphins breaching, in all probability have been bottlenose dolphins. 

Sunset in the ocean from the ship - Image by Yash Kothiala
Sunset throughout the ocean from the ship – Image by Yash Kothiala

Good Nicobar

Good Nicobar is the ultimate island of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. It is the biggest of the Nicobar group of islands, and is residence to solely about 10000 people. An enormous portion of the island is roofed by dense forests which can be residence to a variety of endemic biodiversity along with the Nicobar Scrubfowl (usually known as the Nicobar Megapode), the Nicobar tree shrew and the Nicobar long-tailed macaque.


Not many go to this space, moreover the locals inhabitants of the island (settlers), naturalists, birders, and researchers. Tribal tourism is strictly prohibited and individuals are solely allowed to work along with them for evaluation, after trying to find prior permission from the tribal council.


We visited the realm between 17th March 2021 and 26th March 2021


This monumental island was definitely slow-paced with pristine areas that is residence to a close-knit neighborhood of people that’ve made their residing proper right here over numerous generations. Being a small place, would see acquainted faces just about every day on the consuming locations, on inserting a dialog with just a few them learnt that they’ve been offered to be settlers proper right here by then authorities (1969~1971) and received 11 to 14 acers of land each with free ration for about 5 years. At current they survive on this terrain by cultivating Coconuts and Beetle nuts.


Good Nicobar is further divided into numerous smaller cities with Campbell bay being its vital house of train. There are solely two vital roads, one being the north south freeway and the other east west freeway, that connects the entire island.


Good Nicobar Biosphere Reserve and Galathea Nationwide Park are the two areas which we visited, they’ve a superb significance and cover just about 85% of this island. To enter these areas, one desires to inform the forest division in Campbell bay and search prior permission. Every these parks are separated from each other by a forest buffer zone the place the “shompens”, certainly one of many historic tribes inhabit.


Dhanish our info and naturalist organized for the character path throughout the biosphere reserve by speaking to the range forest officer throughout the forest division. We trekked this path thrice and purchased very good sightings of the Nicobar jungle-flycatcher and Hooded Pitta 

Nicobar Jungle-flycatcher - Image by Yash Kothiala
Nicobar Jungle-flycatcher – Image by Yash Kothiala

Hooded Pitta - Image by Yash Kothiala
Hooded Pitta – Image by Yash Kothiala

The very shy Nicobar pigeon, solely gave us glimpses as they’d merely disappear leaving us clueless of their existence. We seen some traps which were laid to grab them, just about 5 traps in a extremely small house. It seems there was a time, when sighting them wasn’t so troublesome acknowledged Dhanish.


All through one trek we walked up stream and sighted the Malayan night heron and heard calls of the Nicobar Scrubfowl. It had rained very intently throughout the morning, the leaves and path was very moist and slippery, we thought its good, our footsteps obtained’t be heard and we would have the power to sight the Nicobar Pigeon, instead me and Dr Ian slipped badly just a few cases, definitely we escaped unhurt, with just a few bruises and scratches.

Dhanish definitely loves the birds, nonetheless he definitely loves the nocturnal species further, no shock he would possibly hear them for a lot and would merely adjust to their identify and discover them. Nicobar Scops-Owl,&nbspBrown Boobook and the Grey Nightjar in a jiffy. Now we have been happy we would see them and rely our lifers

Nicobar Scops-Owl - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Nicobar Scops-Owl – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Brown Boobook - Image by Yash Kothiala
Brown Boobook – Image by Yash Kothiala

Grey Nightjar - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Grey Nightjar – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Every alternate day we would drive within the path of Galathea Nationwide Park stopping at fully completely different areas. We felt very lucky after we sighted the Sakhalin leaf warbler, which was acknowledged by its identify and behaviour and Blyth’s paradise flycatcher on thought of certainly one of our journeys.

Blyth's Paradise-Flycatcher - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Blyth’s Paradise-Flycatcher – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Merely alongside the seashore all through the forests, we seen a mound comprised of soil and vegetation, that’s after we learnt about this distinctive nest. The Nicobar Megapode makes them using its sturdy legs and lays eggs all through the mound. The fowl comes usually to look at its nest, though the eggs hatch on their very personal on account of rotting vegetation. The chick can fend for themselves as quickly as they’re out of the mound. We waited spherical for a really very long time, the Nicobar megapode did not current up, nonetheless a Hooded pitta was seen calling from all through the foliage.


We consider to return to the positioning as soon as extra and this time reached very early throughout the morning by 4.30AM after a two hour drive. Practically at daybreak is the easiest time to see this endemic and delicate fowl. As a result of the day broke, seen it was very cloudy and inside moments started to pour. In about 30-40 minutes the rain subsided, nonetheless the slight drizzle was nonetheless on. That’s when Dhanish received right here to us and acknowledged, he has seen a pair that is feeding and shifting not very faraway from the place we had taken the shelter from the downpour.

We stood nonetheless and there was an event would possibly see them amongst the tree barks, initially they’ve been foraging and shifting within the path of us after which modified course and started shifting away from the place we’ve been standing and hiding. Was tempted to exit and get a higher view, nonetheless knew within the occasion that they heard any sound, they’d be gone. So waited there hoping and praying, inside a short time they modified course as soon as extra and started to maneuver merely within the path of us. The sunshine was low, so wanted to pump up the ISO and be ready.

Merely after the rain the realm appeared far more lush and all through the few falling drops of rain seen the Nicobar Megapode, strolling cautiously like a model within the path of us. Listening to the clicks they’d stop and shock. Even we would stop clicking and wait till they get to feeding as soon as extra. It was a beautiful sighting. 

Nicobar Scrubfowl - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Nicobar Scrubfowl – Image by Aseem Kothiala

The realm had some very good mangrove forests, which have been planted and restored after the Tsunami, water our our bodies and the backwaters ensured the birdlife was saved alive. Mother nature was taking glorious care of its creations.

Chinese Pond-Heron - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Chinese language language Pond-Heron – Image by Aseem Kothiala

We sighted the Widespread, Stork-billed, Black-backed Dwarf and Black-capped Kingfisher on fully completely different conditions prepared alongside water our our bodies to make their catch. There was nonetheless one fowl that was eluding us, the Nicobar serpent Eagle. We drove forwards and backwards, trekked and even waited near a location the place they’ve been usually sighted. No sign, instead we seen most birds identical to the Widespread hill myna, Nicobar Parakeet, Prolonged tailed Parakeet flying spherical. 


It was late afternoon, photo voltaic was capable of set and we had just about retired for the session and waited near the automotive. As always Dhanish acknowledged he’ll return after scanning by means of the realm. Shortly we acquired a reputation from him and he requested us to return fast, he had sighted the raptor we’ve been looking out for!

Nicobar Serpent-Eagle - Image by Aseem Kothiala
Nicobar Serpent-Eagle – Image by Aseem Kothiala

Native climate:

Lots of the cases, the native climate was extremely regarded and humid. Sunrises spherical 5am IST (Indian Customary Time) and items by 5.30PM, definitely made us actually really feel that the first session not at all ends and the second session finishes very fast!



BSNL affords the easiest connectivity in every these islands, the other networks will present connectivity solely in some components of Port Blair (with 2G solely). Internet firms have been on the market as quickly as we returned to the hold.



We being Indian residents, did not require prior permission to go to the island of good Nicobar, nonetheless wanted to tell the forest division of our arrivals in Campbell Bay to amass permissions to go to the Good Nicobar Biosphere Reserve and some components of the Galathea Nationwide Park. 


To go to the restricted areas, significantly the one the place one can watch the massive Leather-based-based backed turtles should technique the Office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Haddo, Port Blair.


We had reached Port Blair by air from Mumbai. Largely used selection to reach Campbell bay in Good Nicobar from Port Blair is by ship (barely over 500 nautical miles) and it takes about 36 hours. One can use the chopper firms, which can be very restricted and often utilized by officers and islanders who’ve medical emergencies. On account of newest pandemic (Covid 19) the entire course of to get on to the ship appeared very tough, sailings have been restricted, seats have been over booked. Because of efforts of Dhanish, Gokul Krishna and Peter Lobo all of the issues went very straightforward for us.


Whereas touring from Port Blair to Campbell Bay we’ve been on MV Kalighat , shipmaster was Capt. Bodh Mahimairaj. He and his workers have been very courteous, the Chief Officer Okay Bala Yesu was an incredible specific particular person and ensured we had an ideal journey. Yash was very excited after they shared loads of data  how the vessel is saved heading in the right direction by avoiding reefs and islands.

Whereas on the best way during which once more we’ve been on MV Coral Queen, this time the shipmaster was Capt Rohit Lal, who not solely knew heaps about birds nonetheless was moreover involved with reptiles. This time we had Mr Sukesh Patnaik on board, who took very good care of us. To our shock he confirmed us some very good magic suggestions in his free time using taking part in playing cards and money, its solely later we learnt he was moreover educated magician.  Ought to level out that we had a implausible journey and some delicious meals. Our Sincere due to Satish Thayapurath who had deliberate this journey for us and actually unfortunate that he could not be part of us. Nevertheless he ensured we had a superb journey and an incredible crusing!


The workers:

We had Dhanish T essential our group, he’s referred to as Danish Trogon throughout the birding circuit significantly for his energetic spirt. He definitely has some very good fowl recognizing talents and ensured we not solely seen however moreover acquired good footage of the endemic species. Like a phantom (trogon) yow will discover him gone, we wanted to maintain our tempo collectively together with his tempo. Thanking Yash Kothiala, Marvelyn Dias and Dr Ian D’souza for being a part of this journey.


Sightings: https://ebird.org/profile/NTg5NTQ4/IN-AN


Snug Birding!


You’ll be part of with me 




Lesser Whistling-Duck

Dendrocygna javanica


Cotton Pygmy-Goose

Nettapus coromandelianus


Andaman Teal

Anas albogularis


GALLIFORMES: Megapodiidae


Nicobar Scrubfowl

Megapodius nicobariensis




Rock Pigeon

Columba livia



Andaman Wood-Pigeon

Columba palumboides



Purple Collared-Dove

Streptopelia tranquebarica


Andaman Cuckoo-Dove

Macropygia rufipennis



Asian Emerald Dove

Chalcophaps indica


Nicobar Pigeon

Caloenas nicobarica


Andaman Inexperienced-Pigeon

Treron chloropterus



Inexperienced Imperial-Pigeon

Ducula aenea


Nicobar Imperial-Pigeon

Ducula nicobarica



Pied Imperial-Pigeon

Ducula bicolor



Andaman Coucal

Centropus andamanensis



Asian Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus


Violet Cuckoo

Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus


Indian Cuckoo

Cuculus micropterus



Gray Nightjar

Caprimulgus jotaka


Andaman Nightjar

Caprimulgus andamanicus




Brown-backed Needletail

Hirundapus giganteus


Plume-toed Swiftlet

Collocalia affinis


White-nest Swiftlet

Aerodramus fuciphagus



Eurasian Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus


Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra


Gray-headed Swamphen

Porphyrio poliocephalus



Gallicrex cinerea


White-breasted Waterhen

Amaurornis phoenicurus


Andaman Crake

Rallina canningi



Baillon’s Crake

Zapornia pusilla



Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva


Gray-headed Lapwing

Vanellus cinereus


Lesser Sand-Plover

Charadrius mongolus


Higher Sand-Plover

Charadrius leschenaultii




Numenius phaeopus


Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres


Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea


Prolonged-toed Stint

Calidris subminuta


Purple-necked Stint

Calidris ruficollis


Little Stint

Calidris minuta


Pin-tailed Snipe

Gallinago stenura


Widespread Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos


Inexperienced Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus


Observed Redshank

Tringa erythropus


Widespread Greenshank

Tringa nebularia


Marsh Sandpiper

Tringa stagnatilis


Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola


Widespread Redshank

Tringa totanus



Oriental Pratincole

Glareola maldivarum



Black-naped Tern

Sterna sumatrana



Asian Openbill

Anastomus oscitans




Yellow Bittern

Ixobrychus sinensis


Cinnamon Bittern

Ixobrychus cinnamomeus


Gray Heron

Ardea cinerea


Purple Heron

Ardea purpurea


Good Egret

Ardea alba


Intermediate Egret

Ardea intermedia


Little Egret

Egretta garzetta


Pacific Reef-Heron

Egretta sacra


Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis


Indian Pond-Heron

Ardeola grayii


Chinese language language Pond-Heron

Ardeola bacchus


Striated Heron

Butorides striata


Malayan Night-Heron

Gorsachius melanolophus



Oriental Honey-buzzard

Pernis ptilorhynchus



Jerdon’s Baza

Aviceda jerdoni


Nicobar Serpent-Eagle

Spilornis klossi



Crested Serpent-Eagle

Spilornis cheela


Andaman Serpent-Eagle

Spilornis elgini



Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Nisaetus cirrhatus


Chinese language language Sparrowhawk

Accipiter soloensis



Accipiter virgatus


White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Haliaeetus leucogaster



Andaman Masked-Owl

Tyto deroepstorffi




Andaman Scops-Owl

Otus balli



Nicobar Scops-Owl

Otus alius



Oriental Scops-Owl (Walden’s)

Otus sunia


Andaman Boobook

Ninox affinis



Hume’s Boobook

Ninox obscura




Widespread Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis


Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher

Ceyx erithaca


Stork-billed Kingfisher

Pelargopsis capensis


Ruddy Kingfisher

Halcyon coromanda


White-throated Kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis


Black-capped Kingfisher

Halcyon pileata


Collared Kingfisher

Todiramphus chloris



Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Merops leschenaulti




Eurystomus orientalis



Freckle-breasted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos analis


Andaman Woodpecker

Dryocopus hodgei




Alexandrine Parakeet

Psittacula eupatria


Purple-breasted Parakeet

Psittacula alexandri


Nicobar Parakeet

Psittacula caniceps



Prolonged-tailed Parakeet

Psittacula longicauda