Valparai... in search of nature and wildlife...


Well-Known Member
Glad to see you again in action :)
Beautiful pictures, as always.
Thank you, John! Appreciate your comments. O:)

what a lucky find, peter. get shots
Thank you, KD! O:)

Lovely Update !!!
Thank you, Raj! O:)

Thar o portfolio . Lovely
O:) Thank you, Sachin!

Great capture
Thank you, Shekar! O:)

Lovely shots !
Thank you, hackernewbie! O:)

We left the tahrs and continued on up the hills. Apart from the beautiful view, we could also see some birds. And then we saw a Malabar Giant Squirrel high up on a tree. We were surprised to see the squirrel so far ahead of Valparai.

Red-whiskered Bulbul...


The Indian giant squirrel, or Malabar giant squirrel, (Ratufa indica) is a large tree squirrel species genus Ratufa native to India. It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia. It is called शेकरू 'Shekru' in Marathi and is state animal of Maharashtra.

The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires "tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests." It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m. When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. Its main predators are the birds of prey and the leopard. The Giant Squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. It is a shy, wary animal and not easy to discover.


Just as we were about to enter Valparai, we saw the two "Monkey minders". These guys stay on the road when the Lion tailed Macaques (LTM) are around and warn the motorists to go slow by waving the board that have. We have met them on our previous trips and know them quite well. They greeted us and informed us that the LTMs were inside the forest and were making their way to the road. They wanted us to wait for them, but we told them to calls us the next day when they come out and started off.

Just then we saw this beauty hanging upside down with just its two hind legs/claws hooked to this large tree and happily ripping off the bark and having fun.














and it's nest...
DSC_4074 ls.jpg

We were happy with all these sightings on day one and reached our stay in the evening.

[to be cont.]


Well-Known Member
Beautiful pictures of the giant squirrel
Thank you, Sachin!

Day 2

Got up early, had dressed up and started out at around 6:20 am. The route we took was in the direction of Sholiyar dam, just half way to the dam.

Oriental Magpie Robin from the parking space...


A Malabar Gray Hornbill... hiding behind a branch...


Watching us get into position...

Posing for us...



Red-whiskered Bulbul...



[to be cont.]


Well-Known Member
Some great birding work. What lens were you using?
Thank you, dichkaun! I use a Tamron 150-600mm lens.

lovely pics, peter sirji
Thank you, KD Sir!

crisp snaps with wonderful narrative.
Thank you, Balaji!

Nice captures.
Thank you, AKNayak!

The main objective of that drive was to find a particular bird's nest. We were told this "Just before Varatu Parai, the road will slope downwards and there will be a S bend. In that curve you will find a red board. Behind that tree you will find a tall tree. The nest is on that tree"

Finding the tree was easy enough. But finding the nest was another story. The tree was a very tall tree with no branches on the lower part and it had a thick cluster of branches with dense leaves at the top. We scanned each branch but could not trace anything resembling a nest. We double checked on the location and it was right: the S bend, a red warning board, just 200 mts before Varatu Parai, and a massive tall tree. We gave up and started looking for birds nearby.

A jungle myna...





We also spotted a couple of Bisons on a hill quite far away...


A Red-vented Bulbul...


A Minivet...


Bulbul again...



"The black-rumped flameback (Dinopium benghalense), also known as the lesser golden-backed woodpecker or lesser goldenback, is a woodpecker found widely distributed in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the few woodpeckers that are seen in urban areas. It has a characteristic rattling-whinnying call and an undulating flight. It is the only golden-backed woodpecker with a black throat and black rump.
The black-rumped flameback is a large species at 26–29 cm in length. It has a typical woodpecker shape, and the golden yellow wing coverts are distinctive. The rump is black and not red as in the greater flameback. The underparts are white with dark chevron markings. The black throat finely marked with white immediately separates it from other golden backed woodpeckers in the Indian region. The head is whitish with a black nape and throat, and there is a greyish eye patch. Unlike the greater flameback it has no dark moustachial stripes.
" [wikipedia]

black-rumped flameback pecking away...






[to be cont.]


Chalo .......let's go.
Really Peter Sir I wanted to see some real wildlife shots from Tammy and here you are.
Awesome coverage....and yes its always fun to find unexpected wildlife at their natural habitat.