The sense of equanimity that the Andaman Islands shower on the travellers is breathtaking and recharges one’s body and mind. Every year many people plan a vacation to the sandy beaches of Andaman in search of solitude, natural beauty and adventure but very few are aware that the Andaman Islands are known as the paradise of Birds. It is said that the Andaman Island is home to 270 species of birds including migratory and endemic birds. Every year many species of birds migrate to these enchanted islands and travellers can enjoy bird photography which in itself is a soulful experience. In this blog, we will discuss ideal locations to go for bird watching in Andaman, best season to go for bird watching and different species of the birds. The Andaman & Nicobar are a group of picturesque Islands, big and small, inhabited and uninhabited, a total of 572 islands, islets and rocks lying in the South Eastern Part of the Bay of Bengal. They lie along an arc in long and narrow broken chain, approximately North-South over a distance nearly 800 kms. The isolation has helped evolve a large number of endemic birds on these islands. On the Andaman Islands Endemic Birding Tour, we will be visiting the Andaman Island in search of these birds especially the endemics – total of 20 in number. But since five occur only on the Nicobars (currently off-limits to foreigners), only 15 would be sighted. The notable areas visited during the Andaman Endemic Birding Tour are Mount Harriet, Sippi Ghat, Chidia Tapu, Farar Ganj & Havelock.
The endemics include four owls and other species such as Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake and Andaman Serpent Eagle.
- the tropical evergreen forest in Port Blair which was originally a reserve. It is a home to seven endangered species including the Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Boobook, Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Drongo and Andaman Treepie. Apart from these endangered species one can see Dollar bird, Olive backed Sunbird, Pintail Snipe and many other birds that make a perfect sight for photography.
It is suggested to visit the park early in the morning as the birds are active at that time and as the day proceeds, they will be in their nests lazing around. At evening also one can see the birds before 5 pm but after darkness, there is no point visiting the park.
- Sippi Ghat: It is located in the south of the Andaman and is primarily a wet land. One can see many water birds and wadershere and by evening one should return to the hotels. Most of the birds here include Brown Hawk Owl, Collared Kingfisher, Sunda Teal, Black-napped tern, Andaman Hawked Owl, Orange headed thrush and Olive backed sunbird, Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker and many other birds that are a rare sighting in the urban city. It is a welcoming silent adventure as travellers are instructed to maintain silence so that birds do not fly away. Again the ideal time to watch birds is an early morning but after sunset shots are also worth taking in this area. The afternoon is the time when birds are least active so either visit the place early in the morning and stay overnight to enjoy the beautiful click during sunset and sunrise.
- Chidiya Tapu: Located towards South of Port Blair this track is the most popular one for trekking and birding. It is normally said that trek to mount Harriet from Chidiya Tapu is the perfect track for bird sighting and bird photography. The 4km stretch of evergreen moist forest offers a different variety of birds to watch and click including Andaman Serpent Eagle, White Throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Alexandrine Parakeet, Andaman Drongo, Black naped Oriole and many more that makes the trek exciting. If you want to enjoy birding to the maximum then visit the place early in the morning as the bird photography done with sunrise is simply spectacular and you get to see different types of birds chirping and flying.
- Local places for Owls: This is an ideal place to watch endemic birds. One needs to stay overnight as the trip can be exhausting but the birds can be photographed here in the morning and afternoon. Though birds are inactive in the afternoon but here one can vouch on their sighting even at noon and after sunset. Here one should not miss the adventurous night birding where one can watch night owls like Andaman Barn-owl, Hume’s Hawk Owl, Andaman Scops-Owl, etc that can be seen in open fields. It is an experience one should not miss and is an ideal setting for night birding photography.
- Havelock Islands: Undoubtedly, this white sand island cannot be missed as it is a hub to rich flora and fauna in the Andaman Islands. The island is a reservoir of mangroves, forests and variety of birds that are extinct from urban cities but are living a peaceful life here amidst the blue water and open sky. Morning in this island starts with the chirping of birds of various species and if you are a bird lover then you will get to watch many exotic birds on the island. Some of the species that cannot be missed are the endemic one’s like a green pigeon, emerald dove, hanging parrots, long-tailed parakeets and many other. These birds can be seen early in the morning and at the time of sunset.
PLACES FOR BIRDING AS RESEARCHED BY BIRD WATCHING IN ANDAMAN TEAM:
- South Andaman
- Havelock Island
- Neil Island Island
- Little Andaman Island (Hut Bay)
- Cambell Bay Island (Great Nicobar)
INFORMATION ON WEATHER, CLIMATE & CLOTHING
In general the weather will be warm and pleasant – hot during the day and pleasant during nights.
The Andamans being in the tropics, has a steady temperature throughout the year. The rainy season starts by May and goes on till October.
The monsoon months are from May to October, with June & july being the peak rainy months.
Cottons are recommended.
Scouts from Incredible Birding will be there with you they would be responsible for birding as well as sorting all your logistics during the tour.
All accommodation on the tour is a luxury hotel, with option of veg and non veg meals.
FOOD & WATER
Food provided by the hotel will be safe for you – there is little no risk to your health. If you wish to buy your own food, snacks or beverages at any time, we recommend that you ask for advice from your guide. In general – hot beverages (tea and coffee) are fine.
Start and end of expedition : Port Blair
Best Time of the Year – October to April
Minimum Number of days required for trip – 5
Location – Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India situated in the Bay of Bengal. It is also the local administrative sub-division (tehsil) of the islands, the headquarters for the district of South Andaman, and is the territory’s only notified town. It houses the headquarters of the Andaman and Nicobar Police, Andaman and Nicobar Command, the first integrated tri-command of the armed forces of India and Indian Coast Guard.
Group Size – Six to eight with one or two Incredible Birding Scout .
Vehicle Used – Toyota Innova / Tavera
CANCELLATIONS DUE TO WEATHER:
Our tours are dependant on weather and sea conditions so sometimes we need to cancel this tour due to winds in the main whale habitat area. Make sure to provide us with your contact details upon booking so we can contact you as soon as possible regarding any changes to your tour!
- Boarding and lodging for Tour duration
- All local fees
- All planned activities and excursions as per the itinerary
- Services of a Photography Scout from Incredible Birding
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- All airfare and transfer expenses
- Any extra accommodation availed of outside the itinerary, before or after the Tour
- Visa expenses
- Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
- Insurance, laundry and phone calls
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Tips and gratuities
- Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
- All applicable taxes
- Atleast 50% of the Tour fee as booking amount (non-refundable)
- Atleast 80% of the Tour fee before six months of the expedition date.
- Remainder of the Tour fee before 2 months .
All figures per person.
- 20% of the of the Tour fee on or before 45 months prior to trip.
- 50% of the Tour fee on or before 15 days prior to trip .
- 100% of the Tour fee on or Before 7 days prior to trip .
All figures per person based on total amount of trip.
For Detailed schedule and day wise activities please send an email to our representatives .
Trip will start from Port Blair or new delhi where participants will arrive from various places , and trip will end at Same destination .
Photo gallery From Andaman and Nicobar Region .