“Our tour had some long tiring days; we saw some amazing scenery, stayed in great accommodation with excellent food, and above all saw an amazing amount of wonderful wildlife!”
 
I. Sen
 

Bordering the Karnataka and Kerala states, the Nilgiris or Blue mountains is a veritable fairyland. It has hill stations at various altitudes. Cloud-kissing peaks, dense forests, rushing streams, undulating emerald green plains, breath-taking view of sudden drops, valleys and glades make it an attractive tourist destination.

The Nilgiris or “The Blue Mountains” are among the highest in South India and are home to some restricted endemic species of birds like the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Flycatcher and White-bellied Shortwing, which inhabit the evergreen Sholas. The word Shola comes from the Tamil “solai”, which refers to any verdant patch and the region is rich with rhododendrons, magnolias and orchids.

The small town of Ooty, a popular hill station of the Nilgiris, is fantastic at any time of the year, as the main species of birds are resident, though migrants such as Kashmir Flycatcher and Tickell’s Leaf Warbler are only present in winter. Other exotic species here include the Painted Bushquail, Black and the Orange Flycatcher.
 
 
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
 

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is another place ideal for bird watching. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills, at a point where the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats, 65 kms from Ooty. This sanctuary has a mix of flat land, undulating parkland, open grassland, swamp, valleys and nullahs. The Mayyar River forms a series of spectacular cascades on its 65 kms route on the Udhagamandalam-Mysore highway. This sanctuary can be reached from Mysore too.

This area of the Nilgiris is home to over 320 species of birds, both migratory as well as sedentary. The Sholas and jungles provide perfect habitat for them all year round. If you happen to hear a naughty whistle-song, it is for sure not a schoolboy playing truant! Rather it is the melody of the Malabar Whistling Thrush which one could listen for hours.
 
Birds at Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
• Peacock • Grey Jungle Fowl
• Malabar Whistling Thrush • Large Racquet-Tailed Dronge
• Magpie-Robin • Spotted Babbler
• Small Green Barbet • Short-billed Minivet
• Green Pigeons • Little Brown Dove
• Malabar Grey Hornbill • Bulbuls
• Yellow-vented Warbler • Striped Tit Babbler
• Mynahs • Eagles
• Hawks • Buzzards
• Harriers • Falcons
• King Vulture