Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands - Day 2


Thursday was another 04:40 start, this time to catch the ferry across from Port Blair, thereby avoiding a 50km drive around the island.  We headed North and spent a good chunk of the morning walking down a road in the forest.  It was quite frustrating as we were seeking a few of the species we'd missed on the first day and was again very hot.  We did see Alexandrine Parakeet:


And added a few more of the localised and endemic species but we were glad when we moved on, this time heading for a forest park by the coast:


Another idyllic spot but one being reconstructed in the wake of the tsunami damage. 




The goal here was the Mangrove Whistler which proved elusive right up until we were about to get back into the car and leave, when one started whistling from a nearby perch.  This image is ISO 100:







and this one ISO 1600.  I had left the UK having done much technical preparation on the use of flash with a super-telephoto, only to find that the local electricity lacked the voltage to charge the batteries for my flash unit.  So I was carrying a lot of redundant kit and also forced to use the ISO to make up for low lighting, which has left a lot of the images frustratingly grainy.  Humbug.  Note to self, next time pre-charge the batteries so at least you'll be able to do some forest photography.



We headed back to the ferry, stopping at another spot, as high-tide had forced a number of waders close to shore.  This is the view across to the docks:



And the shoreline:



 In the afternoon we headed to a new spot, some ponds and lagoons, and enjoyed adding a number of trip and life species, a trip bird was this Yellow Bittern:


Another trip birds was the Lesser Whistling Duck:


We also added Cotton Pygmy-Goose, albeit too distant for a good snap.  I'd despaired of ever seeing a Pygymy Goose but there were four adult males in a group of seven or eight birds.  We also had a fly-by from a  Cinnamon Bittern, another lifer.  We enjoyed wandering along the road and mooching around the lagoons even though we became a bit of an 'attraction' for the locals walking and driving by.

We headed back to the hotel for an earlier dinner and a longer sleep ahead of our third 04:40 start on Friday morning...

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