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Old 25th May 2016, 01:15   #1
M35
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Default Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

The ‘God’s Own Country’,this year,experienced one of the harshest Summers of the recent past. Palakkad - my home town, saw a maximum temperature of 41 degrees. The Summer Showers, though came in late, did provide some respite from the scorching heat. On the 12th of May I had an engagement at Kochi. Since the Rain Gods started showing some mercy already, I thought of driving up to Rajakkad near Munnar for a much needed break from the blistering days.

This is a Photologue on my recent drive to Munnar - for the rains, the drive along the hills and of course some Birding. Though I have visited this ‘heaven on earth’ multiple times, it was different this time around, as I had my little angel – my little baby girl- with me. Staying wasn’t any of my concerns as I have a close relative of mine living near Rajakkad – home away from home kind.

After having spent a couple of days at home, thought of venturing out. The plan was NOT to visit any crowded usual picnic spots but some laid back drive along the tea gardens and those lovely winding roads. Could manage to squeeze in a couple of mornings and start off as early as 6.00 am- only for the sheer driving pleasure, Mother Nature and some photography.

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-156441.jpg
Shot just before ‘Echo Point’ after Mattupetty Dam !

Last edited by Aditya : 26th May 2016 at 07:19.
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Old 25th May 2016, 13:41   #2
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Munnar - Marayur stretch :
‘Scorp’ parked on the beautiful stretch between Eravikulam and Marayur.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc347522.jpg
I took the Pallivasal –Munnar- Eravikulam route and thought of driving through the Chinnar forest and then return. But, thanks to the election season, the heavy traffic within the Munnar town didn’t give the momentum and was then put off by the 1.5 hour traffic jam at Eravikulam region. A few idiots parking their vehicles on the road meant the inevitable traffic block. By the time the jam eased out, the Sun started beating down in full glory and hence I didn’t see any point in going up to even Marayur town. Though it was a shortened affair, I could capture some lovely but common birds in the region.

Red-whiskered Bulbul :
One of the most common birds around. Their loud calls are easily understood. These are more often heard than seen, especially in the mornings when they call from the top of trees.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3684.jpg

The Oriental Magpie family !!
1.Oriental Magpie Robin: [Male]
Oriental Maggie-Robin male has glossy blue-black upperparts with black long tail is black, with white outer feathers.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3349.jpg
2. Oriental Magpie Robin: [female]
Female is dull dark grey instead black on the same body parts.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3323.jpg
3. Oriental Magpie Robin: [Juvenile]
Though I have seen many males and females, a juvenile was very special and the first time spotting.Juvenile resembles female, but the scaly head and upperparts, and mottled brown throat and breast.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3654.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2016 at 10:00. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 25th May 2016, 15:09   #3
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Anachal-Munnar stretch: The unexplored !!
The short stretch from Anachal to Munnar, though not quite popular among visitors, does offer some nice opportunities to capture the green hills.

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3904.jpg
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3909.jpg

Rajakumari Deivamatha church:
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4170.jpg
The other day, I was on my way to revisit my favourite Poopara-Munnar stretch and I saw this beautiful Church. Spent some 20 minutes in and around the church. Quite impressed with the whole setting, especially in a small town like Rajakumari. Clicked a few pictures and soon drove past Poopara towards Devikulam hills !
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4185s2.jpg

After having passed through Poopara my next stop was at Anayirangal which is some 22km away from Munnar. I had been here multiple times mainly on my way towards ‘Gap road’ view point. I wanted to go down to the reservoir but the gate was closed at 4.30 pm. Took a picture from the road and proceeded towards ‘Gap Road’ and then to Devikulam hills.

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4190.jpg

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc42312.jpg

The 'Gap Road' had zero visibility, hence didn't stop there. Then soon I started the descend through what for me was the best of the hill views in the entire trip. Through the cloud cover the golden light diffused in and lit up the beautiful green hills at places giving it a dreamy feel.


Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc42162.jpg

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4357.jpg

It started getting dark as I was getting close to Munnar driving along the Devikulam hills. Clicked a few on the way and took the Pallivasal-Anachal -Kunchithanni route and got back home by 7.00. It was definitely an evening well spent, even without capturing a single bird.

Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4296.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2016 at 10:01. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 26th May 2016, 00:24   #4
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Birding opportunities along the Munnar-Top Station stretch:

The other day, I left home quite early for birding mainly to see if I am lucky in the stretch beyond Munnar all the way until the top station. I was quite relieved to see no sign of any rush beyond Echo Point and absolutely peaceful after Kundala Dam just after the sun has come out.

Pied Bushchats should come under the most common birds in the region. I happened to see a lot of these at multiple location in and around Munnar.

Male:
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4142.jpg

Female:
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3472.jpg

A Munnar trip would be incomplete without this fellow- The Malabar Giant Squirrel !. Spotted on a tree just above the ticket counter at the Top Station.
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3813.jpg

Let me wind this thread up with a few birds – which for me are the best of the lot. Let the pictures do the talking. All were spotted along the stretch close to Top Station.

Brown Shrike (juvenile)
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc4034.jpg

Oriental white-eye
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc37962.jpg

Green Woodpecker ?
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc41212.jpg

Common Hoopoe
Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds-_dsc3871.jpg

Thanks for the visit and hope to see you all next time around.
regards
Manoj

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2016 at 10:01. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 26th May 2016, 07:21   #5
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Default re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th May 2016, 07:54   #6
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Default re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Very Good Photos of the Birds. It looks like you are very interested in Bird watching or you are an Ornithologist

Please do post some more pictures if available.

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Old 26th May 2016, 11:28   #7
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

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Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
Very Good Photos of the Birds. It looks like you are very interested in Bird watching or you are an Ornithologist
Please do post some more pictures if available.
Regards
Thanks.
I love to spend my free time behind the lens and while doing so, i look for birds mostly as they are my favourite subject/s.
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Old 26th May 2016, 14:48   #8
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Nice perspective on Munnar. May I know what gear you used to capture the birds?
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Old 26th May 2016, 15:24   #9
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Oh, what pictures! Spellbound by each one of them and the underlying descriptions are truly informative! The southern belt comprising of Munnar, Coorg & Kodaikanal is simply breathtaking for the natural beauty it has. As you rightly said, it definitely is a 'Heaven on Earth' this side of the country.

Wonderful log with those absolutely amazing pictures & the information on the birds. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 26th May 2016, 15:34   #10
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Your pictures do not reflect the hot summer that just passed by! Lovely pictures, specially the birds!
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Old 26th May 2016, 17:09   #11
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Such beautiful photographs M35. Such beauty. Thank you brother for I could see nature's best through your lenses. Must have been very serene going through these locations. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 26th May 2016, 17:56   #12
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Quote:
Originally Posted by M35 View Post
I love to spend my free time behind the lens and while doing so, i look for birds mostly as they are my favourite subject/s.
Great photography M35. I love the pictures of the birds. So what camera and lens did you use for capturing these birds? I am planning a trip to Munnar in September, hence I am curious to know the best points in Munnar for bird photography.
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Old 26th May 2016, 19:28   #13
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Hey M35 or anyone else who went to Munnar recently, I have a question for you.

I went to Munnar a year back, from the Bodi side, there was at least 6-8 kms of absolutely horrible roads leading to Munnar town, is that fixed already ?
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Old 26th May 2016, 20:26   #14
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Hello M 35! Nice travelogue. The photos are just awesome. Would like to know which camera and lens combination you were using. Though, I know you have got superb hands at photography, still a bit curious about the gears.

Your black Scorpio is a drool material, my friend.

Regards

Saubhik
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Old 26th May 2016, 20:35   #15
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Default Re: Munnar: Fresh air, Green hills and some birds

Quote:
Originally Posted by forester View Post
:The southern belt comprising of Munnar, Coorg & Kodaikanal is simply breathtaking for the natural beauty it has. As you rightly said, it definitely is a 'Heaven on Earth' this side of the country.
Thanks.
Haven't explored Coorg yet. Might have to wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRidder View Post
Your pictures do not reflect the hot summer that just passed by! Lovely pictures, specially the birds!
Thanks.
The region has had a couple of weeks of rain already, hence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
Such beautiful photographs M35. Such beauty. Thank you brother for I could see nature's best through your lenses. Must have been very serene going through these locations. Thanks for sharing.
Thank You for the lovely comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AD007 View Post
Great photography M35. I love the pictures of the birds. So what camera and lens did you use for capturing these birds? I am planning a trip to Munnar in September, hence I am curious to know the best points in Munnar for bird photography.
I use my Nikon D810 + Nikkor 200-500 f5.6 for birds.
My favourite stretch being the one beyond Kundala dam all the way up to Top station. One needs to be patient, roll down the window glasses and wait for the bird calls/ activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anand.shankar View Post
I went to Munnar a year back, from the Bodi side, there was at least 6-8 kms of absolutely horrible roads leading to Munnar town, is that fixed already ?
Body to Bodymettu has been beautifully relaid and is back to its best. The stretch from Bodymettu to Poopara seem to have broken a bit when I did there a few months back. Poopara-Munnar is breeze and beautiful.
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