BirdingTravel

THE JUNGLE RETREAT, WAYANAD

By on May 7th, 2016
Vythiri Resort Entrance

Vythiri Resort Entrance

It’s a one-and-half hour journey from Calicut Airport to Vythiri Resort, Wayanad.  This resort is situated in the middle of Western Ghats bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu at an altitude ranging from 700 to 2100 meters. At this exotic jungle getaway, wide varieties of flora and fauna can be easily spotted in this resort.

Great Indian Squirrel

Giant Malabar Squirrel

When we stepped out from our cab, the temperature was cool and it was drizzling. We received a warm welcome in true Kerala tradition. After completing the registration and other formalities, we received a Welcome Kit containing Spa Coupons, Things to do, Resort Map, Wayanad hotspots and Rules & Regulations. We were briefed by the resort’s GM for a good 15 minutes.

This pristine ambience was a great retreat for body, mind and soul. It was thrilling to be surrounded by canopies and the calls of the White cheeked Barbet nocturnal Creech. I moved into a Vythiri Swimming Pool villa and enjoyed a relaxed day with my family.

Come dusk, I walked towards the restaurant via a hanging bridge in the middle of a rocky stream. I stopped for a minute to hear the gush of water dashing between the rocks.

The next day, we were served a heavy lunch. I started with the delicious Kerala special Fish Curry and ended with sumptuous desserts.

In the evening, the Cicadas (insects) screaming chorus rang through the resort and two Giant Grizzled Squirrels played chip and dale in the big tree. I stayed near the common swimming pool to hear the call of the Nighjar and other nocturnal creatures.

On day 2, the early morning sweet melody of the Malabar Whistling Thrush woke me up. I took my Canon SX 60 HS camera to click a record shot.

Malabar Grey Hornbill

Malabar Grey Hornbill

I had registered my name for the morning nature walk guided by a naturalist between 7:30 am- 8:30 am.

Pompadaur Green Pigeon

Pompadaur Green Pigeon

My guide spotted a Green Pompadur Pigeon. I preferred to halt near the curved green gorge for the best view. We were browsing through the canopies when a majestic eagle posed behind the tree. I went to the other side slowly to discover a Crested Serpent Eagle posing sideways. With this, I managed to record 23 species of birds in a single spot. (List attached). I recommend this place for birding and butterfly watching. One of the largest butterflies named Southern Birdwing can be spotted here.

Golden Fronted Leaf Bird

Golden Fronted Leaf Bird

After an invigorating trek, I reached my posh poll villa resort. I soaked myself in a plush Jacuzzi and reflected on the day gone by.

I recommend the early morning flight to reach Calicut. By road, you can reach the resort in one-and-half hour to two hours which covers 85km. On the way you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of coconut groves. Calicut Railway station is 65 kms away. You can even book the cab at the Vythiri Resort reception desk a week in advance. At the resort, you can plan your day and enjoy the fullest.

 

Crested Serpent Eagle

Crested Serpent Eagle

Black Crested Bulbul

Black Crested Bulbul

Yellow Throated Bulbul

Yellow Throated Bulbul

Red Whiskered Bulbul

Red Whiskered Bulbul

Malabar Whistling Thrush

Malabar Whistling Thrush

List of Birds Spotted: 1. Red Whiskered Bulbul, 2. Crested Serpent Eagle,3. Racquet Tailed Drongo, 4. Jungle Fowl (Call), 5. Scarlet Minivet (male and female),  6. Golden fronted leaf bird, 7. Coppersmith Barbet,  8. White Cheeked Barbet, 9. Malabar Whistling Thrush, 10. Black Crested Bulbul, 11. Malabar Grey Hornbill (adult and Juvenile), 12. Indian robin, 13. Common Tailorbird, 14. Purple Rumbed Sunbird, 15. Purple sunbird, 16. Loten’s Sunbird 17. Eurasian Golden Oriole, 18. Night Heron, 19. Black Kite, 20. Malabar Parakeet, 21. White-browed wagtail, 23. Jungle Crow and 23. Yellow Wagtail.

Others: Southern Bird Wing Butterfly, Giant Malabar Squirrel, Cicada (insect) Wild Dog (Call) Porcupine Nest and beautiful flowers.

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