Guided by Keith Barnes.
This was a quickfire five-day junket through south India to make sure that Don and Doris managed their improbable goal of getting 1000 life birds in the year with Tropical Birding. Having already done three trips with TB this year and having joined the N.India trip, we decided to do this customized junket just to ensure that their target was reached. The five full days yielded some 220 bird species including many south India and Ghats specialties that we would not encounter later on the trip. Goa is a South Indian state that hosts a series of laidback coastal beach towns offering a great introduction to Asian birds and the fascinating culture of the Indian subcontinent. The town of Baga is an excellent base from which to see a ton of birds in a relaxed atmosphere. It is littered with western-style resorts, restaurants with delicious prawn and fish curries, and resorts with crakes and rails running around behind the swimming pools. However, before we spent time at the base in Baga, we headed into the cooler hills of the western Ghats, located near the eastern limit of the province. Here we lapped up the many South Indian endemics and the fragile beauty of these sub-montane forests, finding delights such as Malabar Trogon, Ceylon Frogmouth, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, and many others.