One of the things I most enjoyed about visiting Kerala was the variety of birdlife. The highlight was a guided walk around Thattekad Bird Reserve by an incredibly knowledgeable guide. It made me keen to do something similar in the UK as I am sure I would learn loads on a guided walk of an RSPB or WWT reserve. In Thattekad we saw over 20 species including the green bee eater (above) and a crested serpent eagle – sadly no photo of this, but we had a good look through binoculars.
The most useful thing I bought before going to Kerala was a bird book, which I took with me everywhere and managed to identify a surprising number of birds – perhaps because, being on holiday, I had much more time to sit and watch than I do at home, so I was much more successful at ID than I expected.
I’m quite fond of red kites, which I see quite a lot of close to where I live, so I enjoyed seeing the similar brahminy kites in Kerala. One one occasion we were on a boat trip at Olavipe in the backwaters and watched the kites diving for fish thrown by fishermen. It was spectacular seeing them at close quarters.
Even sitting beside a hotel pool, I saw this magpie robin bathing and drinking.