Nilgiri Laughingthrush

Photographed near Doddabetta Tea Factory (on Gorishola road), Ooty, TN, India in Jan 2015. IUCN Conservation Status – Endangered.

When in Ooty for the first time, if you are a birding enthusiast, a visit to Doddabetta is mandatory. This is so that you can see the endangered Nilgiri Laughingthrush. They supposedly inhabit the bushes around the car park/tea stalls in abundance there. So we did too. Atleast tried to.

When we reached the road leading up to Doddabetta we found that we were an hour too early (winter the road opens at 8AM and we were there at 6.45AM). So we had an hour to do something and decided to drive Gorishola Road which went past the Doddabetta Tea Factory. Next to the tea factory there is a little clearing from where there was a good view of Ooty town down below. Stopped in that cold for that view.

Then there noticed the pied bushchats (my last 2 posts here) and got clicking! As I was doing that I heard the call (laughs? :)) of the Laughingthrush… and lo & behold there they were. A few of them too! In such close proximity. After I got photos of them the enthu to drive Doddabetta just vanished and we just continued up Gorishola road!

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/tbCZns

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