A single visit was paid to Chandranath Hill, as it is a fair distance from Baga. Ads, Sarah and myself combined this trip with a visit to Velim Lake, which can be seen distantly from the hill. Abhi will also visit these two sites on the way to Cotigao Sanctuary on a two or three day trip.
The birding here was pretty good with Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Crested Goshawk, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Crested Treeswift and Spangled Drongo along the winding road up to the temple.
From the parking area we saw many common forest birds in a large feeding flock, including Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Brown-headed, White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbet, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-naped Monarch and Brown-breasted Flycatcher plus many others.
At this point it is possible to walk in several directions along dirt tracks into the forest or directly up the steps to the temple on the top of the hill.
Abhi took us along one such track where we heard Pompadour Green Pigeon but could not locate it. Most of these tracks have signposts indicating the direction of the temple. However, Abhi showed us to an open area where one could look over the surrounding hillsides and from here were some old steps up to the temple through a thickly wooded area.
At the top of the steps Abhi managed to find a pair of Blue-faced Malkohas. I did not see them at this point. However, we walked alongside the temple to a further track through the forest where the birds were relocated. They gave excellent views; one even sat and sunbathed in the top of a low-lying Bamboo. We took a walk around the temple, which is very photogenic, where I spotted my only Blue Rock Thrush of the trip perched on top of the temple.
The following diagram has been drawn from memory but gives a little more detail of the top of the hill, showing some of the tracks mentioned above.|
On leaving the hill we freewheeled down the approach road on the way to Velim Lake checking the birds on the way down.
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