Back from Backwoods

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Blue-eared Kingfisher, Tambdi Surla, 30th November 2014

As part of our Goa package holiday we spent three nights and four days at Backwoods Camp, in the company of our main guide Pramod and, for part of our last full day at the camp, Leio. The camp is set in the hills, amongst sub-tropic deciduous rainforest, about two hours from the coast. Accommodation is in basic individual chalets and the regular, ample and appetising meals are served in the communal dining and general ‘chill-out’ area in the main house. The camp and kitchen staff couldn’t have been more pleasant or helpful. In all, we added around forty five new species at Backwoods, many of which were scarce or ‘difficult to get’ birds. The whole package – accommodation, meals & drinks, guiding and transport, came to around £120 per person, providing excellent value and a welcome break to coastal birding. For anyone contemplating a birding package holiday to Goa, a trip up to Backwoods is a must – details are available on their website or visit their regular stand at the annual Rutland Water BirdFair.
A few of the many superb species seen in this idyllic birding location, including:

Puff-throated Babbler

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Orange-headed Thrush

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Purple Sunbird

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Western Crowned Warbler

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Red-headed Bunting

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Rufous-bellied Eagle

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A nice trio of Green Bee-eater, Chestnut-shouldered Petronia and, in the middle, Grey-necked Bunting

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White-bellied Woodpecker, at dusk

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Heart-spotted or heart-stopping Woodpecker

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Citrine Wagtail – one of two found by us on the trip

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Malabar Grey Hornbill

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A roosting pair of rare Sri Lanka Frogmouth

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and lastly, the iconic but hard to find, Indian Pitta – this bird roosted behind our chalet!

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More photos to come in my Goa gallery.

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