Ooty and the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

Nilgiri Flycatcher

Udagamandalam, more commonly known as Ooty, is a popular hill station in the Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu, situated at an altitude of about 2,200m. It is often referred to as the “Queen of the Hills”. Ooty was originally occupied by various hill tribes of the region, and later became a popular destination during the British colonial period. After independence, it has become a popular holiday destination due to its beautiful hills and forests, pleasant climate, and locally made chocolate! There are a variety of tourist attractions here, including a “toy train”, many gardens and parks, historical buildings, and tea factories. However, away from the crowds, the surrounding forest is an excellent great place to go birding. Many endemic species survive here, with a host of migrants joining them in the winter.

Target Species

  • Painted Bush Quail 
  • Grey Junglefowl 
  • Crested Treeswift
  • Indian Swiftlet 
  • Blyth’s Swift 
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon 
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Legge’s Hawk-Eagle 
  • Black Eagle
  • Crested Goshawk
  • Brown Wood Owl
  • Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
  • Malabar Barbet 
  • Greater Flameback
  • Blue-winged Parakeet 
  • Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
  • Brown Shrike
  • Bronzed Drongo
  • White-spotted Fantail 
  • Indian Black-lored Tit 
  • Yellow-browed Bulbul 
  • Square-tailed Bulbul 
  • Hill Swallow 
  • Tytler’s Leaf Warbler 
  • Green Warbler
  • Large-billed Leaf Warbler
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler 
  • Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
  • Nilgiri Laughingthrush 
  • Asian Fairy-bluebird
  • Orange-headed Thrush
  • Nilgiri Thrush 
  • Indian Blackbird 
  • Brown-breasted Flycatcher
  • Nilgiri Flycatcher 
  • Indian Blue Robin
  • Nilgiri Blue Robin 
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush 
  • Rusty-tailed Flycatcher 
  • Kashmir Flycatcher 
  • Black-and-orange Flycatcher 
  • Blue-capped Rock Thrush 
  • Nilgiri Flowerpecker 
  • Crimson-backed Sunbird 
  • Nilgiri Pipit 
  •   Endemic
  •   Near Endemic

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Coimbatore and drive to Ooty

On arrival in Coimbatore, our representative will assist you for the short transfer to Ooty, via car and the historic Nilgiri Mountain Railway for the last section from Coonoor. The rest of the day will be spent with some local birding, including in the grounds of your hotel, the luxurious Fernhills Palace.

Days 2-3: Ooty and the Nilgiris

There are many sites in the area, particularly in remnant shola forest patches, where you can find the key species, so you will explore several over the next two days. Birds are likely to include the beautiful endemic Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Indian Blue Robin, Nilgiri Sholakili (or Blue Robin), Palani Chilappan (or Nilgiri Laughingthrush), Malabar Whistling Thrush, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Black Eagle, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Blue-winged (or Malabar) Parakeet, Malabar Barbet, Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Hill Swallow and, with luck, Tytler’s Leaf Warbler and Kashmir Flycatcher.

Day 4: Depart Ooty for Coimbatore

After some early birding and breakfast, it is time to depart by car for Coimbatore.

Checklist

For all our bookings we provide the most accurate and useful printable checklists available, specific to the actual areas you are likely to visit. In the meantime, use our interactive state checklists, or view the species bar chart for this area on eBird:

eBird India logo

Important information

Asian Adventures logo

As with all Bubo Birding tours, your booking is handled by Asian Adventures.

  • We may change the itinerary described due to various reasons such as latest birding information, availability of accommodation, state of the roads, and other unexpected factors that, this being India, do pop up from time to time!
  • We would be happy to make any additional travel bookings, e.g. domestic flights, car and driver, that you require.
  • The final price and itinerary will be confirmed before booking and depending on your expected arrival and departure plans.

See Asian Adventures for full tour details, including accommodation, what's included, other exclusions, prices for different group sizes, single room supplements, and booking details.

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