Up & down the elephant mountains We took two trips to the Anamalais this recent past — one to the high ranges of the Thalanar valley near Valparai (pre-monsoon in May) and the other to Top Slip (almost in the plains) in full monsoon glory in July.
In Thalanar, I was able to get in the midst of several mixed hunting flocks and photograph some elusives like the Canary Flycatcher, Laughing Thrushes and Black-lored Tits. Also, Thalanar was a hot-spot for Black Bulbuls — nowhere in the Anamalais (maybe even the whole of Western Ghats) have I seen such large flocks of these noisy birds. Later, when the monsoon was in full swing, we made a quick 2-day trip to Top Slip. While wildlife sightings were poor because of the torrential downpour the jungle looked outstanding. We made a trip to the Kozhikamuthi elephant camp to photograph camp elephants — I will post the images in a separate report. As usual, the peacocks were all out and thoroughly enjoying the rains!
We stayed in a newly constructed forest rest house in Top Slip called Pillar Top — a delightful tree house perched high up on stilts and completely enveloped by teak in front and Karian Shola to the back. The images of Top Slip start with the peacock in the rain image.