Tansa Forest walk with Jungle Buddies

Just like a Christmas ritual, this year as well Jungle Buddies hosted a Tansa forest walk tour on 25 Dec 2022. We arrived at the famous hotspot for Forest Owlet, the quarry pada area around 7.30 AM. After a small introduction about Tansa and the birdlife of Tansa, we started our search for the elusive forest owlet. Forest Owlet is an IUCN red-listed species that was considered extinct in the ’70s and was rediscovered in 1997 in the Melghat region of Maharashtra. The species was first seen in Tansa around 2014 by Sunil Laad and since then Tansa has been, one of the best places in India to photograph Forest Owlets.

As we walked towards the teak forest patch, we noticed an owlet perched high up in the tree, staring at us, on closer observation, it turned out to be a Forest Owlet. But sadly the light conditions were not in our favour and so was the bird, who also decided to take flight. After conducting more than 30+ tours over the past few years, I was very familiar with owlets’ behaviours and preferences. So based on that, we decided to explore a different patch, and in another 15 minutes, we were lucky to hear an owlet first and then spot the beauty, camouflaged well in teak leaves. After a few photographic opportunities, we left the bird undisturbed and moved to a trogon area. The trogon area was severely disturbed, as a lot of firewood collection activity was observed. However, still we managed to spot a female trogon, which hardly lasted for a few seconds and the bird flew in dense vegetation. With this, it was time to say goodbye to the beautiful forest of Tansa. We ended our tour with some happy memories and group photos.

eBird Checklist –https://ebird.org/checklist/S124557504

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