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Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey for the folks with issues with tongue twisters, is about 60 km south of Kochi. In 2016, the Centre for Science and Environment rated Alappuzha as the cleanest town in India.

The last time I was here was eleven years ago for the world-famous Nehru Boat Race held in Punnamada Lake. A quick trivia on that one since we love using his name frequently these days.

In 1952, when Jawaharlal Nehru, visited Kerala, the people of Alleppey decided to give a special entertainment for their prestigious guest and conducted a snake boat race. Nehru got so excited by this event that he jumped into ‘Nadubhagam Chundan’ (a snake boat), ignoring the security officials. Due to this excitement of sailing in a snake boat, he donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race.

We were spending the weekend at Marari beach resort, spread across over 30 acres of land right next to the beach. Highly recommend this place for their service quality, food, and their well thought through huts for staying. If you are into birds and more, then you will have a surprise from Shibu Bhaskar, who is the naturalist at the property. Not only will Shibu take you to all the right spots for birds in the property, but if you are a keen birder he will also invite you to his home.

Wondering what that is all about? Well, over the last few years he’s converted his home into a mini forest. He’s grown plants and trees that attract not just close to 90 species of birds, but some interesting reptiles too. It’s just amazing how a single person can put together something as interesting as this. He’s not in favour of a lot of publicity as he doesn’t want to turn it into a tourist spot and disturb the habitat. Some of the close-ups shots in this post are from his place. I was leaving the day I went to his place, hence couldn’t do justice to all the interesting species around.

Managed to get 5 lifers though – Black-hooded Oriole, Black-naped Oriole, Barn Owl (hiding right above our hut), Jungle Owlet, and the rare Slaty-legged crake.

Pictures from this outing as follows.

Will kick-start with these adorable Spotted Owlets. They are far more active during the day than some of their cousins.

You get all three – White-throated, Common, and Stork-billed KFs in the property. And a whole lot of noisy Rufuos Treepies.

Orioles – Golden, Black-hooded, and Black-naped can be found on the same tree.

The shy Owls – Scops and Barn hiding above the huts.

I may have, just may have, switched my fav. owl to the Jungle Owlet. Super happy to have found this one.

Got some very good close-up shots of these usual suspects.

This looked like a young, (maybe even injured) large-billed crow.

The last lifer – a rare Slaty-legged Crake.

Some non-bird pics 🙂

A crazy (and sad) video that I managed to take on my phone, to end this post.

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