Zuari River and Cotigao

Background:
Drive to the Sahyadris
The Drive
23 Jan 2017: Day 23 (Surla – Cortalim – Cotigao)
We reached the Cortalim Jetty sharp at 0700 Hrs and finished off our breakfast while we waited for Mrs. Kamat. She soon arrived and introduced us to Frankie, the guide-cum- boatman for the morning. Other guests came shortly and we commenced our boat ride into the river Zuari.
The whole trip was well orchestrated kicking off with the sighting of White-bellied Sea Eagle followed by Greater Crested and Lesser Crested Terns and then a Peregrine Falcon.


Frankie then steered the boat towards the Mangroves and it was not long before a Collared Kingfisher was sighted. The rest of the time was spent drifting along the many channels and backwaters in search of the Black-capped kingfisher, but in vain.


However, we did spot birds like Brahminy Kite, Common Moorhen, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Wooly-necked Stork, Eurasian Curlew, Terek Sandpiper, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Wire-tailed Swallow, Western Reef Egret, Striated Heron and a roosting Black-crowned Night Heron.


After the boat ride, we proceeded to Cotigao reaching the “Hidden Farm Cottage” by mid afternoon and after a bit of sleep, went on a hike in the adjoining forest. We could hear the birds everywhere, but well hidden in the dense canopy. Some of the birds spotted included Malabar Grey Hornbill, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Asian Fairy Bluebird and our second sighting of a Malabar Trogon pair. We also got some unobstructed views of an Indian Giant Squirrel.


24 Jan 2017: Day 24 (Cotigao and around)
We spent early morning walking along a stream close to where we were staying, however there was no new bird sighting and we soon returned to our room and finished off the remaining laundry.
In the evening, we took a break from our usual schedule and went to the Galgibag Beach, our first beach outing in Goa. The beach turned out to be beautiful, calm and serene and we sat mesmerized listening to the sounds of the ocean waves while watching the sun go down, an apt way to wrap up our Goa trip!!!


Zuari River Boat Ride: The boat ride needs to be pre-booked by calling up Mrs. Kamat at +91 98 22 127 936. The ride is well managed and is a great way to appreciate Goa’s mangrove habitat.
Hidden Farm Cottage: Not many birders come this way but this is an excellent place to stay and explore Cotigao. Rooms are basic, but clean. Netty, the owner is am amazing baker. She baked some of the best tasting muffins for us and we also relished on the waffles and the pancakes she served us for breakfast.
Contact Details:
Phone: +91 988 177 89 18, +91 99 22 022 456
email: hiddenfarmcottage(at)yahoo(dot)com


Please feel free to ask us any question that you may have about our time at Goa. Also, stay tuned for details on the next leg of our road trip.
Travel safe..

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