Lifers, Endemic birds and Lifetime Memories 

Sharing my blog of this beautiful Island

my journey to the andaman island

Andaman and Nicobar islands are on everyone's travel list. I too had a dream of visiting there someday. This year in March, we made a sudden plan of visiting Andaman island. The program was so unexpected that we booked our tickets merely 12-14 days ago. We visited them between 11th-15th March'2020.  

To read the complete blog and see some amazing images, I would request you to visit

In this blog, I am sharing my birding adventure from Andaman island. I will write a different blog related to family travel experience to these beautiful islands.  

Andaman & Nicobar has a total of 572 islands out of which 37 are inhabited. These islands have a tropical rainforest canopy which is very rich in bio-diversity. The Andaman Islands has close to 270 species of birds out of which, 20 are endemic. Doing bird photography in Andaman is a must for any bird lover. The beautiful beaches, the serene landscape, and the ship ride between islands make a memorable experience for any nature enthusiast. I visited there with my parents. Spending time with family was our main motive but being a wildlife photographer, somehow I managed time for it too. Who could wait to experience birding in Andaman?  

Visiting Sippy Ghat 

To explore the area ourselves, I and my mother went to Sippy ghat. She too loves birds and always supports me in wildlife photography. Sippy ghat has plenty of big water bodies. The presence of so many birds made my mom very happy. My first visit to this ghat proved successful as I captured a few birds like Pin-tailed Snipe, Andaman Cocal, White-bellied Sea eagle, and Lesser Whistling ducks, etc.

Meeting Shakti – The best birding guide in Andaman 

Birding heaven – Chidiya Tapu 

Shakti was available from 13th March onwards. That day, he picked me at 5:00 hours for the Chidiya Tapu. I was staying in Port Blair and it took us around an hour to reach Chidiya tapu from my location. Just like the name, this is a fantastic and well-known place for birding. This place is famous for its beautiful sunset as well. The journey to Chidiya Tapu was beautiful in itself. We were driving amidst the rain-forest. I told Shakti that Collared Kingfisher is a lifer for me. As he was very well aware of its area, he helped me in capturing the same.   

An evening with the Owls 

Our second day of birding too was very fruitful. We again visited Chidiya Tapu and clicked White Throated Kingfisher, Andaman shama, Andaman bulbul, Dollar bird, Brown Cocal and Brown shrike, etc. In Andaman, you can go for night birding as well. Here you can see 5 owls and an endemic nightjar. For me, it was not possible to capture any of them without Shakti’s help. Shakti asked me to wait for a while for the owls to come out.

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Andaman scops owl was the first to come out in the dark followed by Andaman Hawk owl. After capturing them, when we decided to move ahead, Shakti noticed that something crossed the car. We came out of the car and saw an Oriental Scops owl sitting almost next to the track. That owl too gave some beautiful shot. These nocturnal creatures are beautiful to see and photograph. Since I was on a family trip, I didn’t get much time to visit other birding places like Mount Harriet, Farar Ganj, Parrot and Havlock islands, etc.

Re-visit to the Sippy Ghat 

Conclusion Visiting Andaman is not an easy task. I covered just Andaman Island, that too not completely and I can say that it’s not very economical. However, the memories of seeing endemic species and photographing them will always cherish my mind. One should experience birding in Andaman whenever possible, though I recommend you to visit in a group of 3-4 photographers. It will help you in spotting a bird as well as saving money. Shakti is definitely the best guide you’ll ever connect with. You can ping him on Instagram to see his beautiful work or book a trip with him to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

To read the complete blog and see some amazing images, I would request you to visit

Hitesh Chawla

Interior Photography

"Pack your bag and go out. That's what I want to do. I am Hitesh Chawla, a nature lover, foodie, wildlife photographer.