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Only a few kilometres from the hotel is an area containing several 7th century temples. The terrain is much the same as around the hotel.

View from Mamallapuram lighthouse

View from Mamallapuram lighthouse

The first temple we visited is very close to the beach. Here Black Kites wheeled overhead and one Green Bee-eater chased insects from a very low fence. Common Mynas were seen here as was a male Purple-rumped Sunbird, one Rufous Treepie, plus the usual House Crows and Black Drongos. Whilst I was watching the feeding bee-eater another bird landed next to it which turned out to be a Scaly-breasted Munia, looking a lot thinner and longer than shown in the books.

Around the higher and slightly inland temples I saw one Barn Swallow and about eight Red-rumped Swallows. Asian Palm Swifts were common, one Eurasian Kestrel sat on a rock outcrop and soon flew to chase off a Shikra. As I stood up at the lighthouse, looking down over the surrounding countryside, surprisingly a Red-necked Falcon flew past, a bird I hadn't considered possible to see here.

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