Trip Reports & More

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Western Ghats: Lion-tailed Macaque, Brown Palm Civet and other endemic mammals, a trip report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A brief, mammal watching oriented guided tour, with a focus on endemic primates, to the Anamalai mountains of the southern Western Ghats, produced all primates of the region (including Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur and Slender Loris), Brown Palm Civet and Nilgiri Tahr among 21 species of mammals. While birding was decidedlyContinue reading “Western Ghats: Lion-tailed Macaque, Brown Palm Civet and other endemic mammals, a trip report”

Stump-tailed Macaque, Golden Langur and other wildlife of Assam, Feb 2020: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A report based on a mammal-watching oriented guided trip (with a focus on Primates) to the lowland forests and floodplains of the Bramhaputra in Assam, northeast India. Mammal Highlights included superb species like Gee’s Golden Langur, Stump-tailed Macaque and Western Hoolock Gibbon among six species of primates, One-Horned Rhinoceros (aplenty) among largeContinue reading “Stump-tailed Macaque, Golden Langur and other wildlife of Assam, Feb 2020: Trip Report”

Great Indian Bustard, Grey Hypocolius, Desert Cat and other wildlife of Kutch & DNP: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A birdwatching oriented guided trip to the thorn forests and grasslands of Kutch, the salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch and the sandy Thar Desert of Rajasthan produced superb birds like Great Indian & MacQueen’s Bustards, Grey Hypocolius, White-naped Tit, Marshall’s Iora, Grey-necked and Black-headed Buntings, Laggar Falcon (amongContinue reading “Great Indian Bustard, Grey Hypocolius, Desert Cat and other wildlife of Kutch & DNP: Trip Report”

Report: Caracal! and other wildlife from Kutch, April 2019

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A report from a mammal watching oriented tour, with a specific goal to see/identify potential sites for the rarely seen, locally endangered (within India) Caracal, to Kutch (Western India) in April 2019.  Highlights included a sighting of Caracal (!), Leopard (a rarity in these parts), Jungle Cat, Indian Long-eared and Indian Hedgehogs and Indian Porcupine, among 17 species of mammals in 5Continue reading “Report: Caracal! and other wildlife from Kutch, April 2019”

Nilgiri Marten – two personal sighting records of the elusive mammal

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Why are there Martens in south India Six of the world’s seven species of Martens – reputedly pugnacious mammals, in the same family as weasels and otters (among other mid-sized carnivores) – have a largely Eurasian distribution, with one of their kind in the Americas. All species either occur in temperateContinue reading “Nilgiri Marten – two personal sighting records of the elusive mammal”

Striped Hyaena, Indian Wolf, Indian Fox and other wildlife of Gujarat, March 2020: Trip Report

Author & Naturalist: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A brief, mammal watching oriented guided tour to the salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch and the tropical grasslands of Velavadar produced carnivores galore – including Striped Hyaena, Indian Wolf, both foxes and Jungle Cat, most with pups/cubs, among the easier to see ungulates. In Velavadar, itContinue reading “Striped Hyaena, Indian Wolf, Indian Fox and other wildlife of Gujarat, March 2020: Trip Report”

Zeiss Victory Harpia 85, a brilliant spotting scope with smidgens of imperfection: Equipment Reviews

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Some favourable alignment in the heavens (I expect), and Zeiss India’s excellent customer service, had me in possession the Zeiss Victory Harpia 85mm, their absolute premium offering in their range of spotting scopes, for a few days recently. My expectations were high, given Zeiss’s reputation for making stellar optics for natureContinue reading “Zeiss Victory Harpia 85, a brilliant spotting scope with smidgens of imperfection: Equipment Reviews”

Report: Western Ghats endemic mammals, birds (and more), Spring 2018

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) This is a report based on a guided mammal/birdwatching oriented trip to various locations in the Western Ghats of south India this spring Dates: 25th March to 7th April 2018 (guided portion from 29th March onwards) Tour Locations: Kabini, Bandipur, Sethumadai/Top Slip, Parambikulam, Valparai, Chinnar, Munnar, Thattekad. Map of tour locations The trip wasContinue reading “Report: Western Ghats endemic mammals, birds (and more), Spring 2018”

Report: Mammals of the Anamalais (South India), Jan-Feb 2019

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) This report is based on a guided mammal watching oriented trip to the Anamalai mountains in the Western Ghats of south India Dates: 31st Jan to 3rd Feb 2019 Tour Locations: In and around the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, including Sethumadai, Top Slip and Valparai. Map of tour locations  Tour Participants: Stuart Chapman andContinue reading “Report: Mammals of the Anamalais (South India), Jan-Feb 2019”