Rusty Spotted Cat, Sloth Bear and more, Panna April 2022: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 23rd to 26th April 2022 A brief visit to Central India’s Panna NP, on the cusp of an early summer heat wave proved somewhat more productive (both in terms of abundance and diversity of wildlife) than envisaged, from a dry deciduous forest ecosystem in the peak of the dry season.Continue reading “Rusty Spotted Cat, Sloth Bear and more, Panna April 2022: Trip Report”

Bugun Liochicla, Hairy-footed Flying Squirrel, Arunachal Macaque and more: Eaglenest WLS Dec 2021

Author: Ravi Kailas Dates: 25th to 30th Dec 2021 This off-peak season to Eaglenest WLS in western Arunachal Pradesh, turned out duly interesting, with this globally acclaimed birding haven, oozing out its treasure trove of local specialities, including a duo from the only known population of Bugun Liochicla on Earth, the lovely Ward’s Trogon, BeautifulContinue reading “Bugun Liochicla, Hairy-footed Flying Squirrel, Arunachal Macaque and more: Eaglenest WLS Dec 2021”

Great Pied Hornbill and montane endemics, Nilgiris November 2021

Author: Ravi Kailas Dates: 3rd to 6th November 2021 A somewhat unplanned visit to the southeast corner of the Nilgiris, in what turned out to be one of the rainiest Novembers in the region, turned out interesting from a natural history perspective. The initial plan was to spend three nights close to Ooty and exploreContinue reading “Great Pied Hornbill and montane endemics, Nilgiris November 2021”

Indian Brown Mongoose and more, Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Valparai Area), Aug 2021: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 17th to 20th Aug 2021 Upto 7m of annual rainfall, much of it descending during the summer monsoon, is known to soak the Valparai region of Anamalai hills. As such, my recent visit to these hills in August, a month well within the summer Monsoon period, was accompanied by aContinue reading “Indian Brown Mongoose and more, Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Valparai Area), Aug 2021: Trip Report”

Sloth Bear, Indian Rock Python and more, Cauvery WLS, Aug 2021

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 5th to 7th Aug 2021 A brief visit to the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, a small protected areas along the Cauvery River in south India, turned out to be productive in unexpected ways, including for three different sightings of Sloth Bear, all with cubs, an Indian Rock Python with a bellyContinue reading “Sloth Bear, Indian Rock Python and more, Cauvery WLS, Aug 2021”

Birding (and more) in and around Mysore (Lingambudi Kere, Chamundi and Kabini), Feb 2021: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Lingambudhi Kere (23rd Feb 21, 0720 to 1020) This south Mysore lake, located amidst a newly developing area of an expanding city, has the richest bird diversity among the city’s ebird hotspots. Not surprising given that it is an oasis of relatively pristine wetland and forest habitat (with some excellent patchesContinue reading “Birding (and more) in and around Mysore (Lingambudi Kere, Chamundi and Kabini), Feb 2021: 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”

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, December 27th 2020: Trip Summary

Author: Ravi Kailas Pulicat is India’s second largest brackish lagoon and a wintering and staging ground for numerous waders and waterfowl that use the Central Asian Flyway, with records of globally significant bird species like Asian Dowitcher and Crab Plover known from here.  Common Greenshank Date: 27th December 2020 Having neglected birding around Chennai overContinue reading “Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, December 27th 2020: Trip Summary”

Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Valparai area), October 2019: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 15th to 18th October 2019 The Anamalai Hills is a repository of the immense biodiversity of the Western Ghats of south India.  Somewhat surprisingly, the disturbed, plantation-rainforest landscape in the Valparai area of these hills, located as it is, surrounded on all sides by protected areas, is one of the best placesContinue reading “Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Valparai area), October 2019: Trip Report”

Borneo, The land of dipterocarps, August 2014: A pictorial report

Author: Ravi Kailas Borneo, the Earth’s third largest island, and home to among its great rainforests, was high on my bucket list of places to visit, for its reputed natural history splendours. Happily I managed a foray in August 2014, to a tiny corner of the island, in the Sabah province of Malaysia and wasContinue reading “Borneo, The land of dipterocarps, August 2014: A pictorial report”