Comet Neowise from a Chennai terrace

Author: Ravi Kailas The barely discernible Comet Neowise in the only image I managed to capture, before the clouds took over An unusually (relatively speaking) clear July sky over Chennai (13N 80 E) yesterday evening (21/07/2020), prompted me to drag my behemoth 8″ Dobsonian telescope onto the terrace, to enjoy the spectacles that the summerContinue reading “Comet Neowise from a Chennai terrace”

Manas NP, Assam: A Trip Report from a visit in December 2019

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 11th to 15th December 2019 What was meant to be a very brief visit to Manas last December, turned out longer, thanks to the intricacies of India’s vibrant democracy and politics. I could have, after 2 nights here, travelled as planned though, to Kakoijana Reserve Forest, then onward to Kaziranga NPContinue reading “Manas NP, Assam: A Trip Report from a visit in December 2019”

Lesser Frigate Bird and colourful reefs, Phi Phi Islands, January 2020: Trip Summary

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Dates: 21st to 24th January 2020 One magical morning looking from Phi Phi Don, looking towards Phi Leh Report A brief holiday in the Phi Phi Islands (off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea) with some incidental birding (inevitably!) and snorkelling, has proven worthy enough for a shortContinue reading “Lesser Frigate Bird and colourful reefs, Phi Phi Islands, January 2020: Trip Summary”

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”

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”

Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher in the backyard: A Record

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Peeking out of the window this morning, on the usual reflex to check the fruiting Peepal tree in the vicinity, found this welcome addition to the mix of activity – a Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher, a winter visitor from the Himalayas/passage migrant through the Chennai area. This obliging individual (typical of itsContinue reading “Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher in the backyard: A Record”

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”

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”

Great Indian Bustard and more at Desert National Park, winter 2019: Trip Report

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) Travelling to the extremities of a country as large as India always produces birds (and other wildlife) that are regional specialists – either as an extreme of their global range or local endemics. The Thar Desert, in the extreme northwest of India, is one such location, with a handful birds thatContinue reading “Great Indian Bustard and more at Desert National Park, winter 2019: Trip Report”

Report: Birds and wildlife of Maguri Beel, Dihing Patkai and Namdapha, March 2019

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A birding tour to the famed wetland/Terai grassland of Maguri Beel (Dibru-Saikhowa NP), Dihing Patkai WS (among the last remaining lowland evergreen forest in NE India) and the biodiverse, but troubled Namdapha NP in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas revealed some fantastic species including, Red-headed Trogon, White-crowned Forktail, Sapphire Flycatcher, PaleContinue reading “Report: Birds and wildlife of Maguri Beel, Dihing Patkai and Namdapha, March 2019”