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”

Spiti Valley, including Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, September 2019: A trip report

Author: Ravi Kailas Breathtaking (a touch of altitude sickness induced pun intended), the apt adjective for my visit to the high altitude, the trans-Himalayan cold desert region of Spiti, in September last year. As is typical on my trips, the focus was on the region\’s wildlife and I had great hopes for plenty of HimalayanContinue reading “Spiti Valley, including Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, September 2019: A trip report”

Backyard birding in Chennai gets a fillip at this time of the year

 Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com) A couple of days ago, looking up towards the sky, around dusk, to see (mostly) flying foxes, parakeets, egrets and pigeons, from a mid-city Chennai terrace, a falcon, an unusual sight in these parts, zipped across overhead, snatched a small bird  (or bat), with its talons, (spectacularly) mid-flight, before disappearing fromContinue reading “Backyard birding in Chennai gets a fillip at this time of the year”

Himalayan Serow and Brown Wood Owl at Pangot: Report

Author: Ravi Kailas Dates: 7th to 9th June 2019 Himalayan Marten, among the highlight mammals of the trip A brief summer visit to Pangot (2000m) a tiny village surrounded by temperate broad-leaved forest in the Kumaon Himalayas, was productive for a sighting of the uncommonly seen Himalayan Serow, as well Himalayan Goral and Himalayan Marten,Continue reading “Himalayan Serow and Brown Wood Owl at Pangot: Report”

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”

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”