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Thread: Trip Report on Manas, Assam - March 2016

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    Default Trip Report on Manas, Assam - March 2016

    Manas National Park Trip Report

    A day off from office resulted a long weekend on March last – due to combination of Holi & Good Friday. Like most others I took a break making most of the opportunity. Manas National Park has been in my wish list for long. Boarded 12345 Saraighat Express from Howrah. It was running smoothly & we got down at New Bongaigaon at 6.30am. Our Bansbari lodge sent one sumo to pick us up. Took a brief halt at Barpeta Road forest office to collect our permits to stay at Mathangudi Lodge which was pre-booked via phone. Just opposite to that office we saw a roadside eatery and quickly had our breakfast . Checked into Birna Tourist Lodge at Bansbari. After a brief birding session at opposite tea-garden we set set-off for the safari via gypsy. Next day morning some of my partners went for Elephant Safari and rest two of us went for brief walk trough trails of Bansbari. The walk turned out more fruitful in terms of sighting. We found one collared Rhino at a very short distance behind fence. After coming back for breakfast we took the gypsy to proceed towards Mathanguri. Overall we stayed one night at Bansbari and two nights on Mathanguri. Though I could get only the dormitory, later I found Lower Bunglow is much more appealing contrary to popular choice of Upper Bunglow available in several online forums/ reviews. We did two full day safari and two half day safaris on gypsy. Manas made my lifer list enriched with brilliant sighting of Bengal Florican male display , Rufous Necked & Wreathed Hornbill , Silver breasted broadbill, Slender billed Babbler, Swamp Francolin , Black Breasted Parrotbill etc. We could spot/hear and photograph the following bird species – [arranged alphabetically for common English names].
    Sl No Species
    1 Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)
    2 Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella)
    3 Asian Pied Starling (Gracupica contra)
    4 Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)
    5 Bengal Bushlark (Mirafra assamica)
    6 Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)
    7 Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
    8 Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
    9 Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
    10 Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)
    11 Black-backed Forktail (Enicurus immaculatus)
    12 Black-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornis flavirostris)
    13 Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus flaviventris)
    14 Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
    15 Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
    16 Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
    17 Blue-throated Barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus)
    18 Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus)
    19 Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus limnaeetus)
    20 Chestnut-backed Laughingthrush (Ianthocincla nuchalis)
    21 Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta cinnamoventris)
    22 Chestnut-capped Babbler (Timalia pileata)
    23 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
    24 Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnia malabarica)
    25 Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens)
    26 Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
    27 Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
    28 Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
    29 Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
    30 Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
    31 Common Woodshrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus)
    32 Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)
    33 Crested Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
    34 Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
    35 Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus)
    36 Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
    37 Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
    38 Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)
    39 Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
    40 Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis)
    41 Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis)
    42 Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
    43 Green Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula aenea)
    44 Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis)
    45 Grey-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos canicapillus)
    46 Grey-chinned Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris)
    47 Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
    48 Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
    49 Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
    50 Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
    51 Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata)
    52 Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
    53 Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus)
    54 Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)
    55 Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)
    56 Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)
    57 Lineated Barbet (Psilopogon lineatus)
    58 Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger)
    59 Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae)
    60 Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
    61 Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
    62 Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
    63 Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis)
    64 Oriental Pied-Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)
    65 Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)
    66 Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
    67 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
    68 Pied Harrier (Circus melanoleucos)
    69 Pin-tailed Pigeon (Treron apicauda)
    70 Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum minullum)
    71 Plumbeous Redstart (Phoenicurus fuliginosus)
    72 Red Collared-Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)
    73 Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
    74 Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)
    75 Red-headed Trogon (Harpactes erythrocephalus)
    76 Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
    77 Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
    78 Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)
    79 River Lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii)
    80 Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
    81 Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus)
    82 Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis)
    83 Rufous-necked Laughingthrush ( Ianthocincla ruficollis)
    84 Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus)
    85 Shikra (Accipiter badius)
    86 Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
    87 Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus)
    88 Slender-billed Babbler (Turdoides longirostris)
    89 Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus)
    90 Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
    91 Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)
    92 Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
    93 Streak-throated Woodpecker (Picus xanthopygaeus)
    94 Sultan Tit (Melanochlora sultanea)
    95 Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)
    96 Wedge-tailed Pigeon (Treron sphenurus)
    97 White/Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
    98 White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
    99 White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)
    100 White-tailed Rubythroat (Calliope pectoralis)
    101 White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)
    102 White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
    103 Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus)
    104 Yellow-eyed Babbler (Chrysomma sinense)
    105 Yellow-footed Pigeon (Treron phoenicopterus)

    We could spot the following mammals during our stay:
    1. Capped Langur
    2. Assamese Macaque
    3. Sambar Deer
    4. Eastern Hog Deer
    5. Indian Muntjac
    6. Gaur
    7. Wild Buffalo
    8. Asian Elephant
    9. Wild Boar
    10. Large Indian Civet
    11. Black Giant Squirrel and
    12. One Horned Rhino

    We were not lucky to encounter any wild cats but during our stay people had reportedly seen one big male Tiger, one Leopard and Black Panther.

    I was accompanied by Bird guide Rustom Basumatary of Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society. His knowledge and experience is highly appreciated.

    On return to New Bongaigaon, we took a brief turn towards Kakoijan and were lucky to find a small family of Golden Langur. If permission is granted I can post few images from the trip in subsequent posts.

    If you need more logistics information I shall put that in separate post.

    Cheers !
    Subhajit Chaudhuri


    Golden Langur
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 10-06-2016 at 02:13 PM. Reason: removed the spotted dear reference

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    very nice...I was there at that time too with a small group of birder!!..quite inspiring sighting of birds...Assamese Macaque is now very rare in central range..any photograph of it?

    One thing is very very surprising to me that you have mentioned...where did you see the spotted deer!!!!!!

    samrat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samrat Sarkar View Post
    very nice...I was there at that time too with a small group of birder!!..quite inspiring sighting of birds...Assamese Macaque is now very rare in central range..any photograph of it?

    One thing is very very surprising to me that you have mentioned...where did you see the spotted deer!!!!!!

    samrat
    Found Assamese Macaque on the bank of Manas river at Mathanguri, though on opposite bank. Quality of image will not be good. And two Spotted deer were seen on the way to Mathanguri but very near to bansbari gate. Will love to hear any special sighting of your too.

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    nothing much significant except mentioned in your list...GN Laughingthrush, WB Piculet may be added..for the last three years I have been visiting this amazing park..over 100 safari and enormous trek made including Chirang-Riphu side and Bhuniapara range of Manas...never seen a single Spotted Deer..if photograph is available to you, please share with Forest Dept (Mr. D D Boro) and MMES..they will be stunned!!!!!!

    samrat

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    Nice to read about your experiences. You can post the images of various species as reply to this thread.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samrat Sarkar View Post
    .never seen a single Spotted Deer..if photograph is available to you, please share with Forest Dept (Mr. D D Boro) and MMES..they will be stunned!!!!!!

    samrat
    My bad Samrat ! I sincerely apologise. Upon your comment I revisited the image folder and found that it was a hog deer only and the spot appeared from a bush in front of him. Really sorry for misleading. Need to amend the trip report. But can I edit that?

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    Few snaps of notable species :

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    Capped Langur

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    Default One Horned Rhino

    One of the relocated rhinos to Manas under Rhino Vision 2020 program. Found him at Bansbari area.
    Name:  IMG_9099-1.jpg
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    Default Black Giant Squirrel

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    Black Giant Squirrel

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    Default Great Hornbill - male

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    Great Hornbill (Male)

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    Both Subhajit Bhai and Samrat Bhai deserve deep appreciation for enlightening the members and viewers of our forum about the beauty and diversity of Manas Tiger Reserve. I consider myself fortunate to visit this paradise during early April, 1979 for 5/6 days. Amongst mammals, I had seen Elephant, Water Buffalo, Golden Langur (Bhutan side), Giant Squirrel, Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Pigmy Hog.

    I was told that there were a few Chital in Manas which was then considered to be the eastern-most range of the deer. After a decade or so I read that Chital were not breeding in Manas for some unknown reasons.

    Thanks for sharing,
    SaktiWild

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    Amazing sightings in just 2 days and four safaris. I hope some day I too will be able to visit this amazing place (hopefully in the near future ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Subhajit Chaudhuri View Post
    My bad Samrat ! I sincerely apologise. Upon your comment I revisited the image folder and found that it was a hog deer only and the spot appeared from a bush in front of him. Really sorry for misleading. Need to amend the trip report. But can I edit that?
    I have removed the reference of Spotted Deer from the Mammals list. Thanks for sharing the detailed report.

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    Thanks Subhajit for some superb images from the paradise of eastern Himalayan foothills..Kakoijan has become now a good place to see the Golden Langur.. The place is about 70 to 80KM away from Manas biosphere area..and more close to New Bongaigao..

    Thanks to Mrudul ji for editing the mammals list..the fact is that Spotted Deer is now completely absent within Manas area as respected Shakti da mentioned..it is going to be a subject of research for the people who is working on Manas...the reason behind the absence of chitals is still unknown...

    Thanks again subhajit and keep visiting the paradise..

    Samrat

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    Default Some more snaps

    Thank you so much Saktipada, Mrudul & Samrat for your words. Here I am adding some more snaps in subsequent posts.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Dust bath..

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    Default Bengal Florican

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    The Critically Endangered [IUCN redlist 2015] Bengal Florican [Houbaropsis bengalensis ] in its habitat. Manas continues to be last stronghold but still numbers are dwindling. I consider myself lucky to glimpse this rare male beauty doing "display" i.e the trademark jump to attract female.

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    Default A closer look on Bengal Florican

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    A high degree crop to have a closer look, though the picture quality is very poor. Felt the need of better glass bitterly then :-(

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    Amongst all the images I have developed an emotional attachment for the frame (4th.from the bottom) having mother elephant, baby elephant and the immature gaur and am pleased to see the comfort level of the sub-adult gaur (and of course the baby elephant) in a tiger habitat due to presence of female elephant. Thanks for sharing. SaktiWild

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saktipada Panigrahi View Post
    Amongst all the images I have developed an emotional attachment for the frame (4th.from the bottom) having mother elephant, baby elephant and the immature gaur and am pleased to see the comfort level of the sub-adult gaur (and of course the baby elephant) in a tiger habitat due to presence of female elephant. Thanks for sharing. SaktiWild
    Thank you Saktipada for your nice words.

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