Trip report North-East India

Hi everyone


Find attached our trip report from our trip to North-East India.

It was not the most productive trip we had when looking at the total of mammal species but it was a very memorable trip for us: We visited our Felis project, met great people, learned a lot from our project partner the Wildlife Trust of India, it was our first big trip with our 2 year old son and we were able to do part of the trip with fellow mammalwatcher Jens Hauser. Jens it was great to meet you!

The mammal highlight of this trip for us was a very surprising sighting of a Spotted Linsang in Eagles Nest. We are now very lucky to have seen both Linsang species 🙂



Report India 2023

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  • Jon Hall

    Oof Spotted Linsang! Did Sam see it too?

    • Manul

      I wish! He was fast asleep in my arms.
      If you think spotlighting and watching with the binoculars and / or photographing at the same time is hard… Doing this with a sleeping or worse an awake toddler in your arms is next level!

  • Jon Hall

    haha … I understand. Although I would generally drop my offspring on the ground (after checking briefly for scorpions) so I could focus better on anything I spotted.

  • Lennartv

    Nice and interesting report! Especially since I was recently in that region myself. I was curious though how you distinguished between Hodgons and Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel. I haven’t been able to find good field marks that set them apart. We saw plenty of flying squirrels at Eaglenest that we all wrote off as Bhutan Giant Flying, but I see you only report Hodgons from Eaglenest and even the two species together at Shergaon. According to the IUCN range map Eaglenest is not supposed to be in the range of Hodgons but it might very well not be quite accurate.

    Also very interesting that Eaglenest seems to produce quite a variety of mammals despite it being very low when you are there. The experience seems to be very different for every other mammalwatcher. You have reported mammals we haven’t seen and Stuart Chapman also reported mammals we haven’t seen. For sure an interesting place!

    • Manul

      Hi Lennart
      Yes, Eagle’s Nest is very interesting! Few mammals but each one can be a big surprise 🙂
      About the Squirrels… I also saw the other trip reports and strongly questioned our identification. We are no squirrel experts and cannot be 100% sure, but for the Hudson it’s actually very close to that. When we saw this squirrel we were together in the car with Vivek. A lot of things went wrong (Manuel’s binoculars broke and the squirrel flew away quite quickly) but if I remember correctly Vivek confirmed this species because of its size and because it had darkish spots. If Vivek identifies a species, we don’t question it 🙂

      • Antee

        With no binocular, inside a car and with only a brief glimpse of one gliding away I think it´s 100% impossible to distinguish Hodgon´s from Bhutan – flying squirrels.

        I mean, you can´t almost even do it with museum specimens.

        But as said, according to IUCN distribution map only Bhutan giant flying squirrels are in Eaglenest. Don´t know what that is worth though 🙂

        I also are very surprised about the Hairy-footed flying squirrels on the road during daytime??
        They are a nocturnal species and living in trees…

      • Lennartv

        Thanks for your explanation! I think it is impossible to safely use size tot distinguish between the two. They don’t differ that much, there is individual variation and size is quite difficult to judge accurately in the field. I would be interested in any other field marks. I have many pretty good to good pictures of the ones we saw so hopefully someone can safely ID them. We had one exceptionally good sighting which, if it is at all possible to distinguish the two in the field, should lead to a definitive determination. It was 5 meters away from us at eye level for a few minutes and very clearly visible.

        For sure a very interesting region to explore!

  • tomeslice

    Thank you for submitting this report!
    First of all – wow, spotted linsang! I think it’s a first for the mammal watching community in a trip report.

    Regarding Eagles nest – this place just keeps getting more interesting with each report that comes in. I agree that it sounds like each mammal watcher has a totally different experience there. Even though all mammal watchers visit around the same time in Mar-Apr.
    I must visit it in the near future!
    Also the other places you mentioned sounded interesting.

    • Yeye

      As you wrote, Eaglesnest is a really interesting place to visit, even if it is tough to spot anything with the dense forest and steep slopes on the sides. The best option is to have an open car or use a scooter.

  • John Archer

    We saw Spotted Linsang at Eaglesnest in March 2008, just above Bompu Camp. It was just off the road (wouldn’t have been visible from the road – we’d gone off the road after a calling owl) and about 15 metres up a tree. Seems like Eaglesnest might be a very good place for the species.

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