Archive for August 2015

Blast from past: Humpback Whale the Netherlands

August 31, 2015

Hi people,

I thought it would be nice to post this Youtube clip from Januari 2013. Humpback Whales are a very rare sight in the Netherlands. In one week it reached 30.000 views!

This is the included explanatory text:

What an experience! A solitary animal of at least 12 meters long (according to NIOZ) filmed on 12/01/2013 in the North Sea just west of Egmond aan Zee. Present since at least 20/12/2012 (confirmed with the help of photographic evidence). In the same area a mother and her calf are present since at least02/12/2012. Together with five friends I was attracted by reports on the internet. We saw somebody with a small boat returning to shore. They were surprised so have found a whale while at sea. De husband of the local bookshop was picking up his wife. And he decided, after our inquiry to join him, that only two of our group could board his boat. We followed the Humpback Whale for an hour or so (around 16:00), while the animal was foraging. Most of the time we stayed at a distance of 100 meters, but just before we decided to return to shore we closed in to about 30 meters. Because of the scar on this animal just behind its dorsal fin it was possible to identify it as the same animal that was seen at this same spot on 20/12/2012. Since 2003 Humpback Whales are reported more regularly on the Dutch shores, but only in very small annual numbers (1-5). It is reasonable to believe that these animals are from a population that migrates from the Cape Verde Islands in winter to the seas west of Norway in summer.

Best regads,

Pieter de Groot Boersma

New Report: Colombia

August 31, 2015

Some brief notes from Michael Kessler on a few species seen in Colombia this year.

Colombia, 2015: Michael Kessler’s short note on a few sites visited during a botanical expedition, with species including Andean White-eared Opposum, White-footed and Cotton-top Tamarin and Lemurine Night Monkey.


New Trip Report: Western USA

August 30, 2015

A mega report from Michael Kessler, who spent 6 weeks in the West this summer, racking up at very impressive 88 species, with some really rare ones to boot, including 2 of my 3 most wanted US mammals.

Western USA, 2015: Michael Kessler, 6 weeks & 88 species(!) including Spotted Bat, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, Long-tailed and Water Voles, Wolf and Long-tailed Weasel.


India/Bhutan trip report, Nov/Dec 2014

August 30, 2015

My husband and I made our first trip to India and Bhutan in Nov/Dec, 2014. Our primary interest was to observe and photograph tigers in the wild. We were also interested in other mammals, birds and some cultural sights.

Manas National Park, 2 ½ days. The jungle there is very thick, making it rather difficult to see wildlife. In addition the wildlife in the area took a severe beating during social unrest in Assam, particularly in the late 1980’s-1990’s. We saw Indian 1 horn rhino, elephant, barking deer, macaque, capped langur, water buffalo (said to be some of the purest, not inbred with domestic buffalo), sambar deer, gaur, wild boar, hog deer.

We stayed in the Musa lodge, very close to the park entrance. We found it very comfortable and the food was excellent, we recommend them.

Manas National Park

Manas National Park

Manas jungle

Indian rhino, Manas National Park

Indian rhino

Gaur, Manas National Park


Bhutan. Most of our time here was centered more on cultural sights. We did spend 3 days in Phobjeka valley watching/photographing black necked cranes.

Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, Punakha

Punakha Bhutan

Punakha Dzong

Taktsang monastery

Taktsang monastery

Yak, Bhutan
Yak (domesticated)

Himalayan mountains from airplane

Himalayan mountains
India part 2
After a week in Bhutan we returned to India. This part of our trip was organized by Manoj and Harsh Vardhan at IGT, Individual and Group Tours ( They were very helpful in planning the trip, arranging it exactly as we wanted, at a reasonable price. We will definitely contact IGT again if we decide to make another trip to India. I highly recommend them to anyone visiting India, but particularly to anyone interested in wildlife, mammals or birding.

Harsh guided us on a short tour of Delhi, showing us Humayu’s Tomb and several other places of interest. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. He is very involved in Indian wildlife, particularly birding ( He was also very knowledgeable about the cultural sights. We enjoyed spending the afternoon with him, he is a true asset to wildlife in India and it was a pleasure talking to him. We only talked to Manoj by telephone and email, but he was also very knowledgeable about wildlife in India. We felt IGT was very important in the success of our trip. We were particularly impressed with the drivers and guides they arranged for us. All were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

New Delhi and Agra, 1 ½ days. The main focus here was seeing the Taj Mahal. It is definitely worth a visit.

Humayun's tomb and gardens
Humayun’s tomb, Delhi

Agra Fort

The Red Fort, Agra

Susie and Bill at Taj Mahal in fog, Agra
Taj Mahal, Agra

Bandhavgarh National Park 2 ½ days.

The favorite part of our trip- finally tigers! We stayed at the Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge. Very comfortable, nice location right next to the park, excellent food, friendly staff, we recommend it. Our guide here was K D Kargeti, he was excellent. He was very enthused about spotting wildlife, very good at bird identification and all-around nice guy, a pleasure to spend time with.

We saw langur, sambar deer, spotted deer, barking deer and wild boar and logged over 50 species of birds. Our main effort was in looking for tigers. We were very fortunate to find a pair of tigers that were willing to spend their day near the road, giving us many photo opportunities! We spent several hours with them in the morning, we returned in the afternoon and had another hour with them (time spent in the park is strictly regulated, we were not allowed to stay inside the park all day). We took hundreds of photos and had a wonderful time!

KD and Bill in our Gypsy, Bandhavgarh
K D and Bill waiting for park to open

Gray langur, Bandhavgarh


Spotted deer, Bandhavgarh

Spotted deer

Rose-ringed parakeet, Bandhavgarh
Rose-ringed parakeet




Keoladeo National Park. 1 afternoon and 1 morning. Here we met another 1st rate guide, Satya Bhan (specifically lined up for us by IGT). Satya is an excellent birder, helping us identify about 100 species of birds in just an afternoon and a morning in Keoladeo. We really enjoyed our time with Satya, he was very happy and excited whenever he spotted a more unusual bird and that made it particularly fun for us. We had cloudy weather which was not good for photos, but we had a great time anyway. In addition to the birds, we saw Nilgai, golden jackal, great grey mongoose, spotted deer, macaque, wild boar and pythons.

Keoladeo- transport by foot, trishaw, bicycle only

Macaque, Keoladeo


nilgai, Keoladeo
A note about driving in India- DON’T DO IT! Traffic is crazy there. We generally drive ourselves on trips, but were very grateful we had experienced Indian drivers here. There are basically no rules- just a giant game of chicken!

N India

Every mode of transport uses the road

Delhi rush hour traffic, India

Traffic on the way to airport in New Delhi

camel cart, India

N India

N India
Vegetable displays were works of art!


When I think back about India, I remember the beautiful colors, friendly people and excellent food in addition to our wonderful experience with the tigers.

Posted 30 August 2015 by Susan Andelt

Location:  India, Bhutan

Possible Nabarlek

August 26, 2015

Hello mammal enthousiasts!

Here is a link to my film material of my possible Nabarlek, filmed in Kakadu National Park.

Hope it will clarify the species involved. It was solitary on the rocks and very small.

Best regards,

Pieter de Groot Boersma

new mammal finding guide coming for Australia

August 26, 2015

Out in December in UK, March of 2016 in US edition (which on Amazon will be about half the price it looks like) is “The Complete Guide to Finding Mammals in Australia” by David Andrew. US Amazon site has it posted, and in UK, I found it on NHBS, a very thorough book service that I use often. Supposedly it will be 432 pages.

I can’t imagine it will be as spunky as Mr. Dinets and the US site guide, but it’s unfair to judge until it is in hand.

Charles Hood, California

Mammals Trip Report Australia and a bit of New Zealand and New Caledonia.

August 25, 2015

Mammals Trip Report Australia

Hi people,

I just returned from a year travelling Australia. I worked for three months, visited New Zealand for a month and “lost” a month by visiting New Caledonia for 10 days and some other miscellaneous events. That makes 7 months of birding/mammalwatching in Australia (also looking for reptiles/fish/amphibians).

I used extensively so one can regard this as an update as well as a source of new info.

I also filmed a rock wallaby who could possibly turn out to be a Nabarlek, any help is much appreciated!


Best regards,

Pieter de Groot Boersma

Birder/naturalist by nature 😉

Visit this site for some mammals on video (most don’t work on a phone:

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