Birding in Bhutan

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Total Views:   841
20 Nights 21 Days
Availability : Any season
Tour Details:
Duration 20 nights and 21 days
Guide Knowledgeable birding guide with good command over English
Tour Highlights Birding in the beautiful forest and beautiful landscape
Tour Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival in Bhutan

Recevied by the local representative at Guwahati airport and transfer via car to Bhutan. The drive will be about 3 hrs through small shops, cycles, trucks over charged with people and thought the Assam tea garden. While on the way to Bhutan, we will try to see some of the birds like Indian Pond Heron, Cormorant, egrets, Ashy Drongo and Red-wattled Lapwing in roadside wetlands, with possible sightings of Small Pratincole, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Citrine Wagtail, and Rusty-rumped Warbler and Striated Grassbird. We may also find highly endangered species. After the immigration formalities, check in the hotel and free time in the town. Altitude 350m. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Southern foothills birds

We will be exploring the southern foothills forest covered with forest patches and small bamboos. In this area will find: Wreathed, Oriental Pied, Great Hornbills. Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Pin-Tailed Green Pigeon, Rufescent Prinia, Black-napped, Scarlet Minivet, Black-crested, Ashy and Blackbulbuls, Golden-Fronted leafbird, Bamboo-dwelling Yellow-bellied Warbler, White-rumped Shama, Sultan Tit, Asian Fairy-bluebird and Long-tailed Broadbill. Altitude 350m. Overnight hotel.

Day 3: In search of Beautiful Nuthatch

We will be targeting the following birds in the lowland forest, extremely rich and diverse; rare Dark-Rumped Swift, Pied Faconet, Jungle Babbler, large hawk cuckoo, Pin-tailed green pigeon, Wreathed and Great Hornbill and Puff-throated Babbler. As we leave behind the lowland and move towards the higher altitude, we will look for birds like Long-tailed Sibia, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Common Green Magpie, Silver-eared Mesia, and several species of cuckoos. In the evening we will look for one of the rare bird in Bhutan, the Beautiful Nuthatch. Altitude 1710m. Overnight Camp.

Day 4: Hornbills and Black Eagle

Depending upon our result last night, we may go back to the same spot to look for the beautiful Nuthatch. As we head towards Trashigang, we will make numerous stops to look for the birds and will spot the birds like Rufous-necked Hornbill, Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Long-tailed Broadbill with other possibilities such as Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle and species of yuhinas. Altitude 1200m. Overnight Hotel.

Day 5: Little Forktail and Large Niltava

While en route to Yongkola via Mongar, we will stop at Kori La 1800m and try to spot the birds like Steak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-winged Blackbird, Hoary-throated Barwing, Long-tailed and Short-billed Minivets, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler and Spotted Wren-Babbler in the forest rich in mosses. After lunch, stop at Lingmithang wet subtropical forest, one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas. We bird these lush forested valleys in search of shortwings, Black-headed Shrike-Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, barbets, Golden Bush Robin, Chestnut-breasted Partridge and many other rare species alongside Little Forktail, Large Niltava, Russet Bush-Warbler, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Violet Cuckoo and Rufous-faced Warbler. Altitude 700m. Overnight camp.

Day 6: The birder’s Paradise

Here we will spend on birding for two full days along incredible 80 km long road, ranked amongst the top ten birding sites in the world, with waterfalls and ravines appearing around every bend. We will search for such area that has specialties likeWedge-billed Wren-Babbler, Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler, Spotted Wren-Babbler, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, flocks of parrotbills, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Scarlet Finch, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Lesser and White-browed Shortwings and many more. Altitude 700m. Overnight camp.

Day 7: In search of more species

We will do more birding in the same area and try to see some targeted birds; we might had missed on day 6. Altitude 700m. Overnight camp.

Day 8: High Altitude Birds

The highlight of day would be to target some high altitude species including Blood Pheasant and Satyr Tragopan. The dense conifers forest hold many good species such as Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Bar-winged Wren-Babbler, Red-headed Bullfinch, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Gold-naped Finch and Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler. We move our campsite near the pastureland to spot for thrushes easily. Altitude 3000m. Overnight camp.

Day 9: Blood Pheasant

Drive towards Bumthang crossing over the high pass of Thrumshing La 3800m. This area is the major habitat for Blood Pheasant and other high altitude species such as Snow Pigeon, Orange-flanked Bush-Robin, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Great Parrotbill, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Grey-crested and Coal Tits and White-browed Fulvetta. If the luck is with us, we may encounter with one of the most colorful pheasants of them all, the Himalayan Monal. In the evening continue towards Bumthang crossing over the Ura village, through beautiful pine forest covered with prayer flags. Altitude 2500m. Overnight hotel.

Day 10: The Tower of Trongsa

As we drive through some of the beautiful villages know for its woolen textiles, there will lot of stops on the way to watch some common house birds.

We will also spot the birds like Brown Parrotbill, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch. As we cross the high pass of Yotongla 3425m, keep your eyes open for migrant Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Mountain Hawk-Eagle overhead, White-browed and Golden Bush Robins, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Alpine Accentor and White-winged Grosbeak. After lunch in Trongsa, visit the tower of Trongsa. This newly consecrated museum gives a glimpse of Bhutan in the last 100 years of monarchy’s legacy with the two galleries. Visit Trongsa Dzong. This castle like dzong is the ancestrol home for the Royal family of Bhutan. First king before to the throne as king of Bhutan, he have to be the chief of this dzong. At present also we have tradition that any king of Bhutan before to the throne, the king have to receive the title as chief of Trongsa dzong. Altitude 1800m. Overnight hotel.

Day 11: Golden Langur

We will make numerous stops in the forested valley and try to see birds like Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike, prinias, Rufous Woodpecker, Blue–bearded Bee-eater, Spot-winged Starling, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel and various minivets. We will also not forget Golden Langur, type of monkey epidemic to Bhutan. Altitude 800m. Overnight camp.

Day 12: Great Hornbill and Cutia

Another hotspot for birds with wide variety of habitats varying from mossy forest to streamside lowland forest, we will more of Golden Langur. We also go in search of Chestnut-headed Rufous-necked and Great Hornbills, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Cutia, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Scarlet Minivet, various laughingthrushes, woodpeckers, and Grey-bellied Tesias, Spotted Wren-Babbler, and there is another chance to see Beautiful Nuthatch. Altitude 800m. Overnight camp.

Day 13: Woodpeckers and spotted Wren – Babbler

Since this area is a hotspot for birds, we will spend another day to out for more birds and also to see the birds that we might have missed the other day. Altitude 800m. Overnight camp.

Day 14: The valley of the Rare Black Necked Cranes

While on the way back we stop at countless birding sites, in search for species that we might have missed during our earlier bird watching. After lunch in Trongsa, drive towards the beautiful Phobjikha valley, wintering ground for the rare Black-necked Cranes. Altitude 2900m. Overnight hotel.

Day 15: Himalayen Griffon and White – bellied Heron

After an early breakfast, drive to the Pele la 3420m and spend the morning hours bird watching along the old road for high altitude species such as Himalayan Griffon, Himalayan Monal, Spotted Laughingthrush, , Brown Parrotbill, and various finches and bush-warblers. Later, as we descend towards the low valley of Wangduephodrang and Punakha, we will spot Ward’s Trogon, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide and mixed species flocks.

In the evening, bird watching along the Pho Chu valley looking for one of our main targeted and rare bird, White-bellied Heron, there are only about 200 left in the world. We might see other birds like Common and Crested Kingfisher and the enigmatic Ibisbill. Altitude 1200m. Overnight hotel.

Day 16: nside the biggest National Park

We will spend our morning inside Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park by bird watching along the Phochu river. We will find birds like Red-headed Trogon, Slaty-bellied and Grey-bellied Tesia, Small and Ruofus-bellied Niltavas,Chesnut-crowned,Red-vented and Mountain Bulbuls, Bhutan laughingthrushes, Bay woodpecker,white-throated and many more. Altitude 1200m. Overnight hotel.

Day 17: Over the most beautiful Pass

Before heading to Thimphu, visit Punakha Dzong (Fortress), built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. From far, it resembles a giant ship, rocked on a mass of still water as it is built at the confluence of two rivers – the Pho (male) and Mo (Female) rivers. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now been fully restored in its original splendor. The Fortress contains some of the most sacred and significant religious relics of the nation. Drive towards Thimphu over the Dochula pass (3150m) one of the most beautiful passes decorated with 108 stupas. On a clear day, spectacular view over the whole eastern Himalayan ranges. Altitude 2300m. Overnight hotel.

Day 18: Birding around the Meditation Centre

After breakfast, drive north of Thimphu and hike to the Cheri meditation centre. During the hike we may have the chances to spot Chestnut–crowned and White-throated Laughingthrushes, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Wallcreeper, Brown Dipper and White-collared Blackbird. Altitude 2250m. Overnight hotel.

Day 19: Birding at the Highest Pass

Early morning head towads alpine meadow of Cheli La pass at 3988m. We will have the chance to see three different species of pheasants that includes Himalayan Monal, flocks of Blood Pheasants, and Kalij Pheasant and many rosefinches, grosbeaks and laughingthrushes.

After lunch, we will do some cultural sightseeing by visiting Paro dzong and the kyichu monastery. Evening free time in the town. Altitude 2250m. Overnight hotel.

Day 20: Excurssion to Taktshang Monastry(Tiger)

A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without going to Paro Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair), one of the most sanctified and sacred temples in Bhutan.

Our journey to the Lair will begin after half an hour drive to the base of the temple. It is a five hour round trip along an old trail, with prayer flags fluttering. Taktshang is not just a sacred place, but also an architectural wonder. Perched some 1000 meters on a hill overlooking a valley, it is believed that the great Indian Saint and Budddhist Master, Guru Padma Sambhava flew on a tigress in a wrathful form to this place in 746 AD, to subdue evil forces who were obstructing the spread of Buddhism. The trek, which will take about five hours (up and down) is an unforgettable one and promises every visitor an enthralling experience. Altitude 2250m.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 21: Departure

Transfer to airport for departure.