Central Bhutan,Eastern Bhutan,Southern Bhutan,Western Bhutan
Living the to the sobriquet ‘birding capital’ of the world possessing 800 bird species, species more than 925 found in North America- Bhutan takes serious responsibility to safeguard the thriving of bird species in Bhutan. Having 800 species of birds in Bhutan, 16 species are globally threatened.
In 10-20 days birding expedition, the tour package takes us to 22 birding areas across 11 districts in Bhutan. It will be a ritual to start early to spot birds at their pristine habitats and we will venture into the wild donning camouflage dresses.
- At 3100 meters in Do Chula mountain pass, we can spot six species of birds such as Spotted Laughing thrush, Fire-capped Tit, Yellow-bellied Flower picker, Satyr Tragopan, Rufuous-breasted Bush Robin, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler in April and May.
- At varying altitudes ranging from 1700 meters to 3200 meters in birding areas of Gasa birds like Ward’s Trogon, Lesser Shortwings, Black-tailed Crake, Grey-sided Laughing Thrush, Bush Robin, Firetail Myzornis, Purple Cochoa and Gold-naped Finch can be spotted in the months of April to early May.
- At 3050 meters in Phobjikha, a birders treat awaits to spot the seasonal-migratory birds- Black-Necked Crane in the months of winter in Bhutan.
- In the humid valleys of Samdrup Jongkhar at varying altitudes of 250 meters to 1700 meters, the area is home to species like Rufuous-necked Hornbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, Gold-naped Finch, Wreathed Hornbill, Violet Cuckoo, Pied Falconet and Greater Rufuous-breasted Parrotbill in the months of November to early May.
- In two places of Paro- Drugyel and Jangothang at 2580meters and 4090 meters, we will spot Tibetan Snowcock, Isisbill, Himalayan Griffon and Golden Eagle.
- Day 1 Arrival: Flagging off from the beautiful Paro valley, it is embraced by enchanting landscapes, cultural icons, and historical shrines. In the valley we will go to spot Grey-backed Shrike, Red-billed Chough, Large-billed Crow, Green-backed Tit, Russet Sparrow, Green Sandpiper, Rosy Pipit, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Black-throated Thrush and Hodgson’s Redstart, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous and White-capped Water-Redstarts, Siberian Stonechat, Grey Bushchat, Blue Whistling Thrush, Himalayan Wagtail, River Lapwing, Oriental Turtle Dove, Eurasian Hoopoe, Himalayan Black Bulbul.
- Day 2 Paro-Chelela-Thimphu: The tour takes us to the mountain pass- Chelela at 3780 meters, a haven of Himalayan Monal- one of the most beautiful bird in the world. In the same birding area we are bound to spot Grey-crested and Rufous-fronted Tits, Black-faced Laughingthrush, White-browed Fulvetta, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Buff-barred Warbler, Himalayan Red-flanked Bluetail (split from Northern), Blue-fronted Redstart, Himalayan White-browed and Dark-rumped Rosefinches, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Grey Nightjar, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted (or Eurasian) Nutcracker, Long-tailed Minivet, Coal, Blood Pheasant and Kalij Pheasant, Long-tailed Thrush, White-collared Blackbird, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Olive-backed Pipit, the huge Collared Grosbeak, White-winged Grosbeak. After spotting most of the birds, we make way to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. However, we will be camping in a mountain pass- Do Chula.
- Day 3 Thimphu-Dochula-Punakha: Waking up in Do Chula at 3100 meters amid the forests of hemlock, fir, rhododendron and oak trees against a backdrop of the mighty Himalayan peaks, we go ready to spot Hoary-throated Barwing, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Rufous-winged Fulvettas, Lemon-rumped and Ashy-throated Warblers, Whistler’s Warbler, Yellow-browed Tit, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Green-tailed Sunbird, Common Crossbill, Dark-breasted Rosefinch and Red-headed Bullfinch, Striated and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Rufous Sibia and Fire-tailed Myzornis. After a fruitful birding, towards evening, we will descend to Punakha at 1350 meters almost half of Do Chula.
- Day 4 Punakha: This sub-tropical valley harboring humid heat, we beat it as we take our birding expeditions to the riverside. On this birding area, we are to spot Crested Kingfisher, Great Cormorant, and Slaty-backed Forktail, Himalayan Cuckoo, Himalayan Swiftlet, House Swift, White-throated Kingfisher, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, and Black-throated Sunbird. We will also look for babblers including Rufous-capped Babbler, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Red-tailed and Blue-winged Minlas, Whiskered Yuhina and Nepal Fulvetta, Small Niltava, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Blyth’s Leaf, Green-crowned and Grey-hooded Warblers, Black-throated Tit, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Crested Serpent Eagle, Spotted Dove, White-bellied Heron, and Pallas’s Fish Eagle. Other species found in this area include Grey-headed Woodpecker, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, Maroon Oriole, Ashy and Hair-crested Drongos, Common Myna, Grey Treepie, Black-winged Cuckoo-Shrike, Mountain Bulbul, Ultramarine, Verditer and Grey-headed Flycatchers. Crowned by the imposing gigantic fortress and terraced paddy fields- the ancient capital of Bhutan creates a tranquil atmosphere to soak in the vibes of nature- to relax and rejuvenate.
- Day 5 Punakha-Phojikha: Heading to Phobjikha across the changing vegetation, our sport is quite adventurous. We also spot birds along the way till the valley of cranes. Chiefly the roosting ground of the Black-Necked Crane- we will spot other birds too. Right from the elusive Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, we also spot Fire-tailed Sunbird Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier, Blue-capped Rock Thrushes, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Indian Blue Robin, Grey-sided Bush Warbler, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Fork-tailed Swift, Chestnut-bellied and, and Hume’s Bush Warbler.
- Day 6 Phojikha-Bumthang: WInto the heart of spiritual Bhutan, eastbound, Bumthang is a valley of thousand plains. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. On the way we will have the sightings of Himalayan Wood Owl, the rare Wood Snipe, Alpine Accentor, White-browed Bush Robin, Great and Brown Parrotbills, Fulvous Parrotbill, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Spotted Forktail, and Speckled Woodpigeon.
- Day 7 Yongkala: Over a mountain pass- Thrumshing La at 3750 meters, the pass is home to high-altitude species Snow Pigeon, Spotted Laughing thrush, Golden Bush Robin, Rufous-vented Tit, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch Blood Pheasant, and Goldcrest.
- Days 8-11 Lingmethang Road: A five day’s birding sojourn in the nest of the birding capital- Lingmethang at an altitude of just 650 meters above the sea level having wide climatic and forest variations- the area is particularly rich in birds. The birding area is a delight to ornithologists. The area is home to Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Satyr Tragopan which is described as the “poster bird of the Himalayas”, Blue-fronted Robin, Yellow-throated Fulvetta and Grey-cheeked Warbler, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Rusty-fronted Barwing, White-naped Yuhinas, Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler, Bar-winged Wren-Babbler, Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler, Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, and Broad-billed Warbler. As many as hundreds of birds, some are: Yellow-bellied Fantail, Chestnut-headed and Grey-bellied Tesias, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Hill Prinia, Mountain Tailorbird, Large-billed Leaf, Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced Warblers, White-browed and Lesser Shortwings, White-tailed Robin, Grey-winged Blackbird, Yellow-cheeked Tit, White-tailed Nuthatch, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Oriental White-eye, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Crested Goshawk, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Common, Lesser and Drongo Cuckoos, the dazzling Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Asian Barred Owlet, Red-headed Trogon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Crimson-breasted and Bay Woodpeckers, Oriental Skylark, Nepal House Martin, Grey-chinned Minivet, Striated Bulbul, Streak-breasted and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, Scaly-breasted and Pygmy Wren-Babblers, Golden Babbler, Black-throated Parrotbill, White-crested, Grey-sided and Scaly Laughingthrushes, the near-endemic Bhutan Laughingthrush (split from Streaked), Red-billed Leiothrix, Cutia, White-browed and Black-eared Shrike-Babblers, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Black-chinned Yuhina, the stunning little Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Dark-sided, Little Pied, Blue-throated, Pygmy Blue and Pale Blue Flycatchers, the shy Sapphire Flycatcher, the secretive White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large and Rufous-bellied Niltavas, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch and Crimson-browed Finch.
- Day 12 Lingmethang-Bumthang: A day long’s journey will take us back to Bumthang.
- Day 13 Bumthang-Trongsa-Tingtibhi: The tour heads to the southern foothills, not to the last frontiers yet. We will first drive to Trongsa and then move onward to Zhemgang. Our camps will be pitched in Tingtibhi.
- Day 14-15 Tingtibhi: Cutting to the chase, over the two days we will be spotting various species of birds. Tingtibhi and places in its proximity are considered the best sites for birding. As long as it takes, we will be spotting as many as possible and the list goes Crested Bunting, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black Eagle, Emerald Dove, Bar-tailed Cuckoo-Dove, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Whistling Hawk-Cuckoo, Indian and Violet Cuckoos, White-throated Needletail, Blue-throated Barbet, Beautiful Nuthatch, Crimson Liocichla, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Silver-eared Mesia, Striated Yuhina, Long-tailed Sibia, Sultan Tit, Streaked Spiderhunter, , White-browed Piculet, Rufous Woodpecker, Long-tailed Broadbill, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Common Green Magpie, and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Scarlet Minivet, Red-vented, White-throated and Ashy Bulbuls, Bronzed Drongo, Long-tailed Shrike, Oriental Magpie Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Striated Prinia, Rufous-faced Warbler, Yellow-bellied Warbler, the superb Rufous-necked and Blue-winged Laughingthrushes, and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush.
- Day 16 Gelephu: Going southbound, deeper into the foothills getting warmer and humid, the chase for birds will be nothing less. As it is unexplored owing to the fact that tour operators in Bhutan are not birding-versed in these areas, our experts will let you rejoice in yet another birding paradise here in Gelephu. On our drive, we will be spotting Scarlet Finch and Brown Bullfinch.
- Day 17 Gelephu: The lower foothill bird is a joy to chase. We will not stop at anything, let alone heat and humidity or the scorching sun. We create our own melodramatic birding sojourn. Against the challenge presented by the nature, its fierce weather, we will venture out to explore birds like Common Iora, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Asian Fairy-Bluebird, Black-crested and Red-whiskered Bulbuls, Striped Tit-Babbler, Black-naped Monarch, Rufescent Prinia, Common Tailorbird, White-rumped Shama, Blue-eared Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Grey-capped Woodpecker, Large Woodshrike, , Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, , Common Hill Myna, Black-backed Forktail, Dark-rumped Swift, Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Plaintive and Banded Bay Cuckoos, Green-billed Malkoha, Dollarbird, Wreathed, Great and Oriental Pied Hornbills, and Crimson Sunbird. A half-baked story says that the Greater Hornbills I the region are so big that parents don’t send out infants alone for the Giants might take them away.
- Day 18 Guwahati (Assam, India): The final leg of our tour is outbound. We drive to the plains of India making as many stopovers time allows spotting the beautiful birds of India. The list is kept to few birds attributing to time constraint. En route we will capture and see Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Little Cormorant, Lesser Whistling Duck, Black and Black-eared Kites, White-rumped Vulture, the endangered Slender-billed Vulture, Grey-headed Swamphen, Bronze-winged Jacana, Red-wattled Lapwing, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Asian Palm Swift, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Indian Roller, Richard’s Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Striated Grassbird, Black-hooded Oriole, Black Drongo, Ashy Wood-Swallow, Asian Pied Starling, Eastern Cattle, Great, Intermediate and Little Egrets, Asian Openbill Indian Pond Heron, Jungle Myna, House Crow and Eastern Jungle Crow. By late afternoon, we reach Guwahati airport. We must bid goodbye to see another time, another bird. For the love of the beautiful creature, keep your passion alive, keep birding.