Bhutan Trekking Tour
 
 

Bhutan Bird Watching Tour

20 Nights - 21 Days of Bird Watching Package

Bhutan Bird Watching TourAbout 22% of Bhutan’s total land area is designated as national parks, nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas. These protected areas sustain hundreds of bird species. To date 675 bird species have been sighted in Bhutan, including 14 that are identified as globally threatened by Bird Life International. The threatened species include the Rufous-necked Hornbill, which inhabits the southern foothills, the Black-Necked Crane which migrates to Bhutan from Tibet in winter, and the Tragopan Blythii. Bhutan has 114 temperate forest species of birds alone.

FLORA and FAUNA of Bhutan

Being the natural garden of Sandalwoods, over 300 species of medicinal herbs and 52 species of rhododendron, amongst thousands of other's Bhutan was known as the the Land of Medicinal Herbs. Located on the junction of two major bio-geographical realms with 72.5 percent forest-cover, favoured by extreme variations in climate and altitude, the globe today celebrates it as a Top Ten Hot Spots for its bio-diversity.  There are as of record 165 kinds of mammals like the Greater One-horned Rhinocerous, Snow Leopard and Golden Langur and more than 5,400 plant species.

Itinerary

Day 01 – Arrive Kathmandu: Arrival, you will be received by tour manager and escorted to your hotel in Kathmandu. Our tour manager will give you pre-tour briefing. Rest of time is leisure

Day 02 – Kathmandu: After breakfast, visit monkey temple (Swayambhunath Temple), Patan, Baudda sputa and Pasupati temple. Over night at Hotel.

Day 03 – Fly from Kathmandu to Paru: The flight from Kathmandu to Paro offers fascinating views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest. On arrival you will be received by your guide and escorted to your hotel in Paro. In the evening visit Paro town, stroll through its quaint two streets and browse through the shops. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.

Bhutan Bird Watching TourDay 04 – Paro - Thimphu via Chele La Pass: Begin the birding adventure today. Drive up early to the Chelela pass to catch the elusive Himalayan Monal, the amazing Blood Pheasant, and the most sought after of all pheasants, the mythical Satyr’s Tragopan. After breakfast at Chelela, drive to the capital, Thimphu.  On the return drive, there will be opportunities to run into Kalij Pheasants, White-winged Grosbeak, White-browed Rose finch, Spotted Nutcracker, Rufous Sibia, White-browed Fulvetta, Brown Parrot bill, Stripe-throated Yuhina and various Eurasian warblers. Before calling it a day, take a short trip to downtown Thimphu where we usually see Ibisbill, River Lapwing, Ruddy Shelduck, and assorted shorebirds along the riverbed. Night halt at hotel, Thimphu

Day 05 - CHERI VALLEY: After early breakfast we drive to the north of the capital to Cheri, a quiet Buddhist retreat that is also the home of various species of birds. The river banks at Cheri are the haunts of Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Rufous-bellied woodpecker, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Blue fronted Red starts, Rufous flanked, yellow brown Tit, and Blacked faced Laughing thrushes, Wallcreeper and many others. Lunch will be served at the location. Night halt at Riverview hotel, Thimphu

Day 06 – Thimphu to Punakha via Dochu La: Leave Thimphu early to reach the Dochu La pass (3,150m) in time for sunrise. On a clear day, the scenery from Dochula is breathtaking: we can get a full view of the mightiest peaks of the Himalayas towering along the northern horizon.
Today is an excellent opportunity to see pheasant species like the Satyr’s Tragopan and a host of mixed species that dwell in the cool broadleaf forests. En route to Punakha, espy the Red-flanked Bluetail and Golden Bush-Robin, Grey Bushchat and Rufous-breasted Accentor. Identify the Blue-winged, Red-tailed and Chestnut-tailed Minlas, Rufus-winged, White-browed and Nepal Fulvetta and Whiskered, Stripe-throated, Rufus-vented, Black-chinned and White-bellied Yuhinas. It is possible to see both Barwings plus a good selection of Laughing Thrushes before Punakha.
After lunch, take a short trip to the temple of the “Divine Mad Man”. The temple is famous today for its miraculous powers to bestow fertility to barren women. From the temple, walk to the Phochu banks to look for the endangered Pallas’ Fish-Eagle and the world-renowned White-bellied Heron. Night halt at Hotel.

Day 07 – Tashithang: Drive northwards to Tashithang, a thickly forested base for Bhutan’s extremely challenging northern trek routes. Here, at an elevation of 5,000 feet above the sea level, comb for species such as Crested Kingfisher, Lesser Shortwing, Greater Yellownape, Bay Woodpecker, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Little and Slaty-backed Forktail, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Golden Tree-Babbler, Striated and Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Black-eared Shrike-Babbler, tesias, Golden-spectacled and Broad-billed Warbler, Small Niltava and Black-throated Tits. Also, if lucky, spot a pair or two of Yellow-throated Martins and flocks of Assamese Macaques or the extremely rare Twany Fishing Owl. This area is known for its excellent hawk watching spots.
After lunch, retrace the journey to the imposing Punakha Dzong, a massive 17th century fortress that was the seat of the Bhutanese government until the 1950s. Night halt at Hotel.

Day 08 - Punakha to Pele La: Get another go at spotting the White-bellied Heron during an excursion along the river and up through a forest of cool broadleaf and evergreen trees to Pele-la, the pass that divides eastern and western Bhutan. The diverse habitats along the way should present numerous prospects of seeing a great range of species such as Cutia, Great Barbet, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Long-tailed Minivet, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, White-throated Laughingthrush, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Yellow-bellied Bush-Warbler, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler, and Verditer. Ward’s Trogon is usually sighted along this road. Night halt at a camp in Pele-la

Day 09 – Pele La to Trongsa: It should be another day of great birding prospects. Scour the slopes of the campsite for the Himalayan Bear, Black Leopard, White-collared Blackbird, the Himalayan Monal, Black-faced Laughing Thrush and White-tailed Nuthatch. Chances of seeing tragopans are high as it is the bird’s breeding season. In the pine forests around the pass look for Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Dark Rose finch, Himalayan Greenfinch and Rufus-vented, Grey-crested, Green-backed Tits, Common Buzzard, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Himalayan Griffon.
Finally, move on to the interior town of Trongsa through cool broadleaf forests where it is highly likely that you will come across Red-billed Leiothrix, Yellow-billed Blue-Magpie and Gray-sided Bush-Warbler. Night halt at Trongsa.

Day 10 – Trongsa to Shemgang: Drive deep into the interior of an area known as the Black Mountain National Park, via the town of Zhemgang and finally to Tingtibhi, the night halts. The path cuts through dense jungles that contain a plethora of wildlife species like the Black-Eagle, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Speckled Piculet, Lesser Yellownape, and the Golden Langur (a strikingly beautiful monkey species that is found only in Bhutan). Flowers and fruiting trees that attract sunbirds will be plentiful enroot along the descent to the lowest elevation. This entire region is very rich in wildfire and has thus been declared as a protected area by the Bhutanese government.
Night halt in camp at Tingtibhi (2000 feet)

Day 11 – Zhemgang Road: Start birding early. Breakfast and lunch will be served at birding points in the forests. The bamboo groves around Tingtibhi are usually the haunts of Lesser Rufus-headed Parrot bills and Streaked Laughing thrushes while the fruiting trees attract Golden-throated Barbets, Wedge-tailed and Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon and Scarlet Minivets. This area is also the best chance of encountering the Rufus-necked Hornbill. Chances are you will see flocks of Yellow-bellied and White-throated Fantail and other species like yuhinas, minlas, fulvettas and sibias. 
Night halt in camp at Tingtibi

Day12 – Zhemgang to Trongsa: Return to Trongsa today and en route look for birds that may not have been seen earlier.  Expect to see the Mountain-Imperial Pigeon, Golden-throated Barbet, Great-pied Hornbill, White-browed Piculet, Nepal House-Martin, Fulvous-breasted, Grey-capped, Gray-headed Green Woodpeckers, laughing thrushes, White-throated, Greater Neck laced, Rufus-chinned, Blue-winged and Red-faced Liocichla. Beautiful Nuthatch is another species found in this region.
Night halt at Trongsa

Day 13– Trongsa to Bumthang: A relaxed trip waits to Bumthang, the next night’s halt, just about 67 kilometers away. The aim here should be to spot the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, then climb the Yotongla Pass and enter the forests of spruce and fir abruptly changing the avifauna. The Bumthang valley, one of the most beautiful in the country, is home to Beautiful Rose finch, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Spotted Laughingthrush, Ibisbill and Snow Pigeon. The Himalayan Black Bear is commonly spotted in this valley.
After lunch in Bumthang, explore the valley in the afternoon visiting, among others, the textile shops, the Jakar Dzong (fortress), ancient monasteries, the local brewery, and a stupa under which, legend has it, lies the severed head of a Tibetan General who tried to invade Bhutan. Night halt at Bumthang.

Day 14 – Bumthang to Sengor: Early drive eastwards. Cross a pass and enter the Ura valley for a stop to visit the village. The URA locality is not only beautiful but has plenty of bird species. After the stopover, climb up to the Thrumsing La pass (12,400’), the highest point on of the journey, and then begin a long descent to Sengor.Night halt in tent at Sengor.

Day 15, 16 and 17 Limithang Road camping: The next three days should be the highlights of the tour, scouring the Limithang valley for birds. The Limithang area, situated at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 12,400 feet, boasts some of the country’s most pristine forests, unrivalled in the density of tree species, and thus is a natural haven for birds. The endless stretches of forests, the quaint villages and a sleepy road which winds through the valley are all frequented by flocks after flocks of birds of all shades that make the entire area a visual delight for bird lovers. Here we have the greatest chance of seeing famous Bhutanese birds that may have been missed elsewhere during the trip like the Rufus-necked Hornbill, Ward’s Trogon, Satyr Tragopan and endless others.
The objective here is to track down, among others, the Collared Scops-Owl, Collared Owlet, Himalayan Swiftlet, Striated, Black-crested, White-cheeked, Red-vented, Ashy, Black and Mountain Bulbuls, Golden-breasted and Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Slender-billed Rusty-cheeked, Streak-breasted, and Coral-billed Scimitar-Babblers, Hill and Rufecent Prinia, Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher, Common Tailorbird, Ashy, Bronzed, Lesser Racquet-tailed and Hair-crested Dorangos, and Scarlet Finch.

Day 18 – Limithang to Bumthang: From this day on, retrace the journey back to western Bhutan , the airport and eventually the flight home. It doesn’t however mean that no new birds will be added to the sighting list. Night halt at Bumthang.

Day 19 – Bumthang to Wangdiphodrang: Night Halt at Wangdiphodrang.

Day 20 - Wangdiphodrang - Paro: Night halt at Paro

Day 21– Paro - Kathmandu
Representative of Mission Eco Trek will bid you farewell. TASHI DELEK

Short Info

Mission Eco Trek has been organizing Trekking and tour in Bhutan since many years. We Specialize in the Bhutan Bird Watching Tour. On our Bhutan Bird Watching Tour, the entire group treks led by our highly experienced guide. All the food on the Bhutan Bird Watching Tour provided. We stay in hotel or in tents on the Bhutan Bird Watching Tour. The Bhutan Bird Watching Tour takes 15 days, with some time in Kathmandu.

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