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Birdwatching Tour Itinerary (Wildlife)
Duration : 15 Nights / 16 Days
Destinations : Paro - Thimphu – Punakha – Wangdue – Trongsa – Shemgang – Tingtibi - Trongsa – Jakar - Yonkola – Mongar – Trashigang - Samdrup Jhongkar - Guwahati
Bhutan is a major birding destination. Over 670 bird species thrive in the location, making it a perfect base for birdwatching in the country. With its undisturbed flora and fauna, Bhutan offers a rich birdwatching experience.
You will arrive and the picturesque Paro International Airport where BhutanTravelAgency.com's travel representative and trip guide will greet you with a traditional Bhutanese welcome ceremony and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch we will go birding along the banks of the Paro Chu river and continue onwards to the Drukgyel Dzhong. En-route you will encounter the Ibis Bill, Black Faced Laughing Thrush, Brown Dipper, Spotted Laughing Thrush, the Fire-capped Tit etc.
Day 2: Paro - Thimphu
In the morning, drive to the Chele La Pass which is located at an altitude of 3950 meter above sea level. After a 90 minute drive to the pass we will go bird watching in to the coniferous forests of the area, popular birds in the are include Kalij pheasant, blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan etc. Later we will drive down to the capital of country Thimphu our over night stop for this leg of the trip. En route you will get to see many Cormorants along the river bank.
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha
After a filling breakfast we will drive up to the Dochu La pass from where one can see a panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. We will take a short hike into the mixed coniferous forests in the area and may get to spot the Satyr Tragopon, Spotted Nutcracker, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Yellow Billed Magpie, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Collared Blackbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Bullfinch etc. After lunch we will continue birding in the upper regions of the Punakha and Wangdue valley before calling it a day at a camp setup along the banks of the Mo Chhu River.
Day 4: Punakha
Today we will go birding the the warm forests along the banks of the Mo Chu river, where we will be looking to find; White Bellied Herons, Great Barbet, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Osprey, River Lapwing Ruddy Shelduck, the European Wigeon, Kingfisher, Bulbuls etc. We will spend the night at a Traditional Bhutanese hotel near Wangdue
Day 5: Wangdue - Trongsa
Today we will drive down to Trongsa along a road that will take you through a a warm broad leaved forest. We will be driving by the Black Mountains up to the Pele La pass at 3400 meters above sea level. Today list of birds we will be on the lookout for include; Scarlet Finch, White-throat-ed Laughing Thrush, Eurasian Jay, Verditer Flycatcher and a variety of exoctic pigeon species. During the winter months we will also visit the Phobjikha Valley to spot the rare Tibetan Black Necked Cranes that come to roost in the valley. Over night stay at a local Bhutanese hotel.
Day 6: Trongsa-Shemgang-Tingtibi
The district of Trongsa is located in the centre of Bhutan and is home to some of the most magnificent and imposing Dzhongs in the country. Today we will drive down to Yeshi Zam in the south with to hope of catching a glimpse of the Yellow-Rumped Honey guide amongst others, en route to our campsite, at Shemgang you might also catch a glimpse at the beautiful Nuthatch Bird. Overnight camping near Tingtibi
Day 7: Shemgang / Tingtibi
We will drive along the Gonphu road to go birding in some of Bhutan's rarely visited broad leaf forests. We hope to find some interesting animals like the Golden Langur, Yellow throated martin, Giant Squirrel etc, we also hope to spot the Rufous-Necked Hornbill, Blue Throated bee- eater, Collared Falconet etc.
Day 8: Shemgang - Trongsa
After our to day long excursion into the Trongsa Valley we shall retrace our route back to the town of Trongsa where we will take some time out and visit the Trongsa Dzhong, the largest of its kind in Bhutan. Today the Dzhong is home to the district administration and district monastic council. We will also visit the the Dzhongs watch tower which houses a museum dedicated to the Kings of Bhutan.
Day 9: Trongsa - Jakar
Today we will undertake a 3 hour drive to Jakar via the Yotong La pass which is at an altitude of almost 3500 meters. En route we stop and the village of Zugney in the Chumey valley, the village is famous for its Yathra fabric. The Yahtra is a color full wool weave, whose pattern is native to central Bhutan. We will take the opportunity to visit a few shops in the village, where you may be able to see how they dye the wool using natural dyes. We will also take a hike through the bamboo and coniferous forests of the Valley in the search of the Great Parrotbill, Black billed Magpie, Red Billed Chough, Eurasian Hobby and the White - winged Grosbeak. You may also get to spot the Red Panda, an animal that is frequently sighted along the road. Over night stay at a traditional Bhutanese hotel.
Day 10: Jakar - Yonkola
To we will drive towards eastern Bhutan via the Thrumshingla pass along the diverse and unique landscape of the Thrushmingla National Park. As we drive along we will have the chance to spot ;the Beautiful Rosefinch, Gold-Naped Finch, Little fork-tail, White-capped Redstart, the Coal Tit, Green- Tailed Sunbird etc. You will have a very high chance of spotting the Red Panda in the dense bamboo forest between Ura and Thrumshing La pass.
Overnight stay at a Camp in the forest.
Day 11 : Yonkola
In the morning we will go to Namling, Namling is considered as the best bird watching loaction in all of Bhutan and many avid bird watchers spend weeks in the area. The forests along Namling are virtually unexplored. here you can hope to spot ; Ward's Rrogon, Satyr Tragopan, Grey chinned Minivet Chestnut Breasted Partridge amongst a host of other birds
Day 12 : Yonkola - Mongar
En route to Mongar we will go birding in the sub tropical forestsof Lingmithang, where we have a chance to encounter the Blue Throated Bee-eater, Maroon Oriole, Racket Tailed Drongo, Red headed Trogon, Grey Treepie, Grey Nightjar, Hill Prinia, the Asian emerald Cuckoo amongst a host of exotic birds that are native to the area. We will reach the town early in the evening and you will have the rest of the day at leisure to walk around town. Overnight stay at a tradition Bhutanese hotel.
Day 13: Mongar- Trashigang
En-route to Trashigang we will take a short diversion along a feeder road at Kori La Pass to go birding in the areas surrounding the pass. After arriving at Trashingang you have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town and visit the nearby Dzhong.
Day 14: Trashigang- Morong
We will now start our journey southwards along a tight cliff hugging road that leads to Morong. Along the way you will have one last chance to see rare birds such as the Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous Necked Hornbill and the Sultan Tit.
Overnight in a camp.
Day 15: Morong - Samdrup Khongkar
We will continue our journey further south towards the border town of Samdrup Jhongkar which will the our final stop for this tour. Along the way we might be able to catch a glimpse of rare birds such as the Voilet Cuckoo, Blyth's Kingfisher and the Dark Rumped Swift. Over night stay in Local Bhutanese hotel.
Day 16 Samdrup Jhongkar - Guahati
After a hearty breakfast we will tranfer you to the Airport at Gauahati from where you can catcha flight to Delhi or Kolkatta. We hope you had a great trip and take some fond memories that will last you a lifetime.