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Bhutan Birding Tour-1

 

Duration: 14 nights & 15 days
Place Coverd : Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Phobjhika-Trongsa-Jakar-Lingmethang Road-Bhumthang
Best Season: October to March

 

Day 1: Delhi-Paro-Thimphu
Meals: dinner
This morning you depart on Druk Airlines flight KB203 at 11:30 AM arriving into Paro at 15:05 PM. On this flight you’ll be flying by eight of the ten tallest peak of the world. Upon arrival at the new Paro International Airport you will be required to pay $20 visa fee. You will be met by your guide. The birders will drive east through an enchanting valley with its decorated shingle-roofed houses and willow-fringed river. Red-billed chough is quite common in this valley. Stop to search for ibisbill and brown dipper. You will spend the night at Thimphu, Bhutan ‘s capital – at the Hotel River View.

 

Day 2: Thimphu-Dochu la-Punakha
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Today birders will head east out of Thimphu, up onto the western slopes of Dochu la, the first of a series of high altitude road passes. Entering the pristine mixed forests of hemlock, fir, oak, magnolias, and rhododendron one would see a wealth of birds including some species rich feeding flocks. Nutcrackers are common and other highlights may include a hill partridge or satyr tragopan, golden bush robin, cutia, brown parrotbill or even fire-tailed myzornis. We’ll venture off road on to a couple of trails that enable us to explore the forest more thoroughly. The night will be spent near Punakha in Meri Puensum Resort.

 

Day 3 & 4: Punakha
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Spending three nights at a traditionally decorated hotel near Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan , the birders will have ample time to explore the braided channels of Mo Chu river and the bird-rich subtropical forests it contains. The route will take you past the Punakha Dzong. You may see an impressive array of species including the white-bellied heron, one of Bhutan ‘s specialties. We are sure to encounter several parties of brightly coloured minivets, noisy striated laughingthrushes and may also see more red -headed trogon, and wedge-tailed pigeon, wait to be discovered. Fire -capped tit breeds here, as does white-gorgeted flycatcher and rare yellow -vented warbler. We will also search for variety of skulkers including white-browed shortwing, spotted and pygmy wren-babblers and all three species of tesia. The night will be spent near Punakha in Meri Puensum Resort.

 

Day 5: Punakha-Gangtey Gompa
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Continuing east, past Wangdue Dzong (a monastery and fortress combined), the birders will make a series of brief stops to scan the braided river channel. One can look for Pallas’ Gull and Pallas’ Fish Eagle here. You also check forest edges and explore some of the small patches of cultivation. You will enter productive forest near the end of our journey and will stop here to look for species such as blood pheasant, satyr tragopan or majestic Himalayan monal. Spotted laughingthrush, yellowish-bellied bush warbler, rusty -flanked treecreeper, and white-winged grosbeak also occur here. We will also make a proper search for ward’s trogon, perhaps Bhutan ‘s premier avian prize, before heading on to our superbly situated, guesthouse next to Gangtey Gompa.

 

Day 6: Gangtey Gompa–Trongsa
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Leaving Gangtey, the birders will follow the twisting road over the Pelela Pass and into Central Bhutan. A stand of bamboo extend for about three miles below the pass and you will search here for specialties such as great and brown parrotbills, and golden-breasted fulvetta, surely one of the world’s most attractive passerines. Night Trongsa at the Sherublig Lodge.

 

Day 7: Trongsa–Jakar
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
From Trongsa, birders will initially head south. The main target is the rare and little known yellow-rumped honeyguide but one should see a number of other species including emerald dove, large niltava, and russet bush warbler. The valley here is also good area for the rare Golden Langur (monkey). Retracing the route you will climb over a pass into the first four valleys and rolling hillsides covered in spruce and fir and the avifauna alters equally abruptly. Nutcrackers can be common, though you will have to spend little more time searching for beautiful rosefinches. Night in Jakar at Mepham Guest House.

 

Day 8: Jakar-Lingmethang Road
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Continuing east you will climb across the Thrumsingla, at 12,465ft is Bhutan ‘s highest road pass. The road then plunges dramatically down into rich semitropical rain forest. This is Lingmethang road, perhaps Asia ‘s premier birding road. Many of Bhutan’s most sought-after birds can be found here including chestnut-breasted partridge, ward’s trogon, the majestic rufous-necked hornbill, blue-napped pitta, blue-fronted robin, and wedge-billed and bar-winged wren babblers. 3 nights in modern tents, meals cooked and served by local support staff.

 

Day 9 & 10: Lingmethang Road
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
In two days of exploring the fabulous, lush primary forests in search of the area’s specialties you will also include a special area where rufous-necked hornbill roost during the middle of the day. Some of the rare species are slender-billed and coral-billed scimitar babblers, scaly and blue-winged laughingthrushes, greater rufous-headed parrotbill, broad-billed warbler and rufous-throated wren babbler.

 

Day 11: Lingmethang Road-Bumthang
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Today retrace your way back to Bumthang across the Thrumsingla pass checking the places that were missed. Overnight Guest House.

 

Day 12: Bumthang
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Full day in Bumthang to explore the cultural sites and do some of the best walking trips through the farms, cattle and farmhouses. MephamGuestHouse.

 

Day 13: Jakar-Thimphu
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Early drive to Thimphu across the passes Yotongla, Pelela, and finally across Dochula and on to Thimphu , the capital city. Hotel River View.

 

Day 14: Thimphu-Paro
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
You will have a morning of cultural activities that may include visits to the Stupa Memorial [for the third King], Handicrafts Emporium and weekend vegetable market. In the afternoon depart for Paro in time to visit the National Museum housed in the ancient watchtower for Paro dzong and walk in the city of Paro. Olathang Hotel.

 

Day 15: Paro-Delhi
Today you depart on Druk Airlines flight KB202 at 7:30 AM arriving Delhi at 10:30 AM. Please have $10.00 per person for departure tax.