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Junglelore Birding Lodge

All India Bird Watching Tours

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Black Necked Crane Tour – Ladakh


Duration: 14 nights & 15 days
Place Coverd :Delhi – Leh – Rumbak Valley – Puga – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Leh – Delhi
Best Season: May – Sseptember
Grade: Moderate


This tour is meant for birders who are in good physical health and can walk in high altitude area. The treks and walks are moderate in nature. The bird species are special trans-Himalayan species while a lot of them are Palearctic. The scenery is spectacular. The area around the Indus river is green and the rest is a cold desert. Ladakh is also known for its Monasteries. The monasteries of Ladakh are what give the region its unique flavor and beauty. Typically, most gompas are built so that they perch precariously on lone rocks or craggy mountain-faces.

In this tour we encourage traditional village based homestays, where you can see the traditional way of life and sample ladakhi food.


Day 1: Arrive Delhi


Day 2: Delhi – Leh (3,500 m) – By early morning flight
After an early breakfast you are transferred to the domestic airport
for your flight to Ladakh. This is one of the most sensational flights
in the world. On a clear day from one side of the aircraft you can see
in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and on the
other side of the aircraft, so close that you feel you could reach out
and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif.


Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel. You would take a
little time to settle in and acclimatize since you have gone from a
relatively low elevation in New Delhi to over 11,000 feet! The
afternoon will be spent in the vicinity of you accommodation for
acclimatization and some birding.  Overnight in a hotel.


Day 3: Surrounding area of Leh
Today morning we will bird along Shey marshes. One can expect common
rosefinch, Hume’s lesser white-throat, blue rock thrush, Eurasian
hobby, common coot, booted eagle, blue throat, common tern, Hume’s
short-toed lark, plain mountain finch, rock bunting, mountain
chiffchaff, citrine and grey wagtail etc. Afternoon visit to Trisul
Lake for red-crested pochard, northern pintail, common teal, tufted
duck, little grebe, garganey etc. Overnight in a hotel.


Day 4: Surrounding area of Leh
Today morning we will bird at Thiksey. One can expect to see golden
oriole, long-tailed shrike, blue-whistling thrush, Eurasian cuckoo,
common rosefinch, hill pigeon etc. Afternoon we will visit the Stok
Palace and then carry on to Hemis. Here we can expect Tibetan
snowfinch, Eurasian crag martin, northern house martin, lammergeier,
white wagtail, fire-fronted serin, plain mountain finch, blue sheep
etc. Overnight in a hotel.


Day 5: Leh – Khardung La (18,380 ft) – By Surface / 49 km / Approx 2 ½ hrs
Today morning we will be going on an excursion to bird at Khardung La.
We will be reaching a height of 18380 ft, the highest motorable pass
in the world. One can expect winter wren, brown dipper, robin & alpine
accentor, Himalayan snowcock, Brandt’s mountain finch, great
rosefinch, white-winged redstart, yellow-billed chough etc. The
Mammals we could see will be Himalayan marmot, mouse hare, wooly hare,
and blue sheep. Afternoon is free to discover the riches of this
exotic destination with a visit to Leh town. Overnight in a hotel.


Day 6: Leh – Zingchan – By Surface / Approx 1 hr – Rumbak (12,540 ft)- Trek / Approx 5 hrs
Drive to Zingchan in the morning. Trek to Rumbak for birding. Full day
birding in Rumbak Valley. One can expect golden eagle, Himalayan
griffon, Tibetan snowfinch, chukar, fire-fronted serin,
sulphur-bellied warbler, white-throated dipper etc. Overnight stay in
a tented camp or in a home stay (promoted by Snow Leopard


Day 7 – 8: Rumbak
Full day birding around Rumbak Valley. One can see brown & robin
accentor, tickell’s leaf warbler, streaked rosefinch, Tibetan
snowfinch, chukar, common & fork-tailed swift, red-billed chough,
Himalayan snowcock, fire-fronted serin, twite etc. One can also expect
to see blue sheep, Red fox and the elusive snow leopard. Overnight
stay in a tented camp or in a home stay (promoted by Snow Leopard


Day 9: Rumbak – Zingchan – Trek / Approx 3 ½ hrs – Leh – By Surface / Approx 1 hr
Morning birding in Rumbak Valley. Trek to Zingchan. Check the forest
patch at Zingchan for unusual species such as rusty-tailed flycatcher,
grey bushchat etc. Travel to Leh for overnight stay in a hotel.


Day 10: Leh – Puga (14,520 ft) – By Surface / Approx 5 ½ hrs
We will spend the day travelling to Puga stopping en route for birding
at Chumathang. One can expect to see golden eagle, common merganser,
Ibisbill, horned lark etc. Check the stream at Puga emerging out of
sulphur spring for black-necked crane, brown-headed gull, ruddy
shelduck etc. Overnight stay in a tented camp at Puga.


Day 11: Puga – Across Namshang La (15,840 ft) – Thadsang Karu (15,246 ft) – Tso Moriri (14,916 ft) – Puga

Morning excursion to the lakes for ruddy shelduck, bar-headed goose,
ruff, lesser sand plover, white-winged black tern, long-legged buzzard
etc. Black-necked crane is big a possibility too. Spend the evening
near the camp checking the stream, rock faces and bushes for Eurasian
eagle-owl, white-winged redstart, robin accentor, Asian house martin,
white-throated dipper, lammergeier etc. Overnight stay in a tented
camp at Puga.


Day 12: Puga – Across Polo Konga (16,236 ft) – Tso Kar (14,949 ft) -By Surface / Approx 2 ½ hrs
Travel to Tso Kar in the morning across Polo Kongka Pass. One can see
large flocks of Brandt’s mountain finch. As you enter the lake area,
you may see black-necked crane, common redshank, lots of other
shorebirds and waterfowl. Tibetan wild ass, marmot, Stolizka’s
mountain vole are mammal species that are seen commonly. Explore the
area for little owl, Tibetan sandgrouse, plain-backed snowfinch etc.
Horned lark, Hume’s short-toed lark and Tibetan snowfinch are some of
the common birds here. Afternoon visit to fresh water lake for avocet,
breeding colony of crested grebe, ruddy shelduck etc. Black-necked
crane is a possibility too. Overnight stay in tented camp at Tso Kar.


Day 13: Tso Kar – Across Taklang La (17,358 ft) – Leh – By Surface / 140 km / Approx 4 hrs
After morning birding at Tso Kar, travel to Leh via Tanglang La
stopping en route for birding. Arrive Leh in the afternoon. Afternoon
at leisure. Overnight stay in a hotel.


Day 14: Leh – Delhi – By morning flight


Day 15: Departure Delhi
Extensions available for Lahul & Spiti
Please let us know the number of people travelling on this tour and we
will send you the total cost. We also specialize in customizing the
tour. Should you need any changes we would be happy to modify the