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EagleNest Wildlife Sanctuary, is in Western Arunachal Pradesh. Named after the Kameng river which drains the basin of Gori Chen and Kangto peaks, this region is spread below the Himalayan watershed on the borders with Tibet in the North and Bhutan in the West. The topography is truly amazing, rising from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam through tangled ridges at elevations of around 1500 meters to 7080 meters on the watershed of the Himalayas.
The biggest advantage of Eagle’s Nest (expected to provide the bulk of the star species) over other montane forests of Arunachal is a jeep track which cuts right through its heart from the pass at 2800 meters down to the flood plains of Assam at 100 meters – its easy access, excellent forest and wide altitudinal range is a unique combination for Arunachal.
The contiguous forests, Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary, Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary (in Assam) and the surrounding blocks of reserve forests, encompassing over 2500 sq.km and 3400m in altitude, form one of the largest protected regions of Arunachal. This east Himalayan area is located close to the Bhutan border in western Arunachal. We will be visiting the EagleNest (mid altitude: 800-2800m) and some higher altitude (3000-4000m) localities further north below the Sela Pass. This visit to a high-altitude area and we look forward to augmenting the species list with birds of fir, rhododendron scrub and alpine meadows.
Some of the specialty birds which can be seen are: Rufous-bellied Hawk-eagle, Northern Goshawk, Pied Falconet, Common Hill- partridge, Temminck’s Tragopan, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Tawny Wood Owl, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Ward’s Trogon, Golden-throated Barbet, Crimson-breasted Pied Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Grey-chinned Minivet, Rufous-bellied Bulbul, Maroon-backed Accentor, Eye-browed Thrush, Fea’s Thrush, Gould’s Shortwing, White-browed Shortwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Little Forkail, Golden Bush Robin, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Purple Cochoa, Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Scaly Laughing-thrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Red-faced & Bugun’s Liocichla, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Various Wren Babblers (Wedge-billed, Bar-winged, Pygmy, Spotted, Rufous-throated and Scaly-breasted), Gold-headed Babbler, Cutia, Rufous-bellied Shrike Babbler, Green Shrike Babbler, White-hooded Babbler, Red-tailed Minla, Various Tit Babblers, Fulvettas (Golden-breasted, Brown-throated, and Yellow-throated), Three Sibias (Beautiful, and Rufous-backed), Various Yuhinas (Black-chinned, Rufous-vented and White-naped), Fire-tailed Myzornis, Six Parrotbills (Greater and Lesser Rufous-headed, Brown, Grey- headed and Fulvous-fronted), Mountain Tailorbird, three Tesias (Chestnut-headed, Grey-bellied and Slaty-bellied), Various Flycatcher Warblers (Broad-billed, White-spectacled, Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced), Four Niltavas (including Vivid and Large), Thirteen Flycatchers (including. White-gorgeted), Rufous-bellied and Grey-crested Tit, Sultan Tit, Beautiful Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Mrs. Gould’s and Fire-tailed Sunbird, Gold-naped Blackfinch, Brown Bullfinch.
Being comparatively wetter and colder than its neighbours in the North of India, it is unique in its own right. From lush green coniferous forests to bamboo thickets, from limestone caves to undulating waterfalls, from miles of hilly croplands to jungles, its diversity is exhilarating for every visitor.