Day 01: Flight into Paro. Birding along the Pa Chhu.
Day 02: Drive to Chele La, 3,822m for Pheasants. Afternoon drive to Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha. Birding at Dochu La, Lampelri Botanical Park and Punakha.
Day 04: Tashithang excursion. Birding at JDW National Park, Punakha Dzong and drive along Pho Chhu for White-bellied Heron.
Day 05: Punakha to Trongsa. Birding along lower Pele La, 3,390m.
Day 06: Trongsa to Shemgang, birding along Shemgang road. CAMP
Day 07: Shemgang to Tingtibi. Birding at Wangduegang and Dakphai Road. CAMP
Day 08: Birding in and around sub-tropical forests of Tingtibi. CAMP
Day 09: Tingtibi to Trongsa via Shemgang by pass, (130kms).
Day 10: Trongsa to Bumthang. Bird along Yotong La, 3,425m and PM cultural visits.
Day 11: Bumthang to Sengor. Birding along Thrumshing La road.
Day 12 and 13: Two full days in and around Yongkola, one of the top ten birding hotspots in all of Asia.
Day 14: Yongkola to Trashigang, birding at Kore La 2,298m, (139kms).
Day 15: Trashigang to Morong, Birding en-route. CAMP
Day 16: Morong to Samdrup Jongkhar, (40kms of good birding).
Day 17: Birding in and around the tropical forests of Samdrup Jongkhar.
Day 18: Drive to Guwahati Airport (approx 110kms, 3.5 hrs) for flights to Delhi/Calcutta.
Day 01: Fly to Paro, Bhutan and birding along Paro River.
This morning we take the Druk Air/Bhutan Airlines flight to Paro, Bhutan where we should have good views of the Himalayas, including many of the highest mountains in the world. After clearing customs and immigration, you will be met by your Bhutanese hosts and from there drive to our attractive hotel Olathang.
We will stop by the Pa Chhu, where camouflaged amongst the glacial stones, Himalayan riverine species such as the Ibisbill can be seen as it dips in the snowmelt, searching for food. In this area we should also find: Pied Wagtail; White-capped Redstart; Blue Whistling Thrush; the Plumbeous and White-capped water redstarts; Oriental Turtle Dove and Common Hoopoe; Crested Goshawk; Eurasian Kestrel; Brown Dipper; White-collared Blackbird; Long-tailed and Gray-backed shrikes; Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes; Brown Parrotbill; Chestnut-tailed Minla; Common Kestrel; Eurasian Tree and Russet sparrows.
Northward migration will be underway and many of the valleys throughout Bhutan act as important conduits; therefore, it is possible that we may see species not yet recorded in Bhutan.
NIGHT: Hotel Olathang, Paro, (2,300m).
Day 02: Paro to Chele La and drive to Thimphu.
An early morning departure for our journey up through ancient pine and fir forests to Chele La Pass (3,822m), where there are fantastic views of the high Himalayan peaks of Jhomolhari (7,219m), Jichu Drake (6,989m) and down into the Paro and Ha valleys. Chele La gives us the opportunity to ascend above the tree line into alpine meadows and dwarf rhododendron scrub; here we have the possibility of finding the beautiful Himalayan Monal. We should also encounter: Blood Pheasant; Kalij Pheasant; Spotted Laughingthrush; Collard Grosbeak; Blue-fronted Redstart; Fire-tailed Sunbird; Orange-flanked Bush Robin; Rufous-breasted and Alpine accentors and the beautifully coloured White-browed Rosefinch.
After a hot breakfast cooked by our chefs we will continue birding in this beautiful area before gradually making our way back to Paro and continue an hour drive to Thimphu. The route follows the Willow fringed Pa Chhu river and passes through forests of blue pine. Some of the best birding can be found at the sewage treatment plant where we should encounter migrant species such as: Tufted Duck; Ferruginous Pochard; Eurasian Wigeon; Ruddy Shelduck; Northern Pintail; Garganey and Northern Shoveler.
NIGHT: Riverview Hotel, Thimphu, (2,300m).
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha over Dochu La at 3,116m
Today we must leave very early in order to see the Himalayas as dawn breaks over Dochu La Pass (3,116m). This is an awe-inspiring sight; the road is festooned with prayer flags and 108 chortens, celebrating the safe return of the fourth king from a threatened invasion. At the pass we will have breakfast and you can spend time looking at the Bhutanese Himalayas from this advantage point.
In Bhutan’s high elevation and the mixed evergreen and broad-leafed forests, there is an incredible wide range of birds, mammals, and flowering plants. Here it is possible to see species such as: Fire-tailed Myzornis; Mrs. Gould’s and Green-tailed sunbirds; Lemon-rumped Warbler; Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and Green Shrike Babbler around the beautiful blossoms of the rhododendron bushes; Olive-backed Pipit; Gold-billed Magpie; Plain-backed Thrush and the Hill Partridge and as we descend from the pass we may encounter: Mountain Hawk Eagle; Eurasian Treecreeper; Golden Bush-Robin; and the rare Ward’s Trogon.
Soon it will be time to continue down through the sub-tropical forests around Punakha where there are cactus, poinsettia and banana plants, then down to the green terraced fields of Punakha.
Punakha Dzong sits on a promontory that juts between the crystal-clear waters of the Mo Chhu (female) and Pho Chhu (male), which merge into the Puna Tsang Chhu. This relatively open habitat is home to the Crested Kingfisher and the rare White-bellied Heron (the world’s second largest and the least known); Pallas’s Fish Eagle and many migrant water birds.
NIGHT: Meri Puensum, Punakha, (1,300m).
Day 04: Punakha to Tashithang and back to Punakha
Today we will drive up to the beautiful, pristine forested areas of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park, at an elevation of 1,400m. This area is much warmer than we have previously experienced, which means a very early rise in order to catch bird activities in the beauty of the warm broad-leaved forest. Here we may encounter: River Lapwing; Red-headed Trogon; Gray-headed Woodpecker; Greater Yellownape; Striated Bulbul; the glowing Little Niltava; the three different tesias; Pygmy Blue-Flycatcher; Pygmy and Spotted wren babblers (the later is a constant singer with a beautiful voice!), and the dazzling Scarlet Finch; Nepal Fulvetta; Slaty-backed and Spotted forktails.
When the heat of the day increases, birding lessens so we will drop down to Punakha and spend time exploring the dzong where we will get a glimpse of Bhutanese religion and culture. The dzong’s position at the confluence of the Mo and Pho Chhu is quite spectacular. In April the front of this majestic building is highlighted by the blossoming of the Jacaranda Trees; their purple flowers softening the giant walls, encouraging your eye to the intricate hand-carved and painted windows. In the late afternoon, as the heat lessens we will drive along the Pho Chu River, where it is hoped that as well as seeing a number of interesting waterfowl, we will also see: Ibisbill; Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler; Palla’s Fish Eagle and the globally threatened White-bellied Heron.
NIGHT: Meri Puensum, Punakha, (1,300m).
Day 05: Punakha to Trongsa over Pele La (3,390m)
Today we travel to Trongsa on the western slopes of the Back Mountain National Park, crossing from Western to Central Bhutan. In the forested valley below Pele La we will look for the Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush; Black-eared Shrike Babbler; Fire-capped Tit; Grey-headed Woodpecker; Speckled Piculet; Greater and Lesser yellownapes. Returning to our vehicles we will climbing up through mixed forests ablaze with flowering rhododendrons and magnolias, to the pass at Pele-La (3,390m). Here prayer flags flutter in the breeze and on clear days the views across to snow topped Jhomolhari (7,314m), marking the border between central and western Bhutan, are quite breath-taking. Birding along the pass we will look for Great Parrotbill; White-browed Rosefinch and Himalayan Griffon Continuing our journey we descend through more beautiful rhododendron forests and thickets of dwarf bamboo where we will stop to bird, looking for the brilliant Spotted, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes; Rufous-vented, Whiskered and Stripe-throated yuhinas; Oriental Skylark; and Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler, who can often be heard before seen.
In Trongsa we will settle in to our hotel from where there are magnificent views of Trongsa Dzong, an imposing structure, situated on a spur above the Mangde Chhu gorge.
NIGHT: Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa, (2,200m).
Day 06: Trongsa to Shemgang near Wangduegang, (110kms).
Birding along Chunjey Pang, Dangdung, Koshala and Wangduegang. We rise early to bird the famous Shemgang road making our first stop at Chunjey Pang where we should encounter: Eurasian Jay; Pale Blue Flycatcher; Greater Yellownape; Hill Prinia; Large Niltava; Blue-capped Rock Thrush (beautifully plumaged); Yellow-rumped Honeyguide; and Little Forktail.
After breakfast we continue our drive to Dangdung, at 740m the lowest elevation for the day, stopping briefly at Kuenga Rubten the former Summer Palace of the Second King. Continuing our descent through the intensely cultivated, terraced fields, we should see Crested Bunting; Striated Prinia; and Striated Yuhina.
From Dangdung we begin climb up to Koshala, where amongst the flowering trees, we should encounter: Crimson Sunbird; Tickell’s Leaf Warbler; Lemon-rumped Warbler; Blue-throated Barbet; Rufous Woodpecker; Large Hawk Cuckoo and our first of the many chance to see the rare Rufous-necked Hornbill.
At our campsite in Wangduegang (1,800m), we look for one of our summer visitor the Grey Nightjar.
NIGHT: Camp at Wangduegang, (1,800m).
Day 07: Wangduegang to Tingtibi stopping at Shemgang, Dakphai and the upper Tingtibi section.
Another early morning rise with our target bird for the day the rare Beautiful Nuthatch. Our bird list for the day is long and includes: Silver-eared Mesia; Blue-winged Minla; Black-chinned Yuhina; Little-pied and Pale Blue Flycatchers; Large Niltava; Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush; Collard Owlet; Black-faced Warbler; Eurasian Hobby; Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Yellow-breasted Greenfinch.
After breakfast we continue our drive through Shemgang, and on to Tingtibi. Birding along the road we should encounter: White-tailed Nuthatch; White-browed Shrike Babbler; Cutia; Mountain and Striated bulbuls; Rufous Sibia; and Bay Woodpecker.
Approaching Tingtibi in the warm broadleaf forest we should find species such as: Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo; Ashy, White-throated and Black-crested bulbuls; Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker; Streaked Spiderhunter; Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush; Pin-tailed and Wedge-tailed green pigeons; Rufous-necked Hornbill; Common Green Magpie and Emerald Dove.
NIGHT: Camp at Tingtibi, (700m).
Day 08: Exploring the sub-tropical forests of Tingtibi
Today we will explore in and around Tingtibi and Shemgang as we have lots of target birds to check. The magnificent and very rarely visited Shemgang Road is one of the most beautiful and peaceful roads in the world, with similar elevations to the now famous Lingmethang Road, we can see an amazing variety of rare and special birds as well as the Golden Leaf monkey (langur), which can be seen everywhere as it is their prime habitat. Some of the target birds for the day include: Rufous-throated and Chestnut-breasted partridges; Gray Peacock-Pheasant; Barred Cuckoo Dove; nine species of cuckoos; Blue-bearded Bee-eater; the amazing Rufous-necked and Great hornbills; White-browed Piculet; Bay Woodpecker; Long-tailed Broadbill; White-tailed Robin; White-browed Scimitar Babbler; the stunning Cutia; Lesser Necklaced, Rufous-vented and Blue-winged laughingthrushes, (a impressive and elusive species); Rufous-winged and Nepal fulvettas; White-naped, Black-chinned and White-bellied yuhinas; Sultan Tit; and hopefully Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill; Long-billed Wren Babbler; Green Cochoa; White-hooded Babbler; and the rare Beautiful Nuthatch.
In our past trips Rufous-necked Hornbills have occasionally flown over our camp and at one time three perched on a tree nearby giving us lengthy, stunning views of this magnificent bird.
NIGHT: Camp at Tingtibi, (700m).
Day 09: Tingtibi to Trongsa via Shemgang by pass, 130kms
Today we will start early to get to the habitat of the Beautiful Nuthatch, allowing ourselves plenty of time to locate and see this amazing bird. It has been regularly recorded on our past trips and we hope to repeat our sightings this spring. After a hot breakfast eaten in yet another stunning location we will continue birding along the Shemgang road, stopping at the prime locations to bird habitats we missed on our way down to Tingtibi. As we drive to Trongsa there are amazing views all along the road and the occasional waterfall gushing its way down the mountain slopes. Stopping for our hot picnic lunch will give us a good chance to absorb the beauty of this part of Bhutan. Just before arriving in Trongsa we will pass high cliff-faces where we will stop to look for the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide amongst the cluster of beehives clinging to the rock face.
NIGHT: Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa, (2,200m).
Day 10: Trongsa to Bumthang over Yotong La at 3,425m.
This morning we will gradually make our way through cascading waterfalls and more magnificent rhododendron and magnolia forests up to Yotong La Pass (3,425m). Our camping crew will be waiting with hot breakfast setup on the roadside, so that we can bird and breakfast at the same time! Some of species that are regularly seen here are: Chestnut-headed Tesia; Rufous-vented Yuhina; Black-faced Laughingthrush; Black-eared Shrike Babbler; Solitary Snipe; White-browed Bush Robin; Indian Blue Robin; Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker; Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and White-winged Grosbeak.
Descending through silver fir and spruce forests we come to the upland valleys of Bumthang, the religious heartland of Bhutan where there are many ancient cultural and religious sites dating as far back as the 7th century. This is the only place we can find the Black-billed Magpie. One of the common birds around this area is the Red-billed Chough, which we can see as they feed in the buckwheat fields.
NIGHT: Kailas Guesthouse, Bumthang, (2,700m).
Day 11: Bumthang to Sengor, birding at Thrumshing La (3,780m)
This drive is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the Himalayas. From the Shelthang La Pass 3,600m, with clement weather, there are spectacular views of the magnificent Gangkar Puensum at 7,315m the world’s highest unclimbed peak. All around are stunning landscapes of the High Himalayas, auspiciously placed prayer flags, typical Bhutanese villages and spectacular temples – truly a magical land! We will stop and walk through the tranquil valley of Ura, the highest of the four valleys of Bumthang. Lying in the shadow of Thrumshing La, Ura is quite a prosperous village.
In the surrounding fields we may encounter: flocks of Russet Sparrow; Snow Pigeon; Plain Mountain Finch and Red-billed Chough.
Leaving Ura we climb through forests of larch, silver fir, spruce and towering hemlocks, until reach Thrumshing La (3,780m), along this magnificent stretch of road we look for Blood Pheasant feeding by the road side and where once more, we have breathtaking views of the Eastern Himalayas. From here we can also see the village of Sengor at 3,000m.
Species we may encounter between Sengor and our camp at Yongkola are: Gray-crested, Coal, Green-backed, Yellow-browed, Black-throated and Black-browed tits; Mrs. Gould’s and Green-tailed sunbirds; Rufous-gorgeted and Ultramarine flycatchers; Ashy-throated, Lemon-rumped, Large-billed and Blyth’s leaf warblers; White-browed and Rufous-winged fulvettas; Stripe-throated Yuhina; Green Shrike-Babbler; Satyr Tragopan, (rare); Eurasian Sparrowhawk; Upland Buzzard; Mountain Hawk-Eagle; Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush; Plain-backed and Eye-browed Thrushes; White-collard Blackbird; Orange-flanked Bush Robin; Blue-fronted Redstart; Rufous-bellied Niltava; Eurasian, Rusty-flanked and Brown-throated treecreepers; Gray-sided Bush Warbler; Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes; Red Crossbill; Red-headed Bullfinch; Spot-winged Grosbeak and Gold-naped Finch.
Dawn and late afternoon are the best times to spot Satyr Tragopan and as we are camping in their habitat we will have excellent opportunity to sight this species. During our 2015 trip we encountered a super male feeding by the roadside where we had 45 minutes of good views.
From Thrumshing La, we will descend through truly pristine forest where Spanish moss literally drips from the pine trees (evidence of the pristine environment), to our camp.
NIGHT: Camp at Sengor, (3,000m).
Day 12 and 13: Exploring the rich broadleaf forests of Yongkola and Namling
One of the top ten birding hot-spots in all of Asia. Two full days are spent birding the upper and lower Yongkola region. In this breathtaking landscape we will bird in a protected area of pristine forests using a paved yet rarely used road, providing the ultimate beneficiary birding opportunities. It is here in this birding hotspot that we can look for some of Bhutan’s most prized bird species and are difficult to find elsewhere: Satyr Tragopan; Fire-tailed Myzornis and Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler.
Other regularly seen species include: Hill and Rufous-throated partridges; Rufous-bellied and Crested Serpent Eagles; The rare Rufous-necked Hornbill (the forests of Bhutan are the stronghold for this impressive species); Speckled Wood Pigeon; Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Ward’s Trogon (the male of the species is truly handsome) and two of the Himalayas’ rarest birds, the cobalt Blue-fronted Robin, and the elusive and strange Wedge-billed Wren Babbler; Bay Woodpecker; Lesser Yellownape; Golden-throated and Blue-throated barbets; Large and Oriental Hawk cuckoos; Collared Owlet; Himalayan Treepie; Gray-chinned, Short-billed and Long-tailed minivets; Yellow-bellied Fantail; Blue-headed Rock Thrush; White-browed Shortwing; Verditer Flycatcher; Large Niltava; Hodgson’s Redstart; Plumbeous and White-capped water redstarts; Slaty-backed Forktail; Rusty-flanked Treecreeper; Sultan, Black-throated, Rufous-fronted, Yellow-browed and Yellow-cheeked tits; Mountain and Ashy bulbuls; Hill and Striated prinias; Chestnut-headed, Slaty-bellied and Gray-bellied tesias; Gray-sided Bush Warbler; Gray-hooded, White-spectacled, Chestnut-crowned, Broad-billed and Black-faced warblers; White-crested, Striated, Rufous- necked, Gray-sided, and Blue-winged laughingthrushes; Red-faced Liocichla; Streak-breasted, Coral-billed and Slender-billed scimitar babblers; Rufous-throated Wren Babbler (a little known and endangered species); Rufous-capped, Grey-throated and Golden babblers; Red-billed Leiothrix; Cutia; Rufous-bellied, Black-headed (rare), White-browed and Black-eared shrike babblers; Rusty-fronted Barwing; Chestnut-tailed, Red-tailed and Blue-winged minlas; White-naped, Whiskered and Black-chinned yuhinas; and the exquisite Golden-breasted and Yellow-throated fulvettas (virtually unknown elsewhere); Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill (rarely seen); Fire-breasted Flowerpecker; Crimson-browed Finch; Spot-winged Grosbeak; and Scarlet Finch.
NIGHTS: Trogon Villa, Yongkola, (1,800m).
Day 14: Yongkola to Trashigang over Kore La (2,298m), 140kms
After a final morning’s birding around the camp we will continue to lower region of Yongkola where the different vegetation supports different bird species such as the Blue-eared Bee-eater, Streaked Spiderhunter, Blue-throated Barbet, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Crimson Sunbird and White-browed Piculet to name few. We will descend into Lingmethang a small town at 700m before climbing again to the Town of Mongar.
Our journey continues east. From the town of Mongar, we will ascend through a mixed broad-leaved evergreen forest. For the photographers among us, the opportunities will be endless. At this time of the year, with migrant birds streaming north, virtually anything is possible. In addition, there are a number of species whose main habitat is roadside scrub and agricultural areas, including species such as Siberian Stonechat, Crested and Little Bunting.
We spend the morning birding along the Kore La road where we look for species such as: Grey-sided, Chestnut-crowned and Scaly laughingthrushes, Red-faced Liocichla, Rufous-bellied and Large niltavas, Kalij Pheasant and the rare Rufous-necked Hornbill. After crossing the Kore La we commence the last section of today’s journey, which takes us through a series of switchbacks as we descend to the Gamri River through Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) forest, corn fields, and banana groves, to the village of Nagtshang where we will look for Himalayan Bulbul, Crimson Sunbird and Crested Bunting.
As we arrive in Trashigang, we should have a superb view of the Trashigang Dzong, one of Bhutan’s justly famous fortified monasteries. Built in 1659, it is superbly located on a spur overhanging the Gamri Chu and is protected on three sides by rivers or ravines. The dzong commands a fine view over the surrounding countryside.
Night: Druk Deojung Resort, Tashigang, (1,100 m).
Day 15: Trashigang to Morong, drive through the town of Khaling, Womrong and Moshi
This is by far the longest settled and most populous region of Bhutan. Consequently, much of the early part of today’s journey meanders through relatively intensively farmed land. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating landscape with plenty of birds to see. We will stop at marshy rice-fields, where we hope to find a pair of rarely observed Black-tailed Crakes in residence as we have seen on previous visits.
We will bird below Yonphu la (2,500m) before breakfast. From Yonphu La we descend to a small town of Khaling at (2,000m). From here we will continue climbing to Khaling pass at 2,500m.
From Khaling pass we drive southwards to Morong. On this part of the journey, we will pass through the small towns of Womrong, Reserbu and Moshi. The view all along today’s journey is inspirational, as mountain ridge after ridge covered in pristine forest, stretches to the distant horizon with promise of endless birding opportunities.
Along today’s drive we should encounter species such as: Yellow-billed Blue Magpie; Grey Treepie; Eurasian Jay; Large-billed Crow; Maroon Oriole; Long-tailed Minivet; Yellow-bellied and White-throated fantails; Ashy and Black drongos; Blue Whistling Thrush; Long-billed Thrush (rare); Ultramarine, Slaty-Blue, little Pied and White-gorgeted flycatchers (the later is rare); Large and Rufous-bellied niltavas; Spotted Forktail; Common Stonechat; White-tailed Nuthatch; Fire-capped, Green-backed, Black-throated and Rufous-fronted tits; Striated, Mountain, Black and Red-vented bulbuls; Aberrant Bush Warbler; Mountain Tailorbird; Ashy-throated, Chestnut-crowned and Lemon-rumped warblers; Blyth’s Leaf Warbler; Striated, White-throated and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes, Streak-breasted scimitar babblers; Rufous-throated and Spotted wren babblers; Red-billed Leiothrix; Green-tailed and Mrs Gould’s sunbirds; Russet and Eurasian Tree sparrows; White Wagtail; Olive-backed Pipit; Maroon Accentor (rare); Yellow-breasted Greenfinch; Tibetan Siskin; White-browed Shrike Babbler; Cutia; Rusty-fronted Barwing; Red-tailed and Blue-winged minlas; Hill Partridge; Kalij Pheasant; Bay and Crimson-breasted woodpeckers; Greater and Lesser yellownapes; Golden-throated and Great barbets; Plaintive, Lesser and Asian Emerald cuckoos; Himalayan Swiftlet; Fork-tailed and House swifts; Collard and Asian Barred owlets; Spot-bellied Eagle Owl (rare); Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon; Eurasian Sparrowhawk; Besra; Northern Goshawk; Steppe and Bonelli’s eagles; Orange-bellied Leafbird; Long-tailed and Grey-backed shrikes.
NIGHT: Camp at Morong, (1500m).
Day 16: Morong to Samdrup Jongkhar, 40kms
At this point, we have travelled deep into the eastern part of Bhutan. Very few birders have ever visited this part of Bhutan, therefore we anticipate finding a number of rare and little known species. Although many of the birds will be familiar, we also hope to encounter a number of the more elusive lower elevation species such as Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Gray Peacock-Pheasant, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Long-tailed Sibia, Red-faced Liocichla and Blue- winged Laughingthrush, any of which represent a very special experience.
We will spend the afternoon exploring the sub-tropical forest above Samdrup Jongkhar. Birds we may encounter include: Thick-billed and Pin-tailed pigeons; Emerald Dove; Banded Bay, Gray- breasted, Violet, and Plaintive cuckoos; Green-billed Malkoha; Greater Coucal; Blue-bearded and Chestnut- headed bee-eaters; with luck, the very rarely seen Blyth’s Kingfisher and Pale-headed Woodpecker; Wreathed, Oriental Pied and Great Hornbills; the spectacular Greater Flameback (woodpecker); Asian Fairy-bluebird; Black-naped Monarch; Greater Racket-tailed Drongo; Asian Paradise-Flycatcher; Hill Myna; and Crimson Sunbird.
NIGHT: Tashi Gatsel Hotel, Samdrup Jongkhar, (250m).
Day 17: In and around the Tropical forests of Samdrup Jongkhar
We begin with a short drive out of Samdrup Jongkhar where we will bird in sub tropical forests along the 18km stretch to Deothang. Along this stretch we look for: Black Kite; Savanna Nightjar; Emerald and Red-collard doves; Coppersmith Barbet; Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker; Common and Himalayan flamebacks; Rufous Treepie; Lesser and Greater racket-tailed drongos; Black-nape Monarch; Grey-throated and Jungle babblers; Black-crested, White- throated and Ashy bulbuls; Oriental Pied, Great and Wreathed hornbills; House Crow; Green-billed Malkoha; Greater Coucal; Long-tailed Sibia; Chestnut-tailed Starling; Hill Myna; Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush; Plain Flowerpecker; Red-throated Flycatcher; Siberian Rubythroat (rare); Hooded Pitta (rare); Asian Fairy Bluebird; Violet and Plaintive cuckoos (both rare); Dollarbird and Red-headed Trogon.
NIGHT: Tashi Gatsel Hotel, Samdrup Jongkhar, (250m).
Day 18: Exit Bhutan and drive to Guwahati Airport to connect to Calcutta/Delhi, 110kms
Today you exit Bhutan and connect with your onward journey.
Included in Bhutan Land Cost:
- Visa and Tax
- Tour Guide who is expert in the field
- All activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All accommodation based on sharing twin room
- All meals
- Tea/coffee and snacks
- Bottled water throughout the trip
- Ground transportation
- All necessary camping equipment
- All entrance fees for museums
Not Included in Bhutan Land Cost:
- Travel insurance (essential)
- Laundry, phone calls and alcoholic drinks
- Personal expenses
- Charges incurred as a result of circumstances beyond the control of Langur Eco Travels
- International flights
Note Regarding Single Supplements:
Single occupancy US $25 per night.
Trip Grade: Gentle to Moderate Hikes:
You should prepare for certain factors of travel in Bhutan. A few of the most important are: elevation, windy mountain roads. Average elevation on this trip is 2,400m. Pass crossings may be up to 4,000m (by vehicle).
We strongly advise that your travel insurance policies include medical assistance and (helicopter) evacuation – we believe that it is ‘better to be safe than sorry!’ Should you decline to do so, we must state that we will in no way, accept responsibility for expenses incurred, should you require medical attention/evacuation whilst on holiday with us.
It is our policy to use the best available accommodation in each location. All hotels and lodges we use are government approved and registered with the Tourism Council of Bhutan. We have our own camping crew who will set up camps, prepare hot meals and provide hot showers.
It is advised that you have layers of light clothing, perhaps some thermal underwear, a warm jumper, fleece or jacket for the evenings when the temperature can suddenly drop. Generally speaking, casual clothing is suitable throughout your stay and that the main requirement is that you are comfortable.
Laundry facilities are available at all hotels. Waterproofs and/or umbrellas – just in case! Sunglasses and sun-cream or blocks are essential. Hand wipes (wet wipes/ anti-bacterial) and tissues are useful.
Habitats Covered: High altitude up to 3,822m to low at 150m (India). Coniferous, mix broad-leafed and sub-tropical forests including bamboo and banana undergrowth, alpine pastures, wetlands, rocky slopes and rivers beds.
Top Birds: Satyr Tragopan; Himalayan Monal; Blood Pheasant; Ibisbill; Collard and Spot-winged grosbeaks; Fire-tailed Myzornis; Great, Fulvous and Lesser Rufous-headed parrotbills; Spotted, Grey-sided, Blue-winged, Rufous-chinned, Scaly and Lesser Necklaced laughingthrushes; Mountain Imperial Pigeon; Red-headed and Wards trogons; Lesser and White-browed shortwings; Fire-tailed and Crimson sunbirds; Long-tailed Sibia; Yellow-rumped Honeyguide; Spotted, Pygmy, Rufous-throated, Wedge-billed and Long-billed wren babblers; Black-headed Shrike Babbler; Golden Bush Robin; Golden-breasted and Yellow-throated fulvettas; White-gorgeted Flycatcher; White-hooded Babbler; Rufous-faced and Yellow-bellied warblers; Pale-headed, Rufous-bellied and Bay woodpeckers; Slender-billed, White-browed and Coral-billed scimitar babblers; Dark-rumped Swift; Black-backed and White-crowned forktails; Blue-eared Barbet; Beautiful Nuthatch; Rufous-necked, Wreathed, Oriental Pied and Great hornbills
Top Mammals: Capped, Common Grey and Golden langurs; Large-eared Pika; Himalayan Yellow-throated Marten; Assamese Macaque; Muntjac; Himalayan Striped Squirrel; Hoary-bellied Squirrel; Malayan Giant Squirrel and Hodgson’s Giant Flying Squirrel.
Other attractions: Butterflies, Orchids, Pristine forests and spectacular mountain scenery, magnificent fortresses and ancient Buddhist culture and traditions.
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