Visit Bhutan 2017

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3. BIRD WATCHING TOUR IN BHUTAN (15 days/14 nights)

BIRD WATCHING TOUR IN BHUTAN

Bhutan is a paradise for birdwatchers and ornithologists. More than 670 species of birds are found in the Kingdom of Bhutan, of which around 50 species are the winter migrants such as ducks, waders, birds of prey, thrushes, finches and buntings, and others are the partial migrants: cuckoos, swifts, bee-eaters, warblers and flycatchers. Not only this, It also harbors more than 16 species of vulnerable birds: the Pallas’s Fish Eagle, White bellied Heron, Satyr Tragopan, Grey bellied Tragopan, Ward’s Trogaon, Blyth’s King Fisher, Rumped Honey Guide, Purple Cochoa, Rufous Throated Wren Babbler, Red headed Parrot Bill, Chestnut breasted Partridge, Blyth’s Trogon, Wood Snipe, Dark Rumped Swift, Rufous necked Hornbill, Grey crowned Prinia and the Beautiful Nuthatch. The country is also home to species of birds that are in danger of extinction: the Imperial Heron and the rare black-necked crane. The country is an important winter habitat for the rare Black necked cranes that are spotted in Phobjikha in Western Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and in Bomdeling in Eastern Bhutan, where they come in large flocks in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. In these 15 days of birding tour, hotspots for birding in the seven major districts are covered including some must-see sights of Bhutan. The best season for birding is in spring (mid March to late May).

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Fly to Paro Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Paro for two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure – so why not make a visit in the Paro town?

Day 2: Paro

This morning begin the birding along the banks of the Parochu River and continue on to the Drukgyel Dzhong, where you will spot the Ibis Bill, Black Faced Laughing Thrush, Brown Dipper, Spotted Laughing Thrush, the Fire-capped Tit, etc. Later we will head to Chelela at an altitude of 3,950 m. The Chele La is a high pass to the west of the Paro valley, where you will spot Kalij Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan and other bird species. Overnight in Paro.

Day 3: Paro – Wangdue Phodrang

This morning we head to Wangdue Phodrang valley via Dochu La Pass at an altitude of 3,050m through chir pine forest. If weather is clear, enjoy a panoramic view of the snow capped eastern Himalayas. From here, we will enter into the mixed coniferous forests to look for the Satyr Tragopon, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Spotted Nutcracker, Yellow Billed Magpie, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Collared Blackbird, Brown Bullfinch, etc. Overnight in Wangdue Phodrang.

Day 4: Wangdue Phodrang – Trongsa

Experience a journey through a warm broad leaved forest, passing by the Black Mountains up to the Pele La Pass at 3,300m. The birds you will spot today are Scarlet Finch, White-throated Laughing Thrush, Eurasian Jay, Verditer Flycatcher and exotic Pigeons. During late October to mid February, it is possible to spot the Black-necked Cranes in Phobjikha valley that come to roost from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Ladakh, India, where they breed in the valley. Overnight in Trongsa.

Day 5: Trongsa – Bumthang

Today drive a distance of 68-km to Bumthang via Yotong La Pass at 3,400m through temperate forests of Trongsa to coniferous and mixed alpine of Bumthang. In this most beautiful valley of Bhutan, you will spot some birds like Goldcrest, Blyth’s Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Little Bunting, Red-billed Chough and Cormorant before Yotong La Pass, farmlands and a riverside of the Chamkharchhu River. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 6: Bumthang – Ura

Today starts with a visit to Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake) en route. Follow the route to Ura, the highest valley of Bumthang passing through spectacular views of countryside, forests and large sheep pastures. Perched at an altitude of 3,100m, Ura village has characteristically close-clustered houses which are quite unique in Bhutan. Enjoy the day by exploring around the fascinating valley and village. Overnight in camp.

Day 7: Ura – Sengor

This morning drive to Sengor via Thumshing La Pass at an altitude of 3,800m. In the vicinity of Sengor you will see Yellow-Billed Magpies, Fire-tail Mizoram and Jungle Fowl. The area is a hotspot for one of the endangered species of Satyr Tragopan. This pristine countryside is rich in foliage and forest, making it ideal for Nutcracker Birds, Warblers, Fork-tailed Birds and Robin Birds. Overnight in Camp.

Day 8: Sengor – Yongkola

Travel to Yongkola towards the eastern Bhutan at an altitude of 1,855m through rich sub-tropical rainforest. Stop at Namling at an altitude of 3,000m, the Bhutan’s most sought-after birding area and many avid bird watchers spend many days here. A full day to explore the Bhutan’s best birding in the Namling forests and hope to spot the birds like Ward’s Trogon, Satyr Tragopan, Grey chinned Minivet, and Chestnut Breasted Partridge amongst a host of other birds. Overnight in camp.

Day 9: Yongkola – Trongsa

Leave Yongkola today and head to Trongsa. Perhaps we may have late afternoon at leisure, so why not visit the Trongsa town, Ta Dzong or Trongsa Dzong?

Day 10: Trongsa – Tingtibi, Zhemgang

Today we drive for a distance of 120 km for about 4-5 five hours to Tingtibi in Zhemgang. En route we will descend to Yeshi Zam with a hope of catching a glimpse of the Yellow-Rumped Honey and might also catch a glimpse of the beautiful Nuthatch Bird. Overnight camp in Tingtibi.

Day 11: Tingtibi

A full day birding today continue along the Gonphu road to spot Rufous-Necked Hornbill, Blue Throated bee- eater, Collared Falconet, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Timaliids, Wren-babblers, Laughing thrushes, Scimitar-Babblers, Streaked Spider-hunter and Green Magpie. You may also encounter fascinating sight animals like the Golden Langur, Yellow throated marten and Giant Squirrel. Overnight in Tingtibi.

Day 12: Tingtibi – Punakha

This morning we will head to Tashithang in the north of Punakha for birding in the area in the following day. Overnight camp in Tashithang.

Day 13: Tashithang – Thimphu

Today we explore the birding along the Mochhu River to Tashithang, where you will find a number of Waterfowls and some of the species: White-bellied Heron (rare and difficult), Tawny Fish Owl, River Lapwing, Red-headed Trogon, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Striated Bulbul, Little Niltava, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Rufous-chinned Laughing Thrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Scarlet Finch, Spotted Wren-Babbler, Ibisbill, Bar-headed Geese, Great-headed Gulls, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 14: Thimphu

Your final leg of the birding will be in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The Wangchhu River in Thimphu flows right through the valley. Today you will visit an aviary for Pheasants and a small zoo for Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) in Motithang, then we will head to Cheri in the north of Thimphu valley to spot Ibisbill, Crested Pied Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Woodpeckers, Hoopoe, Nepal House Martin, Long-tailed Minivet, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, Black-browed and Grey-crested Tits, Striated and Black-faced Laughing Thrushes, Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, White-tailed Nuthatch, Black-capped Sibia, Common Merganzer, Crested Serpent-eagle, Black Eagle, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 15: End of Tour

Early morning drive to Paro Airport and your guide from Bhutan Green Travel will accompany you to bid farewell for your onward flight. Goodbye and Good Luck!

Services Included

  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in 3-star hotels
  • Upgrades to 5-star luxury accommodation available on request
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • Licensed Bhutanese English-speaking guided tours
  • All entrance fees to museums and other attractions
  • Comfortable transport within Bhutan
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees (including royalty)
  • Mineral water
  • Visa fees

Services Not Included

  • International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
  • Travel insurance
  • Discretionary gratuities to guides and driver (we provide suggested guidelines)
  • Single room supplement
  • Other personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, etc.

Prices and Dates

ON REQUEST

Pricing Policy

Prices are quoted and payable only in (US$ dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking, however, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.

Departure Dates

Available all-year-round

[It’s always advisable to contact us 3 or 4 months in advance. You decide dates depending on your plan of travel, however, our festival dates have been indicated where applicable in order to help plan your journey accordingly]

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