Bhutan is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists. Over 670 species of birds have been recorded and many more are yet to be discovered. Around 50 species of the known birds are winter migrants. These include ducks, waders, birds of prey, thrushes, finches and buntings.
The partial migrants to Bhutan include cuckoos, swifts, bee-eaters, warblers and flycatchers. The country harbors more than 16 species of vulnerable birds. They are the Pallas’s Fish Eagle, White bellied Heron, Satyr Tragopan, Gray-bellied Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon, Blyth’s King Fisher, Yellow-rumped Honey Guide, Rufous Throated Wren Babbler, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Blyth’s Trogon, Wood Snipe, Dark-rumped Swift, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Gray-crowned Prinia and the Beautiful Nuthatch all of which breed in Bhutan.
Bhutan is home to many species of birds that are in danger of extinction, including the Imperial Heron, which is one of the fifty rarest birds in the world and the rare Black-Necked Crane, which breeds in Tibet and then migrates over the Himalayas to Bhutan during the winter months. The Cranes can be spotted in Phobjikha Valley in Western Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and in Bumdeling in Eastern Bhutan. They migrate to these winter roosting sites in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March.
|ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE LOCATION||Entry By Road from India or Fly to Paro International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||2 Hours Before Departure|
Day 1: Arrival at Paro International Airport
On arrival Bhutan our guide will receive you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
In the afternoon, birding along the Pachhu river, you will sight waterbirds like; Ibisbill, Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, River Lapwing, Plumbeous Water Redstart, etc.
Day 2: Bird Watching in Paro
Early in the morning drive to Chelela pass for pheasants: Kalij Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Blood Pheasant and Himalayan Monal. There is also chance of sighting the Fire-tailed Myzornis as well.
Day 3: Paro – Punakha
Today drive to with stop over Dochu La (pass) at 3,050 meters. The snow-capped eastern Himalayan range can be seen on a clear day. You can circumambulate the 108 stupas of the Druk Wangyal Chorten.
You will continue drive to down to the valley. The birds found in valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang are Himalayan Cutia, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Collared Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, White-browed Fulvetta, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Plain Mountain Finch, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Parrotbill, Himalayan Bluetail, White-browed Bush Robin, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Bullfinch, Red-headed Bullfinch, Chestnut-tailed Minla (Bar-throated Siva) , Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Little Bunting, White-bellied Heron, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Grey Treepie, Spotted Nutcracker, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Eurasian Jay, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler,etc.
Day 4 & 5: Birding in Punakha – Gasa
You will drive along the Pochu river. In this stretch you will sight Jungle Owlet, Asian-barred Owlet, Osprey, White-bellied Heron, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Great Cormorant, Black-throated Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Yuhina, Striped-throated Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Straited Yuhina, Scarlet Minivet, Long-tailed Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Grey-bellied Tesia, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Small Niltava, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Asian Koel, Grey-hooded Warbler, Golden-spectacled Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Black-backed Forktail, Yellow-bellied Fantail, White-throated Fantail, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Hoary-throated Barwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Lesser Shortwing, Himalayan Cutia, Green Shrike-babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Speckled Piculet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, White-tailed Nuthatch, Maroon Oriole, Scarlet Finch, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon.
Day 6: Punakha- Phobjikha
From Punakha you will drive eastward toward Phobjikha through the black mountain region. Phobjikha valley is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and it serves as the nesting grounds for the endangered Black-necked Crane in winter. The bird species found in this valley are Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Blue-capped Rock Thrush,Fire-tailed Myzornis, Great Parrotbill, Alpine Accentor, Green-tailed Sunbird, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Scaly Thrush, Tickell’s Thrush, Fire-capped Tit, Amur falcon, Ward’s Trogon, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Spotted Laughingthrush, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Red-headed Bullfinch, Scarlet Finch, White-tailed Nuthatch, etc.
Day 7: Phobjikha – Trongsa
Drive for three hours through dense evergreen forests of oak, rhododendron, horse chestnut, laurel, maple, fir, spruce, larch, hemlock and juniper to the central district of Trongsa crossing Pele La (pass) at 3390m. The species found in this area includes Spotted Laughingthrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel, Himalayan Griffon, Himalayan Swiftlet, Asian House Martin, Nepal House Martin, Common Rosefinch, Beatiful Rosefinch, White-browed Rosefinch, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Brown Parrotbill, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, and Speckled Wood Pigeon.
Day 8: Trongsa – Zhemgang – Tingtibi
Today drive to Zhemgang and Tingtibi following the Mangde Chhu River. Species found in this area are Pin-tailed Green Pigeons, Red-Headed Trogon, , Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Hill Partridge, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Great Hornbill, White-browed Piculet, Speckled Piculet, Bay woodpecker, White-tailed Robin, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Grey-headed Parrotbill, White-throated Needletail, Mountain Scops Owl, Collard Scops Owl, Collared Treepie, Pygmy-blue Flycatcher. There is a chance of spotting the highly endangered White-bellied Heron as well as the Collared Treepie, Beautiful Nuthatch and Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush.
Day 9 -10: Exploring Tingtibi
After breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong. Visit Chimi Lhakhang, late evening, drive to Thimphu. Night halt in Thimphu.
Day 11: Tingtibi - Bumthang
In the morning, try to spot the Beautiful Nuthatch and the Sapphire Flycatcher. After breakfast you will drive to Trongsa with visit Dzong which was built in 1648; it was seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan and visit Ta Dzong which houses royal heritage museum.
You will continue drive to Bumthang crossing Yotong la pass at 3400m en route you will spot species like Bar-throated Siva, Brown Parrotbill, Hill Partridge, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Gold-naped Finch etc. Evening walk along the Chamkhar river to spot few species like little bunting, Red-billed Chough, Blyth’s Pipit, and Common Sandpiper.
Day 12: Exploring Bumthang
Another day for sighting pheasants if missed in the previous days. Visit Tharparling monastery for magnificent Himalayan Monal and Satyr Tragopan. Besides, you will sight Spot-winged Grosbeak, Daurian Redstart, Olive-backed Pipit, Oriental Skylark, Black-billed Magpie, etc.
Day 13: Bumthang – Sengor
Morning drive to Sengor passing over Thrumsingla pass at 3800m.The species you would encounter are Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Spotted Nutcracker, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Red-headed Bullfinch, Grey Wagtail, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Great Parrotbill, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Stripe-throated Yuhina, White-browed Fulvatas, Satyr Tragonpan, Blood Pheasnat, Himalayan Monal, White-throated Fantail ,Rufous-throated Partridge.
Day 14: Sengor-Namling-Yongkola
Today you travel to Namling and to Yongkola in search of species like Gould’s Shortwing, Bar-winged Wren Babblers, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, White-browed Shrike Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Blue-throated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Great Barbet, Golden Bush Robin, Chestnut-breasted Partridge.
Day 15: Explore Yongkola
n this area you will sight Rufous-necked Hornbil, Tawny Fish Owl, Ward’s Trogon, Red-headed Trogon, Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Himalayan Cutia, Grey-winged Blackbird, Hoary-throated Barwing, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Steak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Collar-billed Scimitar Babbler, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Long-tailed Minivet, Short-billed Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Black-throated Prinia, Striated Prinia, Gray-throated Babbler, Ashy Bulbull, Mountain Bulbull, Himalayan Bulbull, Grey-throated Babbler, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Beautiful Nuthatch, White-tailed Nuthatch, Asian-barred Owlet, Short-billed Minivet, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush etc.
Day 16: Yongkola Second Day
Spend another day here to catch all the birds we missed on the first day.
Day 17: Yongkala – Trashigang
After breakfast drive to Samdrup jongkhar. In Samdrup Jongkhar area you would spot Silver-eared Mesia, White-rumped Shama and Greater Flameback.
Day 18: Trashigang – Samdrupjongkhar
After breakfast begin journey to the border town of Samdrup Jongkhar.
On the drive you can spot birds such as Pies falconet, Dark-rumped swift, Pin-tailed Green Gigeon, Sultan Tit, Black-backed Forktail, Red-headed Trogon, Black Eagle, House Sparrow, Jungle Babbler, Grey-sided Laughingthrush, etc.
As you descend to the foothills temperate vegetation gives way to broadleafed forests which is the habitat of the Rufous-necked Hornbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, and Gold-naped Finch.
Further down you should be able to spot the Wreathed Hornbill, the rare Violet Cuckoo, Pied Falconet, and the Greater Rufous-breasted Parrotbill.
The subtropical forests of the foothills of Samdrup Jongkhar are home to the Silver-eared Mesia, White-rumped Shama and Greater Flameback.
Day 19: Departure
Our team will assist you with exist Bhutan immigration formalities for your onward journey to Guwahati.