The Birds of Bhutan

A visit to the Himalayan nation of Bhutan (or the ‘Land of the Dragon’ as it is also known) is not a holiday but a truly unique experience. It is a beautiful country with an incredible natural and cultural history that has remained untouched by mass tourism. This tour is all about searching for the spectacular birdlife that can be found throughout the Himalayan region. You will be met at Paro International Airport by a representative who will accompany you to your hotel, over the next two days you will go in search of a range of Himalayan riverine species, including your first chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive Ibisbill. The following day you will have the chance to take a short hike to the Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), perched on a steep cliffside a well-maintained and picturesque path will take you to this stunning location. Your journey will continue through Chele La Pass with stops to explore the Pine and Hemlock forests for a range of Himalayan Pheasant species before you reach Thimphu. After breakfast you will travel to Punakha where on a clear day you will have panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range, stops on route will allow you to enjoy the mixed woodlands and abundant flora. The next day will be spent on the shores of the Phochhu River with a special focus on finding the critically endangered White-bellied Heron. After a leisurely breakfast you will go in search of another of Bhutan’s iconic species as you will undertake a 3-hour journey to the Phobjikha Valley which is the roosting grounds for the Black-necked Crane. Continuing your journey you are driven to Sengor via Thumbsingla Pass, a great area for high altitude specialists such as Fire-tailed Myzornis. This will lead to one of Bhutan’s hotspot for birdwatching, the impressive Yongkola, a sub-tropical rainforest which is home to an incredible range of avian species. You will spend the next two days fully exploring this beautiful and wildlife rich location. Your next stops will be Tingtibi and Zhemgang, to reach them you will follow the course of the Mangde Chhu River and will hopefully have clear views of the Beautiful Nuthatch and today will also provide you with the best chance of viewing the Golden Langur Monkey. A full day of birdwatching at Tingtibi and Royal Manas National Park will follow before you head to the Bhutanese border town of Gelephu. You will enjoy a series of stops along the way for some lower foothill birdwatching and even get a chance to see the exciting Gelephu Tshachu (hot springs). The next morning you will cross the border in to the Indian state of Assam and have the opportunity to witness the famous Assamese Tea Garden before travelling across the northern plains of Brahmaputra River to Guwahati, the capital and largest city of Assam. It is from here that you will take your return flight home and have a chance to review the wonderful experience of visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Why we love this trip

  • Bhutan is home to over 670 bird species.
  • Chance to visit the incredible Buddhist fortress and monastery of Paro Dzong.
  • You will visit the Yathra Weaving Centre to see traditional methods applied to Yak and Sheep wool.
  • One of the last strongholds for the critically endangered White-bellied Heron.
  • You will have a full day to explore Trongsa which is the ancestral and current home of the Royal Family of Bhutan.
  • Phobjikha Valley is one of the best locations to see overwintering Black-necked Cranes.

Where

Bhutan and Assam, India.

When

16-days between March to November.

What to look for

Ibisbill, Brown Dipper, River Lapwing, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, Satyr Trapogan, White-bellied Heron, Black-necked Crane, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, Blythe’s Kingfisher, Golden Langur Monkey and many more.

Please contact us for further details.

Reference: ZBT-BOB1, Supplement Codes: AT, F, SPS