Bhutan bird watching tour is a great favorite, combining some of the finest birdwatching in the Himalayas with spectacular scenery. Despite its small size about 770 species of birds have been recorded in Bhutan. Bhutan is birding paradise and the ultimate destination for the birdwatcher and bird lovers around the world. Over 55% of the land is still forested and 26% of the land is protected as National Parks. It is an ideal place to see a wide variety of birds that are impossible or difficult to see anywhere else. Bhutan’s richly diverse and beautiful forests are some of the best remaining forest habitats in the Himalayas.
Bird watching tour in Bhutan is splendid experience as the country is claimed to be the major part of the high bio-diversity conservation hotspot known as Eastern Himalayan hotspots. The diversity of bird life of Bhutan is accentuated by the migrations of hundreds of species. The places like Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, Trongsa, Zhemgang etc hold specialty for the birding tour in Bhutan. Wintertime brings numerous species down to lower altitudes, including accentors, rosefinches, grosbeaks, snow pigeons and pheasants such as the satyr tragopan, the Himalayan monal, and the blood pheasant.
Birds in Bhutan can be found from the glacial alpine regions of the north to the sweltering tropics of the south. The geography and altitude are also the most diverse areas of bird habitats ever found in a single country. Most widely known are the Black Neck Cranes, a rare and endangered crane, holds a special place in folklore and Bhutanese hearts. To injure a Black Neck Crane in Bhutan is going to prison for a lifetime. Even the casual observer can be sure to see the blue whistling-thrush, yellow blue magpie, the wallcreeper, white-capped water redstarts, spotted nutcracker in the pine forest and the red-billed choughs on the roofs on the dzongs.
Day 01: – Arrival Paro (2250m):
Transfer from hotel to airport in time to connect Druk Air flight to Paro. During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, meet and greet transfer to hotel and briefing about the program rest and free. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02: – Birding and Tour in Paro
After breakfast start our Bird watching tour in Bhutan, the ideal birding spots in Paro are through the farmlands, the lower and upper broadleaved evergreen forests, the riversides, sub alpine forests and shrubberies. The valley also possesses wealth of cultural attractions such as Ta Dzong (National Museum), Rinpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and Taktsang Lhakhang.
Some of the recorded bird species in Paro includes: Aberrant Bush Warbler (Cettia flavoivacea), Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum), Himalayan Whistling Thrush (Myiophonus caeruleus), Common Teal (Ana crecca), Greyheaded Flycatcher Warbler (Seicercus xanthoschistos), Greenbacked Tit (Parus monticolus), Hodgson’s Redstart (Phoenicurus hodgsoni), Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos), Himalayan Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasi), Crestee Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus), Himalayan Treecreeper (Certhia hamalayana), Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris), Rufousbreasted Accentor (Prunella strophiata), Rufous Turtle Dove (Streptoppelia orientalis), Rufousbellied Hawk-Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii), Stripethroated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis), Longtailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus).
Day 03: – Paro / Thimphu (54 km, 1 and half hours)
After breakfast drive to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan, the Thimphu valley is surrounded by fine stands of Blue Pine and temperate evergreen forests. The increasing human settlement has pushed birding spots at least 10 km and now the ideal areas for birding are around the stream near Motithang and in and around Begana and Cheri villages.
Few of the bird species recorded here are: Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos), Redrumped Swallow (Hirunda daurica), Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus melaschistos), Grackle or Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa), Grey Wagtail (Motacilla caspica), Whitebellied Yuhina (Yuhina xanthoteuca), Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus), Plumbeous Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus).
Day 04: – Thimphu – Punakha. (77 km, 2 hours)
After breakfast drive to Punakha over dochula pass (3150 m). Stop for a while at the pass for a breath taking of eastern Himalayan Mountain Ranges on a clear day and also to see the 108 small chhortens (stupas). The following bird’s species can be found on our way to Punakha. Some special birds are Gold-naped Finch, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Satyr Tragopan, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler and Tree Creepers.
After lunch at evening hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, this is located at a hill top. This temple is also known as ‘the temple of fertility’. The hike will take about 25 minutes from the road end through the farm fields. Then we will drive to Punakha and visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 05: – Punakha – Trongsa
After breakfast drive to Trongsa over Pelela pass. Today we may find the following birds on our way to Trongsa. Frequently watching birds are Blood Pheasant, Yellowish-billed, Bush Warbler, Great Parrot bill, White Winged Grosbeak, Fire-tailed Myzornis and Maroon-backed Accentor. After having Lunch continue our journey to Trongsa. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 06: – Trongsa – Zhemgang.
After breakfast drive to Zhemgang with pack lunch. Today we may see the following birds beside the good opportunity to see the golden langure – an animal endemic to Bhutan. Here you’ll see Chestnuts Breasted Partridge, Ward’s Trogon, Rufus Necked, Great Horn Bill and Blue-napped Pitta, Blue fronted Robin, Wedge Billed and Bar winged Wren Babblers and many more. Dinner and overnight stay in Zhemgang.
Day 07: – Zhemgang – Tingtingbi.
Today we will explore the birds from Zhemgang till Tingtingbi. Dinner and overnight stay at Tingtingbi; night at Camp.
Day 08: – Tingtingbi – Trongsa.
After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa with your pack lunch. We will stop wherever necessary if we spot birds on our way back to Trongsa. Overnight at hotel
Day 09: – Trongsa – Wangdue:
After breakfast drive to Wangdue. The drive will take about 5 hours. Lunch will be served at Nobding and continue our journey to Wangdue. Spend evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: – Wangdue – Paro.
Early morning drive to Paro. Have lunch at Thimphu. Continue our journey to Paro. At evening, stroll around the Paro town and the last shopping in Bhutan. Dinner and overnight stay at Paro.
Day 11: – Final Departure:
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer you to the airport in Paro for departure flight to Kathmandu or your onward destination.