|Date||6th June – 19th June 2018|
|Duration||13 nights / 14 days|
|Group size||Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients or larger groups possible|
|Accommodation||From basic lodge to comfortable hotel. Luxury camping.|
|Climate||Wide varieties of weather are expected, hot and sunny to cold at the high elevation. Occasionally rain is expected in some places|
Day 1: Arrive Paro – Transfer Thimphu
Day2: Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha
Day 3: Full day birding inside Jigme Dorji National Park
Day 4: Punakha – Nobding – Phobjekha
Day 5: Phobjekha – Pelela – Trongsa – Bumthang
Day 6: Bumthang – Phrumshingla – Sengor
Day 7: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala
Day 8 & 9: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road
Day 10: Yongkala – Phrumshingla – Trongsa
Day 11: Trongsa – Paro
Day 12: Paro – Chelila Birding
Day 13: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion
Day 14: Departure
The flight into the Himalayas is one of the most scenic and breath taking one with the views of some of the tallest mountains of the world. On your arrival at the Paro international airport, our representative will receive you.
Drive to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan (2hrs) drive.
Evening birding around sewage pond in Thimphu searching searching for one of the biggest target birds, Ibisbill, other species we’ll be looking for include Black-tailed Crake, Brown Dipper, River Lapwing, White-capped Water Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White Wagtail, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Olive-backed Pipit, Russet and Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Hodgson’s Redstart, Common Sandpiper just to name few..
Day 2: Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha
Early morning drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). Our day starts from this pass with the breathtaking views of eastern Himalayas ranges. The mixed forests of hemlock, fir, oaks, and rhododendron here are good habitat for many good species including, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Spotted and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, White-browed Fullvetta, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, just to name few…
After breakfast at the pass, we descend down to the Lamperi Botanical Garden and take the nature walk for about hours, birds we’ll be looking here include Brown Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Eurasian Jay, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Blue-fronted and Hodgson’s Redstart, Striated and White-throated Laughingthrushes.
Later you’ll drive to Punakha valley, along with the drive you’ll look for the species like Chestnut-tailed Starling, Great and Golden-throated Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Spotted Dove, Red-vented Bulbul, Common Kestrel, Long-tailed Minivet and Ultramarine Flycatcher.
Remaining of the afternoon we’ll be birding along the Pho Chu valley looking for one of the main target bird, White-bellied Heron. One of the rarest birds in the world, with a population of less than 60 worldwide. Other birds we might see Common and Crested Kingfisher, Ibisbill, River Lapwing, Great Cormorant and few species ducks.
Day 3: Birding inside Jigme Dorji National Park
We will spend one full day birding inside the Jigme Dorji National park and along Mo Chu River. We have the possibilities of seeing Red–headed Trogon, Wallcreeper, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Small and Large Niltava, Black-chinned and Whiskered Yuhinas, Little, Spotted and Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Elachura and Pygmy Wren Babbler.
We also have a good chance of finding the species like Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Cormorant, Blue Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Rufous Sibia, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Green-backed and Black-throated Tit, Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, White-throated, Rufous-chinned, Striated and Bhutan Laughingthrush, Golden-throated and Great Barbet, Crested Kingfisher, Grey Treepie, Ashy Drongo, Verditer Flycatcher, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Black, Red-vented and Mountain Bulbul, River Lapwing, Crested Bunting, Grey Wagtail, Gadwall, and Large-billed Crow and with luck Pallas’s Fish Eagle.
Day 4: Punakha –Nobding – Phobjekha
Early morning you’ll wind up your way to the Phobjekha Valley (4hrs) stopping along the way looking for Cutia, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Grey-hooded, Blyth’s and Black-faced Warblers, Green-tailed and Mrs. Gloud’s Sunbird, Striated Prinia, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Pale-Blue, Verdieter and Ultramarine Flycatcher, White-capped River Chat, White-tailed Nuthatch, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Yellow-browed Tits, Strong-footed Bush Warbler, Bhutan Laughingthrush and few different species of Cuckoos, we’ll also make all our effort to search for the local scarce species like Ward’s Trogon and Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, one of the two species of honey guide occur in Asia.
Before reaching Pelela pass we’ll take the road to Phobjekha valley, crossing Lawala pass the vegetation changes into dwarf bamboo, here you’ll searching for the species like Spotted, Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Spotted Nutcracker, Great and Brown Parrotbills, Oriental Skylark, White-browed Shortwing, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Red-billed Chough, Large-billed and Whistler’s Warbler, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler and Grey-sided Bush Warbler..
Day 5: Phobjekha – Trongsa – Bumthang
After early breakfast, we’ll drive to the Pelela pass (4000) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road at Pelela for high altitude species like Spotted and Scaly Laughingthrushes, Himalayan Griffon, Rufous-breasted and Alpine Accentor, Himalayan Monal, Golden Bush Robin, White-browed and Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Collared and White-winged Grosbeak, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker with the bit of luck Satyr Tragopan, the bird that draw many birders to the Himalayas continue your drive to Trongsa stopping along the way looking for species like Black-throated Tits, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Golden-breasted and White-browed Fulvetta, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler.
Continue your drive to Bumthang, crossing the Yotongla pass (3400m). Some of the birds we’ll be searching around here include Red-headed Bullfinch, Grey-crested, Coal, Rufous-vented and Yellow-browed Tits, Bar-throated Minla, Green-tailed and Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Yellow-bellied and White-throated Fantail, Chestnut-crowned, Black-faced and Spotted Laughingthrush, Spotted Nutcracker, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Great and Brown Parrotbill. Later in the afternoon before we continue your drive to your hotel in Bumthang valley.
We’ll drive to the temple up the mountain to have the very close view of the Himalayan Monal, the place here offer the best chance to photograph the Himalayan monal because, in the morning and evening, the birds come very close to the monk quarter for feeding, other birds you’ll looking for include Black-billed Magpie, Oriental Skylark and Satyr Tragopan that occur here occasionally.
Day 6: Bumthang – Phrumshingla – Sengor.
We drive from Bumthang to Sengor going over Thrumshingla (3800m). Thrumshingla is the prime habitat for Blood Pheasants and also hold other high altitude species like, Snow Pigeons, Orange-flanked, Golden and White-browed Bush Robin, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, Fire-tailed Sunbirds, Greats and Fulvous Parrotbills, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, Grey-crested, coals, Rufous-vented and Rufous-fronted Tits, White-browed Fulvata, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Plain-backed Thrush, White-collared Blackbird, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Buff-barred, Ashy-throated, Blyth’s and Large-billed Leaf Warbler.
Later in the evening, we will be birding around Sengor looking for Satyr Tragopan. Sengor is known as the hotspot for Satyr Tragopan. Other birds you’ll be looking here include Bar-winged and Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Gold-naped Finch, Hoary-throated Barwing, Bar-throated and Red-tailed Minlas, Whistler’s and Grey-hooded Warbler and Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler. In the evening you’ll also try for the Himalayan Owl, which comes around your campsite.
Day 7: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala.
In the morning before we hit our road to Yongkala, we’ll drive back to the pass to search for the Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, and Fire-tailed Myzornis once again if we have missed the other day, back to the camp for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will hit the Bhutan’s wet subtropical forest and one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas. For the next days we will be birding the lush forested valley searching for Bay Woodpecker, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Maroon Oriole, Scarlet and Grey-chinned Minivets, White-gorgeted, Little Pied, Ultramarine and Verdieter Flycatchers, Little Forktail, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Grey-hooded, Grey-cheeked and Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Scaly, Bhutan, and Blue-winged Laughingthrushes, and many…
Day 8 & 9: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road.
We spend two entire days birding upper and lower Limithang road, The Yongkala -Namling – Limithang road is famous among birders and is often regarded as one of the best birding sites in all of Asia as it affords the birder an opportunity to access the seemingly endless tracts of pristine broad-leaved and coniferous forest that spans across a vast altitudinal range. All this is protected within the Thrumsing La National Park.. we’ll spend time searching for the local specialities like Rufous-throated, Long-billed and Pygmy Wren Babbler, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Lesser Yellownape, Grey-headed, Crimson-breasted and Bay Woodpecker, Speckled and White-browed Piculet, Coral-billed, Slender-billed, Streak-breasted and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, Scarlet Finches, Blue-throated, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Black Eagle, Long-tailed Shrike, Grey Treepie, Grey-chinned and Scarlet Minivets, Ashy, Spangled and Black Drongos, Small, Large and Rufous-bellied Niltavas, Sapphire, Blue-throated, Ultramarine, White-gorgeted and Rufous- gorgeted Flycatcher, Green-backed, Black-throated, Sultan and Black-Spot Yellow Tits, White-breasted and Black-throated Parrotbills, Golden-breasted, Rufous-winged, Yellow-throated and Nepal Fulvettas, Blue-winged, Grey-sided and Rufous-necked Laughingthrushes, Grey-cheeked, Chestnut-crowned, Black-faced and Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Blyth’s Shrike and Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Cutia and many more…
We’ll also make all our special effort to find the most sought species Beautiful Nuthatch during our two days here.
Day 10: Yongkala – Phrumshingla – Trongsa.
After a final morning birding in this wonderful habitat, you’ll retrace our way back to Trongsa passing through the Sengor valley, after crossing one of the high passes, the Thrumshing La (3800m). Thrumshing La is the prime habitat for many high altitude species. We’ll spend sometime here looking for the missing species on our way in. Then continue our drive through the valley of Bumthang, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. After crossing the Bumthang valley it is another 3hrs drive to Trongsa crossing the Yotongla pass (3400m)
Day 11: Trongsa – Paro
We leave our hotel in the morning as we start our return back to home. We do so with a seven hours journey bringing us back to Paro. We bird along the way for any missed species as we retrace our footsteps by following the same road as we came. In the evening we arrive in Paro where a fine meal awaits us.
Day 12: Paro – Chelila Birding
Very early in the morning drive to the cool alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). This is the highest pass on the car road. Here we should be reward with the three different species of Pheasants, Colorful Himalayan Monals, Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasants. Besides this you’ll also see other birds like Rufous-bellied and Darjeeling Woodpecker, Large Hawk and Eurasian Cuckoo, Black Eagle, Eurasian Jay, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Long-tailed Minivet, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Rufous-gorgetted and Ultramarine Flycatcher, Indian Blue Robin, White-browed Bush Robin, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Blue-fronted Redstart, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Rufous-vented, Coal, Green-backed and Grey-crested Tits, Buff-barred Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf, Blyth’s Leaf and Large-billed Leaf Warblers, White-throated, Black-faced, Chestnut-crowned and Spotted Laughingthrushes, Dark-rumped and White-browed Rosefinches.
Evening: In the evening, visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse to experience the local hospitality and a traditional hot stone bath. Dinner at the farmhouse.
Day 13: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion
After breakfast at the hotel, 15 minutes drive from here will take us to the parking lot at the base of the Tiger’s Nest monastery, from here we hike to one of the most beautiful and holiest temples in Bhutan. As Bhutan’s most scenic icon and most important destination for pilgrimages and reflection for over 1200 years, Takshang (or the “Tiger’s Nest”) clings to the side of a steep cliff some 200 meters above the Paro valley.
The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. After him, many high Buddhist priests came to meditate at this location and attained the highest level of spirituality. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world.
The total hike will take the average person about four hours. From the parking area, it will take about one hour to the tea house (rest and refreshment provided) and then another one and a half hours to the temple.
Evening free time to explore around Paro town or birding along the Paro River.
Day 14: Departure
All internal taxes and charges (including royalties)
Accommodation on twin sharing basis
All meals, tea, snack and bottled water
All travel with a licensed local birding guide
All surface transfers by a private vehicle
Camping equipment and haulage for camping and trekking tours
All entry fees to monuments, Museum and National Parks
Bhutan Visa Fee
Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
Tips, laundry, phone calls, and bars.
International and domestic air fare, and insurance.