Date 1st – 17th Feb 2018
Guide Sherab Dorji
Duration 16 nights / 17 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 snow is expected at some high pass
Tour OutlineDetail ItineraryTour CostRESERVE NOW

Day 1: Arrive Paro – transfer Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha
Day 3: Punakha – Nobding – Phobjekha
Day 4: Phobjekha – Pelela – Bumthang
Day 5: Bumthang – Phrumshingla – Sengor
Day 6: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala
Day 7 & 8: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road
Day 9: Yongkala – Phrumshingla – Trongsa
Day 9: Trongsa – Zhemgang
Day 11: Zhemgang – Tingtibe – Gomphu Road
Day 12: Zhemgang – Tamala – Gelephu
Day 13: Gelephu – Sarpang – Tsirang
Day 11: Zhemgang – Tingtibe – Gomphu Road
Day 12: Zhemgang – Tamala – Gelephu
Day 13: Gelephu – Sarpang – Tsirang
Day 14: Tsirang – Paro
Day 15: Paro – Chelila Birding
Day 16: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion
Day 17: Departure

Day 1: Paro- transfer Thimphu (2hrs. drive)
The flight into the Himalayas is one of the most scenic and breath taking one with the views of some of the tallest mountains in 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 for one of the main target bird, Ibisbill, other birds we’ll be searching here include Black-tailed Crake, Wallcreeper, Brown Dipper, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Merganser, White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstart, White Wagtail, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Common and Green Sandpiper, Common and Crested Kingfisher just to name few…

Overnight: Thimphu

Day 2: Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha (3hrs. drive)
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 is good habitat for many good species including, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Eurasian Jay, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhina, Spotted Nutcracker, Long-tailed Minivet, Rufous-vented and Coal Tit. Then drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). En route stop at Lamperi Botanical Garden and take the nature walk for about hours, birds we’ll be looking here include Brown Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Plain-backed Thrush White-collared Blackbird and Green-backed Tit.

Continue your 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 and Black Bulbul, Common Kestrel.

Afternoon: Visit Punakha’s Punthang Dechen Phodrang (the names means palace of Great Bliss) Standing on the tongue of the land of land where two rivers, Phochu and Mochu, meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutan history. Punakha Dzong was a place where Bhutan’s first king, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned in 1907. It is winter residence for Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and entire central monk body.

Later in the evening 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 Pallas Fish Eagle, White-throated and Crested Kingfisher, Ibisbill, River Lapwing, and few species of Ducks.

Overnight: Punakha

Day 3: Punakha – Nobding – Phobjekha (3hrs. drive)
We will have a before-breakfast outing back to Pho Chu River for White-bellied Heron if we didn’t find it yesterday. Then start driving to the Phobjekha Valley (4hrs) stopping often for birds. We will be looking for rare and little-known Species like Ward’s Trogon and Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, one of the two species of Honeyguide occurs in Asia. Other possibilities include Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, White-tailed Nuthatch, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Golden-throated and Great Barbet, Plain-backed Thrush and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker. Before reaching Pelela pass we’ll take the side road to Phobjekha Valley. When crossing the Gangteyla pass the vegetation changes into dwarf bamboos, here we’ll be searching for Brown and Great Parrotbill, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrush

We’ll also visit Gangtey Gompa, a monastery dating back to 1613. We’ll hike through the Nature trail; it goes through the blue pine forest and small settlements. Some of the birds we may see on the hike are Spotted Nutcracker; Grey- Crested Tit, Hen harrier, and Black-necked Crane. Later we’ll visit a farmhouse to see the rural Bhutanese life.

In the evening, we’ll visit the Crane information center to get more information on cranes.

Overnight: Phobjekha

Day 4: Phobjekha – Pelela – Bumthang (5hrs. drive)
After early breakfast, we’ll drive to the Pelela pass (3400) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road at Pelela for high altitude species like Spotted Laughingthrush, Himalayan Griffon, Brown and Great Parrotbill, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Spotted Nutcracker, White-winged and Collared Grosbeak, Darjeeling and Rufous-breasted Woodpecker, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, White Collared Blackbird, Crimson-browed Finch, White-browed and Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Blue-fronted and White-throated Redstart continue you drive to Trongsa, along the way you’ll be looking for the other species like Black-throated Parrotbill, Golden-breasted and Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Rusty-cheeked and Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Coal and Yellow-browed Tit, Green Shrike Babbler and Rufous Sibia./p>

Crossing Trongsa, the road wind up the Yotongla pass (3400m). Some of the likely species we may encounter around here are 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, and Brown Parrotbill.

In the evening 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, Russet and Eurasian Tree sparrow.

Overnight: Bumthang

Day 5: Bumthang – Phrumshingla – Sengor (4hrs. drive)
We drive from Bumthang to Sengor going over Phrumshingla (3800m). Phrumshingla is the prime habitat for Blood Pheasants and also hold other high altitude species like, Snow Pigeons, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, 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 Tits, White-browed Fulvetta, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Plain-backed and Long-tailed Thrush, White-collared Blackbird, Rusty-flanked and Hodgson’sTreecreeper Buff-barred, Ashy-throated, Whistler’s Warbler. Blyth’s Leaf Warbler.

Later in the evening, we will be birding around Sengor looking for 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, Red Crossbill and Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler.

Overnight: Sengor Camp

Day 6: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala (2hrs. drive)
In the morning before we hit our road to Yongkala, we’ll drive back to the pass to search for the Blood Pheasant and Parrotbills 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 day 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, Black-throated Prinia, Grey-hooded, Grey-cheeked and Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Scaly, Bhutan, and Blue-winged Laughingthrush and many …

Overnight: Yongkala Camp

Day 7 & 8: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road.
You’ll spend two entire day birding upper and lower Limithang road ranked amongst the ten top birding sites in the world, we’ll search for the area’s specialties such as Rufous-throated and Pygmy Wren Babbler, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Lesser and Greater Yellownape, Grey-headed and Bay Woodpecker, Speckled and White-browed Piculet, Coral-billed, Slender-billed, Streak-breasted 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, Rufous-gorgeted, Little Pied, and Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Green-backed, Black-throated, Sultan, Black-Spot Yellow Tits, White-breasted and Black-throated Parrotbills, Golden-breasted, Yellow-throated, Nepal and Rufous-winged Fulvettas, Blue-winged, Grey-sided, Scaly and Rufous-necked Laughingthrushes, White-tailed, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Green-tailed and Black-throated Sunbird. We’ll also make our every effort to find the Beautiful Nuthatch and many more…

Overnight: Yongkala Camp

Day 9: Yongkala – Phrumshingla – Trongsa (6hrs. drive)
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 Blood Pheasant and also holds other high altitude species such as Snow Pigeon, Orange-flanked Bush-Robin, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Great Parrotbill, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Grey-crested and Coal Tits and White-browed Fulvetta. We continue 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).

Overnight: Trongsa.

Day 10: Trongsa – Zhemgang (6hrs. drive)
Today on our drive to Zhemgang, we will have lots of stops at several forested valleys. We have chances for rare and little known Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, one of the two species of Honeyguide occurs in Asia, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike, Prinias, Rufous Woodpecker, Blue–bearded Bee-eater, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel, Blue-bearded Bee-Eater, White-crested and Rufous-necked Laughingthrush and various Minivets. This is also our best chance for the Golden Langur, a rare monkey endemic to Bhutan and only discovered in the 1950s.

In the evening we’ll also take an opportunity to bird along the Dakphel road in Zhemgang looking for the species like Cutia, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Coral-billed and Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-chinned and Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Black-chinned, Whiskered and Striated Yuhina, Blue-winged Minla. We will also make a special effort to find Beautiful Nuthatch, is one of the rarest species of Nuthatch in the world.

Overnight: Tingtibe Camp

Day 11: Zhemgang – Tingtibe – Gomphu Road
We’ll explore the entire stretch of Zhemgang – Tingtibe road in the morning. We drop in elevation as we head towards Tingtibe targeting the low elevation birds like, Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Green Pigeons, Cutia, White-browed Shrike Babblers, Minlas, White-tailed Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, and whole host of cool Laughingthrushs such as Red-faced Liocichla, Rufous-chinned, Blue-winged and Grey-sided Laughingtrush, Ashy and Bronze Drongo, Grey-headed Canary, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Our main target bird for the day will be Beautiful Nuthatch.

Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore the Gomphu road, the road that leads to the Manas National Park, Here we’ll for looking for the species like White-hooded Babbler, Greater and Lesser Yellownape, Crimson-breasted, Grey-capped and Pale-headed Woodpecker, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Pale-bill Parrotbill.

Overnight: Tingtibe Camp

Day 12: Zhemgang – Tamala – Gelephu (5hrs.drive)
After early breakfast at the camp, we’ll be heading to a lower elevation than we have been able to visit so far on the trip. We’ll target the varieties of low elevation specialties including Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Sultan Tit, Red- headed Trogon, Black Eagle, House Sparrow (rare in Bhutan…), Jungle Babbler, Silver-eared Mesia, Long-tailed Broadbill, Long-tailed Sibia, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Emerald Dove, Orange-bellied Leafbird, and many more.

Overnight: Gelephu

Day 13: Gelephu – Sarpang – Tsirang (4hrs. drive)
We will have a before-breakfast outing around the plain of Gelephu, chances of encountering the low elevation birds like Oriental Pied and Wreathed Hornbill, Red-wattled Lapwing, Black kite, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-naped Monarch and back to the hotel for breakfast.

Then We start climbing from the foothills experience lots of changes in the elevation, after crossing Sarpang we start our ascend through the sun tropical forest searching for the species like Collared Falconet, Cutia, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Scaly-breasted and Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Spotted Elachura, Slaty-backed, Spotted and Little Forktails, Rufous-winged and Nepal Fulvetta, Rufous Sibia, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Grey-chinned and Long-tailed Minivet, Winter Wren, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-throated and Rufous-capped Babbler and many more.

Overnight: Darachu Camp

Day 14: Darachu – Tsirang – Paro (6hrs. drive)
After final morning birding around Darachu – Tsirang road, We head back to Paro today, birding many sites on the way; some of the species we’ll be looking along the drive include Wallcreeper, Striated Prinia, Great, Golden-throat¬ed and Blue-throated Barbets, Black, Ashy and Black-crested Bulbul, Blue and Chestnut-bellied Rock thrushes, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Crested Serpent Eagle, Common Kestrel, Striated and White-throated Laughingthrush and many more.

Overnight: Paro

Day 15: Paro -Chelila Birding (3hrs.drive)
Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). This is the highest pass accessible by car in Bhutan. Here we should be rewarded with three different species of Pheasants: the colorful Himalayan Monal flocks of Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasant. Besides you’ll also be looking for the other species like White-browed, Dark-rumped and Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Plain Mountain Finch, White winged and Collared Grosbeaks and Black-faced and Spotted laughingthrushes, Alpine and Rufous-breasted Accentor, Snow Pigeon, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Spotted Nutcracker, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-crested, Coal, Rufous-vented and Rufous-fronted Tits.

Afternoon: Visit Paro Rimpung Dzong, also known as the “Fortress on the Heap of Jewels.” It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan, in the year 1646. After visiting the dzong, walk down to a traditional wooden covered bridge. The walk from the dzong to the bridge offers a good view that will allow you to appreciate the architectural wonder of the Dzong.

Evening birding along the Paro River searching for one of the biggest target birds, Ibisbill, we may also see other birds like River Lapwing, Black- tailed Crake, Brown Dipper, Solitary and Pin-tailed Snipe, Russet and Eurasian Tree sparrow and few species of Ducks.

Overnight: Paro

Day 16: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion.
After breakfast, drive 15 minutes to the starting point in order to hike to Takshang Monastery (the Tiger’s Nest). Visited and sanctified by Guru Rimpoche, this place is one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan world. Over the years, many great Buddhist masters have visited and meditated here. Later, in the year 1692 AD, the fourth temporal ruler of Bhutan built the monastery over the cave where Guru Rimpoche and his consort Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal mediated. The monastic complex clings to the rock towering 800 meters above the valley (2950 meters above sea level).

After visiting the monastery, stop at the cafeteria half way down for lunch.
 In the evening, visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse to experience the local hospitality and a traditional hot stone bath. Dinner at the farmhouse.

Overnight: Paro

Day 17: Departure.
Transfer to the airport for departure. Off to Bhutan staff will bid you farewell and safe journeys until we meet again.

2 people: USD 3440 per person
3 or more: USD 2960 per person

Service includes:
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

Services Excluded:
Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
Tips, laundry, phone calls, and bars.
International and domestic air fare, and insurance.

We would be happy to serve you with utmost hospitality, please feel free to write us at bhutanbirding@gmail.com or click on the link below and fill-up the form and send it:
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