White-bellied Heron

In Search of Heron and Cranes

07 DAYS
FROM $1,300

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients or larger groups possible

Maximum 6PAX

Moderate

Space Available

Tour Overview

This short tour 6 nights and 7 days’ tour was design for our customers who are particular interested to see the White-bellied Heron, critically endangered bird with the population of 60 Individual worldwide and The Magnificent Black-necked Cranes with the population of few thousands in the world.

Bhutan has the highest population of the White-bellied Heron, 28 individuals have been reported from Bhutan and Bhutan is also one of the population winter destinations for the Black-necked Cranes.
On this tour, apart from the White-bellied Heron and Black-necked Cranes, you will also likely some of the Wintering migrants including Wallcreeper, Thrushes. Forktails, Ducks, Waders, and residents species such as rare and most sought-after species like Ward’ Trogon, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Ibisbill, and Yellow-rumped Honeyguide. All in all, we will show you over 170 birds on this tour. Other highlights include the visit to some of the ancient beautiful fortress and the templ

Other highlight include visit to Bhutan’s most scenic icon and most important destination for pilgrimages Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), most beautiful and impressive Punakha Dzong and Regal and imposing, Paro Rimpung Dzong

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro, meet by our representative.
Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visits the historic Paro Rimpung Dzong (fortress) and the late afternoon birding along the Paro Chu (River): (Overnight: Paro)
Day – 2: Paro – Chelila – Local Sightseeing
Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). Drive back to Paro for lunch. After lunch transfer to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. (Overnight: Thimphu)
Day – 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Early morning drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). Birding in the Lamperi Botanical Gardens. Drive to Punakha with lunch en route and a visit to the Dzong, in the late afternoon birding along the Pho Chu River (Overnight: Punakha)
Day – 4: Punakha – Phobjikha
Early morning, start driving to the Phobjekha valley. Birding en route, Afternoon birding in Phobjekha valley. (Overnight: Phobjekha)
Day – 5: Phobjekha – Paro
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. Later drive to Paro.
Day – 6: Paro – Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)

hike to Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) one of the most famous 17th century monastery of Bhutan.

Evening: visit the typical Bhutanese farmhouse to experience the local hospitality

Day – 7: Departure
After breakfast at hotel our representative, your tour guide and drive will drive you to the airport and bid you good-bye.

What to Expect

  • This birding tour will be on selected sites that do not pose any threats such as steep slopes. During these trips, you should expect yourself to walk at least 6-7 kilometers on average per day
  • Like elsewhere, the best time for watching birds is in the morning. You can expect an early start in the morning most of the time. However, a couple of very early mornings are required to look for high elevation dwelling Pheasant that comes out to the roadside early in the morning.
  • Accommodation on this tour is generally simple but comfortable. The hotels are generally spacious, clean and comfortable, built-in westernized Bhutanese style, and all rooms have private facilities.
  • This trip coincides with the Himalayan winter. The weather will generally be cool and clear, which offer better chance to viewing the high Himalayas ranges. Mornings and evenings could be especially cool; temperature is likely to be below zero degrees Celsius

Bhutan Birding Experts

Pema Dawa comes remote village in the lower Kheng in Zhemgang district, he has grown up with village surrounded with beautiful and pristine forests.

He graduated from Sherubtse College, the oldest university in Bhutan with the honor in English and Dzong, after his graduation due to his interest in working and meeting with the people, he decided to join tour guide.

For the last few years’ Pema has been going as co-guide with some of our senior birding guides. As a young and enthusiastic birder, Pema is now familiar with calls, behavior, distributions, and habitats of Bhutan birds. Pema was also fortunate to be both as leader and co-leader for Naturetrek Tour (UK).

He is one of the few who received special training on nature guide conducted by Ugyen Wangchuk Institue of Conservation and Environment and topped the exam on the botanist section.

Hear from our Guests

We have just completed our birding two weeks with Pema and what a fabulous time we had. He and Dorji looked after us so well. I know you were interested in where Pema spotted the white-bellied heron..on our first full day!! Only a short distance out of Punakha. A small settlement. The river flowing straight with a right bend just upstream. It was feeding and resting just below the two women shown here. It had already worked it’s way 50m upstream from below a farmhouse. Then it flew upstream maybe 75m to roost three quarters of the way up, on the right side, of a tall conifer growing from the bank on the far side of the river just at the first bend. I located it vertically from a spherical golden brown river stone on the far bank which is probably behind the left hand haystack in the second picture. It was hard to find there but we saw it fly in. I hope this is helpful. We went on to see lots of brilliant birds, mammals, plants, reptiles and butterflies! Thanks for the lovely T shirts. My husband will be wearing his in Spain til Christmas. I am making all my birding friends mad with jealousy sending them photos and talking non stop. and I am encouraging them to visit. I hope to revisit ASAP. I hope you will have me. Please give my best wishes to dear Pema.
Jill Croshe
jillcrosher@gmail.com
Hi Norbu..Ken and I just want to thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for us. Pema and Thsewang make a great team and we enjoyed their company. Pema is a great guide and a terrific spotter. His cultural knowledge is also very impressive and it was wonderful birding with him. We really enjoyed his company. Thsewang is a fabulous driver and also a very enthusiastic birder and good spotter. He was so helpful and genuinely a pleasure to be with. Mirka and Babu also made the trip great. The food Mirka prepared us was delicious and nutritious, and Babu was totally attentive to our camping and mealtime needs. They were so pleasant and helpful. Having fresh local Bhutanese cuisine was a real treat and greatly enhanced our experience. When we come back we would hope to have Pema Thsewang, Mirka and Babu accompany us again. In a few months, when your season is over, please let us know what areas you might suggest in the south, entering and exiting via India. Best regards and many thanks for the t shirts
Gina and Ken
USA
Pema's knowledge of birds along the way on our botanizing trip enriched our experience greatly. He recognized birds instantly while driving as well as when hiking. (I have a wonderful photo of a Hoopoe--my new, favorite bird). And, his knowledge of habits and habitats for different bird species integrated beautifully with our interest in plants. Pema's experience on previous botanizing trips and his own studies have given him a good foundation for identifying the plant species we found throughout the diverse habitats of our trip. Pema worked 24/7 as a guide, always checking on our well-being as well as doing research every evening regarding our flora identification. His use of technology for information was very important on our trip and we appreciated that he had access to the Internet for in-depth research as well. He found great photo opportunities for Pat and always-offered information regarding our sometimes probing questions about culture and politics in Bhutan. Our drivers and Pema all spoke English fluently and we enjoyed the camaraderie they exhibited when we conversed on topics outside the scope of our trip--it's important to laugh and joke a little everyday. We loved Pema! Oh, an aside, an important one, Pema ensured we had the food we enjoyed on our trek, incorporating it into the Bhutanese cuisine--one conscientious guide!
Melody Clarkson and Pat Thompson
USA

Prices & Dates

Date3 or More PeopleLes than 3 People
10th to 16th Feb 2021$1,300
per person
$1,480
per person

What is Included

  • 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

What is not Included

  • Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
  • Tips, laundry, phone calls, and bars.
  • International and domestic airfare, and insurance.

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