Birding Road Trip in India

The varied habitats at varying altitudes provide a wide range of birding opportunities in India, which is home to over 1300 bird species, both resident and migrating. India has over 400 Important Birding Areas, and a total of 25 Ramsar sites. Ramsar sites are wetlands habitats that are protected for wetland birds. There are 79 indigenous bird species on the Indian Subcontinent, including roughly 53 in India. Every state in India has excellent birdwatching opportunities, as do certain towns and their suburbs. There are a lot of endemics, and some locations like the south of India and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, contain a lot of them. Lot of bird watching in India can be done by road.

You can divide the areas in 06 different zones for birding. South India Birding tour, North India Birding Tour, Northeast India Birding, North-Western India Birding Tour, Birding in Sunderban and Birding in Central India. Below in this blog I have mentioned three out of 06 birding road trip in India.

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Birding Road trip in South India

In Southern Part of India one of the most beautiful landscape with tropical rain forest known by Western Ghats is one of the best places for Bird Watching in India. The diversity in the rainforest’s terrain and ecology has resulted in the emergence of species of birds and mammals that are found nowhere else on the earth.

From the Malabar Whistling Thrush, White-bellied Minivet, Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, and Sri Lanka Frogmouth to the magnificent Malabar Trogon, Indian Pitta, and Great Hornbill, this wide-ranging journey is organized as a celebration of many of these unique species.

 

birding road trip south india

 

How does the Birding Road trip flow in South India?

We can easily do at least 13 days of birding road trip in Southern, and if time allows then more areas can explore. If we say 12 days then some of the most visited places in south India are below:

 

birding tour in southern india

 

The outline of the birding trip itinerary is below:

 

Day Destination Activity
Day 01 Arrive Bangalore transfer to Mysore, • On arrival Nature Safari representative
145 km, 3.5 hrs drive. Ornithiologist / Birding Guide will meet
you and help you get transfer to Mysore.
Check-in to the hotel overnight at the
hotel in Mysore.

 

Day 02 Mysore to Rangannathittu back to Morning after breakfast drive to
Mysore , 18 km one way 30 mins drive Ranganathittu for birding which opens at
0900 hrs. Birding around the sanctuary in
a boat safari (most recommended).
Overnight at the hotel in Mysore.
Day 03 Mysore to Madhumallai, 87 km, 02 hrs Morning after a relaxed breakfast check-
of drive out from the hotel and transfer to
Madhumalai.
• Birding on the way to Madhumalai
• Birding around the lodge.
• Overnight at the Madhumalai.
Day 04 Madumallai Whole day birding around Madhumallai
and Masinagudi.
Overnight at Madhumallai.
Day 05 Madhumallai to Ooty, 46 km, 2 hrs Morning after breakfast transfer to Ooty
drive Birding around Ooty in Botanical Garden
Overnight in Ooty
Day 06 Ooty Birding around Nigiris and Coonor
Overnight in Ooty
Day 07 Ooty to Parambikulam, 190 km, 5-6 Morning after breakfast check-out from
hrs drive the hotel and transfer tp Parambikulam
• Birding at Parmbikulam in the afternoon
Overnight at Parambikulam
Day 08 Parambikulam Whole day birding at parambikulam
Overnight at Parambikulam
Day 09 Parambikulam to Munnar, 135 km, 4.5 Morning after breakfast transfer to
hrs drive Munnar
• Birding at Munnar in the afternoon till the
sunset
Overnight in Munnar
Day 10 Munnar Whole day birding around Munnar and in
Eravikulam National Park.
Overnight in Munnar
Day 11 Munnar to Periyar, 110 km, 3. 5 hrs Morning after breakfast transfer to
drive Periyar National Park.
• Afternoon Birding around Periyar National
Park
Overnight at Periyar
Day 12 Periyar Full day birding around and inside Periyar
National Park
Overnight at Periyar
Day 13 Periyar to Kochi, 156 km, 05 hrs drive After breakfast transfer to Kovhi airport to
board a flight home or onwards journey

 

Some of the Key Species you will see during the tour are below:

  • Wayanad laughi Thrush
  • Heart Spotted Woodpecker
  • Malabar Trogon
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • Nilgiri Wood Pegion
  • Sri Lanka Frogmouth
  • Indian Pitta
  • Flame Throated Bulbull
  • White bellied Treepie
  • White bellied blue Robin
  • White napped Woodpecker
  • Great Hornbill
  • Lotens Sunbird

 

heart spotted woodpecker

 

Birding in South India is the detailed itinerary for the above outline itinerary. Western Ghats is a vast area to explore there are several other places where we can explore for birding via road. The related itinerary to Birding in South India is Birding in Western Ghats,

 

Birding road trip in Northern India

North India is another place to wonder, the Himalayas and the fotthills of himalays says the different stories as far as wildlife diversity is concerned. A single National Park, Corbett National Park has the bird count of over 500 individual species and adding places like Nainital, Pangot in Uttarkhand with Bharatpur in Rajasthan will give the ample opportunity to see the diverse bird species of the region. You can do a short tour of 08 nights and 09 days of tour to explore the area for bird watching.

 

A Crimson Sunbird in India

 

birding road trip north india

 

The Outline of the itinerary is below

 

Day Destination Activity
Day 01 Arrive New Delhi to Corbett On arrival at the airport Nature Safari
National Park, 275 km, 6-7 hrs representative will meet you and transfer to
drive. Corbett National Park.
• Overnight at Corbett National Park
Day 02 Corbett to Dhikala Zone, • Morning jeep safari inside the National Park.
• Afternoon visit Dhikala Forest Rest house and
stay inside the National Park in 100-year-old
rest house
• Evening safari inside Dhikala
Overnight at Dhikala
Day 03 Corbett Dhikala • Morning and afternoon Jeep safari inside the
National Park
• Overnight at Dhikala FRH

 

Day 04 Corbett to Pangot, 160 km, 04 Morning jeep safari inside the National Park
hrs drive Transfer to Pangot
• Evening Birding at Pangot around the lodge
Overnight at Pangot
Day 05 Pangot to Nainital Morning birding around Pangot and nearby
area
• Later drive to Saat Tal and birding around
Sattal
• Later drive to lodge, overnight at Nainital
Day 06 Nainital Full-day birding at Nainital and Saattal
Overnight at Nainital
Day 07 Nainital to Bharatpur, 360 km, Early morning short birding around the lodge
09 hrs drive After breakfast transfer to Bharatpur
Overnight at Bharatpur
Day 08 Bharatpur Morning and afternoon birding excursion at
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Overnight at Bharatpur
Day 09 Bharatpur to Delhi, 210 km, 04 Morning birding excursion at Bharatpur Bird
hrs drive Sanctuary
• Transfer to New Delhi airport to board a flight
home or onwards journey

 

Some key bird species you can see in this tour are

  • Red-billed Blue Magpie
  • Blue-throated Barbet
  • Lineated Barbet
  • Crimson-fronted Barbet
  • Plum-headed Parakeet
  • Slaty-headed Parakeet
  • Chestnut bellied Rock Thrush
  • Crimson Sunbird
  • Blue Whistling Thrush
  • Black-Capped Sibia
  • Crested Kingfisher
  • Long tailed Broadbill
  • Sarus Crane
  • Ibis bill
  • Collared Falconet
  • Great Slaty Woodpecker
  • Imperial Eagle and many more

 

White Ibis

 

The Northern Part of India has been exploring a combination of different destinations. Some of the well-know tour which gives an ample opportunity of seeing the birds and other wildlife are Birds, Taj and Tiger Tour, and Himalayan Bird Photography Tour.

 

Birding Road Trip in Northeast India

The Northeast India is a birder’s dream. Northeast India have some of the highest bird diversity in the Orient, with around 850 species. The diversity of habitats associated with a vast altitudinal range is reflected in the population and diversity of the region’s birds. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has designated the Eastern Himalaya and the Assam plains as an Endemic Bird Area. This is the only place on the planet where 24 restricted-range species can be found. Lowland and montane moist-to-wet tropical evergreen forests in the region are regarded the world’s northernmost authentic tropical rainforests.

Brahmaputra Valley Semi Evergreen Forests, Eastern Himalayan Broadleaved Forests, Eastern Himalayan Sub-alpine Coniferous Forests, and India–Myanmar Pine Forests are among the priority eco-regions designated by WWF in North-East India. Mishmi Hills and Eagle nest Wildlife Sanctuary are two prominent birding locations in the northeast. For birders, these two locations are like Mecca.

 

birding road trip north east india

 

Northeast India for birding can go as long as you want however to make a shorter version of the tour I would suggest the below outline itinerary:

 

Day Destination Activity
Day 01 Arrive Dibrugarh transfer to Roing On arrival Nature Safari Naturalist will met
Mishmi Hills, 150 km, 04 hrs drive you at the airport and transfers to Roing.
• Evening birding around the lodge
• Overnight at Roing, Mishmi Hills
Day 02 Mishmi Hill Morning and afternoon birding along the
lower and middle elevation forest.
• Overnight in Roing, Mishmi Hills
Day 03 Mishmi Hills Full-day Birding excursion to Mayudia
pass
• Overnight in Roing, Mishmi Hills
Day 04 Mishmi Hills Full-day Birding excursion to Mayudi pass
and Hunli road
• Overnight in Roing, Mishmi Hills
Day 05 Roing, Mishmi Hills to Guijan near Morning check-out from the lodge and
Tinsukia, 114 km, 3 hrs drive transfer to Guijan
• On the way to Guijan birding at Jia
grassland looking for Parrotbills.
• Afternoon silent boat safari at Maguri beel
Overnight in Guijan
Day 06 Guijan to Digboi, 45 km, 1 hrs Morning another round of birding in
drive Maguree/Dibru Soikhowa
Transfer to Digboi
Overnight in Digboi
Day 07 Digboi Full-day birding at Dihing Patkai Wildlife
Sanctuary
Overnight in Digboi
Day 08 Digboi to Dibrugarh, 84 km, 02 hrs Tansfer to Dibrugarh
drive Board a flight to home or onwards journey

 

Key Species of Birds during the tour

  • Long-billed Wren-Babbler
  • Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler
  • Bar-winged Wren-Babbler
  • Pygmy Wren-Babbler
  • Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
  • Purple Cochoa
  • Green Cochoa
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Hodgson’s Frogmouth
  • Mishmi Wren Babbler – endemic
  • Black-breasted Parrotbill
  • Marsh Babbler
  • Jerdon’s Babbler
  • Bengal Florican
  • Rufous-capped Babbler
  • Chestnut-capped Babbler
  • Grey-throated Babbler
  • Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler
  • Chinese Rubythroat
  • Bluethroat

 

Purple Cocho

 

Birding in East Assam and Mishmi Hills is detailed itineray for the same. The road trip from Mishmi hill to Eaglenest is long so to cover Eagle nest you will have to fly to Guwahati or Jorhat in Assam. The above tour is covering Mishmi hills of Arunachal Pradesh. To cover the birding in Eagle nest you may go through “Birding in Northeast”.

 

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