Tour Overview - Birding in North East India
Embark on a journey that is possibly one of the best birding hotspots Asia has to offer; it is a place where very few have ventured to discover some of the most remarkable species we have on Earth. Here one can witness the likes of the recently discovered Temminck’s Tragopan to the vulnerable Bengal florican.
Some of the other exciting prospects one can encounter are the mesmerizing Fire Tailed Myzornis and the endemic Bugun Liocichla apart from a treasure trove of avian medley. This tropical bird country has no dearth of spectacular sights such as these.
Detailed Itinerary - Birding in North East India
On arrival at the airport our representative will meet you. He will hand over the travel related documents and transfer you to the hotel for an overnight stay.
After an early breakfast, we will transfer to the domestic airport to catch our flight to Guwahati, which is in the state of Assam. On reaching, we will move to Nameri National Park. On our way, we will stop by a local dump yard where the Greater Adjutants can be seen. This village is a refuge for these magnificent birds, with almost two-thirds of the world’s population residing here. The locals have done a tremendous job to protect these birds with the help of conservationists. Amongst the 5-foot-tall birds, you even see their close relative the Lesser Adjutants, Asian Open Bills and variety of other birds such as Citrine wagtails, Yellow Bellied Prinias and Striated Grassbird. On reaching Nameri, we will check in to our accommodation for night’s rest.
This spectacular reserve is adjoining to the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh, together they both encompass an area of over 1000 km² of moist deciduous, semi-evergreen and large strips of grasslands.
Our day is meant for an excursion in the forest with the primary focus to seek the elusive White Winged Duck. An excellent place to look is in the dotted pools within the woods, and your chances here are good. While we keep a close watch to sight this bird, there are many that you will stumble upon along the way. Birds such as the Common Green Magpie, Chestnut Bellied and Velvet Fronted Nuthatches, the enormous Blue Bearded Bee Eater, Maroon Oriole, the White Rumped Shama, and the extremely shy Green Cochoa are some of the many that inhabit this ecological haven. You also have the pleasure of witnessing Hornbills like the Wreathed and the Great. Post lunch, you can try our luck again to add more to your checklist. Return to the lodge for dinner and rest.
After breakfast, we will depart to the Sangti Valley, which is further North. The area of interest is the less transversed East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, a state which is in the northeastern part of India. The undulating eastern Himalayas form a diverse, rich landscape with the most remarkable rainforest which is rich with avifauna and animal life. On your way there, you can explore some lower elevation bamboo and mixed broad-leaved forest where some very exquisite species can be found.
The list includes Grey-headed, White-breasted and Pale-billed Parrotbills, gregarious Whitehooded Babbler, Streak-throated Barwing, extremely elusive Pale-headed Woodpecker, Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher, Golden-breasted Fulvetta and Broad-billed Warbler. Other spectacular species could include Yellow-bellied, Grey-cheeked and Yellow-vented Warblers, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Long-tailed Sibia, the rarely seen White-naped Yuhina, Long-tailed Minivet, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, and the Hair-crested and Ashy Drongos. You can expect to arrive at Dirang late afternoon.
Over the higher reaches of Mandala Phudung, there are scores of beautiful species and as you spend an entire day searching the area in search of the many specialities here. Notable birds that we will be on the hunt for include the mesmerizing Firetailed Myzornis, Scaly-breasted and Bar-winged WrenBabblers, Spotted Laughingthrush, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, nomadic Golden-naped, Crimson browed and Scarlet Finches, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Ferruginous and Slaty-blue Flycatchers, Chestnut-headed Tesia and the localized Brown-throated Fulvetta. We may also encounter many other lovely species, including the majestic Himalayan Vulture, the Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Red Junglefowl, Russet Sparrow, striking Crested Bunting, Rosy Pipit and the entertaining Brown Dipper, among many others.
On either of the days, we will ascend to explore the higher reaches of the Sela Pass (weather and conditions permitting) at an altitude of 13800 ft. The scenery here is unrivalled, where you have the liberty to enjoy a bird-filled day. Some of the extraordinary high-altitude species to watch out for include the spectacular Himalayan Monal, Kalij and Blood Pheasants, Snow and Hill Partridges, the enthralling Wallcreeper, Snow Pigeon, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, curious Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, high-flying Brandt’s and Plain Mountain Finches, Collared Grosbeak, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, the stunning Grandala, Alpine and Rufous-breasted Accentors, rarely-seen, Solitary Snipe, Himalayan Buzzard, Bearded Vulture, Plain Backed Thrush, White-collared and Tibetan Blackbirds, gorgeous Golden Bush Robin, eye-catching Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, The dazzling, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Rosy Pipit, White-throated Dipper in the icy mountain streams, Eurasian Wren, Indian Blue Robin, and Dark-rumped, Darkbreasted and Himalayan White-browed Rosefinches.
Before departing for Eagle’s Nest, we will spend some time in the Dirang area scouring for some remarkably captivating birds, including Black-tailed Crake, the rare Long-billed Plover, and the shy and rarely seen Blyth’s Kingfisher. Having spent a few productive days of birding in Dirang, we will transfer to Arunachal Pradesh, driving for the enchanting Eagle’s Nest Wildlife Sanctuary.
Eagle’s Nest is a wonderfully diverse reserve, with the altitude ranging from 500 to 3200m above sea level, and hosts an impressive 218km² dense forest habitat. The birding en route to Eagle’s Nest can be very productive and may yield a number of magnificent birds such as the Short Billed Minivet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Black-chinned, and Striated Yuhinas, Spot-winged Grosbeak, Rusty-fronted Barwing. On arrival, we will check into our lodge and spend the afternoon birding for the winged wonders of Eagle’s Nest.
Eagle’s Nest is a birder’s paradise which is why spending five days here to really soak in the experience will absolutely pay off. Eagle’s Nest, and we will visit a range of altitudes to enable us to find the host of unique species that occur here. Eagle’s Nest has recently attracted a lot of attention in birding circles due to the discovery of a new species of laughing thrush, the Bugun Liochicla, which is named after the local tribe in the area. Our chances of seeking this splendid species are excellent. The region offers excellent birding, and the list of birds is almost never-ending. From the many that one can see here, however, are Ward’s Trogon, Purple and Green Cochoas, Coral-billed and Slender-billed Scimitar Babblers, and the jaw-dropping Himalayan Cutia. Black-headed Shrike-Babbler, Beautiful Nuthatch, exquisite and little known Gould’s Shortwing, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Long Billed and Bar-Winged Wren-Babblers, and the seldom-seen Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler, can also be seen here.
There are a few other species worth mentioning for they are the beautiful Chestnut-breasted, Rufous-throated and Hill Partridges, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Northern Goshawk, colorful Golden-throated Barbet, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Little Forktail, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Black-throated Prinia, the scarce and erratic Brown Bullfinch, White-throated Needletail, we can also seek a range of laughing thrushes that include Blue-winged, Bhutan, White-crested, Black-faced, White-throated, Striated and Scaly, Red-faced Liocichla. In the areas of thick bamboo vegetation, Brown, White-breasted and Black-throated Parrotbills, as well as the superb Temminck’s Tragopan.
As you walk through the trails, you will encounter mixed flocks with the royal Sultan Tit, Long-tailed, Beautiful and Rufous-backed Sibias, Brown-throated Fulvetta, White-tailed Nuthatch, Mrs. Gould’s, Green-tailed and Black-throated Sunbirds, Green Shrike Babbler, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Slaty-backed and Sapphire Flycatchers, and the scarce and magnificent Fire-capped Tit. The forest undergrowth supports a range of specialities too, and we will search hard for the secretive White-browed Shortwing, Pygmy, Scaly-breasted, Spotted and Rufous-throated. Wren Babblers, White-tailed Robin, minuscule Chestnut-headed, Grey-bellied, and Slaty-bellied Tesias, as well as the skulking Blue-fronted Robin.
After breakfast and we continue the last leg of our birding. On route, as we descend to the Sangti Valley, we will take the opportunity to look for Long-billed Plover, Black-tailed Crake and Blyth’s Kingfisher if didn’t tick them off our list earlier. We will arrive in Tezepur late afternoon.
After breakfast, we begin our journey to Guhawati. To catch our onward flight to New Delhi. On reaching, we will check in to our hotel for our last day of the tour.
After an early breakfast, depart for the International Airport for your flight back home or an onward destination. The tour concludes here.