Himalayan Bird Photography Tour
Tour Overview - Himalayan Bird Photography Tour
The alluring force of the Himalayas has captivated many through its breathtaking views of sun-kissed peaks, deep valleys and cloud-shrouded hills. Yet very few are aware of the avian diversity hidden under the roof of our planet. This journey uncovers these spectacular jewels whose sights and bird songs serve as piquant an experience as gazing at the mighty mountains itself.
The trails we will navigate range from the pine and oak rich foothills of Sattal to the rhododendron and deodar abundant montane forests of Chopta.
It is here that we will witness the vast expanse of the Himalayan peaks while we scour and photograph a wide array of birdlife, including the awe-inspiring Himalayan Monal.
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Detailed Itinerary - Himalayan Bird Photography Tour
On arrival at the airport, meet our representative. Transfer to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Early Morning, we will depart for New Delhi Railway Station to catch our train to Kathgodam. On arrival, we will drive to Sattal, which is at a distance of 30 Km/ 45 Min. Once we reach, we will check in to our accommodation where our journey begins. Post Lunch, we will explore what Sattal has to offer. Located in the lower Himalayan range of Uttarakhand, ‘Sattal’ derives its name from the seven interconnected freshwater lakes. This biodiverse heaven is known to harbour close to 500 species of spectacular birds which are the Crested Kingfisher, the Blue and Golden Throated Barbets, Coppersmith Barbet, Plum Headed Parakeets, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, White-Headed Laughing ThrushPied Woodpecker, Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Koklass Pheasant, White Bellied Nuthatch, the shy and elusive Brown Dipper, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Green Tailed Sunbird, Black-Throated Sunbird, Fire Tailed Sunbird, Fire Breasted Flowerpecker and many more. We start our birding at Sattal Studio, a small stream that invites birds to preen, bath and quench their thirst. After sunset, we will return to our accommodation for dinner and rest.
We wake up early for another birding session. This time our focus is on the Crested Kingfisher and the Brown Dipper. We will drive to the Chafi river, which is the best possible place to see the former species. Post our session; we will have breakfast and proceed for our journey to Mandal. This journey is approximately 250 km / 7-8 Hr Drive. On reaching our destination, we will have dinner and get some rest. Mandal is located amidst the pristine beauty of the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. It is a village that is loaded with the majestic colours of the Himalayan wildlife and natural vegetation.
Our day begins with exploring the river here where we have a good chance of seeing the Brown Dipper, forktails, flycatchers and restarts. Some of the marvellous species here include the Scarlet Finch, Spot-winged Rosefinch, Golden Bush Robin, White-tailed Rubythroat, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Barbet, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Long-tailed Minivets, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Green-backed Tit, Russet Sparrow, Collared Grosbeak, Black & Yellow Grosbeak, Spot-winged Grosbeak and much more. Once we return from our excursion will depart for Tugnath for an early Lunch.
On our way, we will search for the White-collared Blackbird, Grey-winged Blackbird, Chestnut Thrush, Long-billed Thrush. It should take us 1 Hour/ 24 km to reach our destination where our birding continues at Tugnath Temple. The temple is believed to be 5000 years old and is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world. The climate of Tungnath is pleasant here. Due to heavy snowfall, the temple remains closed for around 6 months during winter. Some of the highlights that we will seek are the Snow Partridge, Himalayan Monal, Accentors, Red-fronted Rosefinch, Plain Mountain Finch, Tits, Winter Wren.
From Tugnath, we will make our way to Chopta (70 km/ 2-3 Hr away). On arrival, we will check in to our accommodation, have dinner and get some rest.
A full day will be dedicated to Birding in Chopta as you wake up to a refreshing breeze and the sounds of birdsong. Chopta is amidst Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. A region of green glades and evergreen forests, the area offers stunning panoramic views of snow-clad mountains. Chopta is an untouched natural destination lying in the lap of the Western Himalayas. It is rich in varied flora and fauna, with plenty of Rhododendron, Pine and Deodar tree all around. It is these features that have the capacity to draw birdwatchers and nature lovers alike.
We begin our search for species such as Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Himalayan Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, Chestnut Thrush, White-collared Blackbird, Grey-winged Blackbird, Great Barbet, White-tailed Nuthatch; the fascinating Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Long-billed Thrush, Mistle Thrush, the stunning Golden Eagle, Bearded Vulture, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Snow Pigeon, the beautiful Koklass Pheasant, Grey-crested Tit, Black-throated Tit, Spot-winged Tit, Green-backed Tit, Grey-hooded Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, Bare-throated Siva, Green-tailed Sunbird, White-throated, Striated Laughingthrush, Streaked Laughingthrush, Variegated Laughingthrush and of course the infamous Himalayan Monal. At some point, we will return for lunch after which will continue our quest till dinner and finally some rest.
Another day and another early morning start in Chopta. We will scour for species that we could’ve missed the previous day. After our final session of birding in Chopta, we will depart for Dehradun after breakfast. The return journey is long (200 km/ 6-7 Hrs) and to make it an enriching experience; we will intersperse it with birding along the way. On reaching Dehradun, we will check in to our accommodation for dinner and rest.
After an early breakfast, we will drive for New Delhi. It should take us 260 km/ 5-6 Hrs to reach our destination. Our journey of birding concludes here as we depart for the International Airport to fly back home or to an onward destination.