Birding Itinerary of Bhutan
10 Nights / 11 Days
Arrival at Paro (2250 meters)
Arrival at Paro and transfer to the hotel, our evening session of birding is exploring Paro river bank for Ibisbill, Brown Dipper, Wallcreeper, River Lapwing, Rufous-breasted Accentor and many other river birds, Overnight stay at Paro.
Paro-Cheli-la (3850 meters) – Thimphu (2350 meters)
The day will be spent birding in Cheli-la for Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch, Collared Grosbeak, White-winged Grosbeak, Spotted, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, Coal,Rufous-vented , Gray –crested Tit ,Green-tailed and Mrs Gould’s Sunbirds, Red-headed Bullfinch, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie and many other alpine specialist species. After lunch head to Thimpu .Evening birding around Thimpu sewage area looking for Black-tailed Crake, Solitary Snipe and Ibisbill. Overnight stay in Thimpu.
Drive towards Punakha, (2 hr. 30 min drive) birding in Dochula (3150 meters), the bird species inhabiting Dochula pass are Fire-tailed Myzornis, Red-headed Bulfinches, Eurasian Jay and many others birds. We also bird in Royal Botanical Park. The park has amazing broad leaf forest composition providing good habitat for wildlife. Here you may see illusive Red Panda if you are very lucky. Apart from the common birds, you will explore nature trail inside the Park for Ward’s Trogon, Brown and Black-throated Parrotbill, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Slender-billed and Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Grey-sided Laughingthrush and many others. After birding in the park drive to Punakha valley, along with the drive you’ll look for the species like rare Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Scarlet and Long-tailed Minivet, Great and Golden-throated Barbet, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler and other common Himalayan birds. Evening session of birding in Pho Chu River to look out for critically endangered White-bellied Heron and vulnerable Pallas’s Fish Eagle. Other species include here are migratory water birds, sometime there is sighting of vagrant Mandarin Duck, Ibisbill, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common and Crested Kingfisher and few other raptors. Overnight in hotel at Punakha.
Drive to Phobjikha Valley (4hrs) along the temperate and cool broad-leaf forest. You will make several stops on the way as you are inside the different vegetation. Here you will be again rewarded with a sighting of Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, HimalyanCutia, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Ward’s Trogon, Hoary-throated Barwing, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Bhutan, and Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Himalayan Bluetail, Grey-bellied Tesia, Rufous-capped and Golden Babbler and many other birds. Before reaching Pele-la pass we’ll take the road to Phobjekha Valley, crossing Lawala pass the vegetation changes into dwarf bamboo, here you’ll search for the species like Spotted, Chestnut-crowned, and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Spotted Nutcracker, Great and Brown Parrotbills, Oriental Skylark, White-browed Shortwing Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Red-billed Chough, Large-billed and Whistler’s Warbler and Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Overnight in hotel at Phobjikha.
Morning birding in Pelela pass(3400 meters) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road, especially for Satyr Trogopan and other high altitude species like Spotted Laughingthrush, Himalayan Griffon, Great and Brown Parrotbill, Plain Mountain Finch, Whitewinged and collared Grosbeak, Spotted Nutcracker, Slaty-blue, and Dark-sided Flycatcher, Grey-sided Bush Warbler and varieties of Tits. Some of the key birds of the area is also the Himalayan Monal. While driving to Bumthang, we’ll also be looking for the species like Speckled Wood Pigeon, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Golden-breasted and White-browed and Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Streak-breasted, and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler. Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, Nepal House Martin, Blyth’s Swift and White-throated Needletail, Black Eagle, and many more. Afternoon birding at Yotongla pass in search of bamboo bird species like Great and Fulvous Parrotbill. Evening visit Tharpaling monastery for Himalayan Monal. Here you will find Himalayan Monal coming for feeding near monastery. Overnight in hotel at Bumthang.
Bhumthang – Thrumshing – a – Sengor – Youngkhola
Early morning drive to Thrumshing-la pass birding to look out for Blood Pheasant Tibetans race more red on the breast and here on the right time in the morning one can witness a huge number of this species feeding on the road and is also a good habitat for Satyr Tragopan apart from the pheasant some of the birds of the area are Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, and Northern Wren. Afternoon and evening sessions of birding along Phrumshingla National Park to Youngkhola, Overnight stay in Youngkhola.
Youngkhola (Phrumshingla NP)
We will spend a good day birding to look out for rare Ward’s Trogon, Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pale-billed Parrotbill, Sikkim Wedged Billed Babbler, Long-billed Wren-babbler,Rufous-throated Wren-Babblers, Black crowed Scimitar Babblers ,Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Striated Bulbul, Scaly-breasted and Pygmy Cupwings, Chestnut-headed, Slaty-bellied and Grey-bellied Tesias, Mountain Tailorbird, Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Black-throated Prinia, Green-crowned, Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced Warblers, Streak-breasted and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, White-crested, Grey-sided, Scaly and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, Himalayan Cutia, Blue-winged Minla, Hoary-throated Barwing,Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Black-throated Parrotbill, Pale Blue Flycatchers, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltavas, White-browed and Lesser Shortwings and many more. Overnight stay in Youngkhola.
Youngkhola – Bhumthang
On this day we will drive back to the way we came from birding all the way to look out for missing species. Overnight stay in Bhumthang 06 hours to 08 hours back drive.
Bhumthang – Punakha
Early morning birding around Bhumthang and drive to Punakha. Overnight stay in Punakha from 06 to 08 hours.
Punakha-Birding in Jigme Dorji National Park, the Valley of Bhutan Takin then to Paro
Morning birding inside the Jigme Dorji National Park. JDNP has a rich bird life and is a winter habitat for the National animal of Bhutan Takin. Some bird species of the area are the Yellow-vented Warbler, Nepal and Rufous-winged Fulvetta, a few species of Woodpeckers, Barbets, Laughingthrushes, Robins, Flycatchers, large, Rufous-bellied, and Small Niltava, Thrushes, varieties of raptors and among all you will be looking for Spotted Elachura,Overnight stay in hotel at Paro.
Paro – Departure: Farewell of the tour