Bhutan birding tour is a splendid way of seeing marvelous and highly endemic birds. Let us take you on a great journey of discovery through some of the best birding sites for a dedicated birding experience, including Punakha inside the Jigme Dorji National Park, Phobjikha, Zhemgang, and Tingtibi.
Bhutan is positioned at the junction of major migration routes of many avian species of the north. Bhutan has been designated as a region of high biodiversity and is known as the East Himalayan Hotspot. Over 670 species of birds have been spotted in Bhutan and the number is expected to grow as many forests of Bhutan have not yet been explored. Bhutan is safe haven for 16 critically endangered bird species including the rare Tibetan Black Necked Crane.
Bhutan with its diverse and undisturbed flora and fauna is one of ten Global Ecological Hot-Spots and the government and the people of Bhutan strive to protect their rich natural inheritance.
Paro International Airport (Google Map)
3 Hours Before Flight Time
You will arrive and the picturesque Paro International Airport where TravelBhutan.com’s travel representative and trip guide will greet you with a traditional Bhutanese welcome ceremony and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch, we will go birding along the banks of the Paro Chu river and continue onwards to the Drukgyel Dzong. En-route you will encounter the Ibis Bill, Black Faced Laughing Thrush, Brown Dipper, Spotted Laughing Thrush, the Fire-capped Tit, etc…
In the morning we will drive to the Chele La Pass which is located at an altitude of 3950 meters above sea level. After a 90 minute drive to the pass, we will go bird watching into the coniferous forests of the area, popular birds in the area include Kalij pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, etc… Later we will drive down to the capital of country Thimphu our overnight stop for this leg of the trip. En route, you will get to see many Cormorants along the river bank.
After a filling breakfast, we will drive up to the Dochu La pass from where one can see a panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. We will take a short hike into the mixed coniferous forests in the area and may get to spot the Satyr Tragopan, Spotted Nutcracker, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Yellow-Billed Magpie, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Collard Blackbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Bullfinch, etc… After lunch, we will continue birding in the upper regions of the Punakha and Wangdue valley before calling it a day at a camp set up along the banks of the Mo Chhu River.
Today we will go birding the warm forests along the banks of the Mo Chu river, where we will be looking to find; White Bellied Herons, Great Barbet, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Osprey, River Lapwing Ruddy Shelduck, the European Wigeon, Kingfisher, Bulbuls, etc. We will spend the night at a Traditional Bhutanese hotel near Wangdue.
Today we will drive down to Trongsa along a road that will take you through a warm broad-leaved forest. We will be driving by the Black Mountains up to the Pele La pass at 3400 meters above sea level. Today’s list of birds we will be on the lookout for include; Scarlet Finch, White-throated Laughing Thrush, Eurasian Jay, Verditer Flycatcher, and a variety of exotic pigeon species. During the winter months, we will also visit the Phobjikha Valley to spot the rare Tibetan Black Necked Cranes that come to roost in the valley.
Overnight stay at a local Bhutanese hotel.
The district of Trongsa is located in the center of Bhutan and is home to some of the most magnificent and imposing Dzongs in the country. Today we will drive down to Yeshi Zam in the south with to hope of catching a glimpse of the Yellow-Rumped Honeyguide amongst others, en route to our campsite, at Shemgang you might also catch a glimpse at the beautiful Nuthatch Bird.
Overnight camping near Tingtibi.
We will drive along the Gonphu road to go birding in some of Bhutan’s rarely visited broadleaf forests. We hope to find some interesting animals like the Golden Langur, Yellow-throated martin, Giant Squirrel, etc… and we also hope to spot the Rufous-Necked Hornbill, Blue Throated bee-eater, Collared Falconet, etc…
After our day-long excursion into the Trongsa Valley, we shall retrace our route back to the town of Trongsa where we will take some time out and visit the Trongsa Dzong, the largest of its kind in Bhutan. Today the Dzong is home to the district administration and district monastic council. We will also visit the Dzongs watch tower which houses a museum dedicated to the Kings of Bhutan.
Today we will undertake a 3-hour drive to Jakar via the Yotong La pass which is at an altitude of almost 3500 meters. En route we stop and the village of Zugney in the Chumey valley, the village is famous for its Yathra fabric. The Yathra is a color full of wool weave, whose pattern is native to central Bhutan. We will take the opportunity to visit a few shops in the village, where you may be able to see how they dye the wool using natural dyes. We will also take a hike through the bamboo and coniferous forests of the Valley in the search of the Great Parrotbill, Black-billed Magpie, Red-Billed Chough, Eurasian Hobby, and the White-winged Grosbeak. You may also get to spot the Red Panda, an animal that is frequently sighted along the road. Overnight stay at a traditional Bhutanese hotel.
We will drive towards eastern Bhutan via the Thrumshingla pass along the diverse and unique landscape of the Thrushmingla National Park. As we drive along we will have the chance to spot; the Beautiful Rosefinch, Gold-Naped Finch, Little fork-tail, White-capped Redstart, the Coal Tit, Green- Tailed Sunbird, etc. You will have a very high chance of spotting the Red Panda in the dense bamboo forest between Ura and Thrumshing La pass. Overnight stay at a camp in the forest.
In the morning we will go to Namling, Namling is considered the best bird-watching locations in all of Bhutan and many avid bird watchers spend weeks in the area. The forests along Namling are virtually unexplored. Here you can hope to spot; Ward’s Trogon, Satyr Tragopan, Grey chinned Minivet Chestnut Breasted Partridge amongst a host of other birds.
En route to Mongar, we will go birding in the sub-tropical forests of Lingmithang, where we have a chance to encounter the Blue Throated Bee-eater, Maroon Oriole, Racket Tailed Drongo, Red-headed Trogon, Grey Treepie, Grey Nightjar, Hill Prinia, the Asian Emerald Cuckoo amongst a host of exotic birds that are native to the area. We will reach the town early in the evening and you will have the rest of the day at leisure to walk around town. Overnight stay at a traditional Bhutanese hotel.
En-route to Trashigang, we will take a short diversion along a feeder road at Kori La Pass to go birding in the areas surrounding the pass. After arriving at Trashingang you have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town and visit the nearby Dzong.
We will now start our journey southwards along a tight cliff-hugging road that leads to Morong. Along the way, you will have one last chance to see rare birds such as the Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous Necked Hornbill, and the Sultan Tit.
Overnight in a camp.
We will continue our journey further south towards the border town of Samdrup Jhongkar which will be our final stop for this tour. Along the way we might be able to catch a glimpse of rare birds such as the Violet Cuckoo, Blyth’s Kingfisher and the Dark Rumped Swift. Overnight stay in Local Bhutanese hotel.
After a hearty breakfast, we will transfer you to the Airport at Guwahati from where you can catch a flight to Delhi or Kolkata. We hope you had a great trip and take some fond memories that will last you a lifetime.