Birdwatching in Darjeeling
Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill to view the sunrise over Mt.Kunchendzonga. En route visit Yigacholing Ghoom Monastery which enshrines the statue of Maitreya Buddha
Day 01: Arrive Bhadrapur / Bagdora Airport and transfer Darjeeling (135 kms, 5/6 hrs drive). O/N Hotel.
Day 02: Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill to view the sunrise over Mt.Kunchendzonga. En route visit Yigacholing Ghoom Monastery which enshrines the statue of Maitreya Buddha (coming Buddha). Later visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park, Panda breeding Center, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center and nearest tea garden to witness the orthodox manufacturing process of Darjeeling tea. In the afternoon take joy ride on Himalayan Heritage Train (Toy Train) from Darjeeling to Ghoom (8 kms) and return to Hotel.
Day 03: Transfer to Kalimpong (52 kms). Sightseeing of Kalimpong visiting Zandokpalri Phobrang Monastery, Deolo Hill, flower nursery and walk around the little bazaar. O/N Hotel.
Day 04: Drive to Lava (38 kms). Lava is a prime birding destination in this region. It is a small bazaar once a halting place for caravans on the trade routes to Bhutan and Sikkim. Surrounded by very large tracts of protected forests ranging an elevation between 1600 and 2400 mtrs, it includes the remote and uninhabited Neora Valley National Park, and it is a bird watcher’s haven. One can see Magpie, Coral billed Scimitar Babbler, Scaly breasted Wren Babbler, Golden Breasted Fulvetta, Hill Partridge, Rufus throated Partridge, Satyr Tragopan, Wedge tailed Green Pigeon, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Lesser Cuckoo, Crimson breasted Woodpecker, Lesser Yellow nape, Long tailed Broadbill, Mountain Bulbul, Orange bellied Leaf bird, Long billed Thrush, Chestnut Thrush, Eye browed Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Chestnut headed Tesia, Slat belled Tesia, Russer Bush Warbler, White spectacled Warbler, Pygmy Blue flycatcher, Golden Bush Robin, Blue fronted Robin, Spotted Laughing thrush, Cutia, Maroon Oriole, Common Rose finch, Red Crossbill etc.
Day 05: Birding walk in the Neora Valley National Park. O/N Hotel or Lodge.
Day 06: Birding walk in the Neora Valley National Park. O/N Hotel or Lodge.
Day 07: Transfer to Rangeet Valley – Damthang Forests, 2700 mtr – Ravangla, 2200 mtr. Drive through the Teesta and Rangeet Valley to Damthang Forests, stopping en route to look for Shikra, Red Jungle Fowl, River Lapwing, Green billed Malkoha, White throated Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Chestnut headed Bee eater, Indian Roller, Dollarbird, Great Barbet, Greater Yellow nape, Black backed Wagtail, Small Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Black crested Bulbul, White cheeked Bulbul, Red vented Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Golden fronted Leaf bird, Orange bellied Leaf bird, Common Iora, Blue Rock Thrush, Chestnut bellied Rock Thrush, White capped Redstart, Hair crested Drongo, Green Magpie, Himalayan Swiftlet, and oriental White Eye. At the Damthang forest we will take a birding walk for 6 hrs. Some of the species we might see are: Eurasian Buzzard, Eurasian Kestrel, Green Billed Malkhoa, Dollarbird, Black winged Cuckoo etc.
Day 08: Rabangla – Pemayangtse, 2085 mtrs. In the morning a 4 hrs birding walk to Menam forests of Oak, Chestnut, Magnolia and Rhododendrons at altitude of 2900 mtrs. Likely to spot the same species as seen at Damthang. In the afternoon, drive 52 kms to Pemayangtse, with birding halts en route at selected spots. Arrive Pemayangtse in the evening. O/N Hotel.
Day 09: Pelling offers the spectacular views of Eastern Himalayas. To-day we bird for the full day in the adjoining areas including visit to Pemayangtse and Sangacholing Monasteries. Birds we are likely to see are : Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, Indian Cuckoo, White throated Needletail,Great Barbet, Grey headed and Bay Woodpecker, Lesser Yellow nape, Grey Treepie, Striated Bulbul, Rufous capped and black chinned Babbler, Hoary throated and Rusty fronted Barwing, Striated,Grey sided and Greater Necklaced Laughing thrush, etc.
Day 10: Pelling to Khicheparli Lake, 1980 mtrs – Yuksom, 1780 mtrs. Drive to Khichepalri lake for birding. Some of the best birds are migrant ducks, black necked grebe, Baer’s pochard, Speckled wood pigeon, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue winged and Scaly Laughing thrush, whitenaped Yuhina and many of the birds at Pelling. We continue to Yuksom in the afternoon, check in at the hotel and take a stroll in the evening.
Day 12: Yuksom: We spend the day birding around Yuksom. Some of the birds you are likely to see are : Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crimson breasted Woodpecker, Maroon Oriole, Short billed and Grey chinned Mine vets, Bulbul, Mina, White napped Yakima, various Thrushes, Grey winged blackbird, various Tits, various Nuthatch and various songbirds and bush cats.
Day 13: Transfer to Bhadrapur (170 kms, 6 hrs drive) or Bagdora Airport for exit flight.