Nestled in the magnificent Himalayas, between India and Tibet, lies the seemingly timeless Kingdom of Bhutan. A magical country steeped in tradition, folklore and deep-seated Buddhist beliefs, Bhutan has in recent years opened her borders to travelers and naturalists. Enjoy huge tracts of Himalayan forest, snow-capped mountain ranges and the often approachable and exceptional wildlife, and experience the traditional cultural this country has to offer with visits to monasteries and temples.
We will experience some of the finest birding in the Himalayas! We will likely see over 250 species as we search for Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Himalayan Monal, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper and Beautiful Nuthatch, as well as, many mammals and exquiste flowers. An outstanding Bhutan birding tour to an outstanding birding destination that still maintains fascinating traditional practices and beliefs.
A representative of Bokar tours will be there to receive you at the Paro airport and drive you to your hotel.
In the afternoon you will visit Rinpung Dzong (fortress on heap of jewels) built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan, and Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower for the defense of the Paro Rinpung Dzong the Ta Dzong today is museum of natural history.
Evening, stroll along the Paro River and spot some river birds.
After breakfast drive to Chele la, the highest road mountain pass in the country, and later to Drugyel Dzong to the north of Paro valley.
The species found in these areas are Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Ibisbill, Common Sandpiper, Crested Kingfisher, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Hoopoe, Nepal House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Yellow-browed Tit, Grey-crested Tit, Rufous-fronted Tit, Black-throated Tit, Plumbeous Water Redstart,Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Eagle, Himalayan Buzzard, etc.
Today you drive to Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital, passing through some of the kingdom’s most fertile river valleys.
The first stop is at Dochu La (pass) at 3,050 meters. The snow-capped eastern Himalayan range can be seen from here on a clear day. You could also circumambulate the 108 stupas of the Druk Wangyal Chorten.
The birds found in Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys are Himalayan Cutia, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Collared Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, White-browed Fulvetta, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Plain Mountain Finch, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Parrotbill, Himalayan Bluetail, White-browed Bush Robin, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Bullfinch, Red-headed Bullfinch, Chestnut-tailed Minla (Bar-throated Siva), Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Little Bunting, White-bellied Heron, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Grey Treepie, Spotted Nutcracker, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Eurasian Jay, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, etc.
In this Punakha to Gasa stretch you will sight Jungle Owlet, Asian-barred Owlet, Osprey, White-bellied Heron, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Great Cormorant, Black-throated Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Yuhina, Striped-throated Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Straited Yuhina, Scarlet Minivet, Long-tailed Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Grey-bellied Tesia, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Small Niltava, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Asian Koel, Grey-hooded Warbler, Golden-spectacled Warbler, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Yellow-bellied Fantail, White-throated Fantail, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Hoary-throated Barwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Lesser Shortwing, Himalayan Cutia, Green Shrike-babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Speckled Piculet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, White-tailed Nuthatch, Maroon Oriole, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon.
From Punakha you will drive eastward toward Phobjikha through the black mountain region. The Phobjikha valley is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and it serves as the nesting grounds for the endangered Black-necked Crane in winter.
The bird species found in this valley are Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Blue-capped Rock Thrush,Fire-tailed Myzornis, Great Parrotbill, Alpine Accentor, Green-tailed Sunbird, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Scaly Thrush, Tickell’s Thrush, Fire-capped Tit, Amur falcon, Ward’s Trogon, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Spotted Laughingthrush, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Red-headed Bullfinch, Scarlet Finch, White-tailed Nuthatch, etc.
Before driving back to Thimphu, you visit the crane observation and information centre. Drive to Pelela at 3,300m to spot the Himalayan Monal, Spotted Laughingthrush, Himalayan Griffon, Brown Parrotbill, and Great Parrotbill. Stop at Dochula for lunch. Continue drive to Thimphu. Evening stroll around Thimphu
Early morning you will drive to Paro Airport for your onward journey.