Monday, April 18, 2016

Birding in Bhutan

Birding in Bhutan (Land of Thunder Dragon)

Kuzuzangpola (Greetings and Well Wishes)

On the planet earth there are blessing and as long as they remain, there will be prosperity and peace. These blessing are obviously connected to nature and its creations and one such creation are the birds, who undoubtedly play an important role in the survival and well being of the forests.

Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas is one of the few or the only country that is carbon-negative, with more than 70 percent of its land covered with greens. The Rulers and the people of Bhutan definitely need to be applauded for this. Predominately Pine and Oak Forests (approx 4000Mtr), Conifer forests (between 2000mtr-4000mtrs) and the tropical forests and vegetation's at lower altitudes, making it a Himalayan "hot spot" for bird watching.

April 1st and 2nd - Paro (2250m)

Flying into  the only international airport in Paro, Bhutan for the first time was itself an overwhelming experience. The aircraft negotiates over the steep mountain tops with the runaway appearing only at the last moment. Once we landed, were greeted with the fresh Himalayan air that immediately gives you a very warm welcome into the Land of  the Thunder Dragon.

Our afternoon and the next day session's were drive on the 34 Kms stretch for birding upto Chele La (3700m) the highest pass in Bhutan accessible by road. The climate changed drastically as we kept stopping and moving towards the pass. Sighted the Grey-backed Shrike, Spotted Nutcracker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Tits, Northern Goshawk, Red-billed Chough, Rufous-backed Accentor and Plain mountain Finch in very large numbers and flocks.    
Eurasian Nutcracker        © Aseem Kothiala
Himalayan Bluetail      © Aseem Kothiala
Rufous-breasted Accentor     © Aseem Kothiala
At the top of the pass on a far away stone, sighted a lone Himalayan Monal - male, who took to flight into the valley and perched in the open at a distance.
Rufous-vented Tit     © Aseem Kothiala
White-winged Grosbeak     © Aseem Kothiala
As it was getting very windy and also started to drizzle, tuned around to travel back to Paro. Just around one of the turns, Chewang heard the call of the Blood Pheasants. Chewang also immediately  mentioned it was a subspecies and to drive to the lower road as he expected them to cross the road and move to the lower part of the hill. It happened exactly as expected, we saw almost 4-5 mixed flock of males and females feeding and moving around. 
Blood Pheasant     © Aseem Kothiala
Blood Pheasant     © Aseem Kothiala
The cold wind was howling around our ears and could hear the sound of the falling leaves in-midst of our shutter clicks and whispers. Surely, the birds by now had noticed us and began to move lower and deeper into the forest.

Later in the afternoon started to drive towards the capital city, Thimphu(2350m). Just along Paro Chhu a river, we sighted the Ibisbill and a pair of River lapwings. Though the Ibisbill was busying foraging, the river lapwings seemed to be more noisier.

Ibisbill     © Aseem Kothiala
The road along this stretch was excellent and landscapes scenic. By early evening we reached the Kingdoms capital city, which is also the home to the Royal family.

Apri 3rd : Thimphu to Punakha via Dochu La  (3150m) 

The lone road road winds its way through the fertile paddy fields of rice, past the small towns. The old little cantilever bridges are soon being replaced with the modern ones. The roads along this stretch have been taken up for widening.

It was a very foggy day, though we were there in the wee hours of the morning. There was a lot of bird activity, specially by the Magpies and Rosefinch's. It was only a couple of hours later the clouds parted and there was good light. We did hear and see the Scaly-breasted wren babbler who was not not ready to pose for a photograph.
Yellow-billed Blue Magpie     © Aseem Kothiala
Just a little further, sighted the Hodgson's Redstart, Sand lark (ID corrected to Hume's Short-toed Lark), Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher, among the commonly sighted species of Tit's, Yuhina's and Sunbird's. 
Spotted Laughingthrush     © Aseem Kothiala
Hodgson's Redstart     © Aseem Kothiala
Hume's Short-toed Lark     © Aseem Kothiala
We had plans to visit the Royal Botanical Park, near Lampelri. As we arrived at the main gate of the park, which forms the backdrop to Dochu La, noticed many cars/vehicles parked. Being a holiday (sunday) we anticipated too much rush and decided to move on towards Punakha. 

Just as we reached the outskirts of Punakha town, sighted the Common Kestrel, roosting on a pole along the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley.

Our stay for the night in Wangdue overlooked the entire town. Just as we were sipping on the local Bhutanese tea, Chewang politely asked us if we were ready to see and photography the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, as he heard them call.

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler     © Aseem Kothiala
It was moments later saw a pair chirping and posing in the shrubs along with black bulbuls in the backyard of the resort.
April 4th - Punakha (1310m)

One of the globally threatened wetland species occurs regularly in Bhutan - The rare White-bellied Heron. We started our day as usual very early to catch a glimpse of this rarity along the Pho Chhu (River). No sooner we parked our vehicles and took out our equipment to walk towards the bank, Satish noticed the bird just fly along side, slowly but firmly over the river. By the time, could focus and take a few decent frames, the bird had flown far away.

White-bellied Heron     © Aseem Kothiala
Our joy was mixed, as we did sight it, but the frames were just record shots!We then drove along the river and to the nearby cliff, hoping to see the lone species, but in vain. We along this stretch sighted the Crested Kingfisher, Golden-throated barbet, Great Barbet, Black Bulbul, Khalij Pheasant, Minla's, Oriental white-eye's to name a few.

Great Barbet     © Aseem Kothiala
Golden-throated Barbet     © Aseem Kothiala
The second half session was birding along and in Jigme Dorji National Park, but the urge to see the white-bellied heron more closely was stronger. So unanimously we all dropped the plans to visit the second largest national park!

We returned to the same birding spot and waiting through the afternoon and all evening. While we waiting a pair of River lapwings kept us busy. Soon we also noticed they made a loud cry, raised their crest and within a split second mated.

River Lapwing     © Aseem Kothiala
As the sun started to set we started to drive back towards our camp in Wangdue, this is when we sighted a Himalayan Buzzard hover and dive, the distance was too much and could only make out, it made a kill. Along the river also saw a small flocks of Ruddy Shelduck's and Eurasian Wigeon's.

April 5th and 6th - Phobjikha Valley (2900m) - Pele La (3425m)

We realised by now that most of our travel through Bhutan was by the one road that traverses the Kingdom. It presently is just about 1.5 lanes wide and featured at-least 10-12 bends/Km. In many areas the road widening was in progress and we had to take regular stops to cater for roadworks.

After driving and birding along the stretch for almost 6-7 hours reached the valley floor, where lies the village of Phobjikha, on the periphery of the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (formerly Black Mountains National Park)

The next morning we drove towards Pele La. It was yet another day when the climate was much cooler and was raining too. At a distant could hear the calls of Satyr Tragopan and soon sighted one sitting high on the tree, just then is started to rain even heavier with hail. We rushed back to the vehicle and waited. 

Soon the skies cleared and sun was shining bright. The Himalayan Monal was seen feeding and moving around the region and later perched on the tree.
Himalayan Monal     © Aseem Kothiala
However, there was no sign of the Satyr Tragopan.

Obviously, post lunch we returned to the same birding spot. As we kept walking into the Rhododendron forest, sighting a beautiful male, looking around on a lone mossy fallen bark. Everyone just sat down to watch the beauty and started to click, it then it started to move up on the bark and i lost sight of the bird, the clicks from my fellow birders did not stop!

Had to slowly lift the equipment and move even slower till a point i could see the bird, without scaring or flushing it off, by now my heart was pounding, like never before!
Satyr Tragopan     © Aseem Kothiala
The moment i settled could see the vibrant beauty through the lens. It was a moment and frame i shall remember all my life.

April 7th and April 8th – Bumthang (2800m)

We spent some time in the morning, birding in the valley of cranes, the vast meadows was full with chirping of larks, who at a slight movement would fly low and move to nearby pastures. Around this place, sighted about 5-6 Himalayan griffons soaring in the blue skies. At a distant saw Hen harrier fly low and disappear into the green horizon. A large flock of about 20-25 Snow pigeon's were seen flying from one end to the other and back over the Phobjhika town.

By early afternoon we reached Chumey valley and decided to drive towards Bumthang. Heavy rains poured down and we had to return to our base camp. Next morning we drove along the 10-12 kms feeder road passing through Gyetsa village towards Tharpaling Monastery. Enroute we sighted Minivet's, Gold-crest, Alpine accentor's and Himalayan Monal's.

Red-headed Bullfinch     © Aseem Kothiala
Alpine Accentor     © Aseem Kothiala

Goldcrest     © Aseem Kothiala
The clouds parted by late afternoon and the sunlight danced across the flags as they are tormented by the wind, outside the Tharpaling Monastery.

On the way back sighted a pair of nesting Plumbeous Water-redstart, Beautiful Rosefinch, Black-billed magpies in very large numbers.

Beautiful Rosefinch     © Aseem Kothiala
April 9th - April 10th – April 11th  – Yongkhola (1855 m) via Thrumshing La  (3750m)

Chewang insisted we drive out at 2.30am towards Yongkhola, one of the richest birding sites in Bhutan. As we crossed the Thrumshing La, sighted almost a 100 plus Blood Pheasants. The sideways of the road were white with the recent snowfall and the sun had just risen. In this golden light the Blood pheasants surely looked their best. 
Blood Pheasant     © Aseem Kothiala
Soon we started to descend through rich semitropical rain forest via Sengor into Namling finally reaching our camp in Yongkhola . The broad leaf evergreen forest commenced at about 2600m.
Snowy-browed Flycatcher     © Aseem Kothiala
The next two days here were very fruitful. The region is a part of Phrumsengla National Park (formerly Thrumshingla National Park). Every birding group that day was looking for a glimpse and there had been no major sighting reported of the Ward's Trogon. As we neared Namling, as always Chewang asked Tandin to stop, we knew something special was around, he whispered its there, get ready!

Moments later we sighted it, all of us were so elated that we started to hug each other.

Ward's Trogon     © Aseem Kothiala
Ward's Trogon     © Aseem Kothiala
Further that day we also sighted Speckled Wood Pigeon, Sultan Tit, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Grey-bellied Tesia and the Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler.
Long-billed Wren Babbler     © Aseem Kothiala
Freckled Pigeon     © Aseem Kothiala
Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler     © Aseem Kothiala
The globally threatened Rufous-necked Hornbill seemed virtually confined to the forests. We could hear it call and only in one instance saw it fly over the mature fruiting trees. While we were driving on the last day morning, Chewang heard the call of the endangered species, the Beautiful Nuthatch. Within minutes another large group of birder joined us to catch a glimpse of this rare bird.
Beautiful Nuthatch     © Aseem Kothiala
April 12th - Trashigang (3773m) via Kori La (2450m) The forests below Yongkhala comprised a mosaic of traditional farmlands, relatively dry woodland, scrub and subtropical forest.
Black-faced Laughingthrush     © Aseem Kothiala
Crested Kingfisher     © Aseem Kothiala
We were now nearing the end of the tour and due to the work in progress along the road, made it virtually no birding and only driving. Narrow roads did not make it convenient to stop.  

By late evening only we could reach Trashigang, which is referred to as The Jewel of the East. Trashigang is situated in the eastern most part of the kingdom.

Bhutan’s largest river, the Dangmechu, flows through this district. Our stay for the night overlooked the Trashigang town, which was on a scenic hillside.

April 13th  - Samdrup Jongkhar

Our final halt was in a small and the oldest town called Samdrup Jongkhar.  The town is situated in the south eastern region of the country and shares borders with the Indian state of Assam. We sighted the Bronze Drongo, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Yellow-cheecked Tit, Black-throated Sunbird and few flycatchers.
Green-tailed Sunbird     © Aseem Kothiala
Green-billed Malkoha     © Aseem Kothiala
Black-throated Sunbird     © Aseem Kothiala
As we were resting in the evening and checking our clicks, experienced some tremor, which we realised later was the effect of the earthquake in Myanmar.

Period of travel : 1st April to 13th April 2016

Birding Pals along with me :  Chewang Bonpo, Shiva Shankar, Satish Thayapurath

Special thanks to Chewang Sir, without whom this trip wouldn't have been possible, his keen sense makes bird watching so easy. He also managed the entire itinerary including our stay, permits and ensured we got pure veg food during our entire trip, which was spicy for me at times, as Bhutanese are  known to use green and red chilies as vegetables. Thanking Shiva Sir, who made the arrangements for travel and we made a good friend Tandin Dorji, who was very patient at the wheel and later realised was a passionate photographer too. Lastly would thank Satish Sir, who was the most hilarious person and his combination with Tandin was out of the world. It is a trip that will surely stay in our minds for years to come.

It would be unfair not to mention Mr. Peter Lobo, who had been in touch with us, all through our trip, giving us pointers and tips on the hot-spots. Thank you!

Have made a brief clip on our trip and sightings (added this to the blog a week later)

Our total sightings at about 200 birds, off which around 34 birds were lifer to me. Will be updating the list and photographs on our Facebook page :

Happy Birding!
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1 Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
2 Gadwall Mareca strepera
3 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
GALLIFORMES: Phasianidae
4 Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus
5 Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra
6 Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos
7 Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus
8 Rock Dove Columba livia
9 Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota
10 Freckled Pigeon Columba hodgsonii
11 Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
12 Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
13 Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
14 White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
15 Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris
16 Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus
17 Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
18 Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides
19 Himalayan Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus
20 White-bellied Heron Ardea insignis
PELECANIFORMES: Phalacrocoracidae
21 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
22 Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii
23 River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii
24 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
25 Osprey Pandion haliaetus
26 Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
27 Himalayan Vulture Gyps himalayensis
28 Mountain Hawk Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis
29 Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
30 Shikra Accipiter badius
31 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
32 Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
33 Himalayan Buzzard Buteo refectus
34 Ward's Trogon Harpactes wardi
35 Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
36 Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis
37 Common Hoopoe Upupa epops
PICIFORMES: Indicatoridae
38 Yellow-rumped Honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus
39 Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus
40 Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha
41 Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus
42 Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis
PICIFORMES: Ramphastidae
43 Great Barbet Psilopogon virens
44 Golden-throated Barbet Psilopogon franklinii
45 Blue-throated Barbet Psilopogon asiaticus
46 Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
47 Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
48 Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris
49 White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
50 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
PASSERIFORMES: Campephagidae
51 Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
52 Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris
53 Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus
54 Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
55 Large Cuckooshrike Coracina javensis
56 Black-winged Cuckooshrike Lalage melaschistos
57 Green Shrike-babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus
58 Black-eared Shrike-babbler Pteruthius melanotis
59 Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii
60 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
61 Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
62 Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
63 Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
64 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer
65 White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
66 Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
67 Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus
68 Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
69 Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae
70 Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
71 Yellow-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa flavirostris
72 Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
73 Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
74 Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes)
75 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
76 Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
PASSERIFORMES: Nectariniidae
77 Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna
78 Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata
79 Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis
80 Mrs. Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
81 Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja
82 Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii
83 Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
84 Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata
85 Russet Sparrow Passer cinnamomeus
86 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
87 Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
88 Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
89 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
90 White Wagtail Motacilla alba
91 White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes
92 Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi
93 Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus
94 Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala
95 Golden-naped Finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta
96 Dark-breasted Rosefinch Procarduelis nipalensis
97 Plain Mountain Finch Leucosticte nemoricola
98 Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Chloris spinoides
99 Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
100 White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura 
PASSERIFORMES: Stenostiridae
101 Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
102 Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus
103 Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea
104 Coal Tit Periparus ater
105 Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris
106 Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus
107 Yellow-cheeked Tit Machlolophus spilonotus
108 Hume's Short-toed Lark   Calandrella acutirostris
109 Oriental Sky Lark Alauda gulgula
110 Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
111 Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
112 Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer
113 Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalense
114 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
115 Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala
116 Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii
117 Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
118 Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus
119 Himalayan Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenis
120 Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
PASSERIFORMES: Phylloscopidae
121 Lemon-rumped Warbler Abrornis chloronotus
122 Buff-barred Warbler Abrornis pulcher
123 Ashy-throated Warbler Abrornis maculipennis
PASSERIFORMES: Scotocercidae
124 Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea
125 Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer
126 Grey-sided Bush Warbler Cettia brunnifrons
127 Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps
128 Brown-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes
129 Golden-breasted Fulvetta Lioparus chrysotis
130 White-browed Fulvetta Fulvetta vinipectus
131 Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill Psittiparus ruficeps
132 Black-throated Parrotbill Suthora nipalensis
133 Striated Yuhina Yuhina castaniceps
134 Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta
135 Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis
136 Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis
137 Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis
138 White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri
139 Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
140 Rufous-throated Wren Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus
141 Bar-winged Wren Babbler Spelaeornis troglodytoides
142 Elachura Elachura formosa
143 Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis
144 Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler Erythrogenys erythrogenys
145 Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler Stachyris humei
146 Golden Babbler Cyanoderma chrysaeum
147 Rufous-capped Babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps
148 Yellow-throated Fulvetta Schoeniparus cinereus
149 Rufous-winged Fulvetta Schoeniparus castaneceps
150 Long-billed Wren Babbler Rimator malacoptilus
PASSERIFORMES: Leiothrichidae
151 Striated Laughing-thrush Grammatoptila striata
152 Cutia Cutia nipalensis
153 White-crested Laughing-thrush Garrulax leucolophus
154 Spotted Laughing-thrush Garrulax ocellatus
155 White-throated Laughing-thrush Garrulax albogularis
156 Rufous-necked Laughing-thrush Garrulax ruficollis
157 Blue-winged Laughing-thrush Trochalopteron squamatum
158 Bhutan Laughing-thrush Trochalopteron imbricatum  
159 Black-faced Laughing-thrush Trochalopteron affine
160 Chestnut-crowned Laughing-thrush Trochalopteron erythrocephalum
161 Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata
162 Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea
163 Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta
164 Hoary-throated Barwing Sibia nipalensis
165 Blue-winged Minla Siva cyanouroptera
166 Chestnut-tailed Minla Chrysominla strigula
167 Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni
168 Goldcrest Regulus regulus
169 Brown-throated Treecreeper Certhia discolor  
170 Hodgson's Treecreeper Certhia hodgsoni
171 Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea
172 White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis
173 Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa
PASSERIFORMES: Troglodytidae
174 Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
175 Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
176 Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
177 Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
178 Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor
179 Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides
180 Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara
181 Large Niltava Niltava grandis
182 Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae
183 Asian Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
184 Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri
185 Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus
186 Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus
187 Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
188 Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata
189 Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris
190 Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni
191 Pygmy Blue Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsoni
192 Sapphire Flycatcher Ficedula sapphira
193 Plumbeous Water Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosa
194 White-capped Water Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus
195 Hodgson's Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni
196 Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
197 Blue-capped Rock Thrush Monticola cinclorhyncha
198 Eastern Stonechat Saxicola maurus
199 Grey Bush Chat Saxicola ferreus

200 Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma
201 Tibetan Blackbird Turdus maximus
202 White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus


  1. Simply fantastic...
    Started feeling J of you Bro!!!

    1. Thank you so much bro. Must visit location even if it's for just spending time in solace.

  2. Fantastic.
    You kept note of all small things we came across. It was wonderful trip , birds, birding pals, food ... A memorable one . thank you Aseem ji.

    1. Never make notes Sirji, the travel was so intense that everything gets embedded in the mind. Thank you for everything. With Regards,

  3. Outstanding trip report and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Tapas Ji, thank you so much. Met your friend Dr. Sreyash in Bera.

  4. Replies
    1. Much appreciated. Thank you very much Prakash bhaiji!

  5. Sirji kharach khup chhan.superb photos.thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for appreciating. Keep well. With Regards,

  6. As usual lovely writeup and beautiful images

    1. Thank you so much Gautam. It's been a while, haven't been out birding with you. Hope to catch up soon!

  7. Awesome writeup n pics... nice documentation...

    1. Pravin Bhai, thank you so much for the kind words.

  8. Superb photography...
    Must visit.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for appreciating. Yes it's surely a place to visit even otherwise, an amazing locations.

  9. Superb write up and great images.Actually felt like I was there.
    Am saving this as precious resource for my own birding trip to Bhutan - whenever it happens.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Sure you will have a good trip, whenever you plan one to this wonderful place!

  10. Aseem, that was, by far, the best blog on birding that I have read in a long, long time!!

    Your description of the sightings of the Satyr tragopan and Ward's trogon gave me goosebumps and an adrenaline rush that could only be surpassed if I was there first hand! Many thanks for sharing this.

    Having read this I am determined to do a birding trip to Bhutan in the near future. I'd dearly appreciate if you could share details, contacts and tips.


    Dr. Ian.

    1. Thank you so very much Dr!, your kind words literally boosted my morale. Sure, will pass on all the possible information/tips required for this trip. You can always write to me on

      With Best Regards,

  11. Your beautiful blog on Bhutan-birding has impressed me in such a way that I am determined to visit Bhutan for birding even in my 70 years of age.Please help us in all respects. Pl.suggest what time we should venture. R.J.Bishnu

    1. I am glad that you feel motivated to visit this birding paradise. From what I read and understand the tour can be done from February through till and anytime until April end. Should you need any more information, feel free to write to me.

  12. Lovely photos Aseem. Just a couple of ids to correct: the 'White-browed Scimitar Babbler' is Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, and the 'Spot-winged Grosbeak' is White-winged Grosbeak.

    1. Thank you so much for the appreciation. Have made the corrections pointed out in the links to the respective photo. With Best Regards,

  13. Your blog is very informative, meaningful and to the point. Being a traveller blogger i find you have a very good writing sense due to which you explain details about many destination perfectly, Your blog is like books of Lonely planet for various travel destination. If someone required destination information your blog is enough instead of searching anywhere. Keep it up your meaningful blog writing. I recently returned from an Amazing Indian Golden Triangle tour Package which was arranged by Ghum India Ghum, travel agent in Delhi, you can tie up with them if you want.
    tour operator in Delhi
    travel Agents in Delhi

    1. That's so kind of you. Sincerely appreciate your comment. Thanks for the suggestions and all the best for your future travels.


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