CLASSIC HIMALAYAS

The Himalayas are an ornithological treasure house of amazing, beautiful and absolutely superb birds! For anyone who has never been within sight of these massive peaks, there are numerous new families of birds, as well as the impressive spectacle of large mixed-species flocks. Add to this a whole suite of skulking, unobtrusive and hard to see species – and we really love those ones! This tour concentrates on the ‘classic’ Himalayan destinations of Corbett National Park and the higher elevations around Nainital, Pangot and Sat Tal and the focus of the tour will be to see all wildlife well, rather than racing around trying to build up a big list but we will also concentrate on the specialities as well. Starting at the world famous Corbett National Park where we will split our time between a good lodge outside the park and Dhikala Lodge nestled within the heart of the park. As well as a chance of seeing Tiger and wild Asian Elephants, there are a whole host of attractive species to search for, from Ibisbill, Pallas’s Fish-Eagle, Great Pied Hornbill and Slaty-back Forktail to Wallcreeper, Kalij Pheasant, Collared Falconet and some true grassland skulkers like Himalayan Rubythroat and Grey-sided Bush-warbler. Moving to the tranquil setting of our secluded lodge at Pangot, this stunning and remote area will provide a veritable feast of typical Himalayan species such as barbets, bulbuls, babblers, laughingthrushes, yuhinas, warblers and rosefinches. There are numerous specialities to search for as well which will ensure you really won’t want to leave. Rather unique by Asian standards, the lodge has a feeding station giving the opportunity to get up close and personal with some cracking birds and provide a veritable feast of photographic opportunities! High on our wish-lists here will be species such as Cheer and Koklass Pheasants, Scaly-bellied and Himalayan Woodpeckers, Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Upland Pipit, Spot-winged Grosbeak and so much more. We will continue our Himalayan adventure at Sat Tal where amidst thick forest there is the chance of tough species such as Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush and Chestnut-headed Tesia amongst a great selection of other birds, whilst nearby areas could produce Speckled Piculet, Black-throated Accentor, Himalayan Bluetail and Small-billed Scaly Thrush amongst others. 

The icing on the cake of an already bird-filled adventure, will be an exciting visit to Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary where we will go in search of the incredible Himalayan Monal - possibly the most iconic Himalayan bird there is! This is undoubtedly THE best place in the world to see this beautiful bird and will undoubtedly be a major highlight of the tour. But that's not all, as we will be in with very good chances of seeing many new species such as Snow Partridge, Snow Pigeon, Variegated Laughingthrush, Alpine and Long-tailed Thrushes, White-browed Fulvetta, Red-headed Bullfinch, Black-and-yellow Grosbeak, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie and the mesmerising Scarlet Finch. Our route back to Delhi, necessitates a stop amidst the scenically spectacular Dehradun in the Doon Valley, which is fortunate as this is a great place to catch up with the tricky Nepal Cupwing! This is Himalayan birding at its finest!

Tuesday 23rd Nov - Wednesday 8th Dec

KEY SPECIES

Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Black Francolin
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Himalayan Monal
  • Snow Partridge
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Red-headed Vulture
  • Lesser Fish-Eagle
  • Pallas's Fish-Eagle
  • Sarus Crane
  • Ibisbill
  • Tawny Fish-Owl
  • Mountain Scops-Owl
  • Snow Pigeon
  • Crested Kingfisher
  • Wallcreeper
  • Slaty-headed Parakeet
  • Collared Falconet
  • Speckled Piculet
  • Scaly-bellied Woodpecker
  • Himalayan Woodpecker 
  • Great Slaty Woodpecker 
  • Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
  • Himalayan Shrike-Babbler
  • Black-headed Jay
  • Common Green Magpie
  • Streak-throated Swallow
  • Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler
  • Nepal Wren-Babbler
  • Grey-crested Tit
  • Black-faced Warbler
  • Chestnut-crowned Bush-Warbler
  • Grey-bellied Tesia
  • Chestnut-headed Tesia
  • Sulphur-bellied Warbler
  • Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush
  • Variegated Laughingthrush
  • Long-billed Thrush
  • Alpine Thrush
  • Tickell's Thrush
  • Black-throated Thrush
  • Spot-winged Starling
  • Himalayan Bluetail
  • Himalayan Rubythroat
  • Golden Bush-Robin
  • Altai Accentor
  • Upland Pipit
  • Scarlet Finch
  • Spot-winged Rosefinch
  • Spot-winged Grosbeak
  • Black-and-yellow Grosbeak
  • Collared Grosbeak
  • Red-headed Bullfinch
  • Black-throated Accentor
  • Yellow-breasted Greenfinch
  • White-capped Bunting
  • Chestnut-eared Bunting 
  • Pink-browed Rosefinch 
  • Large mixed fleeding flocks
  • Bengal Tiger
Himalayan Monal copyright Shyam Sharma

Leaders: Nick Bray and local guides. 

Ground Price:  £2750.00  - Delhi/Delhi

Airfare:  £550.00 - £680.00(Approx) - UK/UK

Single supplement: £350.00                     

Deposit: £500.00

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 4 and maximum 9 with 2 leaders.

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite (single rooms may not be possible at Dhikala), all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 16, bottled water, all ground transport including jeep safaris in Corbett NP, all park/reserve entrance fees, and services of leaders.

Not included: International airfare, insurance, visa fee, drinks, tips, camera fees at National Parks and items of a personal nature.   

Accommodation: The hotels & lodges used during this tour are of a reasonable to good standard, all with en-suite facilities. We will stay in the best available lodges/guest houses as close to the birding sites as possible. The rooms at Dhikala inside Corbett NP are basic but the location is superb. Please note we may well only stay for 1 night here, depending on latest information received as to where the best birding is to be found during our time in this area. 

Tour Code: This is a standard birding tour with regular birding walks along roads and well marked trails. Expect early starts each day! Expect a few long drives during this tour.. The weather is generally warm at this time of year, although dawn/dusk and overnight it does get much cooler and can be quite cold at Pangot and Chopta. Rain is not expected at this time of year, although snow is a distinct possibly in higher areas.  

 

All photos copyright Zoothera Birding unless otherwise stated.

Top left photo: Ibisbill
Top right photo: Cheer pheasant
Side photo: Himalayan Monal copyright Shyam Sharma
Top row: Blue-fronted Redstart, Corbett scenery, Himalayan Monal copyright Shyam Sharma, Streak-throated Woodpecker.
Middle row: Grey-winged Blackbird, Pink-browed Rosefinch, Brown Wood Owl, Upland Pipit
Bottom row: Birding at Corbett, Himalayan Greenfinch, Pangot scenery, Wallcreeper