Day 1 Arrival in Delhi - 8th May
Plan on arriving into New Delhi anytime today. Night in Delhi.
Day 2 Delhi - Bagdogra - Darjeeling
We will take the early morning domestic flight from Delhi to Bagdogra where we will be met by our ground crew and drive to the former hill station of Darjeeling in West Bengal. This an excellent base to get acclimatised as we will be at an altitude of around 2130m. We might get a sneek peek at Kanchenjunga today - the world's third highest mountain. A brief foray into the nearby hills could well give us species such as Himalayan Griffon, White-tailed Nuthatch, Long-tailed Minivet, Little Pied Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Brownish-flanked and Russet Bush-Warblers, Hill Prinia, Red-tailed Minla, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Blue-fronted Redstart, Streaked Laughingthrush, Rufous Sibia, Buff-barred, lemon-rumped, Ash-throated, Grey-hooded and Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Broad-billed Warbler (rare), Green-backed and Black-throated Tits, Whiskered Yuhina, Red-billed Leiothrix, Green-tailed Sunbird, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Maroon-backed Accentor, Red-headed Bullfinch and Yellow-breasted (Himalayan) Greenfinch. Night in Darjeeling.
Days 3 - 6 Darjeeling - Singalila National Park - Sandakphu
We will leave early on the drive towards Singalila National Park with numerous birding stops along the way. We will split our time over the next few days between Singalila NP and Sandakphu. This is where our tragopan quest begins in earnest and things start to get really exciting! We've got excellent local guides who know just where to look for Satyr Tragopan and there's going to be some hiking to get into decent oak and rhododendron forest where they reside, as well as long periods scanning their favourite hillsides.
Other species present in the late spring early summer here are numerous and it depends how much we want to hike but just to give you some idea of the species present: Hill Partridge, Rufous-throated Partridge, Blood & Kalij Pheasants, Ashy Woodpigeon, Pin-tailed and Wedge-tiled Green-Pigeon, Large & Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo, Indian & Lesser Cuckoos, Bay, Collared Scops-Owl, Rufous-bellied, Darjeeling and Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers, Greater Yellownape, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Great Hornbill, Green Cochoa, Short-billed Minivet, Nepal House Martin, Streak-breasted & Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler, Black-throated, Great, Brown & Fulvous Parrotbills, Black-eared & Green Shrike-Babblers, White-tailed and Indian Blue Robins, Rufous-breasted, White-browed & Golden Bush-Robins, Spotted, Slaty-backed and Little Forktails, Slaty-blue, Dark-sided & Ferruginous Flycatchers, White-browed Shortwing, White-collared Blackbird, Alpine, Long-billed & Himalayan Forest Thrushes, Scaly, Black-faced, Grey-sided & Spotted Laughingthrushes, Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler, Red-faced Liocichla, Spotted Elachura, Hoary Barwing, White-browed, Rufous-winged & Golden-breasted Fulvettas, Whiskered, Stripe-throated & Rufous-vented Yuhinas, Mountain Bulbul, Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush, Sikkim & Rusty-flanked Treecreepers, Streaked Spiderhunter, Blue-winged & Chestnut-tailed Minlas, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Aberrant, Yellowish-bellied & Grey-sided Bush-warblers, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Large-billed & Blyth's Leaf-Warblers, Hill Prinia, Spotted Nutcracker, Rufous-fronted Tit, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Grey-crested & Yellow-browed Tits, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Scarlet Finch, Red-headed & Brown Bullfinches, Gold-naped Finch, White-winged Grosbeak and Pink-browed, Himalayan White-browed & Dark-rumped Rosefinch. There's even a slim chance of Rufous-necked Hornbill, Himalayan Cutia and Fire-tailed Myzornis.
Day 7 SandakhPhu - Siliguri
After one final morning in this amazing part of the Himalayas we will drive back towards Baghdogra and spend the last night in Siliguri.
Day 8 Siliguri - Baghdogra - Delhi - 15th May
This morning we will transfer the short distance to Bagdogra Airport for our return flight to Delhi and conclusion of a fabulous short tour to the might Himalayas.