This is a very special tour to India, as we head into the Himalayas in search of the stunning Satyr Tragopan. The amazing Singalila National Park in West Bengal, which is very close to the Nepalese border, is home to a healthy population of Satyr Tragopans and this is where we will be based. This is such a beautiful bird and one that requires a certain amount of time and effort to locate but thanks to our excellent network of local guides we have a very good chance of locating one or two amidst some of the most splendid scenery on earth. To be in the Himalayas in late spring or early summer is to witness an abundance of birdlife and to be surrounded by a chorus of bird song unlike anywhere else. The Himalayas are a veritable treasure trove of ornithological delights with a 'Who's Who' of some of the best looking birds in the field guide with such beauties as Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Golden-throated Barbet, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Golden Bush-Robin, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Rufous-fronted Tit, Scarlet Finch, Gold-naped Finch and even the rare Fire-tailed Myzornis is present. There's also a good chance of seeing a Red Panda here too. But our ultimate aim is to find Satyr Tragopan and we will search open slopes amidst some splendid oak and rhododendron forests, scour patches of bamboo on steep slopes and dense patches of evergreen forest, all set with a backdrop of the mighty, snow-clad Himalayas dominating the horizon.
Monday 8th May - Monday 15th Jan 2023
Leaders: Nick Bray & Peter Lobo
Ground Price: £tba - Delhi/Delhi
Airfare: £600 - £830 (approx) - UK/UK
Single supplement: £tba
Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 4 and maximum 7 with 2 leaders.
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite from Day 1 to Day 9, all meals including picnic lunches where necessary from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9, full service of a ground crew, all entrance fees to National Parks, permits, 5% Government Service Tax, transport throughout in air-conditioned vehicles, and services of leaders.
Not included: International airfare, insurance, any departure taxes, visa fees, drinks, tips, camera fees at National Parks, entrance fees to all reserves and national parks, and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: Ranges from standard to good.
Tour Code: This is a relatively standard tour where many early starts and several late finishes when owling can be expected and a fair amount of walking is required. Most of our birding walks will be of a usual birding pace, but please be aware we will be walking all day. The philosophy of searching for tragopans is to cover as much ground by foot as possible and if things are quiet we will drive to a different elevation and then begin walking again. The road we will be birding has very little traffic. Expect a typically tropical climate with most days being relatively warm, with the montane areas being cooler and we can expect some rain & mist on several days. Nights can be cold & even snow is possible at this time of year, So you will need to bring thermal night and day wear. Sunrise is approximately 5am and sunset around 6.15pm, so the days are relatively long, but we may well begin each day with tea & coffe at 4.00am and have a picnic breakfast in the field. Altitude ranges from 2045m at Darjeeling to 3636m at SandakPhu.
All photos copyright Nick Bray/Zoothera Birding unless otherwise stated.