There are more than six hundred recorded species of birds in Bhutan of which 14 are globally endangered.
Bird watching, ethno-botany, photography and other academic pursuits are thriving in Bhutan. A record diversity of flora and fauna make Bhutan a literal paradise for those specialized in these fields. Bhutan Travelers customizes such trips so that those keen can get professional packages dwelling in these fields.
Before landing off at the international airport, you have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning view of the Paro Valley with the green terraced field below. After landing and completing all immigration procedures, our representative will be waiting to warmly welcome you and drive you to Thimphu, the capital city. If your flight is in the morning you will head to the suburbs in Thimphu, like Upper-Motithang
After a hearty breakfast, head to the east to the Dochula pass. Once there, you can admire the breathtaking vistas of the whole Himalayan mountain range while standing on the border between Bhutan and Tibet. What’s more, do not forget that this area is also a heaven for bird-watchers as when you hike through the fir, birch, and rhododendron forest, you will reach the place where many species of birds thrive. Continue heading to Punakha. In the afternoon, make your way to the bird-rich subtropical valley of Punakha. On reaching the destination, stop for a while to explore the edge of a forest and agricultural land in a nearby village. On your way heading to the Valley, there will be your chance to witness several subtropical species of birds. Some common sightings are the Red-headed Trogon, Wedge-Tailed Pigeon, Fire-capped Tit, White-Gorgeted Flycatcher, and other rare species such as Yellow-Vented Warbler, Magpie Robin, Green Magpie, and Osprey.
Today, you will depart for Phobjikha. On reaching the destination, stop for a while to discover the edge of a river channel and scan the forests for Flycatchers and Wedge-
Drive up to Lawa La pass at 3360m and after a moments drive on strip of rough road we will eventually join the highway. Ascending up to Pele La pass (3420m) with amazing views of the distant mountains such as Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. Drive past evergreen forests which slowly change to broad leaved forests and you descend. You will pass a few small villages, among them being the Chendebji village. The Chendebji Chorten imitates the famous Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu architecturally.
As you continue on we will drive into the Mangde Chhu river valley. Followed by the view of the majestic Trongsa Dzong, arriving Trongsa after 2.5 hours on the road. The Trongsa district being surrounded by high mountains and dense jungles provide the perfect habitat for a variety of birds. The beginning of June is the best time to sight rare birds in Trongsa. The Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Bunting, Steak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Rufous Woodpecker, Long-tailed Shrike, Prinias, Common Green Magpie, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Minivets and Common Kestrel may be sighted. Visit the Trongsa Dzong located above the Mangde Chhu river. Trongsa Royal Heritage Museum is also worth a visit, an archive of Bhutan’s glorious history.
Today we will drive to Zhemgang following the Mangde Chhu river. On the drive we will make several stops in the densely forested valleys to enjoy some birding. In this area, species of birds such as the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike, prinias, Rufous Woodpecker, Blue–bearded Bee-eater, Spot-winged Starling, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel and various minivets can be found. Bird-watchers may even be able to spot some rare species such as the highly endangered White-bellied Heron and the Collared Treepie.
Other species that you may be lucky enough to spot in this nature-rich area are the Nuthatch and Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush, and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush. We may even spot an endemic mammal species to Bhutan – the Golden Langur, only discovered in the 1950s.
In the morning try to catch sight of the Beautiful Nuthatch and the Sapphire Flycatcher. Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan has several of Bhutan’s greatest cultural attractions and religious structures. The day will be well-spent visiting monuments and visiting neighboring villages. Most importantly, birding in the agricultural peripheries will likely allow some amazing sightings of birds such as the Rose Finch, Rufous breasted Accentor, Little Bunting, Red Billed Chough, Black billed Magpie and countless more. Some monuments we will visit are the Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Monastery, Kurjey Lhakhang and the Jakar Dzong — each with striking architecture and long-standing tales. Overnight in a hotel in Bumthang.
Today we will visit the Chumey Valley, a short 40 min drive from Bumthang. We will visit the Tharparling monastery. As you climb further into the hill we may be lucky enough to spot the Monal Pheasant and the Satyr Tragopan. Other common sightings are the Spot-winged Grosbeak, Daurian Redstart, Oriental Skylark, Black-billed Magpie and Olive-Baked Pipit. Overnight stay in Chumey Valley.
Today we will catch a domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro. This is the most spectacular flight. The flight from Kathmandu affords views of Himalayan peaks such as Mt.Everest (8848m) however certain peaks are hidden from sight. However, on this 25 min flight, mountains such as the highest unclimbed peak – Mt. Jumolhari and Masangang, Tsendagang and other snow-laden Himalayan giants can be seen. You fly parallel the national Highway for a while too. Visit some monuments in Paro such as the Rinpung Dzong “fortress of Heap of Jewels”, adorned with intricate wall paintings and ancient Buddhist folklore that entails. Then we will visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred monastery in the Kingdom. The National Museum of Paro, and some typical farmhouses are also worth the visit. Explore the cutesy Paro town at your own time in the evening. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Today we will bid you farewell as you catch your flight from Paro to your next adventure.
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