Bhutan Bird Watching Tours

Bhutan Bird Watching Tours

  • Camping
  • CommunityBasedTourism
  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • FarmHouseStay
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • Trekking
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
Bhutan Birdwatching tour,birding trip to bhutan
Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 12 Days
Trek Duration:
Trip Type: Cultural Tours & Camping
Difficulty Level:
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude: 4000mts
Max Elevation: 4000m
Highest Camp: 2000mts
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End: Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha > Gantey > Trongsa > Zhemgang > Tingtibi > Wangdi
Activities: Hiking, Visit Farm House, Bird watching, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


Bhutan Bird Watching Tours. Bhutan is a small Buddhist kingdom in the eastern Himalaya, sandwiched between Tibet in the north and India to the south. The recorded avifauna is over 616 species. The forest cover of over 72% and protected National Parks of 26% of the total land makes Bhutan one of the world’s most ideal places to watch diverse birds, which are impossible or difficult in other parts of the world. Environmental degradation is minimum unlike in other countries. The diverse and undisturbed forests promote different habitats best suited for all types of birds to thrive in the mountainous terrain. It has made Bhutan a high bio-diversity conservation hotspot known as Eastern Himalayan hotspot.

Bhutan is fortunate to have pristine environment and virgin forests, giving rise to habitats for diverse birds. The government’s commitment to preserve flora and fauna diversity protects the bird habitats. The government policy to maintain 60 percent of the total land under forest at all times assures that the habitats of birds are not destroyed in the future. The strong conservation policy may interfere with the economic development but it definitely provides the best and perhaps rare opportunity in the world for the bird lovers and Bhutan Bird Watching Tours will help you to explore the different species of Birds in Bhutan.

The rugged terrain and huge variations in altitude (300m in the south to 5500m in the north) give rise to different climatic zones. Therefore, birds of all types can be found from the sweltering tropics of the south to glacial alpine regions of the north. The temperate Phobjikha Valley highland marshes is much loved by the endangered Black Necked Cranes as their winter home while the lush tropical rain forests of the south shelters the Refous-Necked Hornbill s. The rugged terrain and slow journey often gives an impression that Bhutan is much bigger although the size is similar to Switzerland.

Bhutan has a long list of birds due to its ecological diversity and different climate from subtropics to alpine environment. Only 675 species of birds have been recorded so far. The most popular and widely known bird is the Black Neck Crane, a rare and endangered crane. Because of its unique features and behavior the Black Neck Crane finds a special place in the Bhutanese folklore. The bird is well protected. Kill or injure a Black Neck Crane and you may spend rest of your life behind bars.

Annually in the late autumn, hundreds flock to Phobjikha, a glacial valley in a remote area. With purpose, the valley does not have electrical power and it protects the Black Neck Cranes .Thrung Throng is the Bhutanese name for the bird and many Bhutanese legends and myths reflect the respect and praises for this bird. After arrival from the Tibetan plateau the birds are honored with a festival dance by the Black Neck Crane Dancers. The Pailas’ fish eagle, another migratory bird considered to be rare, also migrates to Bhutan from Tibet and northern India. This bird is spotted near Wangdi during the approach of spring season. It is often seen with other birds such as Ospreys and Pied Avocet. As the seasons change from summer to winter, numerous species of bird migrate to lower altitudes. These species includes now pigeons, rose finches, accentors, grosbeaks, and pheasants mainly the Himalayan monal, blood pheasant and satyrtragopan.

In Bhutan, it is a common sight to find the wall creeper, white capped water redstarts, the blue whistling-thrush, spotted nutcracker, yellow blue magpie in the pine forest and the red-billed choughs on the roofs of fortresses. Buddhist ethic prohibits killing and all animals in Bhutan are protected. The Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan outlines several bird species as totally protected. Some of these species are Raven, Black Neck Cranes, Peacock, Monal Pheasant and the Rufous-Necked Hornbill.

Bird watching tours blend well with refreshing views of breathtaking sceneries, imposing architecture, friendly people and natural spring beauty of this tiny mountainous kingdom. The tour ensures that you are travelling right through the main endemic bird areas of Bhutan, so that you will able to see most of the 616 species recorded so far in Bhutan. The trip will also make you understand how the culture of Bhutanese people is closely linked to nature.

We offer birding tours from west to east Bhutan in spring, early summer and autumn.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air
  • DAY 2: Paro –Thimphu
  • DAY 3: Thimphu-Thimphu
  • DAY 4: Thimphu-Punakha.
  • DAY 5: Punakha- Trongsa
  • DAY 6: Trongsa-Zhemgang
  • DAY 7: Zhemgang-Tingtibi
  • DAY 8: Tingtibi-Trongsa.
  • DAY 9: Trongsa-Wangdi.
  • DAY 10: Wangdi-Paro.
  • DAY 11: Paro-Taksang excursion.
  • DAY 12: Paro-Daparture

Detail Itinerary

1

Arrive at paro International airport.The flight into this spectacular part of the world is like no other. The green hills, known as dour, are gateways to Bhutan from the plains; they climb continually higher as you fly north toward the Tibetan border. Silvery rivers thread the valleys, waterfalls plunge down the forested mountainsides and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up into the sky.At the Paro airport, Bhutan Creative Tours representative will receive you. After completing the airport formalities, drive to hotel check in and fresh up . The Paro valley has attractive sites to visit. you will visit Ta Dzong; once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Ta Dzong became the Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968.Next visit is Rinpung Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, built the dzong in 1646; the dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the dzong has a traditionally roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk across the bridge offers a spectacular view of dzong’s architecture and an opportunity to tread the same path as the ancient warriors. “Little Buddha”, the Hollywood movie has captured the beauty and splendor of Rinpung Dzong and Nemi Zam.After lunch, you will have 18km drive from Paro town towards the northern valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong (victory fortress). Drugyal Dzong is a well-known place from where the Bhutanese fought back several invading Tibetan armies in the 17th century. Unfortunately, the fire that started from a butter lamp destroyed the dzong in 1951. The ruins depict the past war strategies of Bhutanese army and the ancient lifestyle of a farming community and are still a tourist attraction.

In the evening, you will visit traditional farmhouses for an opportunity to interact with the local families and learn more about their lifestyle. Later, you can take an evening stroll along the main street, and perhaps visit a few handicrafts shops, or take refreshments at a local café or bar.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.

2

Paro – ThimphuAM: Very early in the morning we will drive to Chelela pass with your pack breakfast. The pass is the highest pass(3998mts), where the car can go in Bhutan. On the way we may see the following birds:

    • Colourful Himalayan Monal
    • Flocks of Blood Pheasants.
    • Kalij Pheasants.
    • Grosbreaks
    • Bullfinches

Cutia

Besides see this birds we can also see the Mountain Jhomolhari & Jichu Drakye beautifully on clear days from the pass. There are lots of prayer flags here at the pass.

We will have our breakfast here, near the pass. After enjoying the sight of birds, prayer flags and mountains on clear days, then we will drive back to Paro, to our hotel. We will take rest in the hotel for about 1hour and then we will hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest till the view point. We will have lunch here at the view point, Taktshang cafeteria.

PM: Walk back to the car point and then we will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive will take about 1hour 30minutes from the road point. Evening stroll around the Thimphu town and explore handicraft shops for Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs and gifts for your friends and loved ones. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel, Thimphu.

3

Thimphu Halt.AM: It will take approximately 30mins to reach by car and We will hike to Cheri Monastery and during the hike we may spot the following birds:

  • Spotted Laughing Trush
  • Fire Capped Tit
  • Golden Breasted Fulvetta.
  • Yellow Backed Flower Packer
  • Maroon Backed Accentor

Lunch pack lunch.

PM: Drive back to Thimphu and doing some sightseeing in Thimphu, like visit to Memorial Chhorten, Weaving center, Bhutanese paper factory and post office to buy the Famous Bhutanese Stamps. We have bird stamps also-which are very beautiful and can be good souvenirs for your bird lover friends and for your own collections too. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel, Thimphu.

4

Thimphu – PunakhaAM: Drive to Punakha over dochula pass (3150m). stop for a while at the pass for a breath taking of eastern Himalayan Mountain Ranges on a clear days and also to see the 108 small chhortens (stupas). The following birds species can be found on our way to Punakha.

  • Gold-naped Finch.
  • Rufous-breasted Bush Robin
  • Satyr Tragopan
  • Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
  • Tree Creepers.

Lunch will be at Lobesa.

PM: Hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, which is located at a hill top. This temple is also known as ‘the temple of fertility’. The hike will take about 25minutes from the road end through the farm fields. Then we will drive to Punakha and visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong.

Dinner and overnight stay at Punakha, Hotel.

5

Punakha – Trongsa.AM: We drive to Trongsa over Pelela pass. Today we may find the following birds on our way to Trongsa.

  • Blood Pheasant
  • Yellowish-billed Bush Warbler
  • Great Parrotbill
  • White Winged Grosbeak
  • Fire-tailed Myzornis
  • Maroon-backed Accentor.

Lunch we will have at Chendebji Restaurant.

PM: continue our journey to Trongsa. If we have time, we will visit the impressive Trongsa dzong. Dinner and overnight stay at Trongsa, Hotel.

6

Trongsa-ZhemgangAM: Drive to Zhemgang with pack lunch. We will our pack lunch whenever we feel hungry. Today we may see the following birds beside the good opportunity to see the golden langure- an animal endemic to Bhutan.

  • Chestnuts Breasted Partridge
  • Ward’s Trogon
  • Rufus Necked and Great Horn Bill
  • Blue-napped Pitta
  • Blue fronted Robin
  • Wedge Billed & Bar winged Wren Babblers and many more.

Dinner and overnight stay in Zhemgang, Camp.

7

Zhemgang – TingtibiToday we will explore the birds from Zhemgang till Tingtingbi.Dinner and overnight stay at Tingtingbi, Camp.

8

Tingtingbi – Trongsa.AM: After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa with your pack lunch. We will stop wherever necessary if we spot birds on our way back to Trongsa.PM:Continue our journey to Trongsa.

Dinner and overnight stay at Trongsa, Hotel.

9

Trongsa-wangdue.AM: Drive to Wangdue. The drive will take about 5hours.Lunch will be served at Nobding.

PM: Continue our journey to Wangdue.

Evening at leisure.

Dinner and overnight stay at Wangdue, Hotel.

10

Wangdue – Paro.AM: Drive to Paro.Lunch at Thimphu.

PM: Continue our journey to Prao.

Evening stroll around the Paro town for your last shopping in Bhutan.

Dinner and overnight stay at Paro. Dinner can be arranged at farmhouse, if our guests are interested.

11

Paro (Excursion to Tiger’s Lair)After breakfast, your car will take you to the starting point of the hike to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s lair). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You stop at the cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike (if not tired) for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn’t seem so impossible after all.Overnight at hotel in Paro.

12

Paro-AiprotAM: Drive to Paro international Airport for your onward flight. Your Bhutanese guide and driver will bid you farewell here at the airport. We wish you a very safe and comfortable flight and we hope to see you again in Bhutan.

Images



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FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map