Bhutan bird watching tour 11 days
Bhutan is a small kingdom nestled on the lap of Himalaya and is home to over 670 species of birds. The pristine forested valleys, cold weather, lush vegetation, and quaint surrounding offers a perfect habitat for different kinds of birds. Bird watching can be one of the unique adventures in Bhutan.
Among the 670 species of birds, around 50 species of birds are winter migrants. Black Necked Cranes specially migrate from the Tibetan Plateau to the blossoming environments of Bhutan every winter. Over 60% of the land in the country is forested, and 26% of the total area comprises of National Parks and Preserves. This offers a perfect haven for unique birds such as cuckoos, swifts, bee-eaters, warblers and flycatchers, Baer’s Pochard, Beautiful Nuthatch, Black-necked Stork, Blackish-breasted Babbler, Blyth’s Kingfisher, and Chestnut-breasted Partridge. Similarly, other species of birds are Dark-rumped Swift, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Peregrine Falcon, Ferruginous Duck, Gray-crowned Prinia, Great Hornbill, Lesser Fish-eagle, Palla’s Fish-eagle, Pallid Harrier, and Rufous-necked Hornbill. The well-guided tour will take you along the major monastic and tourist sites around Bhutan. Enjoy a pleasant stay and experience bird-watching with like-minded explorers.
The 11-day Bhutan Bird Watching Tour begins upon arrival in Paro Valley. Explore the scenic river beds and adjoining forests to witness some of the Himalayan birds. A short drive towards Chelila Pass (3890m) will bring you one of the highest mountain passes. Here, you can find Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus) and Blood Pheasants. Drive towards Dochula Pass (3120m) via Thimpu City. The high pass is home to high-altitude birds such as Fire-tailed Myzornis and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie. Enjoy a scenic visit to Punakha Dzong and Dechen Phodrang at Punakha, followed by a bird-watching tour to the nearby Tsirang Forests. Follow the journey to Gelephu to enjoy the views of birds such as Pied Falconet, Jungle Babbler, and Large Hawk-Cuckoo. Embark on a half-day drive towards Zhemgang valley. Follow the tour to Trongsa Valley and witness the birds like Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, White-browed Scimitar Babblers, and Steak-breasted Scimitar Babblers. Retrace your path back to Paro Valley and catch the sight of few birds en route. Along the tour, you will get to visit the ancient Dzongs (fortresses), Buddhist Monasteries, and Chortens. To witness the winter migratory bird, Black-necked Crane, you must consider visiting Bhutan during September and October. The migratory bird flies back to Tibet Plateau between February and March.
Enjoy a unique bird watching tour at Bhutan with Himalaya Holiday Service. We organize all kinds of tours and treks around Bhutan, including organizing private and group tours. Our handpicked tours in Bhutan come with full-board programs that include domestic transportation, three meals a day, an experienced guide, and national park permits.
Embark on a scenic bird watching tour around the deep ravines and lush forested valleys around the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
Enjoy a scenic tour around the pristine valleys of Thimpu, Chelila, Trongsa, Punakha, Tsirang, Gelephu, and Zhemgang.
Explore the popular monastic destinations of Punakha Dzong, Pungtang Dechen Phodrang, and Trongsa Dzong.
Catch the mesmerizing sight of Himalayan birds such as Fire-tailed Myzornis, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, and Himalayan Monal
Relish Bhutanese company and hospitality throughout your stay in Bhutan.
Geography: Hills, Valleys
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Duration of Trip: 11 days
Max Altitude: 3890m
Religions: Vajrayana Buddhism
Ethnic People: Bhutanese
Transportation: Private Vehicle and Flight
Minimum Pax: 02
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Welcome to Bhutan! Upon your arrival, your tour guide will receive you at Paro International Airport. Drive to your hotel and enjoy a delicious lunch. Afterward, you’ll embark on a half-day bird watching tour around Paro Chhu or Paro River. The scenic forests around the Paro River remain home to the Himalayan birds such as Ibis bill, black-tailed Crake, Common Sandpiper, Olive-backed Pipit, and Dark-throated Thrush. Overnight in Paro.
Day 02: Drive Paro – Chelila – Paro– Thimphu
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Afterward, you’ll embark on a short drive towards Cheli La Pass (3890m), the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. It separates Paro Valley from the historical Haa Valley. The dense Spruce and Larch forests in Chelila are home to Himalayan birds such as Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasants, Kalij Pheasant, Rose-finches, Grosbeaks and laughing thrushes. Drive back to Paro and enjoy lunch before you embark on a short drive to Thimpu. Overnight in Thimpu.
Day 03: Drive Thimphu to Punakha (3hrs)
Enjoy breakfast at Thimpu and begin driving towards Dochu La Pass (3150 meters). Catch the mesmerizing sight of Gangkhar Puensum and 108 memorial Chortens at Dochu La Pass. The lush forested area around the pass is home to bird species such as Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-gorget Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Black-eared Shrike Babblers, and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie. After enjoying a scenic bird watching tour, you’ll continue driving towards Punakha Valley. Enjoy a short tour of the historical Pungtang Dechen Phodrang and Punakha Dzong en route to your hotel. The 16th Century structure, Punakha Dzong, lies just beside the confluence of the massive Mo Chhu and Po Chhu Rivers.
Day 04: Drive from Punakha – Tsirang forest (4hrs)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and then embark on a drive towards Tsirang Forest. Tsirang Forest is one of the districts of Bhutan. It comes under the Department of Forests and Park Services. The highly preserved forested area is home to many species of birds. You will enjoy a scenic bird watching tour around the forested area the whole day. Some of the commonly found birds inside the Tsirang forests are Rufous-necked Hornbill and Great Hornbill. Overnight in a tented camp.
Day 05: Tour from Tsirang – Gelephu (5hrs)
Begin the day with a bird watching tour around Tsirang forest. After enjoying your breakfast, you’ll embark on a short drive towards Gelephu. Gelephu is a town inside Sarphang District, which lies close to the Indian Border. Get a close encounter with beautiful birds such as Nuthatch, Pied Falconet, Black-backed Fork tail, Red-headed Trogon, and Black Eagle, Jungle Babbler, and Grey-sided Laughing thrush. Along with bird watching, you will get to witness the exotic wildlife in the region, including Golden Langur, Gangetic Dolphins, and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Overnight in Gelephu.
Day 06: Whole day Birding Gelephu
Gelephu is the southernmost region in Bhutan that connects the region with the state of Assam in India. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you’ll embark on a full-day bird-watching tour around Gelephu. Some of the exceptional species of birds found around the lush forested region comprise of Falconet, Jungle Babbler, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Wreathed and Great Hornbill, Puff-throated Babbler, and Indian Roller. Because of the proximity to Indian in the south, the region is often frequented by tourists from India. Overnight in Gelephu.
Day 07: Tour from Gelephu to Zhemgang (6hrs)
Zhemgang is one of the southernmost districts of Bhutan surrounded by Sarphang, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, and Samdrup Jongkhar Districts. A part of the district also borders with Assam in the south. Most parts of Zhemgang is a protected region. Enjoy traversing through the protected forests enjoying the magnificent sights of Laughing thrushes, Tesias, Wren-Babbler, and Parrot bills. Overnight in Zhemgang.
Day 08: Birding in Zhemgang
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel and then embark on a bird watching tour around the valley. You will get to visit the scenic sites of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and Royal Manas National Park. The scenic tour offers the rare sights of Rufous-necked Hornbill, Green Pigeons Cutie, and White-browed Shrike Babblers, Minlas, White-tailed Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch and more. Explore around the national park and relish the diversity of birds and natural beauty before conceding the trip for the day—overnight in Zhemgang.
Day 09: Tour from Zhemgang to Trongsa (6 hrs)
Leaving Zhemgang, you’ll begin driving towards Trongsa Valley. The 3hr long drive will take you past Sarphang Valley towards Trongsa. Make a short tour to Trongsa Dzong and catch the beautiful sight of the Mangde Chhu River. The surrounding forested area remains home to many different species of birds including Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, White-browed Scimitar Babblers, Steak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Buntings, Long-tailed Shrikes, Prinias, Rufous Woodpeckers, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Green Magpie, Common Kestrel, Rufous-bellied Eagle, and Minivets. Overnight in Trongsa.
Day 10: Drive Trongsa – Paro (7hrs)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast, and begin driving towards Paro Valley. The scenic 7hr long drive will take you past Thimpu city overlooking the majestic sight of Mt. Chomolhari. Upon arrival, you can make a short tour around Paro Town, exploring the beautiful architecture. If you’re lucky, you will spot a few more birds—overnight in Paro.
Day 11: Departure from Bhutan
Enjoy your breakfast in the company of the looming Himalayas and surrounding hills. Afterward, you can visit the Paro Street to shop for a souvenir. After lunch, your guide will drive you to the airport.