Bhutan is a bird-watcher’s paradise. Due to the wide range of specific altitudinal and climatic conditions (from sub-tropical to alpine), the Kingdom possesses an immense variety of birds within its small territory. Over 750 species have been recorded to date, this extensive list growing increasingly longer as more systematic birding is undertaken. The most high profile species include the Black-necked crane, White Bellied Heron, Blyth’s tragopan, Ward’s trogon, monal pheasant and Rufous-necked hornbill.
For a wider variety of birds and better sightings one should travel to the east of the country. Sengor and Limithang are known to be some of the finest areas. Early morning (from 4-5 am) is the best time for watching. Afternoons can therefore be used to discover the other cultural and ecological aspects that make being in Bhutan a truly singular experience.
The country is an important wintering ground for the rare Black necked crane. They can be spotted in Phobjikha in Western Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and in Bomdeling in Eastern Bhutan. They migrate to these winter roosting places in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March.The following is a comprehensive list of the endangered birds of Bhutan:
Day One: Arrive Paro – Explore town including visit to National Museum, dusk birding by the river – Hotel
Day Two: To Thimphu – Memorial Chorten, Textile Museum, Heritage Museum, paper factory and Tangu Cherry – Hotel
Day Three: Thimphu ˆ Painting School, traditional silver/goldsmith and Buddha point hike – Hotel
Day Four: Via Dochu La to Punakha & Birding – Hotel
Day Five: To Phobjikha – Birding on the way – Hotel
Day Six: Bumthang/Sengor – camp
Day Seven: Sengor – camp
Day Eight: To Yongkola – camp
Day Nine: Limithang/Yongkola – camp
Day Ten: Limithang/Korila – camp
Day Eleven: To Bumthang – Hotel
Day Twelve: To Bumthang – Hotel
Day Thirteen: Fly via domestic flight to Paro – Hotel
Day Fourteen: Depart Paro
Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)Photocopy of picture page of passport showing number, etc. Keep this in a separate place in your baggage. If for any reason you lose your passport, this will expedite the process of applying for a new passport.Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 35 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few reminders:-
Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
Good walking shoes, Sunglasses, Sunscreen (highest possible) Headgear for sunny days Bug/Insect repellent Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don’t wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.
Contact Bhutan Retreat: http://www.bhutanretreat.com/contact/