Birding Trails of North India
Duration : 16 nights & 17 days
Destinations Covered : Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur, National Chambal Sanctuary, Nainital & Saatal, Corbett National Park, Sultanpur Lake and the wetlands of Delhi
Best time: October - April
Day - 1 -- » Arrive New Delhi
Arrive Delhi International airport. You will be met and transferred to the hotel (day room). Birding at Okhla barrage and city forest with a guide. Connect overnight train to Sawai Madhopur (railhead for Ranthambore National Park) at 2145 hours from NewDelhi railway station. Overnight in train.
Day - 02 -- » Ranthambore National Park
Arrive at 0505 hours and transfer to the wildlife resort. Morning birding around the resort with a guide. Afternoon jeep drive in the park with a guide for birding and tiger-tracking. Overnight in the resort. The birds that one can expect around the resort are grey francolin, sirkeer malkoha, painted sandgrouse, Indian courser, yellow-wattled lapwing, southern grey shrike, Isabelline wheatear, desert wheatear, variable wheatear, ashy-crowned sparrow lark, greater short-toed lark, blue rock thrush, common buzzard etc.
Day - 03-- » Ranthambore- Bharatpur
Morning tiger-tracking with a guide in Ranthambore National Park. You can have the option of going to the park for tiger-tracking or visiting the 1000-year old fort. You will be transferred to the railway station to connect train to Bharatpur at 1250 hours Arrive Bharatpur at 1535 hours and transfer to the hotel. Overnight hotel.
Day - 04-06 -- » Bharatpur
Three full days of birding in Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot and cycle rickshaws with a birding guide. Note: one boat ride will be arranged subject to availability. Keoladeo National Park has some of the finest wetlands in the world and is the world heritage site. Over 400 species of birds find a refuge in the 29 square kilometers of shallow lakes & woodland of the park. A third of them are winter migrants which breed as far as Siberia & Central Asia.
Day - 07 -- » National Chambal Sanctuary
Transfer to Chambal early in the morning. Morning boat cruise with a guide to see Indian skimmer, black-bellied tern, large flocks of migratory waterfowl, cranes such as common, demoiselle and Saras; fish-eating crocodile and marsh mugger; Gangetic dolphin; turtles etc. Return by 1500 hours to Agra. Afternoon visit to the Taj Mahal. Transfer from the hotel in the evening to connect train to Lal Kuan (railhead for Nainital; 3 hours drive) at 2130 hr. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper train.
Day - 08&09-- » Sataal
Arrive Lal Kuan at 0830 hours. You will be met and transferred to Sataal (2 hours). Full day birding with a guide. Two nights at KMVN Rest House or a tented camp or similar. The drive is through the forested area of Sataal. One can see a variety of Himalayan species along the way such as red-breasted accentor, chestnut-headed tesia, greater & lesser yellow naped woodpecker, blue-throated barbet, rufous-chinned laughing thrush, black bulbul, dark-throated thrush etc.
Day - 10 -- » Pangot, 15 km from Nainital
You will be transferred to Pangot via Nainital. Full day birding with a guide at China Peak & Kilbury. Overnight at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge. The entire drive is through the forested area of China Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitats for excellent birding. One can see a variety of Himalayan species along the way such as lammergeier, Himalayan griffon, blue-winged minla, spotted & slaty-backed forktail, rufous-bellied woodpecker, rufous-bellied niltava, khalij pheasant, variety of thrushes etc. Nainital region supports almost 150 bird species out of which 130 species have been recorded at Pangot and surrounding areas. The numerous perennial & seasonal creeks are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna including the Leopard, yellow-throated Himalayan matins, Himalayan Palm Civet, ghoral, barking deer, sambhar etc.
Day - 11-- » Pangot
Another day of birding at Pangot village, Baggar and Gughu Khan. These walks can be very rewarding. Overnight stay at the lodge. One can see crested serpent-eagle, mountain hawk-eagle, Woodpeckers such as brown-fronted, stripe-breasted, rufous-bellied etc. Thrushes such as dark-throated, mistle etc. Striated Prinia can be see in the terraced fields. Warblers such as Tickell's Leaf-Warbler, Greenish, Golden-spectacled, Grey-hooded. Flycatchers such as asian brown, rusty-tailed, ultramarine, verditer, tickell's blue, rufous-bellied Niltava etc., orange-flanked bush robin, blue-capped redstart. Laughingthrushes such as white-throated, striated & streaked, chestnut-crowned etc. Look for accentor, upland pipit, blue-winged minla, whiskered yuhina etc.
Day - 12 -- » Mongoli Valley-Corbett National Park
Drive early morning to Bajun (45 minutes) and trek into Mongoli Valley. The trek will last about 4-5 hours. Packed lunch will be served. Drive to Corbett National Park from Mongoli (3 hours) stopping en route to look for Ibisbill. Overnight stay in a cottage at Tiger Camp. One can see crested woodpeckers such as greater yellownape, scaly-breasted, speckled piculet etc. Large flocks of slaty-headed parakeets, numerous spotted and oriental turtle doves, grey bushchat, russet sparrow. Cuckoo: indian, oriental, large-hawk and eurasian. Large-billed crow, grey treepie, black-headed jay, maroon oriole, large cuckoo shrike, tits such as rufous-naped, black-throated & yellow-browed and smaller numbers of black-lored and green-backed. White-tailed nuthatches, chestnut bellied nuthatches and bar-tailed treecreeper.
Day - 13 -- » Dhikala Forest Lodge (Corbett National Park)
Drive early morning to Dhikala tourism zone. Arrive at the main tourist complex, Dhikala - check in. Afternoon visit to the grasslands for birding. Overnight stay at Dhikala Forest Lodge. Birding in the lower jungle track along the RamGanga river is very rewarding for water birds such as river lapwings, waders, mergansers and other waterfowl. While relaxing at the lodge or visiting the grasslands one can see large-tailed nightjar, jungle owlet, spot-bellied owlet, grass owl, common and white-tailed stonechat, black francolin, purple and crimson sunbird, golden-fronted leafbird, black-shouldered kite, hen harrier, changeable hawk-eagle etc.
Day - 14 -- » Corbett National Park
Morning elephant safari through the grasslands and dense forests. This is the best mode of transport for wildlife viewing. Return at 0900 hours for breakfast and then spend time till lunch on a watchtower overlooking a water hole. Drive to Tiger Camp. Arrive Tiger Camp for dinner. Overnight stay.Some of the best birding areas of Dhikala are Sambhar Road and Khinanauli. One can expect to see great slaty woodpecker, great hornbill, puff-throated babbler, white-rumped shama, pallas's fish eagle etc.
Day - 15 -- » Corbett National Park-Delhi
Morning bird walk at Kumeria and a walk from Garjia temple to Tiger Camp. Return for lunch. Afternoon drive to Kathgodam (2½ hr.) to connect overnight train to Delhi or connect train from Ramnagar at 2110 hr. Overnight in train. One can look for black bulbul, brown-eared bulbul, brown fish owl, little & spotted forktail, yellow-bellied and white-browed fantail, crested laughing thrush, black-winged cuckoo shrike, little heron, wallcreeper, red-breasted parakeet, short-billed and long-tailed minivet, brown dipper, ashy-crowned sparrowlark etc.
Day - 16 -- » Delhi
Arrive Delhi early in the morning. You will be met and transferred to the hotel. Full day excursion to Sultanpur bird sanctuary (2 hours drive one way) with a guide. Return in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel. One can expect Indian courser, greater flamingo, great white pelican sarus and common crane, shikra, lesser thick knee, plaintive and grey-bellied cuckoo, crested serpent eagle, a lot of other waterfowl etc.
Day - 17 -- » New Delhi
Transfer to the airport to connect flight back Home.
- Best time to visit is between October to April.
- Bird sightings depend greatly on season, timing, and patience.
- The tour can be arranged for individual and for groups.
- The no. of days can be increased or decreased as per your choice
- Please mention while sending us the for the category of the Hotels you would like to have.