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Bird Watching

Bhutan is recognized as an area of high biological diversity as it as at the hub of 221 global endemic bird areas. The recorded number of bird species is over 670 and still counting.

Bhutan is also home to about 16 bird species that are endangered worldwide. These include the White bellied heron, which is one of the fifty rarest birds in the world and the rare black-necked crane, which breed in Tibet and then migrate over the Himalayas to Bhutan to spend their winter. Phobjikha in Western Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and in Bomdeling in Eastern Bhutan plays host to these birds from the month of September and October till January and March when they fly back to Tibet.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1 (Paro): You are expected to arrive at Paro through the only flight to Bhutan, Druk Air. We assure you a unique travelling experience across Himalaya Mountains, including the great view of the sacred Jhumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks of Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by a tour executive from Bhutan Vajra Adventures. Paro valley is very fertile with paddy, apple, millet, and seasonal vegetables  growing throughout the year. Located at an altitude of 2300m it is a great place to watch birds that frequent the farmlands. Once you are done with checking in at your hotels, you can take a walk along the river side (Pa-Chu) to watch a rare endangered bird called Ibisbill. In the evening, if time and nature permits, drive to Drukgyel Dzong(20 km away from town) to watch variety of birdlife.

Day 2 (Chelela enroute to Haa): start early to Chelela Pass to look for the Himalayan Monal and Tragopans. Spend around two to three hours on the mountain watching for pheasants and other mountain birds. After that take an hour’s drive to Haa valley which is another great valley with variety of birds, flora and fauna. Have lunch at Haa and then drive towards Paro using Chuuzom highway which is relatively longer. On the way before reaching Paro, you can walk to watch Wall Creepers and Lesser Cormorants.

Day 3 (Punakha): start early at around 5 am for Punakha which is three hours drive via Dochula Pass (3050m) which is yet another beautiful place more so in the mornings when the sky is clearing out. You may be able to get a great view of the Himalayas and if luck favors maybe some pheasant species. Have breakfast at the Dochula cafeteria and continue towards Punakha. En route stop- over at Lamperi Botanical Garden, Menchu-nang and Lometsawa. Since you will be entering into sub-tropical areas, stop at areas with good forest to look out for some warm weather birds. After reaching Punakha and after lunch drive towards Shenganga valley on the farm road by the river side watching for river birds with the highlight being White-bellied Heron.

Day 4 (Tashithang, Punakha): it would be a full day activity. Drive for 45 km towards the north of Punkha. Stop over at Botokha and enjoy road-side bird watching. Walk around to reach the place called Rimchu which is part of the Jigme Dorji Wildlife  Sanctuary. Spend the rest of the day driving and stopping to do roadside bird watching, orchids, and wildlife.

Day 5 (Thimphu): start towards Thimphu via the same route through Dochula pass. On way walk 3km along the farm road at Menchu-nang. Have lunch there and continue the road-side bird watching all the way till Thimphu.

Day 6 (Thimphu/paro): Drive for 20 km towards the north of Thimphu to the place called Cheri through mixed deciduous forest which will offer good bird watching opportunities. The highlight of the trip is to walk around the area of Jigme Dorji Wildlife  Sanctuary that falls under the vicinity of Thimphu.In the evening move to paro.

Day 7 :(paro) Depart to your onward destination.

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