Ladakh Birding and Wildlife


Home to many rare, exotic, endangered high altitude birds adapted to cold temperatures, Ladakh is a heaven for bird watchers. For enthusiastic birders and wildlife lovers, eastern Ladakh is the best place to find a Black-Necked Crane in India. With a specially customized itinerary for wildlife lovers and birders, it is easy to spot a maximum number of birds and wildlife during the holiday effortlessly despite the remoteness and vastness of the region. With many birds crowding across the Himalayan range during autumn and spring migrations, around 310 species are recorded to settle on the high elevations in Leh for breeding. These migrating birds generally settle on the region in April and May and leave around the end of August. However, other species in the northern side of Ladakh are seen breeding around October to December in winter.


Evolving from a Tibetan Buddhism culture, Ladakh fills the religious and spiritual needs of the people gracefully with age-old monasteries in every corner of Ladakh. guests get mesmerized with awe-inspiring landscapes, pristine blue sky, and the richness of wildlife in Leh & Ladakh. What makes it more magical is the spectacular view of different ranges and lakes. For bird lovers, Ladakh is an emblem of real paradisiacal beauty as it offers an exhilarating and unforgettable experience for travelers searching for marmots, chukar partridge, and birds of prey such as the lammergeier, the golden eagle, and animals like Himalayan blue ship.


Target Birds: Chukar Partridge, White-throated Dipper, Guldenstadt’s Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Tibetan Partridge, Goosander, Black-necked Crane, Upland Buzzard, Bearded Vulture, Tibetan Snowfinch, Little Owl, Himalayan Snowcock, Beautiful Rosefinch, Great Rosefinch, Tibetan Lark, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Blanford’s Snowfinch Brandt’s Mountain Finch, Twite, Hume’s Groundpecker, Horned Lark etc.


Target Mammals: Himalayan Marmot, Red Fox, Argali, Bharal, Ladakh Pika, Plateau Pika, Nubra Pika, Woolly Hare, Desert Hare, Stoliczka’s Mountain Vole, Tibetan Wild Ass, Wolf etc.

Trip Highlights
  • Birding does not get more exotic than this, photograph and watch birds around some of the highest mountain passes of the world
  • Go after Himalayan rarities like Himalayan Snow cock, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Little Owl, Upland Buzzard etc.
  • Take a shot at rare mammals like Himalayan red fox, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan wolf etc
  • Be guided by expert local birding guides who will try their best to fulfil your checklist.
  • Apart from wildlife, witness breath-taking mountain scenery of rugged Himalayas and high altitude mountain passes in Ladakh region.
  • This is a customised trip for you and your group. So you can request us to increase or decrease the number of days as per your requirements. If you have some target species in mind, reach out to us and we will make a customised plan for that.
  • This tour is only for those who are in good physical health and can walk in high altitude area

Day 1

New Delhi to Leh

Catch a morning flight from New Delhi to Leh. After arrival at Ladakh, rest in the hotel or spend a few hours for acclimatization and bird watching. With enough free time in the afternoon, one can explore nearby areas and expect to see species like Black-billed Magpie, Black Kite, Common Kestrel, Mountain Chiffchaff, Red-Billed Chough, etc. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Bird watching around Indus river belt

Be ready for birding full day. Reach Indus River Belt from Shey, 18km east of Leh, by passing through the irrigation channels and marshes or follow the river upstream from the bridge at Choglamsar. Expect to see Bluethroats (Lusciniasvecica), Streaked Rosefinch (Carpodacusrubicilloides), Water Pipits (Anthusspinoletta), White-Winged Redstart, Rosy Pipits (Anthusroseatus), the Ibisbill (Ibidorhynchastruthersii), the Hobby (Hypotrichosis) in summer; or the Water Rail. Also, get to explore the grazing land, the shoreline, wetlands, thick buckthorn patches along the river banks of Indus. Spend the night at the hotel.

Days 3 - 4

Visiting Nubra valley

Across Khardung La Pass, the world's highest motorable pass (18,380 ft/5,700m), drive to Nubra Valley by descending (2,500m). With stunning sand-dunes and small swamps, the area between Hundar in the west to Panamik in the north is available for visitors. Expect to see raptors, ducks, waders, and White-browed Tit Warbler, etc. here. Mammals including Tibetan fox, lynx, pika, Himalayan blue sheep, Bactrian camel (semi-feral) can be among the exciting discoveries for birdwatchers. Further, cape hares (race tibetanus) can be only spotted in India here. Return to the Hotel for Dinner and o/n stay.

Day 5

Leh-Rumbak Valley

Start driving 10 km west of Leh to reach Rumbak valley through barren land to greener areas around the slopes of main Indus valley. Brown and White-Throated Dippers, the Lammergeier, The golden eagle, the Wallcreeper, the Himalayan snowcock, rose finches and mountain finches, the Rock Bunting, etc. Rule these areas and can be easily spotted. Mammals including Urial, Himalayan marmot, Tibetan wolf, and argali above Yurutse are also present here.

Day 6

Visit Tsomoriri

Situated at an altitude of (4,650m), Tsomoriri is the largest lake in Rupshu Plains. With a day trip, enjoy the extravagant beauty of the lovely terrains, reach Tsomoriri lake, and spot interesting species such as Bar-Headed Goose, the Great Crested Grebe, Black-Necked Grebe, brown-headed Gull, etc. The pea shrub-covered northern slopes are also home to the rose finches and mountain-finches, and Accentors. Mammals include Tibetan fox, pikas, weasel, Himalayan marmot, woolly hare, and blue sheep. Camp overnight.

Days 7 - 8

Puga - Lake Tsokar

Reach Tsokar via Puga Valley and Polo kong ka La after breakfast. Black-Necked Cranes, waterfowls, Common Redshanks, and lots of waders can be seen as guests enter the lake. The most common mammal species spotted here are Tibetan wild ass, Stolizka's mountain vole, and marmot. Other than this, Little Owl, Plain-backed Snowfinch. Tibetan Sandgrouse, Horned Lark, Tibetan Snow finch, Hume's Short-Toed Lark are the exotic birds found in Tsokar lake. Avocet, Ruddy Shelduck, the breeding colony of Crested Grebe, Black-Necked Cranes may be seen around the freshwater lakes in the afternoon.

Camp overnight.

Day 9

Tso Kar - Leh

Driving back to Leh via the Tanglang Pass, stop on the route for more bird watching. Intriguing species Tibetan Snowcock and White-capped Redstart can be spotted on the way to. After arrival in Leh in the late afternoon, stay overnight.

Day 10

Back to Delhi

After an early breakfast, reach Ladakh airport for an early flight and get back to Delhi with lifelong memories of an adventurous trip you just had.