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A scenic tour through some of the most picturesque states of the country including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, while gazing at plenty of rare and unique birds is an irresistible temptation. This North East Birding adventure takes you on a tour of the rich landscape of the North East encompassing spectacular avifauna which includes Pheasants, Kingfishers, Parrots, Eagles, and hundreds of equally mesmerizing bird species. Traverse across the mighty Brahmaputra river, witness the endless tea plantations and vast rice fields, take in the natural ambiance that will surround you throughout this magnificent tour, and get a first-hand look on the variety of natural wonders that the eastern Himalayan side has to offer.
Mighty sanctuaries and vast national parks including the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, and the Mishmi Hills ensure that you get the complete North Eastern Birding experience. So get ready to experience the thrill of finding something new, get ready to drive down in a Jeep looking for adventure, where every new turn presents a spectacular sight filled with the chirping of colorful birds, get ready for a trip that you won’t forget!
Touch down at Guwahati
Get down at the Guwahati airport and breathe in the air of adventure. Get ready to kick off an adrenaline-filled tour full of natural wonders. From Guwahati airport, you'll be driven down to the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary to begin your North East Birding journey.
Take some rest and have a delightful lunch before beginning your exploration session of the sanctuary.
|Days 2 - 5||
Exploring the Mystical Eaglenest Sanctuary
Days 2 to 5 will be spent exploring the rich birdlife of the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. Covering an area of 218 sq. Kilometers and spanning an altitude range of 500-3200m, the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is a mythical and magical temperate forest, littered with untried trails in the wild that are waiting to be explored. Venture into the depths of this enchanting sanctuary under the cover of the broadleaved evergreen forests which form a pristine canopy which remains unbroken as far as the eyes can see. Base yourselves at one of the well-known campsites, Lamacamp or Bompu, and kickstart your adventures in the park. On your way, admire the beautiful flora as you come across the broadleaved evergreen forest, Bamboo, secondary growth, and scrubs at lower levels and variety conifers at higher levers.
The birdlife at the sanctuary is pretty varied and colorful. The rare India endemic bird Bugun liocichla, which was the first species to be discovered in India in many decades, is exclusively said to be found in the Lamacamp area. Many other interesting bird species flock to the sanctuary during the spring season and you can see most of them depending on the elevation. Some interesting ones include White-browed Piculets, Greater Yellownape, Grey-chinned, and Short-billed Minivets, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Blue-winged, and Red-tailed Minlas, Blyth’s, Chestnut-crowned, Grey-cheeked, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-throated Sunbird, Yellow-throated Fulvetta and more. Many Galliformes and Pheasants are also found in the sanctuary.
That's not all that the Sanctuary has to offer, new raptors such as the Crested Goshawk and Black Mountain Hawk-Eagles can also be found here. Along with that, Flycatchers like the Ultramarine, White-gorgeted, Large Blue, Pale Blue Flycatchers, as well as Large, Small, and Rufous-bellied Niltavas and many more can be seen here. Frugivores like the Rufous-necked Hornbill, Golden-throated Barbet, and Ashy and Mountain Bulbuls occupy the middle story of the forest and rest in the canopy.
There is also a huge variety of birds that occupy the dense vegetations that border the Jeep tracks. Some of them include the Golden Bush Robin, Crimson-faced Liocichla, Spotted Elachura, Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler, Scarlet, and Gold-naped Finches, and Slaty-bellied Tesias. In areas dominated by bamboos, birds like the Pale-headed Woodpecker, Red-billed and White-browed Scimitar-Babblers, Indian White-hooded Babbler, White-spectacled Warbler, Large Blue Flycatcher and many more are often seen at varying heights.
The birds of the Eaglenest Sanctuary are not only a sight for the sore eyes in the day time but also music to the ears at night. Nightbirds, that include, Mountain Scops-Owl, Himalayan Owl, Collared Owlet, and Grey Nightjar will keep you good company during the night. If you are very lucky you will also be able to see birds who rarely come out like the Purple Cochoa, Rufous-vented Laughingthrush, and the Maroon-backed Accentor.
Trip To Kaziranga
After exploring the forests of the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, it's time to witness the plains of Assam and head forward on the North East Birding tour towards the Kaziranga National park. Rest after reaching and have lunch.
Afterward, head on towards the National park in the afternoon.
The Magic of Kaziranga National Park
One of the last refuges of majestic animals like the One-horned Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, and wild Water Buffalo, Kaziranga National park is one of the most important wildlife reserves in the world.
Explore the park in an open-trotted jeep, which will take you to different watchtowers and vantage points from where you will be able to see the true panoramic beauty of the whole park. Although burnt annually to give mammals more grazing area, the grasslands of Kaziranga house some critically endangered bird species like the Swamp Partridge, Greater Adjutant, Slender-billed Vulture, and the Bengal Florican.
Many shallow wetlands across the Kaziranga landscape house a large variety of waterbirds like the Garganey, Eurasian Teal, the near-threatened Spot-billed Pelican, Grey, and Purple Herons, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked and Black-necked Storks, Lesser Adjutant, River, and Whiskered Terns, and Common, Stork-billed, White-throated, Pied Kingfishers, etc. If lucky you may also see the Falcated Duck or Red-necked Falcon.
Raptors like the Osprey, Crested (or Oriental) Honey Buzzard, Black Baza, Short-toed Eagle, Shikra, Greater Spotted, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, etc are seen when the temperatures rise.
Further into the tea gardens and scrubs lie some of the tricky birds like the Blue-naped Pitta, Lesser Necklaced Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, and the Rufous-fronted Babbler which are difficult to track but stunningly beautiful.
Visiting the beautiful Dibru-Saikhowa National park
From Kaziranga, you'll be taken towards the northeast, passing through the vast rice fields and tea plantations of Assam, and finally reaching Tinsukia for an overnight stay.
Nestled between two great rivers, the Dibru-Saikhowa National park is a thriving ground for birdlife with its rich ecological landscape consisting of swamp forests, grasslands, and wetlands. Hop on a motorized boat and get close to the northeastern endemics like the Marsh Babbler, Black-breasted Parrotbill, and the Jerdon's Babbler.
Other equally varied and beautiful bird species include the Black Stork, Black-shouldered Kite, White-rumped Vulture, Kentish Plover, Pin-tailed Snipe, Small Pratincole, Brown-headed Gull, the restricted range Smoky Warbler and many more. Not only birds, but the Dibru-Saikhowa National park is also home to some impressive mammals and marine life like the Wild Water Buffalo and the long-snouted Ganges Indus Dolphin.
Day 9 begins with an early morning visit to the undisturbed forest of Digboi, which is one of the best places to see the lesser-known Chestnut-backed Laughingthrush and Collared Treepie. Other interesting birds include the Brown-backed Needletail, House Swift, and White-hooded Babblers.
After the sweet visit to Digboi, you'll head northeast to Mishmi hills for days filled with glee looking at exquisite natural beauty there. During the journey, you can also take in the mighty sight of the Brahmaputra river as you cross the Arunachal Pradesh border.
|Days 10 - 12||
One with the Hills
Day 10 and 12 are spent amidst the picturesque Mishmi Hills. The rugged and scenic Mishmi Hills in the North East have a lot to be explored. Spend two days in these beautiful hills surrounded by rare and beautiful birds like the Blyth’s Tragopan and the Mishmi (or Rusty-throated) Wren-Babbler. Minimal amounts of traffic along the narrow paved road ensures that you come in contact with interesting birdlife like the Maroon and Rufous-breasted Accentor, Blue Whistling Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Rusty-fronted, and Streak-throated Barwing, etc
A variety of migratory birds make the Mishmi Hills their home during spring. Some of these include the local Crested Serpent, Black, and Mountain Hawk-Eagles along with raptors.
In addition to the typical birds, one can also spot many rare birds here if they are lucky. Birds like Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Himalayan Owl, Green and Purple Cocoas, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Crimson-browed Finch, Grey-headed Bullfinch, and Collared Grosbeak require quite a bit of expertise to be found.
Return to Home
The exotic North India Birding comes to an end when we return to Dibrugarh airport from the Mishmi Hills. Board the flight with beautiful memories of the tour and the sweet sound of birds chirping in your ears!