Wildvoyager
 Sikkim & West Bengal Birding  Sikkim & West Bengal Birding tour

Sikkim & West Bengal Birding

Overview

Sikkim is the land of blooming rhododendrons. You can find the mountains blanketed with rhododendrons. The beautiful orchids in flowering in abundance with a view of the snow-clad mountains is a pleasure to the eyes. You can see the humongous Khangchendzonga standing tall under the enchanting blue skies. The Buddhist monasteries add a religious touch to the scenic landscapes in a state with rich biodiversity.

Sikkim boasts of being home to over 4000 species of flowers and 700 species of fauna comprising butterflies, Red Panda, Clouded Leopards, Musk Deer, Flying Squirrel, and the Himalayan Black Bear. The 400 species of orchids and 30 species of rhododendrons add to the beauty of Sikkim like no other thing. Sikkim is the place to visit for bird lovers as Sikkim has more than 729 species of bird. As per reports, 27 of them are endangered species. You might also be lucky enough to see a satyr tragopan.

Our trip will begin with West Bengal. Around one-fifth of the state is blanketed with forests. There are 15 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks in West Bengal. These serve to protect endangered species like tigers, Indian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, leopards, crocodiles, Gangetic dolphins, and other mammalian species. These forests offer you the opportunity to see rare birds like fire tailed Myzornis and the Brown Parrotbill.

The trip would include parts where you might have to walk for short distances. We will take care to ensure that none of the walking trails and routes has a steep slope. We will be providing accommodation such that you spend the maximum time close to the scenic views. The accommodations will be excellent and will let you stay amid the astounding environments. Thus, you will be able to view some rare species of flora and fauna.



Trip Highlights

  • Feel the beauty of nature and the snow-clad mountains in Sikkim.
  • Experience the pleasure of bird-watching in the forests of West Bengal.
  • Enjoy the vibes of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
  • This is a customized 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 customized plan for that.
  • You need to be reasonably fit though there is not much walking involved in this trip.



ITINERARY - 18 Days

Day 1

Delhi

When you arrive in Delhi, we will take you to visit the Sultanpur and Okhla wetlands near Delhi in the afternoon. Your night stay will be at a hotel in Delhi.

Day 2

Delhi - Lava

Our representatives will transfer you to Delhi airport to catch a flight to Bagdogra (West Bengal). From there we take a short drive to the Hills of Lava in West Bengal. Lava is our first birding place. The temperature at Lava can be close to the freezing point.

Days 3 - 4

Lava

We will do bird watching along a secluded forest trail. We will also cover the Pipeline trail, and find species including the Black-headed Shrike Babbler and Nepal Cutia. Keep looking out to get a glimpse of the caped Woodpecker (Bamboo birds) Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Golden-breasted Fulvetta along with Pygmy Wren-babbler, Long-billed Wren-babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler, and Rufous-throated Wren-babbler. We will also take you to the Tiffindara peak.

Overnight will be at a Resort in Lava.

Day 5

Lava-Neora-Kalimpong

We will drive you from Lava to Upper Neora for Satyr Tragopan and the Blue-fronted and White-tailed Robin. Here you can also find Green, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Broad-billed Warbler, Blue-fronted Robin, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Striated and Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Scarlet Finch Blue-winged Laughing thrush, Cutia, Sapphire Flycatcher Ashy Wood Pigeon, Maroon-backed Accentor, Hodgson’s Redstart, and Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler. We will also take you for a 2400m long drive along the forest road to the fringes of the Neora National Park to see more birds.

Overnight will be in Kalimpong.

Day 6

Kalimpong-Pelling

In the morning, we will drive you from Kalimpong to Pelling in 4 hours. Our representative will help you with checking in at the hotel. In the evening, visit the forest area for birding. The settlements of Pemayangtse and Pelling will provide astounding and beautiful views of the Singalila range. Pelling is at the base of the enormous Mt. Kanchenjunga. The Pemayangtse Monastery is a major tourist attraction in the area. Moist oak forests and lichens surround the monastery. The road encircling the monastery goes through the dense forests and is a major hotspot for birds. The circular path at Rabdentse is also a marvelous spot for birdwatching.

Your night stay will be in the hotel.

Day 7

Enroute Sangacholing

Our plan for the day will include visiting areas around the Sangachoeling Ridge and the Pemayangtse Monastery. These areas are known to be a hub for beautiful birds. The dense and moist forests are home to Green-tailed Sunbirds, Blue-fronted Redstarts, Rufous-breasted Accentor, several various Yuhinas, migrating Steppe Eagles, Greater Spotted Eagles, Fulvettas, and many more species of birds.

Your overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day 8

Start the journey to Yuksom via Khichepheri

After your breakfast, we will drive for 24kms to Khichepheri lake. We will be walking around the sacred lake for birdwatching. The lake, at a height of 6000m, is on the way to Yuksom from Pelling. Dense forests encompass the lake. After spending some quality time at the lake, we will return to Yuksom. On the way, you will get a chance to see migrant ducks, the Bay Woodpecker, Emerald Cuckoo, and White-naped Yuhina. Several unique and rare birds like Greater Scaup, Black-necked Grebe, and Baer’s Pochard might also be visible on the route to Yuksom. Once we reach our destination, our representatives will help you with checking-in at the hotel.

Night-stay and dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 9

Look out for birds in the Yuksom Forest

The stay starts with birdwatching in the Yuksom Forest. The forest is home to several birds like Himalayan Bulbul, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Mountain Hawk Eagle, and Grey chinned Minivet. If you look around, you might also notice a White-tailed Nuthatch, a White-naped Yuhina, a Grey-winged Blackbird, several sunbirds, or a White-naped Yuhina. We will proceed to the hotel for dinner.

We will be leaving for an early birdwatching session the next morning.

Day 10

Tick Ravangla off your check-list

After an early breakfast, we will start birding around the area of Yuksom. This will be a bird-lovers' paradise. After lunch, we will move to Ravangla for birding. A drive to Ravangla takes approximately 3 hours. Ravangla lies between the peaks of Tendong and Maenam. Maenam is the highest peak in the area with a height of 10,600 ft. The area of Ravangla will give you a feeling of calmness.

The scrub forests in Ravangla lure various Himalayan Birds. Dark-throated Thrush, Blue-whistling Thrush, and Blue-fronted Redstarts can be seen here. You might also be able to spot Verditer Flycatchers and White-browed Fantails. As we move around the forests, we will hear the sweet and distinct sounds of Cuckoos, Laughingthrushes, and the Hill Partridge. If you are fortunate, you might be able to hear the breeding sound of the rare Satyr Tragopan in the areas at a high altitude in Ravangla. Maenam is like a home to these birds.

Day 11

Visit the Ravangla-Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary

The plan for the day includes birdwatching and a trek in the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary. The Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the Satyr Tragopan, Red-faced Liochichlia, Vivid Neeltava, and Grey Chinned Minivet. This is a marvelous chance to be close to nature if you are a forest-lover. After the trip to the sanctuary, we will head for dinner at the hotel.

The night's stay will be at Home Stay.

Day 12

Explore the beauty of Darjeeling

We will start the day with Rangit Valley and then move to the Teesta Bazar. From there, we will head to the beautiful tea gardens and the famous Darjeeling Ridge. Next up will be the tiger hill where we will try and catch a glimpse of the Goulds Short Wing. The last sightseeing spot for the day will be the zoo. We will get an opportunity to see the Snow Leopard. The snow leopards are the chief attraction in the zoo.

From the zoo, we will head to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 13

Feel the beauty of the Singalila Ridge

The area is defined by its distinctive rhododendron, oak, and bamboo forests. These mountains are spread over many streams and the daunting mountains. The Gairibas area is on the route to Sandakphu and is perfect for trekking.

You will be having a night stay in a log hut.

Day 14

Enjoy bird watching at Sandakphu

From Gairibas, we will be heading to Sandakphu. It is a place where you will get the opportunity to see rare birds. These birds are difficult to find. A recent survey concludes the presence of more than 120 species in the area. The Satyr Tragopans and Blood Pheasants are birds that all tourists want to view. Other common attractions for the tourists are the Brown Parrotbills, Golden-breasted Fulvettas, and Fire-tailed Myzornis. Birds like White front Redstart and Coal Tit amplify the beauty of the rhododendron forests. Singalila is a heaven for any admirer of birds. Various species of the Dwarf bamboo birds like the brown parrotbills, black-throated parrotbills, and lesser rufous headed parrotbills attract several tourists.

We will have an overnight stay in a DGHC Log hut.

Day 15

Sandakphu to Gairibas

There will be a guide to help you explore the area during your stay at the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council hut.

You can walk around the area to observe the beauty of the place.

Day 16

Proceed to Darjeeling

From Gairibas, we will proceed to Darjeeling for an overnight stay before heading to Bagdogra the next day.

Day 17

Head back to Delhi via Bagdogra

We will cross the Mahananda Forest and the Kalijhora Forest Rest house on the way to Bagdogra Airport for your flight to Delhi.

Our representatives will be present at the Delhi airport to receive you and help you with checking in at the hotel.

Day 18

Adieu India

Our representatives will transfer you to Delhi airport so that you can take the flight back to your country with memorable memories of India.



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