Tour NE / 61: 17 days birding tour – Assam plains to Western Arunachal uplands

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North East India is the richest birding area in India. The Brahmaputra basin in Assam and the montane rainforest of the eastern Himalaya are important Endemic Bird Areas, home to some of India’s most sought after restricted range specialities among a host of resident species, Palaearctic and altitudinal migrants. The area also abounds in mammals.

The variations of altitude, diversity of habitat, and extreme precipitation are factors which are responsible for the diversity and abundance of resident birds in this region. The region boasts of varied habitat – wetlands, marsh, grassland, woodland, sub tropical and warm broadleaved forests cool broadleaved forests, coniferous, fir, oak, bamboo, Juniper, Rhododendron, and alpine scrub land, is spread over an accessible altitudinal range of 100m to over 4500m. A string of National parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries enables focused birding. Some of the important birding areas are Kaziranga NP (Bird list 450), Dibru saikhowa (Bird List 350+), Namdhapa NP (Bird List 650+), West Arunachal Pradesh (Eagles Nest WLS, and Dirang-Sela: Bird List 450 +), Manas NP (Bird list 380) and Nameri NP(Bird List 350) and Mishmi Hills, Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Except for Namdhapa NP, all birding areas are accessible by jeep.

To get to see some of the sought after birds, take a trip to the North East. You have a good chance of looking at the Bengal Florican, Dark rumped Swift, White-Winged Duck, Marsh Babbler, Black breasted Parrotbill , Snowy-throated Babbler, Rufus -Vented Laughing thrush, Rufus-backed Sibia , Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous-necked, great and wreathed hornbills, Black-necked crane, Emerald cuckoo , Blood pheasant, Monal, Ibisbill, Purple Cochoa, Long-tailed and collared broadbills, Blue-naped pitta, Vivid niltava, Long-billed plover and black-headed shrike-babbler and more, We organize birding tours for hard core birders, as well as family birders. All our tours are private. We have no fixed departures. Individuals, couples and small group birding tours are our forte.
The most popular birding tours are listed below. We can organize customized tours anywhere in the North East region to meet specific requirements.


Version 1: Featuring Eagles Nest- Dirang- Sela- Nameri and Kaziranga

NE/61/Version 1: 14 days Nameri NP, Eagles nest WLS, and Kaziranga NP

NE/61/Version 2: 11 days Nameri NP and Eagles nest WLS

India’s most comprehensive birding Tour, covering six sites in two Endemic Bird Areas; the Assam Plains and Arunachal Pradesh Himalayas.

It is an amazing birding tour, spanning the entire altitudinal and habitat range from 100m to 4176 m. in a time frame of just 11 to17 days. A range of habitats, from swamps, grasslands, sub-tropical forest, temperate conifers and alpine meadows. You get to see rich, varied, and exciting birdlife of 370+ species of regional endemics and high altitude specialties.

Birding is easy sometimes on foot, once by boat- but mostly along jeep tracks and roads. The only challenge is high altitude birding for a couple of days, at over 4000 m. It is also a chance to see the one horned Rhino, Asian Elephant, wild Asiatic water buffalo, Eastern Swamp Deer and other mammals. Even Tigers have been occasionally sighted Comfortable accommodation and fully serviced camping is provided with all meals.

Best time to visit: November to April with some restriction at Sela during Dec to Feb due to snow.


Day 01: Fly in to Guwahati from Delhi or Kolkata and drive to Eco Camp, Nameri

(If requested we will make all arrangenents for your transit through Delhi or Kolkata.)

Arrive Guwahati mid day by air from Delhi or Kolkata . Met at the airport by your birding guide. After lunch, drive to Nameri Eco Camp. 248 Kms in 05 hrs. Birding en-route in roadside wetlands and gardens where species such as Lesser and Greater Adjutants, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Blue-throated Barbet, and White-vented Myna can be found. Check into your tents. In the evening birding walk along banks of the Bhareli River.
Overnight in tents at Eco camp Covering an area of 200 sq km, Nameri National Park, located at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, is the best place to see the very rare & elusive White-winged Wood Duck. Nameri is a project tiger Park.

The picturesque sparkling river Jia Bharali, flows down by the National Park. The habitat of the park consists of tropical evergreen, semi evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes and narrow strips of open grassland with lowland swamps, along rivers. Nameri alongwith the adjacent Pakke & neighbouring Eaglenest Wild Life Sanctuaries of Western Arunachal protects about 1300 of great bio-diversity.

Interesting Species: Black-breasted Thrush, Collared Falconet, Ibisbill, Long-billed Plover, Giant, Rufous-necked & Wreathed Hornbills, Ruddy Kingfisher, White-winged Wood Duck, Wallcreeper, Kalij Pheasant, Green Cochoa, King Vulture, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and more.

Days 02: Nameri NP

Cross the river by boat, and explore the park on foot.

Overnight in tents at Eco Camp.

Day 03: Nameri NP to Eagles Nest WLS

Early morning birding trip by raft down Bhareli River looking for ibisbill.

After breakfast depart at 0800 hrs, for our day long birding drive to The Eagles Nest Sanctuary. To cover the various altitudinal levels from 1000 m to 3000 m of the sanctuary, we have divided our stay in two camps, Lama Camp on the Northern slopes, just outside the sanctuary and Bompu on the Southern slopes within the sanctuary.

First we will drive to Balukpong on the Arunachal Pradesh border ( 28 Kms). Here we have a short stop for entry documentations, before entering Arunachal Himalayas.

Arunachal Pradesh is a restricted Area. Apply for the Restricted Area Permit as per our instructions 4 weeks in advance. We will arrange the permits.

Next we continue our drive to Tenga, (94 Kms) The route follows the main highway to Tawang along the Bhareli River. Enroute we will be birding from Tippi 160m. to Sessa, 1200m. From here the road cilmbs over the Nichiphu pass to descend to the Tenga Valley, 1200m. From the military township of Tenga we take a branch road climbing rapidly to Lama camp, 2350m on the southern edge of the Eagles Nest Sanctuary, located amidst Temperate broad-leaved primary and degraded forest at an altitude of 2350 m. We expect to arrive around 1600 hrs.
Overnight at Lama camp.

Eagle’s Nest, is a 2800 m high, pass across the Chaku Ridge. The pass is named after the famed 4th Indian Army Division of World War fame – whose Divisional logo was the Eagle. The jeep track which cuts across this great ridge, was built as a military line of communications to support the operations of this Division against the Chinese invasion of 1962.

The Eagles Nest Wild life Sanctuary covers an area of 218 sq Kms. The altitudinal range Is 500 to 3200 m. The entire stretch from Lama Camp on the northern slope, up across Eagle’s Nest Pass and down the southern slope to Khellong is prime birding area. A jeep trail runs from Tenga to Kamengbari through Eagle’s Nest Pass. This track enables jeep based birding trips. The sanctuary has a variety of vegetation ranging from lowland evergreen forest; broad-leaved forest, bamboo, conifers; roadside scrub and farmland – in both subtropical and temperate altitudes:

Some of the specialty birds hosted in the sanctuary are: rufous-bellied hawk-eagle, northern goshawk, pied falconet, common hill-partridge, temminck’s tragopan, ashy wood-pigeon, tawny wood-owl, rufous-necked hornbill, ward’s trogon, golden-throated barbet, crimson-breasted pied-woodpecker, bay woodpecker, pale-headed woodpecker, grey-chinned minivet, rufous-bellied bulbul, maroon-backed accentor, eye-browed thrush, fea’s thrush, gould’s shortwing, white-browed shortwing, blue-fronted robin, little forkail, golden bush-robin, rufous-breasted bush-robin, puple cochoa, grey-sided laughing-thrush, scaly laughing-thrush, black-faced laughing-thrush,red-faced liocichla, coral-billed scimitar-babbler, slender-billed scimitar-babbler, Various wren-babblers (wedge-billed, bar-winged, pygmy, spotted, rufous-throated and scaly-breasted), gold-headed babbler, cutia, rufous-bellied shrike-babbler, green shrike-babbler, white-hooded babbler, red-tailed minla, Various tit-babblers/fulvettas (golden-breasted, brown-throated, and yellow-throated), Three sibias ( beautiful, and rufous-backed), Various yuhinas (black-chinned, rufous-vented and white-naped), fire-tailed myzornis, Six parrotbills (greater and lesser rufous-headed, brown, grey-headed and fulvous-fronted), mountain tailorbird, three tesias (chestnut-headed, grey-bellied and slaty-bellied), Various flycatcher-warblers (broad-billed, white-spectacled, chestnut-crowned and black-faced), four niltavas (including vivid and large), Thirteen flycatchers (including. white-gorgeted), rufous-bellied and grey-crested tits, sultan tit, beautiful nuthatch, wallcreeper, brown-throated treecreeper, yellow-bellied flowerpecker, mrs gould’s and fire-tailed sunbird, gold-naped black-finch, beavan’s bullfinch, brown bullfinch

Day 04-05: Birding Eagles Nest Lama Camp, 2350m

Two full days birding around Lama Camp in temperate broad leafed forests, bamboo and scrub. Looking for the prized Bugun Liocichla You are likely to see Ward’s Trogon Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk-eagle, Crimson-breasted PiedWoodpecker, Striated Bulbul, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Golden Bush-robin, Scaly Laughingthrushes, Sickle-billed Scimitar-babblers, Scalybreasted and Rusty-throated Wren-babblers, Red-tailed Minla, Black-chinned Yuhina, Blackthroated Prinia, a very confiding Grey-sided Bush-warbler, our first Grey-cheeked Warblers, Tibetan Siskins, Dark-breasted and Dark-rumped Rosefinches, Scarlet Finch, Gold-naped Finches, White-browed Shortwing, Pygmy Wren-babblers Grey-bellied (or Yellow-browed)Tesias. And Grey Nightjar (at dusk).and Himalayann Wood-owl.

With luck and time on your side you could spot the Temminck’s Tragopan along the Tragopan Trail which climbs to a ridge above Lamacamp.
Overnights at Lama Camp.

Day 06: Birding drive along road Lama Camp- Eagles Nest , 3200 m- Bompu Camp, 1940 m

Birding drive cum trek from Lama Camp, along the jeep track across Eagles Nest Pass and down to Chaku and Bompu at 1940 m. The habitat is Temperate broad-leaved forest, meadows, road side scrub and ancient clear-felled patches.
Overnight in camp at Bompu camp

Day 07-08: Eagles Nest Bompu Camp

Two full days birding for a host of species. Amongst others you are likey to see Bar-winged Wren-babbler, Hill-partridges Green-crowned Warbler, Streak-throated Barwings , skulking Blue-fronted Blue-robin, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Bluewinged Laughingthrushes, Black-throated Parrotbills, White-spectacled Warbler. Broad-billed Warbler, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Sapphire Flycatcher, Ashy Woodpigeons , Coral-billed Scimitar-babblers, Chestnut-breasted Partridge and the Beautiful Nuthatch
Overnights at Bompu Camp.

Day 09: Birding Eagles Nest: Bompu camp. –Sessni, 1255 m.

Birding drive cum trek along the jeep track to Sessni.. The habitat is Subtropical broad-leaved forest and bamboo, large patches of open scrub. You will bird up to altitude of 1000 m, and be able to search for lower montane species. You will be able to see a host of species. Amongst others Spotted Wren-babbler, Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler Long-billed Wren-babbler, Yellow-vented Warblers, Rufous-necked Hornbills, Bay Woodpecker, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Lesser Shortwings, Long-tailed and Rufous-backed Sibias, Yellow-throated Fulvettas, and flocks of White-naped Yuhinas , Pin-tailed Green-pigeon, Nepal Fulvetta, Striated Yuhina, Rufous-faced Warbler, Yellow-bellied Warbler, .Red Junglefowl, Small-billed Scaly Thrush, and Black-backed Forktails. Drive back to Bompu camp
Overnight at Bompu Camp.

Day 10: Bompu – Eagles nest Pass- Tenga – Bomdila- Dirang

Morning: birding drive back over the Eagles nest Pass down to Lama Camp. In the afternoon, drive down to the Tenga valley and continue on the Tawang Highway to Dirang. The road climbs up through a series of hairpins to the town of Bomdila, located at a 2800 m high pass of the same name. Hereafter the road descends to the picture post card Dirang Valley at 1600 m, which is your destination for the day.
Overnight at Hotel Pemaling.

Day 11: Birding trip to Mandala Ridge, 3900 m.

Drive from the Dirang River Valley for 35 Kms , Birding between 2500 m to 3900 m in temperate broad-leaved forest and scrub, with extensive conifer stands and summer pastures.
Along the Dirang River and lower reaches we have seen Brown dipper, Hodgsons redstart,White capped Riverchats , Plumbeous Water-redstarts, Red- and Grey-headed Bullfinches, and both Russet and Grey-sided Bush-warblers.

]In the higher reaches we have seen: Hawk Cuckoo – the ‘brain-fever bird’, Golden-throated Barbets,, Grey-winged Blackbird, Ultramarine and Sapphire Blue Flycatchers. And even the Blue-fronted Robin – one of the most elusive species in the Himalaya. Slender-billed Scimitar babbler,Ludlow’s Fulvettas, Hodgson’s Treecreeper , several Collared Grosbeaks, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker, Rufousvented and Stripe-throated Yuhinas, Grey-crested Tit, Green-tailed Sunbird, Himalayan Whitebrowed Rosefinch, and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker and Northern Wren, Black-facedLaughingthrushes,, Spotted Laughingthrush,.flocks of thrushes, mostly Whitecollared Blackbirds and Black-throated and Redthroated Thrushes, flocks of Plain Mountain-finches, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinches. Kaleej Pheasants, Eurasian Woodcock, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper and Hume’s Bushwarbler, Simla Leaf and Whistler’s Warblers, Rufous-vented and Stripe-throated Yuhinas, and the sought-after Rufous-fronted Tit.

At the mid levels in forests along the road are hot spots for Black-throated Parrot bill Broad-billed Warblers, Green-tailed and Mrs Gould’s Sunbirds, Blyth’s Leaf Warblers, Hume’s and Brown-throated Tree creepers,, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Rufus- gorgeted Flycatcher, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, White-tailed Nuthatch, Yellow-cheeked and Yellow-browed and Rufus-fronted Tits and both Green , Black-eared Shrike Babblers., Bar-throated Minla, Beautiful Sibia, Grey-sidedand Rufous-chinned Laughing thrushes, Himalayan Cuckoo, Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Eurasian Jay, Chestnut-headed Tesia ,and Brown Bullfinches.

Return to Dirang for overnight at Pemaling hotel.

Day 12: High altitude birding drive to Sela Ridge, 4600m

A long day of driving for more than 08 hrs and birding in difficult high altitude terrain. Even though we will stick to driveable roads, it does involve walking at altitude. The journey calls for endurance and fitness. We will make a very early start at 0300 hrs to drive 61 Kms up to the 4150 m high Sela pass in 03 hrs. as the first light appears around 0500 hrs, start birding along the highway from Baisakhi to Sela Pass. We will be confined to birding along the main highway astride Se la with limited walking along short trails. Habitat is tree line vegetation – conifers, birch and rhododendron, dwarf scrub and alpine grazing meadows.

A lot depends upon the weather. March –Apr and November are a good month but it can rain and even snow above 4000 m. In reasonable weather you are likely to spot.

‘enroute to Sela : White-collared Blackbirds, Russet Sparrows, Blue-fronted Redstarts, hulking White-winged Grosbeaks Northern Goshawk and rosy Himalayan White-browed Rosefinches, as you drive up to the pass. In the sky you should be able to spot Red-billed Choughs, Pacific Swifts and Large-billed Crows.

At the tree-line and around the Se la, we have spotted Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Coal, Grey-crested and Rufous-vented Tits, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, White-browed Bush Robin, Khaleej pheasant, Blood pheasent Snow Partridge, Tibetan Partridge, Himalayan Monal , and Satyr Tragopan , amongst other high altitude species. You also have a chance to see the saught after Grandala, Brandt’s Mountain Finches, and Gould’s Shortwing.
Return 61 kms to Dirang for Overnight at Hotel Pemaling, Dirang.

Day 13: Dirang: Birding Sangti Valley

Drive 10 kms to the Scenic Sangti Valley, A small marsh hosts the Black necked crane during winters. They are seen Nov to Mar. We may also see the Black-tailed Crake, Rosy Pipits, flocks of Oriental Skylarks. Long-billed, Crested Buntings, Slender-billed Oriole , Eurasian Cuckoo, Rufous-bellied Eagle, flocks of Nepal House-martins, Blue-headed Rock-thrush, and Ultramarine Flycatcher, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper. Himalayan Pied Kingfisher, Tickell’s Leaf-warbler and Slender-billed Oriole, amongst other species.

In the afternoon we can take a second trip to the Dirang River and mid levels of the Mandala Ridge. Overnight at Hotel Pemaling, Dirang.

Day 14: Dirang- Bomdila- Tenga- Tezpur- Kaziranga

Depart early to drive back to Tezpur and continue along the Brahmaputra river Valley to Kaziranga NP. The 211 kms, journey will take 08 hours.

Overnight at Jhonpri Ghar/ Wild Grass Lodge or similar.

The World Heritage Kaziranga National Park is a highly reputed wild life protected area, located in Assam. A fabulous mosaic of grasslands, forests, and pools backed by misty hills. The Park has more than 70% of the world’s one-horned rhino population, 70% of the world population of the Eastern Swamp Deer and 75% of the world’s wild Asiatic water buffalo. It has a significant population of the Asian Elephant. Close encounters with the Great Indian one horned Rhino, and wild Indian Elephants Swamp Deer, Asiatic Water buffalo, and a host of animals are assured. There are plenty of Tigers around – but there is only a 25 percent chance of spotting one.

The Park also has more than 450 species of birds, 18 of them are globally threatened species. Because of the varied habitat types that the Park comprises of, as also of the strict protection accorded to them, birding in Kaziranga is very special. The varied terrain provides habitat for wetland, grassland, and woodland species The Bengal Florican is the main attraction. You should also be able to see a good variety of raptors. You are not allowed to walk inside the reserve. Birding is by jeep and Elephant. The Eastern Range of the park is good for water birds such as Falcated Teal, White-eyed Pochard and spot-billed pelican (a colony of 200 pairs is located in this range). For grassland birds the Western Range is ideal. The Bengal Florican can be seen during the elephant ride in the Central Range.

Wood land birds you are likely to spot: yellow-vented Warbler, great Hornbill, and redheaded Trogon. Other interesting birds include Green-backed Heron, White bellied Heron (rare), Lesser and greater Adjutants, Black-necked Storks, Spoonbill, Grey-headed and Pallas’s Fish-eagle (common), Swamp Francolin (common), Grey-headed Lapwing, Black-bellied tern, Marsh Babbler, Jordan’s Bushchat (rare) White-throated Bushchat , Lineated Barbet, Blue-eared Barbet, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Spotted Redshank, River Lapwing, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Pied Harrier, Spot-billed Pelican, Black-necked Stork, Rosy Minivet, Spot-winged Starling, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Streaked Spider – hunter, Forest Wagtail, Blyth’s Pipit, and Yellow-breasted Bunting.

Day 15-16: Kaziranga NP

We will spend two full days in Kaziranga exploring the park as best we can by jeep and on elephant back. There are several watch points scattered throughout Kaziranga, and we are allowed out on foot at these. We will make daily forays, twice a day into various ranges of the park by jeep. One morning we will take an elephant safari.
Overnight at Jhonpri Ghar /Wild Grass Lodge or similar

Day 17: Kaziranga- Guwahati

After Breakfast drive to Guwahati Airport in 04 hrs, to board your flight to Delhi or Kolkata.

Version 1: 14 days Birding Tour Assam Plains to Arunachal Himalayan Uplands

Featuring Nameri NP, Eagles Nest WLS and Kaziranga NP

This version caters for birdings who are short of time or those who come during the period Dec- Feb when Sela Ridge is likely to be snow bound.

Day 01: Guwahati- Eco Camp Nameri NP

Day 02: Nameri NP

Day 03: Nameri NP to Bompu Camp, Eagles Nest WLS

Day 04- 05 Lama camp Eagles Nest WLS

Day 06: Lama Camp to Bompu Camp Eagles Nest WLS

Day 07-08: Bompu Camp , Eagles Nest WLS

Day 09: Bompu to Sessni and back.

Day 10 : Bompu- Tenga- Balukpaung- Tezpur- Kaziranga NP

Day 11-12- 13: Kaziranga NP

Day 14: Kaziranga NP to Guwahati

Version 2: 11 days Birding Tour Assam Plains to Arunachal Pradesh Himalayas

Featuring Nameri NP and Eagles Nest WLS

This version caters for birders wishing to focus only on Eagles Nest WLS

Day 01: Guwahati- Eco Camp Nameri NP

Day 02: Nameri NP

Day 03: Nameri NP to Bompu Camp, Eagles Nest WLS

Day 04- 05 Lama camp Eagles Nest WLS

Day 06: Lama Camp to Bompu Camp Eagles Nest WLS

Day 07-08: Bompu Camp , Eagles Nest WLS

Day 09: Bompu to Sessni and back.

Day 10 : Bompu- Tenga- Balukpaung- Tezpur. (Transit halt)

Day 11: Tezpur to Guwahati




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