This 16-day itinerary is a great introduction to Indian birdwatching for the first timer, taking you to some of the best birding sites in the Western Himalayas and offer you the opportunity to photograph some of the most exotic species found in India. Best time November to March.
You are met and transferred to your hotel for the night.
Pick-up from Hotel at 0600 hrs and transferred to Corbett by road (7.5hrs). Afternoon birding at Kosi river. Overnight stay at Resort.
After breakfast, drive onward for Dhangarhi gate for entry to Dhikala tourism zone and the wildlife adventure of Corbett begins. Visit the Interpretation Centre and continue the safari through the stately dense Sal (Shorea robusta) jungle. You follow the lower jungle track along the Ramganga River accompanied by an expert guide. The safari offers a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, especially the Tiger and the Asian Elephant in their natural habitat. You cross the river at Gethia Rao Bridge for the Kanda Range, where Jim Corbett shot the famous Kanda man-eater to arrive at the main tourist complex, Dhikala. In the afternoon, after lunch, you visit the grasslands and forested area for birding. Birding in the lower jungle track along the Ramganga river is very rewarding for water birds such as River Lapwings, Waders, Mergansers and other Waterfowl. While relaxing at the lodge or visiting the grasslands one can see Long-tailed Nightjar, Jungle Owlet, Spot-bellied Owl, Common Stonechat, Black Francolin, Purple and Crimson Sunbirds, Golden-fronted & Orange-bellied Leafbirds, Black-Shouldered Kite, Hen Harrier, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Chestnut-tailed Starling etc. Overnight stay at Dhikala Forest Lodge. Day 3 is also spent bird watching and tracking Tigers in the Grasslands. An Elephant ride for game viewing may be possible subject to availability. On Day 4 you take a morning safari through the grasslands and dense forests. Return for breakfast and then spend time till lunch on a watchtower overlooking a water hole. Drive to Resort on outskirts of Park. Arrive at Resort for dinner & overnight stay. Some of the best birding areas of Dhikala are Sambhar Road and Khinanauli. One expect to see great Slaty Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, White-rumped Shama, Pallas’s Fish Eagle etc.
Morning walk at Kumeria. Return for lunch. One can look for Black Bulbul, Brown-eared Bulbul, Brown Fish Owl, Little & Spotted Forktail, Yellow-bellied and White-browed Fantail, Crested Laughing thrush, Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, Little Heron, Wallcreeper, Red-breasted Parakeet, Short-billed & Long-tailed Minivet, Brown Dipper, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark etc. Afternoon drive to Corbett Falls stopping en route at Dabka causeway to look for Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark. After birding at Corbett Falls continue to Pangot to arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is spent leisurely birding in and around the Lodge looking for species such as Woodpeckers including the Greater Yellownape, Scaly-breasted, Speckled Piculet, Slaty-headed Parakeets, numerous Spotted and Oriental Turtle Doves, Russet Sparrow. Cuckoos including Indian, Oriental, Large-hawk and Eurasian. Large-billed Crow, Grey Treepie, Black-headed Jay, Maroon Oriole, Large Cuckoo Shrike, Tits such as Rufous-naped, Black-throated & Yellow-browed and smaller numbers of Black-lored and Green-backed. White-tailed Nuthatches, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches and Bar-tailed Treecreeper. Overnight stay at Lodge.
Another day of birding at Pangot village, Baggar and Gughu Khan. These walks can be very rewarding. ernight stay at the lodge. Bird species listed in the area include Crested serpent-eagle, Mountain Hawk-eagle, Woodpeckers such as brown-fronted, stripe-breasted, rufous-bellied, and Thrushes including dark-throated, mistle. Striated Prinia can be seen in the terraced fields. Warblers found in the region include Tickell’s Leaf-warbler, Greenish, Golden-spectacled, Grey-hooded. Also noteable are a variety of Flycatchers such as Asian Brown,Rusty-tailed, Ultramarine, Verditer, Tickell’s Blue, Rufous-bellied Niltava etc., Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Blue-capped Redstart. Laughingthrushes such as White-throated, Striated & Streaked, Chestnut-crowned etc. Accentors, Upland Pipits, Blue-winged Minla, Whiskered Yuhina are other species seen onwalks. Overnight stay in Lodge
Drive to Sat Tal (2 hours) in the morning. Birding along the way and around SatTal. The entire drive is through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range and Kilbury. One can see a variety of Himalayan species along the way such as Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Blue-winged Minla, Spotted & Slaty-backed Forktail, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Khalij Pheasant, variety of thrushes etc. More than 200 species have been recorded at Pangot and surrounding areas. The numerous perennial & seasonal creeks are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna including the Leopard, Yellow-throated Himalayan Martin, Himalayan Palm Civet, Ghoral, Barking Deer, Sambhar Deer, Red Fox etc. Overnight stay in Lodge.
We continue to birdwatch around Sat Tal looking for more species including the Red-breasted Accentor, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Greater & Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Blue-throated Barbet, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Black Bulbul, Dark-throated Thrush etc. In the afternoon you transfer to Lal Kuan at 1600 hours and take the overnight train to Delhi.
You arrive at Delhi at 5am. You are met and transferred to Chambal early in the morning (5-hour drive). In the afternoon you embark on an exciting boat cruise to see Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern, flocks of migratory Waterfowl, Cranes such as Common, Demoiselle and Sarus. Gharial and Marsh Mugger, Gangetic Dolphin, Turtles etc. Overnight stay at Lodge.
Morning visit to the Taj Mahal. An hours drive from Agra gets you to Bharatpur, arriving Bharatpur by noon. Afternoon birding in the wetlands of Bharatpur. Overnight in the hotel.
Full days of birding in Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot and cycle rickshaws with a birding guide. The birds to expect are Indian Courser, Sarus Crane, Dusky eagle Owl, Large tailed Nightjars, Common Pochard, Great white Pelican, Greylag and Bar headed Goose. Overnight at Lodge
Drive to Ranthambhore National Park in the morning stoppingen route at Bund Baretha for birding. In the afternoon you enter the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and continue bird watching there. The birds that one can expect to see include Sirkeer Malkoha, Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Courser, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Variable Wheatear, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, and Common Buzzard.
Overnight in the resort.
Morning & afternoon safaris are planned for this day for tiger-tracking. You also have the option of visiting the 1000-year old fort.
Overnight stay at the resort.
You spend your last morning on this trip birding outside the Park. After lunch, you transfer to train station to connect the day train to Delhi. Arrive at Delhi and transfer to hotel room for wash and change and then head to the airport for your flight back home.