Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

Northeastern India Birdwatching Tour

Northeastern India Birdwatching Tour


When: Sat 12 Nov - Sat 3 Dec 2016
Leaders: Chris Doughty and Peter Lobo

Northeastern India Birdwatching Tour


Melbourne/Melbourne (22 Days) $8,109
Single Room Supplement $890
Ground Content (ex Kolkata) $6,989
T he Himalayas have long had an almost irresistible allure for birdwatchers, and on this unique tour to the far northeast corner of the Indian subcontinent, we will explore a narrow strip of vertical mountain country, wedged between Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and the North Bengal plains of India. From an elevation of less than 100 metres in the plains of Assam, the eastern Himalayas rise to over 7,000 metres at the border with Tibet, in less than 100 kilometres! This tiny region is home to in excess of a staggering 1,000 different species of birds. Until recently, this remote and ornithologically unexplored area has been off-limits to foreign travellers. The Indian government is now allowing limited access to this remote area, which is one of the most biologically diverse parts of Asia, and home to a host of rare endemic birds and regional specialities. The tour begins in the Nameri Tiger Reserve, on the edge of the Assam Plains, where we will find a wide range of lower- elevation birds. Our main target bird here, is the rare White-winged Duck. We then drive high into the Himalayas, to the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, whose montane rainforests host a rich variety of little-known regional specialities. We will, make a particular effort to see the recently described Bugun Liocichla, which is still only known from this area. We then go birding at almost 4,500 metres, at the Sela Pass, one of the highest road-passes in the Himalayas. Here, we will seek out Snow Partridge, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal and Grandala, while closer to Dirang, in the Sangti Valley, we hope to find Black-necked Crane and Long-billed Plover. Next, we go birding in the marshes, grasslands and lowland forests of Kaziranga National Park, which provides habitat for rarities such as Swamp Francolin, Bengal Florican and Bristled Grassbird. Our next destination, is the remote and little-explored Mishmi Hills. This superb place, is the new frontier of Himalayan birding. Although our main target here will be the endemic Mishmi Wren-Babbler, which was rediscovered here in 2004, after previously only being known from a single specimen collected in 1947, there will also be a wide range of species to look for, including the spectacular Sclater's Monal. On the plains of Assam, we will explore Maguri Bheel, a mosaic of wetlands and grassland, where we will search for Slender-billed Babbler and Rufous-rumped Grassbird. In complete contrast, we will visit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, which holds some of the last remnants of a once-extensive area of grassland and forest, where we will search for Marsh Babbler, Swamp Prinia, and the attractive Black-breasted Parrotbill. Our final destination is the Digboi Oilfields, where our main target species will be the very rare Chestnut-backed Laughingthrush. The Northeastern India Birdwatching Tour is Himalayan birding at its best.  

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