Birdwatching Tours

Special Birdwatching Tours are also conducted by Nature Voyages the travel unit of Bon farmhouse owned by Chewang Rinchen Bonpo who over the past six years has been studying the fauna and flora wealth of Eastern Himalayas and has identified favourite sites for many of the birds and animals. He has also lead a number of successful Birdwatching tours in Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Favourite Birdwatching Area in North Bengal & Sikkim

The following Birdwatching Areas in Sikkim are being selected by Chewang’s knowledge and Field Experience and are not based on any reference book. These sites have been visited many times with groups with very good results.

1. Maenam WLS, Ranjit Valley and Kewzing

Kewzing location is in the altitude of 1700m with the highest hill Maenam (3500m) and lower valleys of Rangit river valley 350m from the sea level is home to 200 Bird species (recorded till date). The Maenam wildlife sanctuary is famous for Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan Satyra) which is one of the rare species of Pheasants found in Eastern Himalayas, the other star bird species to look for is Fire-tailed Myzornis.If one wants to photograph the Brown wood owl in day light then the only place in the world is in our private forest where there are three birds habiting there for years. In The lower valleys of Tashiding one birds that habitat are the great Sultan Tit, Puff-throated Babbler and Streaked Spiderhunter. Some common birds in the surrounding of Farmhouse are the Great Himalayan Barbet, Grey Treepie, Green Magpie, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Black Bulbul and many more. Maenam wildlife sanctuary is also home to the rare beautiful state animal of Sikkim the Red Panda or Firefox which has been seen by many of the Farmhouse guests while going for birding since its look out location has been identified.

2. West Sikkim – Pelling, Khecheopalri and Yuksom

Pelling in West Sikkim at a distance of 24 Km from Kewzing is one of the favourite area for Birding where a number of good species like Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Scaly Laughingthrush, Red Faced Liochichla, Fire tailed Myzornis, Scarlet Finch, Cutia, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler and many more are sighted At Khecheopalri Lake “the wishing lake” 22 Km from Pelling, one can wish to see the star bird Black tailed Crake with only us .This visit can be coincided with Yuksom especially to look out for the rare Yellow-rumped Honey Guide in the secretive place known to few good Birders. The road connecting Kewzing-Pelling-Yuksom has many beautiful waterfalls where many of the family of the forktails are seen.

3. West Sikkim- Barsey Rododendron Sanctuary

The other favourite sites to go for a birdwatching tour is Barsey Rododendron Sanctuary in West Sikkim where in the month of September sighting of huge gathering of Rosefinches like Common Rosefinches, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, White-Browed Rosefinch and even Beautiful Rosefinch. Other birds to look out for in this sanctuary are the magnificent Spotted Laughingthrush, few species of Parrotbills, Small Beautiful Fire-capped Tit, Species of Shortwings like White- Browed and Lesser Shortwings, Kalij Pheasants and Satyr Tragopan. The chances of seeing the state animal of Sikkim Red Panda is also high in this sanctuary.

4. East Sikkim- Gangtok- Bulbuly and Fambonglho WLS

These birding sites have been identified for those who have landed in the capital town and wants to experience birding in this part of Sikkim. In this site most of the birds are common but still worth looking out for the first time birders in this part of the world. Some of the birds to look out for in this area are Rufous-capped Babbler, Red headed Laughingthrush, Brownish-flanked Bush warbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia and more. In Fambonglho some of the birds to look out for are Rufous-Throated Wren Babbler, Indian Blue Robin, Grey sided Laughingthrush Rusty- fronted Barwing, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Blue-fronted Robin, Grey-bellied Tesia, Chestnut-Headed Tesia and many more.

5. North Sikkim – Lachen, Thangu and Gurudogmar Lake

This part of Sikkim is one of the most beautiful areas for Birdwatching because of the number of quality high altitude species like Snow Pigeon, Blood Pheasants, Himalayan Monal, White-throated Dipper, Spot-winged Grosbeak, White- winged Grosbeak and many more. There has also been a record of Tibetan Snow Cock in Gurudogmar Lake. For anyone interested in High altitude species of the Himalayas then this is one of the favourite sites for birding.

6. Yuksam-Dzongri trek

The Birding watching trek can be done form Yuksam to Dzongri in the Khangchendzonga National Park where within the span of Eight to nine days good number of Bird species like Rufous-Backed Sibia, Himalayan Cutia, Sarlet Finch, Satyr Tragopan and also a good number of high altitude species like Blood pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Garndala, Snow Pigeon can be sighted during the Trek

7. Lava- Neora Valley-North Bengal

The Neora Valley just form the town of Kalimpong is one of the Favourite site for birdwatching in whole of North Bengal where good number of bird species like Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Golden breasted Fulvatta along with pygmy wren babbler,scaly brested wren babbler,Long billed Wren babbler, Rufous throated wren babbler can be seen in one go with only us.
Nice place to feel the nature, away from crowd and traffic lovely place for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

Rewa Hemant Shinde
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