Bird Trails of North India

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Duration: 16 nights & 17 days
Place Coverd : Visit Corbett National Park, Nainital & Sat Tal, National Chambal Sanctuary, Agra, Bharatpur, Ranthambhor National Park, Sultanpur Lake and the wetlands of Delhi
Best Season: October – April

Day 01 Arrive New Delhi
Meals: on own
Arrive at Delhi International airport. You will be met and transferred to the hotel.

Day 02 Delhi-Corbett National Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Drive to Corbett National Park (6-8 hours). The last two hours of this drive entails birding and wildlife viewing en route. Arrive at the main tourist complex, Dhikala – check in. Overnight stay.

Day 03 Dhikala Forest Lodge (Corbett National Park)
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Morning and afternoon visit to the grasslands & forested area for birding. Overnight stay at Dhikala Forest Lodge. 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 sunbird, golden-fronted & orange-bellied leafbird, black-shouldered kite, hen harrier, changeable hawk-eagle, chestnut-tailed starling etc.

Day 04 Corbett National Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Morning elephant safari through the grasslands and dense forests. This is the best mode of transport for wildlife viewing. Return for breakfast and then spend time till lunch on a watchtower overlooking a water hole. Drive to Tiger Camp. Arrive at Tiger Camp for dinner & overnight stay. Some of the best birding areas of Dhikala are Sambhar Road and Khinanauli. One can expect to see great slaty woodpecker, great hornbill, puff-throated babbler, white-rumped shama, Pallas’s fish eagle etc.

Day 05 Corbett National Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Morning walk at Kumeria. Return for lunch. Afternoon drive towards Jhirna for forest birding. Overnight stay in Tiger Camp.
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 and long-tailed minivet, brown dipper, ashy-crowned sparrow lark etc.

Day 06 Corbett National Park-Pangot
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Drive early morning to Corbett Falls stopping en route at Dabka causeway to look for ashy crowned sparrow lark. After birding at Corbett Falls continue to Pangot. Arrive for lunch. Overnight stay in a cottage at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge. Afternoon leisurely birding in and around the lodge.
One can see crested woodpeckers such as greater yellownape, scaly-breasted, speckled piculet etc. Large flocks of slaty-headed parakeets, numerous spotted and oriental turtle doves, grey bushchat, russet sparrow. Cuckoo: 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.

Day 07 Pangot
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Full day birding at Cheena Peak, Kilbury & Timla Pani. Overnight at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.

Day 08 Pangot
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Another day of birding at Pangot village, Baggar and Gughu Khan. These walks can be very rewarding. Overnight stay at the lodge. One can see crested serpent-eagle, mountain hawk-eagle, Woodpeckers such as brown-fronted, stripe-breasted, rufous-bellied etc. Thrushes such as dark-throated, mistle etc. Striated prinia can be see in the terraced fields. Warblers such as tickell’s leaf-warbler, greenish, golden-spectacled, grey-hooded. 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. Look for accentor, upland pipit, blue-winged minla, whiskered yuhina etc.

Day 09 Pangot-Sat Tal
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Drive to Sat Tal (2 hours) in the morning. Birding along the way. Birding around Sat Tal. Overnight stay in a camp / guest house.
The entire drive is through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point 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, Red Fox etc.

Day 10 Sat Tal-Lal Kuan
Meals: breakfast
Full day birding with a guide. One can see a variety of Himalayan species such as red-breasted accentor, chestnut-headed tesia, greater & lesser yellow-naped woodpecker, blue-throated barbet, rufous-chinned laughing thrush, black bulbul, dark-throated thrush etc. Transfer to Lal Kuan at 1600 hours. Connect overnight train to Mathura at 1900 hours. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper class train.

Day 11 Mathura-National Chambal Sanctuary
Meals: room only
Arrive at Mathura at 0430 hours. Transfer to Chambal early in the morning (3-hour drive). Morning boat cruise with a guide to see Indian skimmer, black-bellied tern, flocks of migratory waterfowl, cranes such as common, demoiselle and sarus; fish-eating crocodile and marsh mugger; Gangetic dolphin; turtles etc. Afternoon birding on the banks of the river. Overnight stay at Chambal Safari Lodge or return to Agra in the evening.

Day 12 National Chambal Sanctuary-Agra-Bharatpur
Meals: room only
Morning visit to the Taj Mahal. Transfer from Agra to Bharatpur (1½ hours), arriving Bharatpur by noon. Afternoon birding in the wetlands of Bharatpur. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 13 & 14 Bharatpur
Meals: room only
Full days of birding in Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot and cycle rickshaws with a birding guide.

Day 15 Bharatpur-Ranthambhor National Park
Meals: dinner
Drive to Ranthambhor National Park (5 hours) in the morning stopping en route at Bund Baretha for birding. Afternoon birding outside Ranthambhor National Park. Overnight in the resort.
The birds that one can expect around the resort are grey francolin, sirkeer malkoha, painted sandgrouse, Indian courser, yellow-wattled lapwing, southern grey shrike, Isabelline wheatear, desert wheatear, variable wheatear, ashy-crowned sparrow lark, greater short-toed lark, blue rock thrush, common buzzard etc.

Day 16 Ranthambhor National Park
Meals: breakfast & lunch
Morning & afternoon tiger-tracking in Ranthambhor National Park in open trucks and jeeps (if available). You can have the option of going to the park for tiger-tracking or visiting the 1000-year old fort. Connect train from Sawai Madhopur (railhead for Ranthambhor National Park) at 2100 hours to New Delhi.

Day 17 Delhi-onward journey
Meals: on own Arrive in Delhi at 0600 hours. You will be met and transferred to the hotel (room for wash & change in a small hotel). One can have the option of city tour or birding in the city forest or Sultanpur wetlands on own, the vehicle and the driver will be at your disposal till the airport departure. Connect flight late evening on return / onward destination.

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