Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate, with early starts on most days, but mostly easy walking at a relaxed pace

Group Size:

Eight plus leaders

Ibisbill Yellow-cheeked Tit Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Ward's Trogon Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler Red-faced Liocichla Brown Parrotbill River Lapwing Spotted Nutcracker Mountain Hawk Eagle Yellow-billed Blue Magpie Grey-winged Blackbird Bhutan Laughingthrush Blue-capped Rock Thrush Satyr Tragopan Stripe-throated Yuhina

Bhutan - Land of the Thunder Dragon

Date: 1st to 17th April 2021
Leaders: Paul Roberts & Mincha Wangdi




Himalayan Monal


We are delighted to be able to offer this exciting itinerary to Bhutan, also known as Druk Yul, or ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, the remote Himalayan kingdom steeped in tradition, folklore and deep-seated Buddhist beliefs. The country only opened up to foreigners relatively recently and numbers are restricted on a yearly quota, in order to avoid the worst depredations of the mass tourist industry. No one lucky enough to visit this fascinating country can fail to be impressed by the friendliness of the people, the rich culture and the breath-taking natural beauty. Roughly two-thirds of this thinly populated and scenically spectacular land is forest, the remaining fraction is either above the tree line in the high peaks, or under agriculture along the narrow valley bottoms. These protected forests hold a bounty of birdlife, providing some of the best birding in the Himalayas. All these factors combine to make this country one of the most rewarding and thrilling bird tour destinations available today. Our Bhutan tour will traverse the country from west to east, following the winding national highway, set amid stunning mountain scenery. Starting our adventure in Paro, we will seek out riverine species, including the unmistakeable Ibisbill, before heading up to the highest motorable point, Chele La, one of the best places to see the splendid Himalayan Monal, not to mention Blood Pheasant, plus a variety of high-altitude species. From here, we travel to the capitol, Thimpu, where we will experience some of the rich culture on offer in Bhutan. Continuing eastwards, we will visit the high pass at Dochula, next visting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Lampelri, adding a host of forest birds to our growing list, possibly including choice species such as Bhutan Laughingthrush, Fire-tailed Myrzornis, Black-throated Parrotbill and Scarlet Finch. Dropping down next to Phobjikha, we will search a pristine stretch of river for the critically endangered White-bellied Heron. Further east again, we will travel through a range of habitats, including broad-leaved forests rich in orchids, blazes of Rhodedenrons and vast conifer forests. We will experience some of the best birding in Bhutan in Phrumsengla National Park and along the famous ‘Limnethang Road’, before ending the tour in the tropical and subtropical forests north of Samdrup Jongkhar. Specialities along the route could include Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, various Wren-Babblers, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, White-naped Yuhina, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Blue-fronted Robin, Dark-rumped Swift, Broad-billed Warbler and Beautiful Nuthatch, along with a plethora of other avian jewels. There will be no camping on this tour and the standard of hotels is generally reasonable to good. Drives may be fairly lengthy at times, as the roads are invariably winding, but the fantastic views and frequent birding stops should help compensate! We also guarantee a group size no bigger than eight participants, with two guides at all times, meaning a great chance to see all the birds on offer. You can expect to see around 250 species.



More Information