Route Taken: Bagdogra, Siliguri, Sevok, Rangpo, Rongli, Nimachen, Phadamchen, Dzuluk, Gnathang, Kupup.
P.S. All the stay arrangements were done in home stays.
Driving: Around 450 kms.
Hiking: 36 kms.
Top five birds from this tour:
Daily travel log:
22nd September 2018:
The monsoon in this time of the year was heavy, which causes heavy traffic jam inside city. Thus to avoid, such scenario, we decided to start early and leave the city by 7 AM. Picked up Mr Ashok Ghosh and his family from Marina's Motel in Bagdogra and later picked up Mr Ravi M: (from Chennai) from Hakimpara SS Lodge. As expected, we reached directly to Sevok railgate by 8 AM; here we had breakfast from a resturant. Crossed Rangpoo at 9:30 AM and reached Rongli at 11 AM. Here Inner line permit was processed and we had lunch. Little later we unpacked our camera-lens-birding euipments. The first bird photographed was Green-billed Malkoha, seen in a mixed flock with Red-vented Bulbul and Himalayan Bulbul. As we drove up White-crested Laughingthrush, Common Green Magpie, Maroon Oriole was sighted too. On our way up Plumbeous Water Redstart was seen near a Khola. In the late afternoon we crossed Zuluk; just beside road we saw Himalayan Monal twice (one immature male and one female) in two different locations. But we were unable to photograph them because of fog. We checked in at home stay at Lungthu and rested for the night.
23rd September 2018:
We drove out of our home stay by 5:30 AM in the morning. Around home stay we saw Dark-breasted Rosefinch and Large-eared Pika. Little above height, two female monal were seen, Fire-tailed Myzornis was also spotted in pines. We came back to home stay and checked out post breakfast (8 AM) and drove towards much higher altitude. Red-billed Chough, Siberian Stonechat and Tickell's Leaf Warbler on Aconogonum species, Ruddy Shelducks (7) on Bedang Tso (elephant lake). We had packed breakfast with us and we checked in during the lunch hour at Gnathang, we had a Indian Cuckoo (male) sighting. In the afternoon we drove around the valley area. Rain in second half of the day soiled one birding session.
24th September 2018:
Early morning, huge flock of Asian House Martins were seen; some times they were coming back for roosting beneath thached roof. It was tough to photograph them when swift and agile, later around 8 AM got them on electric wires. Very few photographs are there from India. Fire-tailed Sunbird, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Collared Grosbeak are few species which were sighted on day 3. A Grey-crested Tit was foraging in mixed flock with Treecreepers and Rufous-vented Tit. Fire-tailed Myzornis gave ample opportunity. Golden Bush Robin female was seen in bush thickets at Ganek alongwith Rufous-breasted Bush Robin and Grey-sided Bush Warbler. As day before, it started raining in the afternoon and we wrapped up for the day. Forrest's Pika was spotted at multiple locations. Landscape looked stunning during this flowering season.
25th September 2018:
Started early at 5:30 AM in the morning and our primary target was Himalayan MOnal, in the early morning, one female with an immature male was seen. Little ahead following the call, one male bird was seen as well. Just like other days, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Fulvetta, Phylloscopus Warbler (Mandelli) was seen. Near Lungthng, Fulvous Parrotbill and Fire-capped Tit was seen together. Just before reaching Dzuluk, a female of Satyr Tragopan crossed the road, participants got nice images of this rare beauty. A Siberian Weasel as seen on a big boulder, it was peeping out sometimes. At Dzuluk we had breakfast and we drove down. On our way Yuhinas, Fulvettas and other timilidae babblers were seen. Checked in at Phadamchen hotel in lunch time. Post lunch we explored a little around home stay and got PIn-tailed and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons, Rufous-bellied NIltava, Asian Barred Owlet and a tiny Pygmy Wren Babbler.
26th September 2018:
The morning session before breakfast we saw Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Streak-breasted Scimiter Babbler and Rufous-bellied Niltava; later we came back for breakfast and checked out from Phadamchen. On our way down, Striated Laughingthrush, White-throated Laughingthrush, Great Barbet and a Himalayan Stripped Squirrel was seen. A little landscape photography in Keukhola was not bad. After crossing Rongli, two mountail Bulbuls were seen beside road. We reached at Rangpo at 11:30 AM and had lunch at Rangpo Tourist Lodge. Two participants had to catch flight on that day thus drove to Bagdogra (3 PM), another guy was dropped at a hotel near Sukna. Tour ends.
Since, itinerary and time schedule alongside the bird activity changes seasonally; thus this itinerary can’t be followed in the other months. Kindly go through other blogs of GoingWild's bird photography tours in Sikkim.
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The entire list of birds can be downloaded from below! Cheers!
A loveless life is futile and what could be more satisfying than loving and being loved by nature? Well, this is for you to decide but he always knew that he belonged with nature. At a very tender age he clearly realised that he is increasingly attracted to nature. The constant longing to get away from the city humdrum guided managing partner, Dibyendu to take up birding and wildlife photography as his profession, working in an IT company could never satisfy the hunger of his soul and mind. A very young Dibyendu took interest in animal skull craft for it used to be his favourite pastime, he read his mother’s zoology books which made his interest in animals grow stronger . His love for wildlife groomed him to grow up into a wildlife enthusiast, he is now an avid traveler and has been to many important birding areas in the Himalayas, honing his skills as a naturalist, birder and a wildlife photographer.
With a huge bird list (which is ever increasing) till date he is currently one of the eminent bird watchers in India. Many of his works have been published in domestic and international publishings, books and newspapers.
Breathing life into the frozen moments of nature is what Soumyajit has been doing through his lenses for the last two decades. Trained as an architect, framing comes to him automatically and composition is his high plus point. Given his early schooling in art & painting, the basic concepts of composition and light always titillated his young brain. Being a self taught he strongly believes in the inherent sense of beauty which at all times, is the best guide than the bookish rules of photography. And he got ample opportunities to cross check his concepts with visiting stalwarts of this field. He valued the criticism of professionals as well as laymen and shaped his creativity accordingly. His photographs strike the very chord in the hearts of his audience urging them to react to the strong messages of nature conservation.
Soumyajit had been long drawn by the mystic world of animals and their natural habitat, the jungle. Coupled with this love for nature and unending patience he makes the right individual to practice wildlife photography. The photographs clicked by him play an integral part in altering the monstrosity of the creatures and highlighting their vulnerability.
Soumyajit is currently whetting his tiger tracking skills especially in the Indian Sunderban, exploring the enigmatic mangroves in a whole new light and bringing the wildlife lovers one step closer to the exotic species of Indian Sunderban not only this but also he shares his knowledge with the clients to ensure that they understand better and the awareness is propagated properly. Having said this, it is needless to mention that not only the tigers of Sunderban, Soumyajit’s erudition about other species of the land of Sundari trees is no doubt remarkable for he has acquired such extensive understanding by spending substantial amount of time in the mysterious mangroves, thus playing a key role in rebuilding the forests and providing protection to its inhabitants.
“Love looks not with the eyes, But with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
His love for tigers is unfathomable. The books of Sir Jim Corbett and of course the wanderlust always made him yearn to be at one with nature, the very thought of observing and photographing the majestic Bengal tigers “filled up his senses like a storm in the desert”, the burning eyes of the majestic beast have lured him to leave his job as an IT professional and made him delve deep into the tangled heart of the forests and breath in the redolence of the jungles. Managing partner, Tamanud Mitra developed a strong understanding of nature and its components, first from the books of Sir Jim Corbett and then by absorbing the jungle lore in the Indian jungles over a considerable period of time, his perseverance and strong determination to walk on the path of his long cherished dream have led him into being an excellent, self-taught tiger tracker and a good enough photographer.