In the month of May 2018, we had a birding tour to Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary. In all north Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan tours we request participants to arrive one day earlier, since none of the flight arrive in morning. Thus instead of loosing one entire day of birding, we insist to arrive one day earlier, stay overnight at Siliguri/Bagdogra area. However, this birding tour was continuous with Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary birding tour. Thus all joined directly after finishing Mahananda, except one lady from Odisha who came and stayed overnight at Siliguri.
Route Taken: New Jalpaiguri, Sevok, Rangpo, Singtam, Gangtok, Pangthang, Lingdok.
P.S. All the stay arrangements were done in home stays.
Driving: Around 200 kms.
Hiking: 46 kms.
Top five birds from this tour:
Daily travel log:
2nd May 2018:
We went to Siliguri to pick up one participant from Siliguri and rest of the participants joined directly from our Mahananda Tour. Two cars from two direction met at Teesta Bazar junction and from there we started moving up. At Rangpo we took a halt and drove to Rongli. Inner Line Permit (ILP) processing was done on spot and in the mean time we had our lunch (1 PM). After lunch we started assending uphill. At kuikhola, we stopped for a while and photographed Little Forktail and Plumbeous Water Redstart. Little ahead at Lingtam, we found a mixed flock, but could not track it further because of fog. We stopped birding and checked it in the home stay after sundown.
3rd May 2018:
Next day we had fantastic start with the sighting of Himalayan Serow, later our search for Himalayan Monal was on. Sooner fabulous sighting of two males changed the mood of birders. At the view point of Tambi, Himalayan Brown Goral was seen. Another Goral was decending downhill fast - such surefooted mammal. Some regular birds were seen as well - Golen Bush Robin, White-browed Fulvetta, Dark-breasted Rosefinch etc. The commonest of all Black-faced Laughingthrushes were foraging in open. We had our lunch at Nathang valley (it saved our time from returning back to home stay). In the afternoon, Red-billed Chough, Altai Accentor and Robin Accentor were sighted. It is noteworthy to metion that, Robin Accentor is not easy to see in this part of Himalayas. Perhaps it is the last distribution area. In higher ridges - White-browed Rosefinches and Alpine Accentors were nicely photographed. After 3 PM we started returning back to our home stay. Rested for the day.
4th May 2018:
Next day, we decided to cover lower part of the sanctuary in the morning session. Golden-breasted Fulvetta and Barred Cuckoo Dove was the two bird species which gave us remarkable sighting. Later we followed chirping of an warbler and photographed a cute - Whistler's Warbler. Area adjacent to Padamchen had common birds like Rufous-capped Babblers, Grey-throated Babblers, Rufous-bellied Niltava, all three siva/minla, two types of minivets were seen. A flock of Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon was seen as well. Near the pass entry gate of sanctuary at Nimachen, Russet Sparrows and Yellownape Woodpecker were seen. By 11 AM bird activity lowered down, and we returned back to home stay. In the afternoon session, weather detoriated a lot. Since the group had maximum species covered, all participants decided to rest for the day.
5th May 2018:
The last full day, we decided to cover uphill in the morning session and downhill in the afternoon. Almost all the species were repeated as that of day 2 morning session , except for few addition to the bird list - Scaly Laughingthrush, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Olive-backed Pipit, Grey-sided Bush Warbler etc. We tried for Blood Pheasant this time, but could not see or heard any call. Afternoon session inside Padamchen forest trail yeilded - Common Green Magpie, Striated and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, Rufous-gorgated Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava etc.
6th May 2018:
The last day, we tried for Himalayan Monal in flight. THough some participants could manage the flight shot, some didn't. Completed morning session little early than other birding days. Came back to home stay at 8 AM; after breakfast, we packed up to return back. However, Lens and binoclulars were still handy. On our way down, just after crossing Rongli, Sultan Tits, Maroon Orioles, Asian Barred Owlet, Spangled Drongo, White-bellied Erpornis are some good addition to the list. At Rangpo, we had lunch (2 PM). Participants were dropped at multiple destinations in and around Siliguri/Bagdogra/Jalpaiguri area.
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.