This tour mainly targeted major bird species to be covered from middle and higher altitude of Sikkim. Though all birds were not covered, however, 155 species were seen in 6 days.
Route Taken: New Jalpaiguri, Melli, Tashiding, Legship, Yuksom, Labing, Rimbi, Gyangap, Damthang, Namthang, Rangpo, Rongli, Lingtham, Phadamchen, Zuluk, Kupup, Gnathang, Sherathang
P.S. All stay arrangements were in home stays.
Driving: 640 km
Hiking: 53 km
Top Ten birds from this tour:
Daily Travel Log:
3rd November 2018:
Starting on 3rd November in the morning from New Jalpaiguri, we had a 7 days tour combined to west and east district of Sikkim with only one participant - Yagnik Sinha. He asked for customization for the entire tour. On our way, we stopped at Sevok rail gate and had breakfast. There we unpacked our birding accessories - Binox, playback recorder, camera equipment. Before Jorethang we had Collared Falconate sighting on a dry tree. After reaching Jorethang we had lunch and thereafter at places we stopped at regular interval and bagged few birds. One major sighting on that afternoon was Wallcreeper. A winter visitor to the subcontinent, it was foraging on highly degraded terrain where road works (back cutting of hills by JCB) was going on. It was late evening we we checked in at Yuksom.
4th November 2018:
Next day, we started at 5 AM in the morning and decided to explore village area, other than regular minla-siva and timallidae allies we saw a Hodgeson's Redstart. In the afternoon session, MintogangTsong area was covered - Two forktails and a Wren Babbler just behind the home stay courtyard was major sighting for the day.
5th November 2018:
The last full day we had in our hand for west Sikkim birding was 5th November. Early morning we drove to Park check post area and approached Pahakhola in search of Honeyguide (a bird which is globally threatened), we saw the bird for a flicker of second and missed it. After waiting for half an hour we came back, on our way back we were surprised to see a mixed hunting flock consisting of three species of Shrike-babblers, Sultan Tit, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Laughingthrushes (Striated and Chestnutcrowned). But we were determined to have honeyuguide on the next day from another place. Later after lunch that day, we drove further east part of the biosphere reserve, covering Rimbi and Labing. Afternoon session addition to the list were - Brown Dipper and Crested Kingfisher.
6th November 2018:
Last half day for the west Sikkim part (6th Nov), we drove towards Tashiding and drove up hill, where we had honeyguide sighting for more than an hour. For this reason we were late to reach at Rongpo (2 PM) that day. On the way at Namthang we saw a Himalayan Buzzard which is worth mentioning. From Rangpo, our car switched for the second part of the tour to east Sikkim. We processed Inner Line Permit at Rongli and from there actual birding started. A walk to the south of the town, towards SDPO office, a Brown dipper in the water kept us busy, Common Green Magpie and White-crested Laughingthrushes continuous son came from nearby bamboo thickets. At 4 PM, in was too dark to photograph since ambient light was low. However, we managed to figure out through binox. We wrapped up around 4:30 PM for the day and drove at Phadamchen for overnight stay.
7th November 2018:
On 7th Nov, we started driving up in search of highland species from Steppe grassland, though Monal was sighted (it was just a flock of 5 females), but male bird sighting makes significant difference. Sighting of four major raptors - Upland Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Himalayan Griffon, Eurasian Sparrowhawk made the day. In addition two Accentors - Robin and Alpine, plus sighting of Wren Babbler was not bad at all. In the afternoon session, we had Goldcreast and Grey-crested Tit sighting in a conifer patch. In the evening, Grey Nightjar and Himalayan Palm Civet was no doubt made it the day of the trip. Varied avian and mammalian fauna was sighted throughout the day.
8th November 2018:
The last full day for east Sikkim was 8th Nov. We decided to cover upper ridges in the morning session and later in the afternoon cover lower area Phadamchen-Nimachen. As planned brilliant sighting of Himalayn Monal male happened in the morning within one hour of birding. After few more addition of Rosefinches, Yuhinas and fulvetta with other timallidae allies - we reached at home stay for lunch. Post lunch, we drove downhill and found parus and periparus tits in flock. Otherwise, that afternoon was dry compared to other days.
9th November 2018:
The last day morning on 9th Nov, we had wonderful session with Scaly Laughingthrush and Streakbreasted Scimiter Babbler later post breakfast we checked out and drove down hill, got a wonderful flock consisting of Scarlet Finch and Yellow-browed Tit with Grey-throated Babbler and Nepal Fulvetta.
Later after crossing Rongli, we stopped for one last time and got some lower-mid altitude commoners like Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Common Green Magpie, Marron Oriole etc. After having lunch at Rangpo, we drove towards Siliguri and checked in at New Jalpaiguri station. The tour ended on a very appreciating note from Mr Yagnik.
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 Nagaland. To do a customized birding trip like this one; write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or keep watching our Upcoming Tour.
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.