top of page

India: North-East Winter Specialties

Target some of the most seldom-seen birds in the Himalaya, including Sclater's Monal, White-bellied Heron, Snowy-throated Babbler, and Rufous-vented Laughingthrush. Additional major targets include White-winged Duck, Ibisbill, Pale-capped Pigeon, Blyth's Kingfisher, plus Mishmi specialties like Beautiful Nuthatch, Ward's Trogon, Cachar Wedge-billed Babbler, Purple and Green Cochoa, and many more. The temperature is mostly lovely at this time of year in the lowland areas, but our few days around Mishmi Pass will certainly be chilly!

Next Dates

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

6

Deposit: $

TBD

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

Deposit: $

TBD

Accommodation:

Camping for two nights in Namdapha. Depending on the road conditions, we may stay one or two nights at a very basic hotel near Mishmi Pass without hot water (to be decided closer to the date, but we will try our best to avoid it). Comfortable accommodation for the remainder.

Walking difficulty:

The ~10 km trek up to our remote campsite in Namdapha (if required) and much of the searching for herons will involve walking along large boulder-filled riverbeds. All participants should be sure-footed in this extremely uneven terrain and able to keep a reasonable pace. The rest of the tour will be easy roadside and trail birding.

Tour cost includes:

All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes:

Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks, and other items of a personal nature.

Day 1: The tour starts this evening with arrivals into Dibrugarh Airport (DIB). There are multiple daily flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, or Kolkata.


Day 2-3: We will have two full days to explore the preserved lowland forest in the Digboi Oilfields and adjacent Dehing Patkai National Park, which offer excellent birding at this time of year. There are several special species best seen in this area, from near-endemics like Collared Treepie, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, and the rare Chestnut-backed Laughingthrush, to the threatened White-winged Duck, Pale-capped Pigeon, and Austen’s Brown Hornbill. We have an excellent chance to find all of these, along with the likes of the newly-split Grey-lored Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Blue-naped Pitta, Pale-chinned Blue Flycatcher, Sultan Tit, Yellow-vented Warbler, White-hooded Babbler, and maybe Grey-Peacock Pheasant or White-cheeked Partridge. Nights near Dehing Patkai National Park.


Day 4: After a final morning in the area, we will drive to Namdapha National Park and begin our exploration. Night near Namdapha National Park.


Day 5-6: We will walk up the Noa-Dihing River to reach our remote camp for the next two nights, where we will be perfectly positioned to search for the Critically Endangered near-endemic White-bellied Heron, which is very reliable here at this time of year. Despite being winter, the temperature in these lowland areas is pleasant and makes for perfect birding weather! The large, rocky riverbed also features Ibisbill, while side tributaries host the scarce Blyth’s Kingfisher in good numbers. The nearby forest holds two highly range-restricted species: Snowy-throated Babbler and Rufous-vented Laughingthrush. We will also search for Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pale-billed Parrotbill, Beautiful Sibia, Spotted Elachura, plus hopefully Hodgson’s Frogmouth and Oriental Bay Owl at night. Nights camping in Namdapha.


Day 7: We will bird our way back to the road today and stay overnight in a hotel near the park entrance.


Day 8: Driving to Roing, our base for the coming few days, we can explore the nearby grasslands this afternoon for Black-breasted Parrotbill and Marsh and Jerdon's Babblers. We will need some very good luck to chance across the rapidly declining Bengal Florican, which has become much harder in recent years. Night in Roing.


Day 9-10-11: The main reason to visit Mishmi in winter is to target the rarely-observed Sclater’s Monal, which can be seen regularly in the early mornings around the pass at this time of year, often at close range! We will have four dawn sessions to attempt a sighting, which is also necessary to allow for the road to be cleared if there is a dumping of snow when we arrive. Unlike our week in the lowlands, it will be cold up at the pass, but well worthwhile! The monal is only likely in the early hours, so the rest of our time will be spent at lower elevations birding along the lovely forest-clad roadside. In particular, we will be searching for Mishmi and Bar-winged Wren-babblers, Cachar Wedge-billed Babbler, Black-headed Shrike-babbler, Blyth’s Tragopan, Green and Purple Cochoas, Manipur Fulvetta, Ward’s Trogon, and Beautiful Nuthatch, among many more widespread species of the Himalaya. Nights in Roing.


Day 12: After one last chance for Sclater’s Monal, we will return to Dibrugarh, where the tour ends with transfers to the airport for evening flights.


NOTE: Any participants who wish to arrive a day early can search for Swamp Grass Babbler, which is reliable just up the river from Dibrugarh at this time of year.

bottom of page