A quest to uncover hidden gems
As a birding tour guide in Bhutan, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing some of the most breathtaking birdwatching experiences on the planet. Bhutan, pasted in the Eastern Himalayas, is a treasure trove of biodiversity, having over 700 recorded bird species, truly a paradise for any birder.
Today, I want to take you on a journey through my recent birding tour, where we embarked on a quest to spot some of Bhutan’s most iconic feathered residents.
Jigme Dorji National Park – A Symphony of Calls
Our adventure began in the heart of Jigme Dorji National Park, the largest protected area in Bhutan. As we entered the park, the air vibrated with a symphony of bird calls. The majestic Himalayan Cutia, with its emerald green pattern and piercing song, was one of the first to welcome us.
Further along the trail, we encountered a flash of crimson ,the majestic Himalayan Monal, the national bird of Nepal. Its feathers bathed in the sunlight as it strutted through the rhododendron bushes.
The day unfolded like a nature documentary, with each turn revealing a new feathered wonder.
Chele La Pass – Soaring Above the Clouds
We embarked on a thrilling climb to Chele La Pass, one of the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. At an altitude of 13,083 feet, the air was thin and crisp, but the views were simply breathtaking. As we stood at the pass, a panorama of snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys disclosed before us.
Phobjikha Valley – A Haven for Migratory Birds
Our journey continued to Phobjikha Valley, a glacial valley renowned for its wintering migratory birds. As we arrived, the valley was alive with the calls of finches and many other miniature birds.We spent hours exploring the valley, spotting the graceful black necked crane.
And then, we saw them – a pair of majestic Black-necked Cranes, their graceful forms gliding effortlessly against the clear blue sky. These endangered birds are a symbol of Bhutan’s pristine environment, truly a mesmerizing charisma that it holds was unbelievable.
Beyond the Birds: A Cultural Immersion
Bhutan is a land steeped in tradition and spirituality.While birding was the focus of our tour, Bhutan offered much more than just stunning avifauna. Bhutan is a land steeped in tradition and spirituality.We visited ancient dzongs (fortresses), marveled at the intricate architecture of Buddhist monasteries, and experienced the warmth and hospitality of the Bhutanese people.
A Journey to Remember
As our birding tour came to an end, we left with hearts full of wonder and memories that will last a lifetime. Bhutan is more than just a birding destination; it’s an experience that touches the soul. If you’re an avid birder or simply seeking an adventure in a breathtakingly beautiful land, then Bhutan should be at the top of your travel list.
My feelings were written half in this article, there were uncountable encounters but i am leaving it to you guys to experience which you haven’t heard of.