North India and Himalayan Foothills: Comprehensive Birding, Tigers, the Taj Mahal and More
North India is an incredible area for birds. The close proximity of lowland regions to higher altitudes as the foothills of the western Himalaya rise sharply out of the plains ensures that distinct communities of species can be found almost side by side. The endurance of these species is further aided here by the protection of many of the most ecologically fundamental areas in a comprehensive network of sanctuaries.
More Details About this Trip:
Our 16-day tour itinerary passes through a cross-section of environments in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. From the rugged terrain of western India's semi-desert travel through the irrigated plains of India's agricultural heartland, into the foothills of the Kumaon district of the western Himalaya, home to some of India's finest Chir Pine and Sal forest, and finally into the terai - the temperate broadleaved forest interspersed with marshy grassland that flanks the Himalayan range to the south.
A host of resident birds and regional specialities are accompanied throughout by Palaearctic and altitudinal migrants, with excellent opportunities for sightings of large mammals, in particular Tiger, in some of India's most famed reserves.
Indian Courser, Sarus Crane, Black-necked Stork, Painted Stork, Greater Painted Snipe, Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern, Desert Wheatear, Crested Bunting, Painted Spurfowl, Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Peafowl, up to 9 species of Vulture, Orange-headed Thrush, White-throated Bush-chat, Siberian Rubythroat, Himalayan Rubythroat, Himalayan Bluetail, Golden Bush-robin, Nepal Wren-babbler, Black-chinned Babbler, White-crested Laughingthrush, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Grey-bellied Tesia, Himalayan Greenfinch, Green-tailed Sunbird, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Black-throated Accentor, Altai Accentor, Blue Whistling-thrush, Long-billed Thrush, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, Speckled Piculet, Common Green Magpie, Great Hornbill, Cheer Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Collared Owlet, Himalayan Owl, Tawny Fish-owl, Collared Falconet, Spotted Forktail, Little Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktails Wallcreeper, White-capped Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Crested Kingfisher, Ibisbill.
Tiger, Leopard, Asian Elephant, Nilgai, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Goral, Yellow-throated Marten, Ganges River Dolphin
Semi-desert, acacia scrub, temperate forest, rhododendron, grassy mountain slopes, vast man-made wetlands, lakes, rivers and mountain streams.
Scenic hills with spectacular views of the Great Himalayas on clear days, birding in vast protected areas, birding from open jeeps inside two tiger reserves, birding by boat on the calm and still Chambal River,
a glimpse of India’s Mughal splendor with a brief visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, comfortable accommodation, and excellent north Indian cuisine.