Birding in Bhutan – April/May 2012

In late april/early may 2012 i went for an almost 3 weeks birding trip across Bhutan, as member of a Birdquest (http://www.birdquest-tours.com) group. Leaving from Paro, the international gateway to the himalayan kingdom, we drove eastward following the only road all the way to the south-eastern border town of Samdrup Jongkhar, birding a remarkably diverse set of habitats from the subalpine conifer forests around the western passes (highest point at Chele la near Paro, 3800m) down to the moist deciduous forests of the South-east foothills (300m). Bhutan has a record of close to 700 bird species, a remarkably high number for a country the size of Switzerland, and thanks to the expertise of tour leader Dave Farrow we got to see almost half of that number. Most notably we were blessed with a rare sighting of the critically endangered White-bellied Heron, and found almost all the most sought-after species : Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan, Monal, Ward’s Trogon, Beautiful Nuthatch (a breeding pair building its nest) and many others. Herebelow is a selection of the pictures i took during the trip, enjoy !

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