Bhutan II - April - May 2015

Published by Rockjumper Birding Tours (marketing AT rockjumperbirding.com)

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Our Bhutan tour kicked off at 350m above sea level in Samdrup Jongkhar, the border town close to Assam. The town's quiet gentility was quite a contrast to the hubbub of the Indian province in which we had just spent the last five days. Our arrival was in the late afternoon, so after settling into our hotel and meeting for dinner there wasn't much scope for birding. After supper, attempts to draw in a calling Collared Scops Owl were not entertained by the bird in question and a thunderstorm gently encouraged us to head to our rooms. This was to be the first of many encounters with rain in hutan!

The next morning we began our birding day with a walk along the main road on the outskirts of town while our bus went ahead to collect us later, the general modus operandi of birding in Bhutan. We glimpsed Red Junglefowl, Striated and Indian Pond Herons, Crested Honey Buzzard – one of which perched in a tree for good views, a Black Eagle cruising low over the treetops, Crested Goshawk, Green-billed Malkoha, House Swift, Wreathed Hornbill, Oriental Dollarbird, Lesser Yellownape, White-throated Kingfisher, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Scarlet Minivet, Long-tailed Shrike, Ashy and Bronzed Drongos, Black-crested Bulbul, Red-rumped Swallow, Greenish Warbler, Rufescent Prinia, a gorgeous Asian Fairy-bluebird, a fleeting White-rumped Shama, common but beautiful Verditer Flycatcher, Black-backed Forktail, Blue Whistling Thrush, Whitecapped Redstart, Crimson Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter and Chestnut-tailed Starling.

Back on the bus we started to climb higher, stopping near Dewathang for a tasty cooked lunch before proceeding on to the Morong area where we would camp for the next two nights. Exploring the forest down the road (i.e. at lower altitudes) we were introduced to some of the country's mid-altitude birdlife including Himalayan Cuckoo, Barwinged Flycatcher-shrike, Grey-chinned Minivet, Green-backed Tit, Striated Bulbul, Black-throated Bushtit, Black-throated Prinia, the beautiful Blue-winged Minla, Silver-eared Mesia, Rufous and scarce Long-tailed Sibias, our first Yuhinas – White-naped and Whiskered, Little Pied Flycatcher, Grey Bush Chat, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Black-throated Sunbird, Spot-winged Grosbeak and the elusive Scarlet Finch.

The next morning we again walked the highway that hugged the mountainside below our campsite. Our intended quarry was the beautiful Beautiful Nuthatch, but nobody had informed any of them of our presence, and none showed up. Despite three attempts (over three days) in its usual patch we came away empty handed. Of course we did see some marvellous other birds in the Morong area in the process, such as the vulnerable Rufous-necked Hornbill, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Blyth's Shrike-Babbler, Whitethroated Fantail, Grey Treepie, the dainty Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Mountain Bulbul, a generally uncooperative Mountain Tailorbird, a much more confiding Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Grey-hooded Warbler, Streak-throated Scimitar Babbler, a shy Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Striated and Bhutan Laughingthrushes, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Sikkim Treecreeper, Small Niltava, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush and Yellow-breasted Greenfinch. The bird of the day was undoubtedly a Beautiful Sibia, which was possibly the first or one of only a handful of records for the country!

In between our morning and afternoon excursions in the Morong area – and just as we were about to start birding – the wind picked up and rain started bucketing down. We gathered in the bus while the camp site staff ran around securing tents and ensuring luggage was safely on top of the cots inside. A roaring cascade formed where before there were steps leading to the lower section of the campsite. Tent interiors felt like waterbeds underfoot as the torrent passed beneath. Heavy raindrops continued to be buffeted by the wind until, about 40 minutes later, it all subsided. The newly-made streams quickly disappeared and all our stuff was dry and alright so we quickly resumed with our mission: to bird! By all accounts the rainstorm was a highly unusual and rare event; it certainly injected a little extra excitement into our day!

Following our third unsuccessful nuthatch hunt the next morning we set out for the town of Trashigang. We stopped at the town/mountain pass of Narphung La (1,698m) and got our first feel of Bhutanese village life in the small market. Yongphu La (2,190m) took us down through the university town of Kanlung. The valleys and mountain passes yielded Himalayan Buzzard, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Greater Coucal, Black-tailed Crake in some rice paddies, Common Cuckoo, Blyth's Swift, Himalayan Swiftlet, Common Kestrel, the resplendent Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Barn Swallow, a host of warblers including Tickell's Leaf, Ashythroated, Blyth's Leaf and Chestnut-crowned, Rufous-capped Babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, the soon-to-be-common White-throated Laughingthrush, the exquisite little Golden-breasted Fulvetta, White-tailed Nuthatch, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Blue, Chestnut-bellied and Blue-capped Rock Thrushes, Siberian Stonechat, Green-tailed Sunbird and Grey Wagtail. A cluster of alien-like discs protruding from a rock-face above the road at one point were massive Rock Bee honeycombs. A quick search of the area revealed a pair of tiny Yellow-rumped Honeyguides. We were too late to do a trip to the Trashigang Dzong full justice so we visited the quaint town instead, marvelling at the uniquely Bhutanese mix of new and old: intricately decorated traditional shop windows displaying their modern merchandise; gho- and kira-wearing schoolchildren passing by townsfolk in jeans and t-shirts.

From Trashigang we passed through the dry Dangme Chhu and Sheri Chhu Valleys whose slopes were coated with grassland and patches of conifers. This dry, scrubby habitat produced Himalayan Bulbul, Striated Prinia, Crested Bunting and Slender-billed Oriole (in the pines) while Common Sandpiper and Common and White-throated Kingfishers were found along the fast-flowing waters on the valley floors. The cool broad-leaved forests returned as we climbed toward the 2,400m-high Kori La. Highlights along the way included Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Grey-winged Blackbird and sensational looks at Red-billed Leiothrix, a bogey bird for one participant. A bit further on we scoped a Peregrine Falcon that was feasting on a small passerine about 60m away. As feathers flew this way and that we watched as two drifted serenely towards us, one landing on the road a metre in front of us and the other alighting on a guest's shoulder. How bizarrely incredible! Up at Kori La itself we found Yellowbrowed Tit, Black-faced and Whistler's Warblers, Grey-sided Bush Warbler, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Barthroated Minla, electrifying Large Niltava and Buffbarred Warbler. The undisputed highlight, however, was when our fantastic eagle-eyed driver found us a pair of Ward's Trogon! The dichromatic twosome came to the forest edge and spoiled us with simply incredible views for about five minutes. What a way to see this sought-after Bhutan specialty!

We passed through Mongar before climbing again to our base for the next three nights on Yongko La (1,800m), finding White-crested Laughingthrush along the way. In the late afternoon a pair of Kalij Pheasant pecked away on the far corner of a crop field adjacent to our campsite, an activity they were to repeat over the next two days. After dark the call of a Mountain Scops Owl sounded from the nearby forest, but this secretive species remained hidden.

Over the next two days we explored the lower and middle Lingmethang Road, widely regarded as providing some of the best birding in the Himalayas. The road passes through Thrumsingla National Park which protects vast tracts of pristine old-growth forest. In the park we eventually obtained views of Large Hawk-Cuckoo, which had been taunting us for days with its continuous calling, as well as great views of Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo and Himalayan and Common Cuckoos. Also seen were a bedraggled Blue-bearded Bee-eater (did I mention that it rained a lot on this tour?!), more Rufous-necked Hornbills, terrific knee-level Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, gorgeous Long-tailed Broadbill, Grey-chinned and Short-billed Minivets, exquisite little Black-eared Shrike-Babbler, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, furtive Common Green Magpie, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Grey-cheeked Warbler, Rusty-cheeked and Coral-billed Scimitar Babblers, Rufous-throated WrenBabbler, Golden Babbler, Nepal, Yellow-throated and Rufous-winged Fulvettas, Rufous-necked, Grey-sided and Blue-winged Laughingthrushes, Red-tailed Minla, Black-throated and Whitebreasted Parrotbills, Dark-sided Flycatcher, the dramatic Greater Yellownape, Lesser Shortwing, Pygmy Flycatcher, the incredible Mrs Gould's Sunbird and more Scarlet Finches.

We saw our first Satyr Tragopan when a male flew out of the forest and landed on a path that cut through short vegetation on the slope below us. What an incredible sighting! The bird stood there for what felt like ages, seemingly trying to figure out if he was in the right place before deciding that he probably wasn't and moving on. Another particularly lucky sighting was of half a dozen near-threatened Sikkim Wedge-billed Babblers, which were moving in the undergrowth right next to the road and popped out a few times affording us wonderful views. Bird parties were inexplicably few during this tour but one of our most memorable moments came on a grey and damp afternoon when we encountered one such party in the Lower Lingmethang section. At least 10 Himalayan Cutias, four huge Sultan Tits, Blyth's Shrike-Babblers, Lesser Yellownape and Yellow-cheeked Tit were among the party-goers, but the guests of honour were two sublime Beautiful Nuthatches! The party followed the road for some time and we almost stopped looking at the cutias and nuthatches as we kept bumping into them. What a luxury! Later that same afternoon we heard a Collared Owlet calling close by. We located it sitting right in the open alongside a settlement of Indian roadworkers who kindly kept quiet – and watched with much curiosity – as we obtained good recordings of the bird.

We took a drive along the Lingmethang road after dinner one night in search of flying squirrels. We located a single Hodgson's Giant Flying Squirrel and a tiny Particoloured Flying Squirrel before our evening was rained out. Our attempts the following night to call up a Hodgson's Frogmouth heard in the area on the previous tour yielded only two short responses and no sighting, but at least the species' presence was further confirmed as there are very few records for the country.

On the morning that we moved camp to Sengor we heard the unique call of Spotted Elachura emanating just metres away from our tents. We quickly assembled and tried calling the bird into an open patch. One guest finally spotted the little guy and most were able to get good looks before it disappeared back into the undergrowth. At least this allowed us to give some attention to the noisy flock of Rufous-necked Laughingthrushes occupying the same area.

As we got closer to our camp near Sengor – at an altitude of nearly 3,000m – the forests started to be dominated by towering conifers, agricultural land and open grassy patches. En route we saw Spotted Nutcracker, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, White-browed Fulvetta, Whiskered, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, a pair of dainty Little Forktails, Blue-fronted Redstart, at least ten Mrs Gould's Sunbirds and Nepal House Martin. An overcast late afternoon drive along the Middle Lingmethang Road struck gold when we found a very confiding male Satyr Tragopan (one of six seen that day!) at the side of the road. He paraded around 20m from us for at least 15 minutes and didn't even move off the road when another vehicle passed! It wasn't hard to see why this is one of the world's most iconic birds! Back at the campsite Red-billed Chough, Large-billed Crow and Russet Sparrow were common, while an array of big and beautiful moths clustered around the light that filtered out of the dining room windows. A Himalayan Owl hooted gently from close-by on both nights there but, like Mountain Scops Owl, denied us any visuals.

On our only full day in the area we pulled on our gloves and tightened our scarves as we headed into the snow-dappled Hemlock forests of the Upper Lingmethang Road (the lower reaches of Thrumsing La). Here we found yet another gorgeous pheasant, the Blood Pheasant, as well as Himalayan Buzzard, smart-looking Snow Pigeon, Green ShrikeBabbler, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Coal and Grey-crested Tits, Lemon-rumped, Buff-barred, Large-billed Leaf, Blyth's Leaf and Whistler's Warblers, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Hodgson's Treecreeper, White-collared Blackbird, Himalayan Bluetail, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, a distant Firetailed Sunbird in flowering rhododendrons and a small flock of Brown Bullfinch.

The following day turned out to be a red-letter day, starting with a pair of ornate Spotted Laughingthrush, Great Parrotbill, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk, more Snow Pigeons, Rufous-fronted Bushtit, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper and Common Rosefinch before summiting the 3,800m high Thrumsing La, where fresh powder coated the ground and was being supplemented by new snowfall while we stopped to take photos of the Christmas card scenery.

During our cooked roadside lunch that day we sheltered under a dining tent due to the (by now familiar!) rain. Suddenly it seemed as if someone was shaking the tent but then we noticed the water sloshing about in the big plastic water canister standing out in the rain and realised that it was an earthquake! The mild tremor seemed to last about 45 seconds and was not unpleasant. It was only when we reached our hotel that evening that we learned of the quake in Nepal which cast an unfortunate shadow on the experience.

After lunch we continued towards Jakar in the Bumthang Valley, seeing Eurasian Magpie, a very friendly Himalayan Bluetail, a nicely cooperative Golden Bush Robin and Alpine and Rufous-breasted Accentors, The highlight, though, was a brilliant male Himalayan Monal – our fourth pheasant of the day after Satyr Tragopan and Blood Pheasant (both in danger of becoming trash birds at this stage!) and Hill Partridge, whose cry was as familiar to us as the sight of it wasn't! In Jakar we quickly added a few more high quality birds to the day's incredible list (Ibisbill, Brown Parrotbill and Dark-sided Flycatcher) before settling into our cosy overnight accommodation.

The next morning we had wonderful – and vastly improved – looks at four Ibisbills and Aberrant Bush Warbler along the river and flushed some Rosy Pipits and Solitary Snipes from an adjacent marsh. A stop at a souvenir shop in the Chumey Valley, famous for its weaving products, had everyone reaching for their wallets before we recommenced with our drive to Trongsa, finding Eurasian Hoopoe, Yellow-browed and Rufous-vented Tits, Oriental Skylark, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Black Bulbul, Siberian Stonechat, Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch, Black-faced Laughingthrushes, a flock of 100 Red-billed Choughs, Large-eared Pika and a Northern Red Muntjac along the way. After lunch we learned a bit more about Buddhism and admired intricately painted artworks at Trongsa Dzong, a type of administrative temple-fortress found across Bhutan. A visit to the outskirts of town produced Little Forktail and a slinky Yellow-footed Marten.

A morning visit to the same area yielded exceptional views of White-tailed Robin, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Rufous Sibia, Spotted Forktail, Grey Wagtail and Bay Woodpecker. We temporarily left Trongsa behind for two days in the low-lying Tingtibi area via the Mangde Chhu valley where construction of a hydro-electric facility is taking place. Reaching a section of the road flanked by a steep bare-sided cliff-face we found there had been a landslide and the road was impassable. After a reasonably short wait a road maintenance vehicle arrived and managed to (just!) clear a track. We all held our breath as our bus passed through the worst section, but we need never have worried thanks to the superb skills of our driver, Tenzing. It turned out to be a pretty good day for raptors with Crested Honey Buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Black Eagle and three Eurasian Sparrowhawks gliding right in front of us. We also saw great mammals – a Goral, Wild Boar, Black Giant Squirrel and many lovely Golden Langurs.

Walks through this lower altitude deciduous forest produced Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Common Emerald Dove, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Blue-throated Barbet, Greater Yellownape, Rufous Woodpecker, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Maroon Oriole, Bronzed Drongo, Grey Treepie, Whitethroated, Mountain and Ashy Bulbuls, Common Tailorbird, Nepal Fulvetta, White-crested Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, Striated Yuhina, Orange-bellied Leafbird, and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush.

Our other day in the Tingtibi area was spent in Royal Manas National Park. The birding was slow at times but we connected with all our major targets, which mostly favour the tall bamboo thickets in the park: Yellow-bellied and Rufous-faced Warblers, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, White-hooded Babbler, Pale-billed Parrotbills in the company of the very similar White-breasted Parrotbill, Black-chinned Yuhina, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Streaked Spiderhunter, Crimson Sunbird, White-rumped Munia and Speckled Piculet. A Crested Serpent Eagle complete with flailing serpent was even seen flying over! A fruiting tree attracted a number of birds including at least three Great Hornbills. We were treated to close-ups of their beady eyes peering out from under those outrageous plastic-looking casques and heard their noisy, flappy flight as they skimmed over our heads. The area around our campsite was also productive, with Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo, Greater Flameback, Grey-chinned Minivet, White-bellied Erpornis, Hair-crested Drongo, Sultan Tit and Rufous-chinned Laughinghrush.

On our return to Trongsa we opted to retrace our route rather than taking a longer one, which offered a bit more opportunity for birding (though not necessarily new birds). The reason was I had developed septicaemia from an infected leech bite and with no improvement over the previous few days it was agreed that we should try and reach medical facilities at Trongsa sooner rather than later. It was an inadvertently fortuitous decision as the landslide from a few days earlier reoccurred, trapping our camping crew in the Tingtibi area for a couple of days! The afternoon was mostly spent enjoying the comforts of the lodge after a whirlwind last few days and two nights of camping. Feeling most refreshed after our afternoon, off we set out for Punakha. Birdlife along the way included Himalayan Vulture, Brown Parrotbill, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher and Bhutan Laughingthrush. That afternoon I parted ways with the group for a couple of days and headed to the capital Thimpu in search of improved medical treatment. The group continued on in the capable hands of our excellent local leader. The Mo Chu and Po Chu, which join at Thimpu, provided some good birding with Eurasian Wigeon, Western Osprey, Ibisbill, River Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Crested Kingfisher, Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart and Common Greenshank.

The following day the group visited the scenic Jigme Dorji National Park in the Tashitang Valley. Despite the verdant forest the birdlife was subdued. White-throated Needletail was the only new addition to the list but other sightings included Crested Honey Buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Eagle, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Asian Barred Owlet, Great Barbet, Maroon Oriole, Rufous Sibia and Blue Whistling Thrush. In the afternoon the group stopped by the colossal Punakha Dzong, the seat of the Bhutanese Government until Thimpu was made the capital city in the 1950s. The incredibly ornate temple, where not a single inch of wall-space goes undecorated and Buddha's life is chronicled in clockwise panels around the room, is worth the trip alone!

The next morning along the banks of the Po Chu Tshering the group located a White-bellied Heron. This, the world's third-largest heron, is critically endangered and surprisingly tricky to find; it was therefore with much relief that this impressive bird was eventually found on the group's third go at driving up and down the large river. With this all-important target and Slender-billed Oriole (near the hotel) in the bag, they then started on their way to Thimpu. On the lower slopes of Dochu La they stopped at the Royal Botanical Park which harbours a fantastic selection of rhododendrons. Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Jay, Green-backed Tit, Black-faced Warbler, Rufous-fronted Bushtit, Bar-throated and Red-tailed Minlas, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, White-browed Fulvetta, Brown Parrotbill, Grey-winged Blackbird, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Ultramarine Flycatcher and a large flock of Tibetan Serins were all recorded. At the top of the 3,100m high Dochu La the group explored the cluster of 108 chortens which honour the Bhutanese soldiers who fell in clashes with Indian Rebels in 2003. Around 30km further down the road, the giant golden Buddha perched on the mountainside welcomed everyone to Thimpu where we all met up again. That night we attended a lavish ceremony where men and women dancers performed traditional dances from various parts of the country and the man with the cymbals inched his way closer to full hearing-loss! A tasty dinner and good company followed, including a farewell reunion with our camp staff who had by that time passed through the landslide. It was great to see them all togged up in their formal attire (especially Chef!) after being so used to them running around in their working T-shirts and track pants. We made an early morning visit to the Takin Reserve in Thimpu to see these curious beasts which are Bhutan's national mammal. After a few stops to view the national parliament and the modest royal palace as well as the birdless treatment works (oh, the places that us birders seek out: parliament, palace and sewage works!) we travelled the short distance to Paro. Just outside of town we viewed the inconceivable Tiger's Nest Monastery from the base of the mountain on whose side it perched. After that we all went in different directions – some on the hike up to the monastery, some to the town itself and the rest went halfway up Chele La. Birds seen included Kalij Pheasant, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Coal Tit, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Indian Blue Robin, Mrs Gould's Sunbird and Red-headed Bullfinch.

We were up early on our penultimate morning to once more traverse Chele La, the highest road pass in Bhutan. Once we passed over the 3,988m-high summit we saw the first of four Himalayan Monals, our main target. It flushed from right next to the road, blinding us with its sensational rainbow iridescence. Later views were more distant but far less fleeting, allowing us to truly soak up the magnificence of this spectacular bird. Adding to the fanciful fowl tally were seven each of Kalij Pheasant and Blood Pheasant. Things quietened down towards lunchtime but we still picked up Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-vented, Grey Crested, Coal and Green-backed Tits, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Greenish, Blyth's Leaf and Whistler's Warblers, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Hodgson's Treecreeper, Collared and White-winged Grosbeaks, Plain-backed Thrush, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Blue-fronted Redstart and Rufous-breasted Accentor before returning to the hotel.

For our last birding foray we walked a small section of marshland alongside the Paro River. Although not much was about we did have a pair of Black-tailed Crakes poking around in some reeds only metres from us. It was a bit of a quiet end to such a great tour, but maybe in keeping with the serene atmosphere of this mountain kingdom.

Species Lists

Species recorded: 298 (285 seen and 13 heard only)

Note: Names and taxonomical order of the bird species list follows that of IOC (International Ornithological congress), Gill, F. and M. Wright. 2015; Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press (version 5.1). Names in round brackets represent alternative names. A notes section can be found where the taxonomy differs between Clements and IOC.

(E) = Endemic, (NE) = Near-endemic

Ducks, Geese & Swans Anatidae

Eurasian Wigeon Anas Penelope - Seen near Punakha.

Pheasants and Partridges Phasianidae

(Common) Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola - Heard only on many days of the tour.
Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus - Seen at Thrumsing La and Chele La.
Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra - Seen at middle Lingmethang Road and Thrumsing La.
Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus - Seen en route to Jakar and on Chele La.
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus - A pair was seen near Tingtibi.
Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos - Seen at Yongko La and Chelel La. NOTE: Clements splits this species into two separate species; Kalij Pheasant L. leucomelanos and Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis whereas IOC only recognizes one species, Kalij Pheasant L. leucomelanos.
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkar.

Herons, Egrets & Bitterns Ardeidae

Striated Heron Butorides striata -Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus corymandus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Punakha.
White-bellied Heron Ardea insignis - Seen near Punakha.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta - Seen near Punakha.

Ospreys Pandionidae

Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus - Seen near Punakha.

Hawks, Eagles & Kites Accipitridae

Crested (Oriental) Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar, Tingtibi and Tashitang Valley.
Himalayan Vulture (Griffon) Gyps himalayensis - Seen en route from Trongsa to Punakha.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar, Tingtibi, Royal Manas NP and Tashitang Valley.
Mountain Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis - Seen near Kori La and Dochu La.
Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis - Numerous sightings of birds sailing low over forest canopies.
Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus - Seen near Sengor, Mangde Chu Valley and Chele La.
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis - Seen near Sengor and the Chumey Valley.
Black Kite Milvus migrans - Seen near Sengor. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into two separate species; Black Kite M. migrans and Yellow-billed Kite M. aegyptius whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Black Kite M. migrans.
Himalayan (Common) Buzzard Buteo refectus - Seen along Yongphu La and Thrumsing La. NOTE: Clements lumps this species with Common Buzzard B. Buteo, Eastern Buzzard B. japonicus and Socotra Buzzard B. socotraensis as one species, Common Buzzard B. buteo.

Rails, Crakes & Coots Rallidae

Black-tailed Crake Amaurornis bicolor - Seen near Kanlung and Paro.
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra - Seen near Punakha.

Ibisbill Ibidorhynchidae

Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii - Seen at Jakar and Punakha.

Plovers Charadriidae

River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii - Seen around Punakha and Thimpu.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius - Seen near Punakha.

Sandpipers, Snipes Scolopacidae

Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria - A single bird was seen in flight in Paro.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia - Seen near Punakha.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos - Seen near Punakha and Thimpu.

Pigeons & Doves Columbidae

Rock Dove (Common Pigeon) Columba livia - Seen in towns and villages throughout Bhutan.
Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota - Seen near Sengor.
Speckled Wood Pigeon Columba hodgsonii - Seen near Sengor and Chele La.
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis - Commonly seen throughout Bhutan.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis - Seen on many occasions at lower altitudes in Bhutan.
Barred Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia unchall - Common in the Tingtibi area.
Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica -Seen in Tingtibi.
Pin-tailed Green Pigeon Treron apicauda - Seen near Tingtibi.
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenura - Seen near Tingtibi.

Cuckoos Cuculidae

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis - Seen en route from Mongor to Trashigang.
Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis - Seen near Samdrup Jongkar.
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus - Seen at Tingtibi.
Square-tailed (Asian) Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris - Seen near Tingtibi.
Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides - Seen along Lower Lingmethang Road.
Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road.
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus - Heard along the Middle Lingmethang Road.
Himalayan Cuckoo Cuculus saturates - Seen on many occasions across Bhutan.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus - Also seen on many occasions across Bhutan.

Owls Strigidae

Mountain Scops Owl Otus spilocephalus - Heard near Morong, Tingtibi and the Lingmethang Road.
Collared Scops Owl Otus lettia - Heard near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Himalayan (Tawny) Owl Strix nivicolum - Heard near Sengor. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into two species, namely: Tawny Owl S. aluco & Himalayan Owl S. nivicolum, whereas Clements only recognizes one species: Tawny Owl S. aluco.
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei - Seen near Morong and along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides - Seen en route from Trashigang to Yongko La and the Tashitang Valley.

Frogmouths Podargidae

Hodgson’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni - Heard only near Yongko La.

Swifts Apodidae

Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris - Seen on several days across Bhutan.
White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus -Seen in Jigme Dorji NP.
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Blyth’s (Fork-tailed) Swift Apus leuconyx - Seen on a few occasions across Bhutan. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into four species: Salim Ali’s Swift A. salimalii, Blyth’s Swift A. leuconyx, Cook’s Swift A. cooki and Pacific Swift A. pacificus, whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Fork-tailed Swift A pacificus.
House Swift Apus nipalensis - Seen near Samdrup Jonkhar.

Trogons Trogonidae

Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus - Heard only at Lower Lingmethang Road.
Ward’s Trogon Harpactes wardi - Seen at Kori La.

Rollers Coraciidae

Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.

Kingfishers Alcedinidae

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis - Seen at along scattered water courses throughout Bhutan.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis - Seen along the Dangme Chu.
Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris - Seen near Punakha.

Bee-eaters Meropidae

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar, Lower Lingmethang Road and the Tingtibi area.

Hoopoes Upupidae

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops - Seen a number of times throughout Bhutan. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into two separate species: Eurasian Hoopoe U. epops and African Hoopoe U. Africana whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Eurasian Hoopoe U. epops.

Hornbills Bucerotidae

Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis - Seen near Tingtibi and at Royal Manas NP.
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis - Seen near Morong and the middle and lower Lingmethang Roads.
Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulates - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.

Asian Barbets Capitonidae

Great Barbet Megalaima virens - Seen frequently throughout Bhutan.
Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii - Seen often throughout Bhutan.
Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica - Seen in the Tingtibi area.

Honeyguides Indicatoridae

Yellow-rumped Honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus - Seen along the Gom Chu valley.

Woodpeckers Picidae

Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus - Seen in Royal Manas NP.
Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus - Seen on Chele La and Kori La.
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Tingtibi.
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos cathpharius - Seen along Lower Lingmethang Road.
Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendroceps darjellensis - Seen along the upper Middle Lingmethang Road and Dochu La.
Greater Yellownape Chrysophlegma flavinucha - Seen along Lower Lingmethang Road and in the Tingtibi area.
Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus - Seen near Morong and along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Grey-headed(-faced) Woodpecker Picus canus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road and near Trongsa.
Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus - Seen in the Tingtibi area.

Caracaras, Falcons Falconidae

Common (Eurasian) Kestrel Falco tinnunculus - Seen throughout Bhutan. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into two separate species; Common Kestrel F. tinnunculus and Rock Kestrel F. rupicolus whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Eurasian Kestrel F. tinnunculus.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus - Seen near Kori La.

Broadbills Eurylaimidae

Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae - Seen along Lower Kingmethang Road.

Woodshrikes & allies Tephrodornithidae

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus - Seen near Morong and in the Tingtibi area.
Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus - Seen in Royal Manas NP.

Ioras Aegithinidae

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.

Cuckooshrikes Campephagidae

Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos - Seen near Morong, Trongsa and Lower Lingmethang Road.
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris - Seen often throughout Bhutan.
Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus - Seen at Dochu La.
Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris - Common in the Lower to Middle sections of the Lingmethang Road, also Trongsa and Tashitang Valley.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus - Seen on many occasions in the lowlands.

Shrikes Laniidae

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach - Seen on a number of occasions throughout Bhutan.
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus - Seen almost daily.

Vireos, Greenlets Virionidae

White-bellied Erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Blyth’s (White-browed) Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aeralatus - Seen on a few occasions in mid-altitude forests.
Green Shrike-babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus - Seen well near Sengor.
Black-eared Shrike-babbler Pteruthius melanotis - Seen along the Middle and Lower Lingmethang Road.

Figbirds, Orioles Oriolidae

Slender-billed Oriole Oriolus tenuirostris - Seen near Mongar and Punakha.
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii - Seen on a few occasions in mid-altitude forests.

Drongos Dicruridae

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus - Seen almost daily.
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus - Seen at lowland sites in Bhutan.
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer - Seen near Morong and the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus - Seen in the Tingtibi area. NOTE: Clements splits this species into two species: Hair-crested Drongo D. hottentottus and Tablas Drongo D. menagei whereas IOC only recognizes one species, Hair-crested Drongo D. hottentottus.

Fantails Rhipiduridae

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis - Seen often during the tour.

Crows, Jays Corvidae

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius - Seen on Dochu La and Chele La.
Yellow-billed Blue (Gold-billed) Magpie Urocissa flavirostris - Seen numerous times in highland areas.
Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road and in Royal Manas NP.
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae Recorded on many days of the tour.
Eurasian (Black-billed) Magpie Pica pica - Seen in the Tang and Chumey Valleys.
Spotted (Eurasian) Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes - Seen often in high altitude locations. NOTE: IOC splits this species into two separate species: Spotted Nutcracker N. caryocatactes and Large-spotted Nutcracker N. multipunctata whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Eurasian Nutcracker N. caryocatactes.
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax - Also often seen in high altitude areas.
House Crow Corvus splendens - Seen at Thimpu.
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos - Seen almost daily.

Fairy Flycatchers Stenostiridae

Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha - Seen in Thurmsingla NP and near Trongsa.
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis - Seen on a number of occasions in forest habitat.

Tits & Chickadees Paridae

Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus - Seen at Kori La and near Trongsa.
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road and in the Tingtibi area.
Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris - Seen along Yothong La and Chele La.
Coal Tit Periparus ater - Common along high altitude passes.
Grey Crested Tit Lophophanes dichrous - Seen along Thrumsing La and Chele La.
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus - Seen almost daily.
Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus - Seen along the Lower and Middle Lingmetang Road and near Morong.

Larks Alaudidae

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula - Seen in the Chumey Valley.

Bulbuls Pycnonotidae

Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus - Seen in low to mid-altitude forest in the early part of the tour.
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Tingtibi.
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Himalayan (White-cheeked) Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys - Seen near Trashigang and Tingtibi.
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer - Seen on most days of the tour.
White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii - Seen near Morong and Tingtibi.
Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala - Seen in the Tingtibi area. NOTE: IOC splits this species into two species: Ashy Bulbul H. flavala and Cinereous Bulbul H. cinereus, whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Ashy Bulbul H. flavala.
(Himalayan) Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus - Seen throughout the tour.

Swallows & Martins Hirundinidae

Barn (European) Swallow Hirundo rustica - Seen near Kamlung and the Chumey Valley.
Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalensis - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road and en route to Trongsa.
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar. NOTE: IOC splits the above species into two distinct species; Red-rumped Swallow C. daurica and West African Swallow C. domicella whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Red-rumped Swallow C. daurica.

Wren-babblers Pnoepygidae

Pygmy Wren-babbler (Cupwing) Pnoepyga pusilla - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road.

Cettia bush warblers and allies Cettidae

Yellow-bellied Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps - Seen along the Lower and Middle Lingmethang Road and Dochu La.
Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cuculatus - Seen near Morong.
Brown(ish)-flanked Bush Warbler Horomis fortipes - Seen near Morong.
Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer - Heard only along the Lingmethang Road.
Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea - Heard only along the Lower and Middle Lingmethang Road.
Grey-sided Bush Warbler Cettia brunnifrons - Seen at Kori La.
Chestnut-headed Tesia Cettia castaneocoronata - Seen en route from Jakar to Trongsa.

Bushtits Aegithalidae

Black-throated Bushtit (Tit) Aegithalos concinnus - Seen in various mid-altitude forests.
Rufous-fronted Bushtit (Black-browed Tit) Aegithalos iouschistos - Seen on Shurtong La, Dochu La and Chele La. NOTE: IOC splits this species into three separate species; Rufous-fronted Bushtit A. iouschistos, Black-browed Bushtit A. bonvaloti and Burmese Bushtit A. sharpei whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Black-browed Tit A. iouschistos.

Leaf warblers and allies Phylloscopidae

Tickell's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis - Seen near Trashigang.
Buff-barred (Leaf) Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher - Seen along the Lingmethang Road, near Sengor and along Chele La.
Ashy-throated (Leaf) Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis - Seen near Morong and Sengor.
Lemon (Pale)-rumped (Leaf) Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus - Seen at Thrumsing La and Yutong La.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Chele La. NOTE: IOC splits this species into two separate species; Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides and Two-barred Warbler P.plumbeitarsus whereas Clements only recognizes one species, Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides.
Large-billed Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris - Seen on Thrumsing La and near Trongsa.
Blyth's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides - Seen on most days of the tour.
Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos - Seen often on tour.
Whistler's (Golden-spectacled) Warbler Seicercus whistleri - Seen many times on tour.
Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys - Seen along the Lower and Middle Lingmethang Roads.
Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps - Seen near Morong and along the Lingmethang Road.

Cisticolas & Allies Cisticolidae

Striated Prinia Prinia criniger - Seen near Trashigang and en route to Tingtibi.
Black-throated (Hill) Prinia Prinia atrogularis - Seen near Morong and between Trongsa and Tingtibi.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Tingtibi.

Babblers, Scimitar Babblers Timaliidae

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road.
White-browed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps - Seen in Royal Manas NP.
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis - Seen near Morong.
Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus - Seen near Morong and along the Lingmethang Road.
Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler Spenocichla humei - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps - Three sightings were had in lower altitude forests.
Rufous-fronted Babbler Stachyris rufifrons - Heard near Dewathang.
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps - Seen daily along the Lingmethang Road.
Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea - Seen along the Middle and Lower Lingmethang Road.

Fulvettas, Ground Babblers Pellorneidae

Yellow-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinerea - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps - Seen near Morong and Middle and Lower Lingmethang Roads.
Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis - Seen along the Lingmethang Road and near Tingtibi.
White-hooded Babbler Gampsorhynchus rufulus - Seen in Royal Manas NP.
Long-billed Wren-Babbler Rimator malacoptilus - Heard only along the Middle Lingmethang Road.

Laughingthrushes Leiothrichidae

White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus - Seen near Yongko La and the Tingtibi area.
Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush Garrulax rufogularis - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Spotted Laughingthrush Garrulax ocellatus - Seen along Thrumsing La and Chele La.
White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis - Seen almost daily.
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax caerulatus - Seen at Yongko La and Tingtibi.
Grey-sided Laughingthrush Garrulax caerulatus - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus - Seen almost daily.
Bhutan (Streaked) Laughingthrush (NE) Garrulax imbricatus - Seen near Morong, Kori La and Trongsa.
Blue-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax squamatus - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Scaly Laughingthrush Trochalopteron subunicolor - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road.
Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis - Seen a few times, including on Chele La.
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus - Seen near Trongsa and on Dochu La and Chele La.
Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera - Seen almost daily during the first half of the tour.
Bar-throated (Chestnut-tailed) Minla Minla strigula - Seen on Kori La, Thrumsing La and along the Lingmethang Road.
Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta - Seen daily in Thrumsing La NP and en route to Jakar.
Red (Crimson)-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea - Heard only near Morong.
Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura Egerton - Seen near Morong and along the Middle and Lower Lingmethang Road.
Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix) Leiothrix argentauris - Seen around Morong.
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea - Seen near Mongar and Trongsa.
Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata - Seen almost daily.
Beautiful Sibia Heterophasia pulchella - Seen near Morong.
Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides - Seen near Morong.

Sylviid Babblers, Parrotbills, Myzornis Sylviidae

Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis - Seen near Morong.
White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus - Seen along the upper reaches of the Lingmethang Road, Dochu La and Chele La.
Great Parrotbill Conostoma aemodium - Seen on Thrumsing La.
Brown Parrotbill Paradoxornis unicolor - Seen at Jakar, near Trongsa and Dochu La.
Black-throated Parrotbill Suthora nipalensis - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Pale-billed (Lesser Rufous-headed/Black-browed) Parrotbill Cleuasicus atrosuperciliaris - Seen in Royal Manas NP.
White-breasted (Greater Rufous-headed) Parrotbill Psittiparus ruficeps - Seen at Royal Manas NP and along the Lingmethang Road.

White-eyes Zosteropidae

Striated Yuhina Yuhina castaniceps - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri - Seen around Morong and the Middle and Lower Lingmethang Road.
Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis - Seen often in the first half of the tour.
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis - Seen around Sengor, Trongsa and Dochu La.
Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis - Seen around Sengor.
Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus - Seen around Samdrup Jongkhar, Tingtibi and Morong.

Fairy-bluebirds Irenidae

Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.

Elachuras Elachuridae

Spotted Elachura (Spotted Wren-Babbler) Elachura Formosa - Seen at Yongko La.

Nuthatches Sittidae

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta cinnamoventris - Seen at Royal Manas NP.
White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis - Seen along the Middle and Lower Lingmethang Road.
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta Formosa - Seen near Yongko La.

Treecreepers Certhiidae

Hodgson’s (Eurasian) Treecreeper Certhia hodgsoni - Seen on Thrumsing La and Chele La.
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis - Seen on Thurmsing La.
Sikkim (Brown-throated) Treecreeper Certhia discolour - Seen near Morong.

Starlings Sturnidae

Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Punakha.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis - Seen in Samdrup Jongkhar, Punakha and Trongsa.
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and in the Tingtibi area.

Thrushes Turdidae

Plain-backed Thrush Zoothera mollissima - One was seen on Chele La.
White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus - Seen near Sengor and along Thrumsing La.
Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul - Seen along Kori La and Dochu La.
Purple Cochoa Cochoa purpurea - Heard only near Morong.

Chats, Old World Flycatchers Muscicapidae

Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis -Seen throughout the tour.
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road and in Jakar.
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Anthipes monileger - Seen along the middle Lingmethang Road.
Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides - Seen best in the Tingtibi area.
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara - Seen near Morong, along the Lingmethang Road, near Trongsa and on Dochu La.
Large Niltava Niltava grandis - Seen on Kori La and along the Middle Lingmethang Road.
Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae - Seen near Morong.
Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina - Seen on most days.
Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophris - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Indian Blue Robin Larvivora brunnea - Seen along Chele La.
White-tailed Robin Myiomela leucura - Seen near Trongsa.
Himalayan Bluetail (Orange-flanked Bush Robin) Tarsiger rufilatus - Seen on Thrumsing La and en route to Jakar.
Golden Bush Robin Tarsiger chrysaeus - Seen en route to Jakar.
Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road and between Trongsa and Jakar.
Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar.
Spotted Forktail Enicurus maculates - Seen near Trongsa.
Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus - Seen almost every day.
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata - Seen on more than half the tour days.
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni - Seen near Morong and along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris - Seen in the Chumey Valley and along Dochu La and Chele La.
Pygmy (Blue-) Flycatcher Muscicapella hodgsoni - Seen along the Lower Lingmethang Road.
Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis - Seen near Sengor and Chele La.
Plumbeous Water Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus - Seen often on tour.
White-capped Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus - Seen often on tour.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitaries - Seen near Dewathang, Morong and Lower Lingmethang Road.
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush Monticola rufiventris - Seen multiple times on tour.
Blue-capped Rock Thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus - Seen on almost half the tour days.
Siberian (Eurasian/Common) Stonechat Saxicola maurus - Seen near Kamlung and in the Chumey Valley. NOTE: Clements lumps this species with Stejneger’s Stonechat S. stejnegeri whereas IOC recognises both species.
Grey Bush Chat Saxicola ferrea - Seen daily in the first half of the tour.

Dippers Cinclidae

Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii - Seen at Punakha.

Leafbirds Chloropseidae

Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii - Seen along the Lingmethang Road and around Tingtibi.

Flowerpeckers Dicaeidae

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus - We had scattered sightings across the tour.

Sunbirds Nectariniidae

Mrs. Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae - Seen along the Lingmethang Road, around Trongsa and at Chele La.
Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis - Seen on many days of tour.
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturate - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar, Morong, Lower Lingmethang Road and Tingtibi.
(Eastern) Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Tingtibi.
Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda - Seen on Thrumsing La.
Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar, Morong and Tingtibi.

Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches Passeridae

House Sparrow Passer domesticus - Seen at Samdrup Jongkhar.
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans - Seen often at higher altitudes.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus - Seen almost daily.

Waxbills, Munias & Allies Estrildidae

White-rumped Mannikin Lonchura striata - Seen in Royal Manas NP.

Accentors Prunellidae

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris -Seen between Sengor and Jakar.
Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata - Seen near Sengor, Yutong La and Chele La.

Wagtails & Pipits Motacillidae

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea - Seen near Trashigang and near Trongsa.
White Wagtail Motacilla alba - Seen often in the last half of the tour. NOTE: The subspecies personata (Masked Wagtail), leucopsis (Chinese Wagtail), baicalensis (Transbaikalian Wagtail) and alboides (Hodgson’s Wagtail) were all seen on the trip. None of these subspecies have been split yet by either IOC or Clements.
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni - Seen often on tour.
Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus - Seen at Jakar.

Finches Fringillidae

Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis - Seen on Chele La.
Spot-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas melanozanthos - Seen near Morong.
White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes - Seen on Chele La.
Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis - Seen along Thrumsing La.
Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala - Seen on Chele La.
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus - Seen near Sengor.
Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi - We had scattered sightings during the first half of the tour.
Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura - Seen on Yutong La.
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides - Seen near Morong.
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra - Seen along Thrumsing La.
Tibetan Serin Serinus thibetanus - Seen on Dochu La.

Buntings, New World Sparrows & Allies Emberizidae

Crested Bunting Melophus lathami - Seen near Trashigang and in the Mangde Chu Valley.

ANNOTATED LIST OF MAMMALS RECORDED

Species recorded: 15

Cattle, Antelopes, Sheep, Goats Bovidae

Himalayan Goral Naemorhedus goral - Seen near Tingtibi.

Deer Cervidae

Northern Red (Indian) Muntjac (Barking Deer) Muntiacus vaginalis - Seen above the Chumey Valley.

Pigs Suidae

Wild Boar Sus scrofa - Seen between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Weasels, Skunks, Otters Mustelidae

Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula - Seen at Trongsa and the Tashitang Valley.

Pikas Ochotonidae

Royle’s Pika Ochotona roylei - Seen on Chele La.
Large-eared Pika Ochotona macrotis - Seen near Yutong La and Chele La.

Old World Monkeys Cercopithecidae

Assam Macaque Macaca assamensis - Seen best in the Tingtibi area.
Gee’s Golden Langur Trachypithecus geei - Seen near Trongsa and Tingtibi.
Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus - Seen near Samdrup Jongkhar and Morong.

Squirrels Sciuridae

Irrawaddy (Hoary-bellied) Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythus - Seen in the Tingtibi area.
Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Dremomys lokriah - Seen along the Middle Lingmethang Road and near Sengor.
Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel Hylopetes alboniger - Seen near Yongko La.
Hodgson’s Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista magnificus - Seen near Yongko La.
Black Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor - Our best views were from the Tingtibi area.
Himalayan Striped Squirrel Tamiops mcclellandii - Seen often throughout the tour.