STRUCTURE AND HEADINGS OF THE TRIP REPORT
Background and Summary of the Trip.
Trip Logistics and Itinerary.
Issues to Consider.
Annotated Species List.
Summary Mammal List.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE TRIP
This trip to Nepal was our 1st to this geographical area (although we had previously birded NE India) and our 7th to Asia as a whole. The purpose of the trip was to try to see the wonderful mid to high altitude pheasant species found in Nepal (specifically Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant and Tibetan Snowcock) and to find Ibisbill and Pied Thrush on their breeding grounds, species that we had failed to see on earlier trips to their wintering sites in Ramnagar and Sri Lanka.
Tibetan Snowcock, Ibisbill and Pied Thrush can only be found in the Langtang Valley (where Koklass and Cheer Pheasant do not occur) and this meant that we would bird Langtang and Gosainkund rather than Jomsom which has all the pheasants but none of our other key species.
Kathmandu based Nature Safari organised the trip, arranged porters and accommodation and generally sorted out all the logistics for us and we used the services of Hathan Choudhary, one of Nepal's best birders as our ornithologist guide. In the event both Nature Safari and Hathan proved highly professional, providing excellent service at reasonable cost. Hathan's knowledge of the birds and where to find them greatly contributed to the success of our trip.
The trip proved very successful and we recorded 219 species (of which 5 "heard only") including excellent views of Ibisbill, Satyr Tragopan, Khalij Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Cutia, 9 species of typical thrushes, 10 species of laughingthrush and an unexpected Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler. In addition Hathan saw Gould's Shortwing, flushed from the trail as we walked in poor weather from Phedi to Ghopte. Indeed the weather proved to be the only difficulty with the latter stages of the Gosainkund trek beset with persistent rain (as suffered by Phil Benstead in 2000). As a result we would suggest a trip in mid April is possibly better for weather and calling pheasants, although this rules out any chance of Gould's Shortwing which is only found from May onwards.
Currently a state of emergency exists in Nepal in response to the Maoist incursions; however we encountered no problems, although there is much evidence of the army in Kathmandu and significant fighting persists in the west of the country. The summit of Phulchowki has been mined by the army and you should heed the warning signs but the rest of the area is fine and still offers great birding.
Following a 04.00am start and a 1000 metre climb to the top of Yala Karka beyond Kyanjin it was with great relief on reaching the top that we immediately found 3 Snowcock no more than 50 metres away and enjoyed great scope views of 8 birds in total. 3 male Grandala, several tame Snow Partridge and fantastic mountain views added to the moment.
This much wanted bird proved more elusive than we anticipated, but we eventually had stunning views of a pair just below Ghopte and a further pair on the walk up to Tharepati.
Possibly the key bird of the trip, we were fortunate to have good if brief views of a male as it walked over a log and uphill towards us on our first morning in the forest above Singh Gompa. We had even better views of another male while searching for Blood Pheasant in the forest below Ghopte. You need to be up early for Tragopan however as it descends the steep slopes early in the morning and is impossible to find thereafter.
This is a stunning and, fortunately, relatively common pheasant in the Langtang valley where it descends from the higher slopes to feed in the late afternoon and can be seen from the trail after Lama. Also seen on a couple of dates on the Gosainkund trek. The males are magical iridescent birds rightly earning their local name as "the 9 coloured bird".
We saw 12 birds on our first day at Phulchowki. Good views enabled comparison of the 2 of the 3 subspecies found in Nepal. (L.l.lecomelanos
and L.l. melanotus
We would never have found this bird without Hathan. There was no sign of any Honeyguide at the first and easily seen bees' nests just beyond Bamboo. There are other bees' nests some 30 minutes further on but these are invisible from the trail and you need someone like Hathan who knows where to turn of the trail and slither down through the forest to a rocky outcrop overlooking the river. We had great views of a male perched here. We also saw a further very distant pair on cliffs opposite Rimche(?).
We had scope views of up to 6 birds on their breeding grounds in the extensive boulder and shingle beds where the Langtang River is at its broadest 30 minutes walk beyond Kyanjin.
This stunning thrush almost eluded us before we finally obtained great views in the forest beyond Syabru shortly after you cross a bridge over a small river but before the very steep descent to the Langtang Khola.
A very large, beautiful and subtly plumaged Laughingthrush observed at length on both days in the forest beyond Ghopte.
Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
It was a real surprise when we saw this rarely seen bird in the forest just beyond Ghopte. Normally a bamboo specialist we saw it in scrubby forest just 50 metres beyond the accommodation hut.
4 Cutia proved highly tape responsive coming in right above our heads affording great views as they foraged on the epiphyte and moss covered trees about half way up Phulchowki.
Untickable views as Hathan flushed one from the trail as we walked in poor weather from Phedi to Ghopte. We searched for 30 minutes but could not re-find the bird. Attempted to walk back from Ghopte the following afternoon but after 3 hours in torrential rain we were forced to return empty handed.
Nepal Wren Babbler
Heard up to 8 separate birds on the walk back down from Lama Hotel to Bamboo. Never managed to see one and the lack of a tape certainly did not help. Playback virtually impossible because of the roar of the river.
Heard on successive days at the usual site at Godaveri but never seen. Oh well!
Usually seen regularly on the descent from the Laurebina Pass, regrettably we saw none.
TRIP LOGISTICS, ITINERARY AND ISSUES TO CONSIDER.
The trip was organised by Nature Safari in Kathmandu. The company is owned by some of the best birders in Nepal and they also own and run a camp at Koshi Tappu which we did not have time to visit. They were excellent throughout. The 23 days in Nepal cost US$1500 per person, which included all transport, food, teahouse accommodation on trek, porters, hotel in Kathmandu and the fees for Hathan as the ornithologist guide. Apart from the fact that this represented very good value it greatly enhanced the chances of seeing difficult key species.
Address Nature Safari
PO Box 21016
Telephone 977 1 429609
Fax 977 1 439331
Flights were with Gulf Air who on this occasion proved reliable.
The itinerary that we followed is set out below together with some comment.
09/5 Edinburgh to London to Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu.
10/5 Birding at Phulchowki
11/5 Birding at Phulchowki
12/5 Drive from Kathmandu to Trisuli Bazaar to Dhunche (1966 m)
13/5 Dhunche to Bharku to Syabru (2120 m)
14/5 Syabru to Bamboo to Lama Hotel (2380 m)
Although the gain in altitude is only c200 m this was a long hard day with steep descent to Bamboo and then a very long haul up to Lama.
15/5 Lama Hotel to Langtang (3305 m)
16/5 Langtang to Kyanjin (3750 m)
Arrived Kyanjin mid-day and walked to the Ibisbill site in the afternoon, crossing one small but fast flowing stream in an awkward and steep boulder gully.
17/5 Kyanjin to Yala Karka (4640 m) to Kyanjin to Langtang (3305 m)
Snowcock day. We left Kyanjin at 04.15 and, having crossed the same awkward stream, arrived at the top of Yala Karka at 07.15. The last 200 m to the top of Yala Karka were quite tough.
18/5 Langtang to Lama Hotel (2380 m)
19/5 Lama Hotel to Syabru (2120 m)
20/5 Syabru to Foprang Danda to Singh Gompa (3255 m)
The first stage to Foprang Danda was hard going.
21/5 Birding forest above Singh Gompa (3255 m)
22/5 Singh Gompa to Cholong Pati to Laurebinayak (3600 m)
23/5 Laurebinayak to Gosainkund (4300 m)
24/5 Gosainkund to Laurebina Pass (4600 m) to Phedi to Ghopte (3566 m)
The trail from Phedi to Ghopte is very poor (and is pretty bad thereafter until Pati Bhanjyang.)
25/5 Birding around Ghopte (3566 m)
26/5 Ghopte to Tharepati (3505 m)
27/5 Tharepati to Kutumsang (2470 m)
28/5 Kutumsang to Chisapani ( 2194 m)
29/5 Chisapani to Sundarijal to Kathmandu.
1/6 Kathmandu and evening flight to Edinburgh via Abu Dhabi and London.
Maybe it was because it was the last day but the 5 hour walk to Sundarijal seemed to take for ever and our knees certainly felt the steep step descent.
We had originally planned to spend 3 days at Kyanjin but as we saw both Ibisbill and Snowcock in less than 24 hours we "saved" 2 days. As a result we spent an extra day each at Singh Gompa and Ghopte which were well worth it as both have really good forest and excellent birds.
ISSUES TO CONSIDER
· Unfortunately a state of emergency exists in Nepal as a result of the Maoist activities which although largely confined to the west of the country may pose some sort of a risk. However to date few if any tourists have been impacted. Check with UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, US State Dept or similar before travelling.
· Areas towards the summit of Phulchowki have been mined by the Nepalese Army. Do not proceed past the warning signs otherwise the area is fine.
· Acute Mountain Sickness can be a serious problem at higher altitude and there are signs in many places reminding you of the symptoms and what to do if you experience them. Slow acclimatisation plus lots of water are recommended to minimise the risk. We encountered no problems but if you experience severe headache or vomiting then head back down.
· The Langtang trek is generally not too arduous, as the path is well maintained and there are only a couple of steep sections. The trail for Gosainkund beyond Phedi is very poorly maintained and consists largely of loose stones and gravel with some areas of moss covered boulders. We found it a frustrating trail but this may have been as a result of the poor weather which set in at the same time. The birding around Ghopte is however excellent and worth the effort.
· Timing - The monsoon is supposed to begin mid June but over the last couple of years there has been heavy rain toward the end of May and we certainly experienced heavy and prolonged rain from 24/5 until the end of the trek. Mist and rain was a feature of the trip throughout with only 5 clear days. Satyr Tragopan stops calling or calls less from mid-May onwards making it more difficult to find - that said neither of the 2 males we saw were calling anyway. Gould's Shortwing only returns early May.
A Birdwatchers' Guide to Nepal. Carol Inskipp. 1988. Prion Ltd. [ISBN No 1 87 1104 009 ]
(Although a little dated this guide remains full of useful information.)
Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Richard Grimmett et al. 1999. [ISBN 0 7136 5165 2]
Lonely Planet - Nepal. Hugh Finlay. 2001[ISBN 1 86450 247 9]
Nepal April 25 - May 27 2000 Phil and Charlotte Benstead
ANNOTATED SPECIES LIST
References below are to the plates in A Birdwatchers' Guide to Nepal.
1.2 Snow Partridge
Up to 15 birds seen during the ascent of Yala Karka on 17/5. Several were very tame and approached us to within 10 metres.
1.4 Tibetan Snowcock
Great scope views of 3 birds at the top of Yala Karka on 17/5 with 8 birds in total.
1.8 Black Francolin
Heard only. A single bird calling in fields below Dhunche on 13/5.
3.1 Hill Partridge
Heard only. Birds heard calling on 7 different dates with one very close at Phulchowki but all remained hidden.
4.2 Blood Pheasant
Fantastic views of a male perched on a rock 10metres away in the forest beyond Ghopte on 25/5. The female was feeding around the rock before both wandered off into the forest. Fantastic! Another pair seen below Tharepati on 26/5.
4.4 Satyr Tragopan
Good views of a stunning male as it crossed over a fallen tree and walked uphill towards us in the forest above Singh Gompa on 21/5. Further great views of another male at Ghopte on 25/5.
5.1 Himalayan Monal
These amazingly coloured, iridescent pheasants seen on 6 dates in both Langtang and Goisankund with a maximum of 4 between Langtang and Lama on 18/5.
5.6 Khalij Pheasant
12 birds seen on Phulchowki on 10/5 with a further 2 the following day. Only seen once on trek near Syabru.
14.1 Yellow-rumped Honeyguide
Scope views of a single male seen at the second (hidden) bees' nests beyond Bamboo on 14/5. A distant pair seen from the trail at Rimche (?) about an hour's walk from Lama (descending) on 19/5.
15.3 Brown-fronted Woodpecker
Seen on 2 dates around Lama Hotel.
15.4 Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker
Single at Phulchowki on 10/5; 2 others between Dhunche and Bharku on the way to Syabru on 14/5.
15.7 Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
Seen both days at Phulchowki, singles at Lama Hotel on 14/5 and between Syabru and Singh Gompa on 20/5.
15.9 Darjeeling Woodpecker
2 at Lama Hotel on 15/5 and 18/5; a single above Syabru on 20/5 and before Sundarijal on 29/5.
17.1 Great Barbet
Seen both days at Phulchowki with 4 on 10/5; heard regularly between Dhunche and Lama Hotel.
17.3 Lineated Barbet
Only once, during a stop on the road to Trisuli Bazaar on 13/5.
17.6 Golden-throated Barbet
Single at Phulchowki on 11/5; 2 seen below Syabru on 14/5 and 2 more between Lama and Syabru on the way down on 19/5.
17.7 Blue-throated Barbet
Single seen from the steps to Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu on 30/5.
21.8 White-throated Kingfisher
2 seen along the hydro-electric canal between Trisuli Bazaar and Dhunche on 12/5.
22.6 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
2 birds on the road between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5.
23.3 Large Hawk Cuckoo
First seen at Phulchowki on 10/5, but then seen and heard almost daily thereafter.
23.6 Indian Cuckoo
Seen only once from the road beyond Trisuli Bazaar on 12/5.
23.7 Eurasian Cuckoo
Seen around Syabru on 13&19/5 and thereafter regularly on trek.
23.8 Oriental Cuckoo
A single bird seen at Phulchowki on 10/5, only heard thereafter.
23.9 Lesser Cuckoo
Heard regularly throughout the trip and seen at Syabru on 14&19/5.
23.11 Grey-bellied Cuckoo
Seen once at Syabru on 14/5.
26.3 Himalayan Swiftlet
Seen regularly throughout the trek with a maximum of 30 above Syabru on 20/5.
26.7 Silver-backed Needletail
2 birds seen on 2 dates; around Langtang on 18/5 and Singh Gompa on 22/5.
27.4 House Swift
A flock of 10 above Dhunche on 13/5 was the only record.
30.1 Collared Owlet
Heard only beyond Syabru on 14 & 19/05.
32.1 Rock Pigeon
Only around Phulchowki, Kathmandu and Dhunche; not seen on trek.
32.3 Snow Pigeon
Common between Langtang and Kyanjin with a maximum count of 51 on 16/5. Not seen elsewhere.
32.6 Speckled Wood Pigeon
Flight views of several pairs of birds and finally seen perched above Singh Gompa on 21/5.
32.7 Ashy Wood Pigeon
Single bird in the rain at Phulchowki on 10/5.
34.2 Oriental Turtle Dove
Daily in small numbers (2-4) in Langtang but not seen in Gosainkund.
34.4 Spotted Dove
6 birds on Phulchowki on 10/5, 2 en route to Dhunche but not on trek until the very end at Chisapani.
35.7 Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
Great views of a single bird below Dhunche and 3 more between Syabru and Lama on 14/5.
The mist finally cleared from the Langtang River gravel beds beyond Kyanjin on 16/5 to allow us great scope views of 2 pairs and 2 other single males.
59.6 Black Kite
Daily in small numbers above Kathmandu and on the road to Dhunche.
Great views of this magnificent vulture around Kyanjin on 16 &17/5.
62.1 Himalayan Griffon
Regrettably, only brief flight views of a sub adult as it cruised by below Laurebinayak on 22/5.
62.2 Eurasian Griffon
Fantastic views of 4 birds, very close on the road to Dhunche on 12/5.
63.2 Crested Serpent Eagle
Single over Godaveri on 11/5; 2 birds beyond Syabru on 14/5; 2 above Singh Gompa on 22/5 and finally 2 birds just before Pati Bhanjyang on 28/5.
63.5 Black Eagle
Single birds at Syabru on 13/5 and again on 20/5.
Single record of a male perched just beyond the bridge over the Trisuli River on 12/5.
68.3 Common Buzzard
Almost daily in small number between Singh Gompa and Tharepati.
68.5 Upland Buzzard
This huge buzzard seen above Singh Gompa on 22/5.
69.3 Golden Eagle
A pair seen between Syabru and Lama Hotel on 14/5.
71.1 Bonelli's Eagle
A single seen soaring between Syabru and Bharku on the trail to Dhunche on 13/5.
71.5 Mountain Hawk Eagle
Single seen soaring above Singh Gompa on 22/5 another perched below Kutumsang on 28/5.
72.4 Common Kestrel
Only one record of a bird at Gul Bhanjyang on 28/5.
73.5 Oriental Hobby
Scope views of a pair perched above Godaveri on 11/5.
74.3 Peregrine Falcon
Poor flight views of a single bird above Singh Gompa on 22/5.
78.6 Cattle Egret
A few birds at Phulchowki and at either end of the trek.
88.11 Orange-bellied Leafbird
Single at Phulchowki, a pair below Dhunche on 13/5 and 2 more between Syabru and Lama on 14/5.
89.6 Long-tailed Shrike
Seen on 5 dates with a maximum of 3 birds between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5.
89.7 Grey-backed Shrike
Seen almost daily on the Langtang trek with a maximum of 6 birds on 16/5. Not recorded on Gosainkund trek or at Phulchowki.
90.2 Eurasian Jay
Single at Phulchowki; 2 between Dhunche and Bharku on 13/5; 2 beyond Chisapani on 29/5.
90.5 Yellow-billed Blue Magpie
2 between Langtang and Lama on 18/5 and 6 beyond Kutumsang on 28/5
90.6 Red-billed Blue Magpie
A pair seen at the last gasp above Sundarijal on 29/5.
90.8 Rufous Treepie
A single at Phulchowki on 11/5.
90.9 Grey Treepie
2-3 birds seen on each of our 2 visits to Phulchowki.
91.3 Spotted Nutcracker
4-6 birds seen daily around Singh Gompa up to Cholong Pati on 20 to 22/5.
91.4 Red-billed Chough
Common between Langtang and Kyanjin with a maximum count of 30 birds on 16/5.
91.5 Yellow-billed Chough
Less common, but in the same location as the previous species with a maximum of 10 birds on 16/5.
91.7 House Crow
Only in Kathmandu.
91.10 Large-billed Crow
Seen every day of the trip.
92.7 Maroon Oriole
2 birds seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
92.10 Black-winged Cuckooshrike
2 birds seen between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
93.6 Long-tailed Minivet
Seen regularly throughout the trip except at the highest altitudes.
93.9 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
A pair in the forest at Sheopuri on the descent to Sundarijal on 29/5
93.10 Yellow-bellied Fantail
4 birds seen both days at Phulchowki; 2 birds beyond Lama on 15/5; 2 more near Tharepati on 26/5.
93.11 White-throated Fantail
Seen both days at Phulchowki and between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
94.1 Black Drongo
5 birds between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
94.2 Ashy Drongo
Daily, with a maximum of 10 on the lower levels of the Langtang trek.
94.6 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo
Singles each day at Phulchowki.
95.9 Brown Dipper
Only one, an immature bird near Kyanjin on 16/5.
96.2 Blue-capped Rock Thrush
6 birds between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
96.3 Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush
Single birds seen on three dates and 3 birds seen in the open scrub area below Tharepati on 26/5.
96.7 Blue Whistling Thrush
Seen almost daily with a maximum count of 20 on 15/5 between Lama and Langtang.
97.1 Pied Thrush
Untickable views of a male just below Dhunche and views of a female in the forest beyond Bharku on 13/5. Great views of a pair and a second male beyond Syabru on 14/5.
97.2 Orange-headed Thrush
Single bird seen briefly below Dhunche on 13/5.
97.5 Plain-backed Thrush
Singles just below Gosainkund on 23/5 and before Ghopte on 25/5.
97.6 Long-tailed Thrush
Singles above Singh Gompa on 21&22/5.
97.7 Scaly Thrush
Great views of a bird below Ghopte on 25/5 and another between Tharepati and Kutumsang on 27/5.
97.8 Long-billed Thrush
Having missed this bird at the "regular sites" in the Langtang it was a nice surprise to get very good looks at perched bird in the forest below Ghopte on 25/5. Certainly lives up to its name.
98.1 Tickell's Thrush
A male seen in an open area below Kutumsang on 28/5. This completed the thrush set.
98.3 White-collared Blackbird
Seen daily in small numbers in and around Singh Gompa.
98.4 Grey-winged Blackbird
Seen both days at Phulchowki with a maximum of 6 birds and others around Syabru.
99.6 Gould's Shortwing
Untickable views as Hathan flushed one from the trail as we walked in poor weather from Phedi to Ghopte 24/5. We searched for 30 minutes but could not re-find the bird. Walked back from Ghopte the following afternoon but after 3 hours in torrential rain we were forced to return empty handed.
99.10 White-browed Shortwing
2 birds below Ghopte on 25/5.
100.3 Dark-sided Flycatcher
5 birds between Syabru and Lama on 14/5 and others in the same area on our return.
100.10 Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
Regular throughout the trip.
101.4 Snowy-browed Flycatcher
Only once in the forest below Langtang on 15/5.
101.6 Ultramarine Flycatcher
A single at Singh Gompa on 20/5 and 4 in the forest at Sheopuri on 29/5.
101.7 Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Single male at Singh Gompa on 21/5
102.3 Verditer Flycatcher
Common at Phulchowki and daily from Dhunche to Lama Hotel.
102.7 Small Niltava
Single at Phulchowki on 11/5 and singles near Lama Hotel on 14&15/5.
103.9 Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
Seen daily in small numbers up to Singh Gompa on 20/5 but never thereafter.
104.6 Indian Blue Robin
4 to 5 males seen each day at Phulchowki and odd singles thereafter.
105.1 Orange-flanked Bush Robin
Only in the forest around Singh Gompa where a couple of birds were seen on each of 3 days.
105.2 Golden Bush Robin
This fantastic glowing ember of a bird proved relatively common and confiding. Seen on 7 successive days from Singh Gompa to Kutumsang with a maximum count of 5 .
105.3 White-browed Bush Robin
2 seen at Singh Gompa on 21/5 and on three dates around Ghopte.
105.5 Oriental Magpie Robin
6 birds seen around Dhunche but only 2 others near Sundarijal on 29/5.
107.1 Blue-fronted Redstart
Seen almost daily in small numbers from Kyanjin onwards to the end of the trek.
107.2 White-capped Water Redstart
Common along all fast flowing, rocky streams but nonetheless a beautiful bird.
107.3 Plumbeous Water Redstart
Also common along all rocky streams.
107.4 White-bellied Redstart
A bit of a skulker we finally saw a male at Kyanjin on 17/5 but then 5 more between Langtang and Lama Hotel on 18/5.
107.5 White-tailed Robin
A female on Phulchowki on 10/5 and a male near Sundarijal on 29/5.
Deep, plush blue-velvet , this is a stunning bird - much better than its illustration in the field guide. 3 males and 1 female at the top of Yala Karka on 17/5 and c25 others on the descent from Laurebina Pass on 24/5.
107.8 Little Forktail
Seen on 4 dates always around small fast running streams.
107.12 Spotted Forktail
Seen twice, first between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5 and later between Lama and Syabru on19/5.
108.5 Common Stonechat
Seen in small numbers on the first 3 days of the Langtang trek but rarely thereafter.
108.7 Pied Bushchat
Only seen on 12/5 with 6 birds between Kathmandu and Dhunche.
108.9 Grey Bushchat
Common; seen almost daily.
110.4 Chestnut-tailed Starling
Only seen on 12/5 with 3 birds from the roadside shortly after the bridge over the Trisuli Khola.
111.1 Common Myna
Not seen on trek, only found around human settlement at lower levels.
111.3 Jungle Myna
2 birds seen near Phulchowki on 11/5.
112.4 White-tailed Nuthatch
Seen regularly in the forest with a maximum of 8 between Syabru and Lama on14/5.
112.10 Eurasian Tree-creeper
Only seen around Singh Gompa where singles seen on the 3 days we were there.
112.12 Rusty-flanked Tree-creeper
Once at Singh Gompa and singles on 25&26/5 around Ghopte.
113.4 Rufous-vented Tit
Seen daily on the 10 days from Langtang to Tharepati.
113.6 Coal Tit
Seen daily on the 7 days between Singh Gompa and Tharepati.
113.7 Grey-crested Tit
Only once on 20/5 below Foprang Danda.
113.9 Green-backed Tit
Seen between Syabru and Lama with a maximum of 15; also between Kutumsang and Sundarijal.
114.1 Winter Wren
Only seen on the Gosainkund trek. Daily on the 4 days from just below Gosainkund to Tharepati.
114.3 Black-lored Tit
Daily in small numbers at Phulchowki and from Syabru to Lama but not thereafter.
114.7 Yellow-browed Tit
Seen both days in at Phulchowki and 3 birds seen from Lama to Langtang on 15/5.
114.10 Black-throated Tit
10 at Phulchowki on 11/5 and 8 between Lama and Langtang.
114.12 Rufous-fronted Tit
Seen daily between Langtang and Syabru with a maximum of 10 and again at Tharepati.
115.7 Barn Swallow
6 birds at Phulchowki on 11/5 and 4 more at Sundarijal were the only ones noted.
116.1 Red-rumped Swallow
20 between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5; 10 more at Kutumsang on 28/5.
116.4 Northern House Martin
4 birds between Langtang and Lama on 18/5.
116.6 Nepal House Martin
Up to 50 birds seen on 13&14/5 between Dhunche and Lama Hotel. Smaller numbers around Ghopte and Kutumsang.
117.2 Striated Bulbul
A single bird on Phulchowki on 10/5 was the only record.
117.8 Himalayan Bulbul
Seen daily in small numbers at Phulchowki and between Dhunche to Lama Hotel but not thereafter.
117.9 Red-vented Bulbul
One bird near Gul Bhanjyang was the only record.
118.7 Mountain Bulbul
Only one record from Phulchowki on 10/5.
118.8 Black Bulbul
Seen daily at Phulchowki and up to Lama on the Langtang.
119.3 Striated Prinia
Seen daily in small numbers from Dhunche to Syabru.
120.10 Oriental White-eye
Seen daily at Phulchowki and in small numbers from Dhunche to Syabru.
120.11 Chestnut-headed Tesia
We heard several at Phulchowki but failed to get more than a glimpse of any of them. However we then saw 3 on 15/5 between Lama and Langtang; further singles on 2 other dates. Great little birds.
120.13 Grey-bellied Tesia
Heard only. In retrospect we should have spent more time trying to tape this one out at Phulchowki despite the wet weather.
121.6 Aberrant Bush Warbler
Seen in ones and twos on four dates around Singh Gompa and Ghopte.
121.8 Grey-sided Bush Warbler
4 to 5 birds seen daily around Singh Gompa and from Ghopte to Tharepati.
125.2 Common Tailorbird
A single bird near Pati Bhanjyang.
125.10 Smoky Warbler
4 birds seen on their breeding ground between the Laurebina Pass and Phedi on 24/5.
126.1 Tickell's Leaf Warbler
5 birds seen between Langtang and Lama on 18/5.
126.4 Buff-barred Warbler
Seen almost daily in small numbers during the 9 days from Singh Gompa to Tharepati.
126.5 Ashy-throated Warbler
Only on 20/5 with 2 birds between Syabru and Singh Gompa.
126.6 Lemon-rumped Warbler
Single only in the forest beyond Singh Gompa on 21/5.
126.11 Greenish Warbler
Singles on 3 dates; twice between Langtang and Lama and at Ghopte.
126.13 Large-billed Leaf Warbler
10 birds on 15/5 between Lama and Langtang was the highest count but smaller numbers seen on 4 other dates in Langtang.
127.1 Western Crowned Warbler
A single bird identified between Kutumsang and Chisapani on 28/5
127.3 Blyth's Leaf Warbler
Maximum of 15 between Lama Hotel and Langtang with smaller numbers recorded on 5 other dates as far as Singh Gompa. Not seen on Gosainkund.
127.5 Golden-spectacled Warbler
Seen almost daily throughout the trip except at highest elevations.
127.6 Grey-hooded Warbler
Up to 10 seen on both days at Phulchowki and smaller numbers as far as Lama Hotel.
127.9 Chestnut-crowned Warbler
2 birds at Phulchowki on 10/5.
127.12 Black-faced Warbler
Single on Phulchowki on 11/5 and 4 others between Syabru and Lama Hotel on 14/5.
128.2 White-throated Laughingthrush
Seen both days at Phulchowki with a maximum of 10 birds; 20 more between Syabru and Lama on 14/5 and smaller numbers on 27&29/5.
128.3 White-crested Laughingthrush
5 birds seen at Phulchowki on 10/5.
128.7 Striated Laughingthrush
Up to 10 birds seen at Phulchowki with a further 10 between Lama and Syabru on 19/5.
128.14 Spotted Laughingthrush
A pair of these fantastic birds first seen between Lama and Langtang on 15/5 and 2 more watched at length as they foraged in the mossy trees and then in the forest leaf litter at Ghopte on 25&26/5.
129.1 Grey-sided Laughingthrush
A single bird only; seen on both days at Phulchowki.
129.6 Streaked Laughingthrush
Seen on 8 dates in both Langtang and Gosainkund with a maximum of 8 between Kutumsang and Chisapani on 28/5.
129.10 Scaly Laughingthrush
3 birds seen on 21/5 around Singh Gompa.
129.11 Variegated Laughingthrush
Seen daily for 4 days between Lama to Kyanjin and back with a maximum of 8 between Lama and Langtang on 15/5.
129.12 Black-faced Laughingthrush
Seen on seven dates in both Langtang and Gosainkund.
129.13 Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush
Up to 4 birds seen on both days at Phulchowki with further sightings at around Lama on 15&19/5 and 2 more between Kutumsang and Chisapani on 28/5.
130.9 Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Single on Phulchowki on 11/5.
130.12 Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
4 birds on 10/5 and 6 on 11/5 at Phulchowki.
130.15 Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
An unexpected sighting of this uncommon and singular species just below Ghopte on 26/5.
131.4 Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler
2-3 birds on 25&26/5 in the rocks just beyond the accommodation at Ghopte.
131.5 Nepal Wren Babbler
Heard only. Lack of a tape hindered us and despite hearing 8 birds between Lama and Bamboo on 19/5 we never got on to one.
131.6 Pygmy Wren Babbler
2 birds seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
133.1 Spiny Babbler
Heard only at the usual site above Godaveri; 2 birds calling but they remained hidden from view.
133.13 Red-billed Leiothrix
Single seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
Great views of 4 birds foraging on the moss and epiphyte covered trees mid way up Phulchowki on 10/5 got the trip off to a great start.
134.3 White-browed Shrike Babbler
Single bird seen on Phulchowki on 10/5.
134.4 Green Shrike Babbler
3 birds seen between Ghopte and Tharepati on 26/5.
134.12 Chestnut-tailed Minla
Seen regularly throughout the trip.
134.13 Red-tailed Minla
3 birds seen in the forest at Sheopuri between Chisapani and Sundarijal on 29/5.
135.3 Rufous-winged Fulvetta
10 birds seen on Phulchowki on 10/5.
135.4 White-browed Fulvetta
First at Phulchowki and then daily in small numbers from Singh Gompa to the end of the trek.
135.10 Nepal Fulvetta
Only at Phulchowki on 10&11/5 and then only 1 to 2 birds.
135.13 Whiskered Yuhina
Seen regularly throughout the trip with a maximum of 10 birds in a day.
135.14 Stripe-throated Yuhina
Also seen regularly with a similar maximum.
135.15 Rufous-vented Yuhina
Seen regularly throughout the trip after Syabru to Singh Gompa.
135.18 Fire-tailed Myzornis
This colourful, lively bird seen in good numbers each day at Ghopte including adults feeding 2 young.
136.2 Rufous Sibia
Common throughout in the forest.
136.12 Fulvous Parrotbill
20 birds seen feeding on bamboo at Ghopte on 25/5 with a further 4 the following day.
139.18 Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
Quite common from Dhunche to Langtang .
140.6 Green-tailed Sunbird
This elegant sunbird with a blue tail seen regularly until Singh Gompa but not thereafter.
140.7 Black-throated Sunbird
Only 2 birds seen between Dhunche and Syabru.
140.9 Fire-tailed Sunbird
This flashing species seen in small numbers daily between Gosainkund and Ghopte.
141.1 House Sparrow
In Kathmandu and Dhunche.
141.6 Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Fairly common around human settlement.
142.2 White Wagtail
4 birds seen at the Ibisbill site at Kyanjin.
142.6 Grey Wagtail
Also around Kyanjin in small numbers.
143.6 Upland Pipit
2 birds seen in fields below Chisapani on 28/5.
144.2 Olive-backed Pipit
Very common with a maximum of 20 around Kyanjin.
144.5 Rosy Pipit
Fairly common at higher elevations of Kyanjin and Gosainkund.
145.1 Alpine Accentor
Common at Gosainkund with up to 25 birds.
145.2 Altai Accentor
Similarly common at Gosainkund with up to 20 birds.
145.4 Rufous-breasted Accentor
Seen in small numbers on the 5 days between Singh Gompa and Tharepati with a maximum of 8.
148.3 Yellow-breasted Greenfinch
Seen around Dhunche in small numbers and 30 between Lama and Syabru on 19/5.
148.9 Plain Mountain Finch
A pair on Yala Karka on 17/5 and singles daily around Gosainkund.
149.8 Dark-breasted Rosefinch
Seen daily in small numbers between Singh Gompa and Tharepati with 4 males at Gosainkund.
149.9 Common Rosefinch
Male and female between Dhunche and Syabru on 14/5.
149.10 Beautiful Rosefinch
3 and 4 birds respectively on 15&16/5 between Lama and Kyanjin.
149.11 Pink-browed Rosefinch
Seen in small numbers on each of the 6 days from Singh Gompa to Tharepati.
150.4 Spot-winged Rosefinch
2-5 birds seen around Singh Gompa on 11 &12/5 and between Ghopte and Tharepati on 16 to 18/5.
150.5 White-browed Rosefinch
4 birds between Langtang and Lama on 18/5 and up to 8 birds at Singh Gompa on 21&22/5.
150.9 Red-fronted Rosefinch
2 and 4 birds either side of Gosainkund on 23&24/5.
150.10 Crimson-browed Finch
2 females below Tharepati on 27/5.
151.1 Brown Bullfinch
8 birds on Phulchowki on 11/5 and then close views of 6 more near Syabru on 14/5.
151.3 Red-headed Bullfinch
A female and then 2 males at Singh Gompa on 20 & 21/5.
151.7 Collared Grosbeak
4 birds at Singh Gompa on 21/5.
151.9 White-winged Grosbeak
Seen daily in small numbers on the 7 days from Singh Gompa to Kutumsang.
152.1 Crested Bunting
3 birds in fields below Dhunche on 12 &13/5.
SUMMARY MAMMAL LIST
3 on the road to Dhunche
5 on the steep ascent/descent from Syabru to the Langtang Khola.
1 between Syabru and Foprang Danda.
1 just below Syabru.
5 on the steep hillside above Langtang.
Common and often tame.