Birding

The Western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand has one of richest and diverse bird habitats in Asia. Of the 1,248 species of birds found across India, over 621 have been spotted in our state, largely due to the altitude that varies from 400m to over 7800m in the Himalayas, leading to rich and varied forest types over a relatively small region. Birding is a specialty at Vanghat, and whether after a general introduction to the almost overwhelming array of avian fauna or on the hunt for a very specific species, we can tailor our expertly-led guided birding activities to suit you.

Vanghat is situated in a range of hills that are a transition zone between the plains to the south and the mountains to the northeast, meaning that in this melting pot of habitats we see almost all of these species, either as residents or migrants.

The rich river habitat attracts Pallas's Lesser and Grey-headed Fish Eagle, numerous kingfishers, Brown and Tawny Fish Owl, which at dusk are more often heard than seen. The emblematic Great Hornbills journey daily up and down the valley, their vast wings audible in flight, and sometimes have been spotted feeding on the ficus trees on the riverside opposite camp. Brown Dipper, Wallcreeper, and several species of Forktail (the Spotted and Little Forktail being the most common), Plumbeous and White-capped Water Redstarts, and several wagtail species are amongst the altitude migrant visitors to the area.

Walking in the forest reveals the vocal White-throated and White-crested Laughing thrush and the beautiful but vociferous Common Green Magpie. In the upper-canopy, scan for colourful Long-tailed Broadbill and Maroon Orioles and hunting parties of Blue-winged Minla, Black-throated Tit, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, and Scarlet Minivets. Plain-backed and the much sought-after Scaly Thrush prefer to forage in the undergrowth between Sal trees, where one also comes across Kaleej Pheasants and Junglefowl.

  • Littel Forktail(Enicurus Scouleri)

    Varun Mathur

  • Ibisbill(Ibidorhyncha struthersii)

    Christopher Mills

  • Wallcreeper (Tichodroma Muraria)

    Varun Mathur

  • Long billed thrush (Zoothera monticola)

    Varun Mathur

  • Himalayan rubythroat(Luscinia pectoralis)

    Georgina Steytler

  • Long tailed broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae)

    Kalyan Singh Sajwan

  • Tawny Fish Owl(Ketupa flavipes)

    Varun Mathur

  • Lesser Fish Eagle(Icthyophaga humilis)

    Bruce Oswald

  • Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens)

    Christopher Mills

  • Cheer Pheasant(Catreus wallichii)

    Kalyan Singh Sajwan

We are also happy to help plan and book birding excursions and trips farther afield in Uttarakhand, or indeed across India.

Downloadable Operational Itinerary.