So far explorations have revealed a bird list of 450+.
Several much sought after birds like ward’s trogon, wedge-billed and rufous-throated wren-babblers, rufous-necked, great and wreathed hornbills, black-necked crane, beautiful nuthatch, emerald cuckoo are standard fare in this area. Other specialities which can be seen with some effort are three tragopans, blood pheasant, monal, ibisbill, purple cochoa, long-tailed and collared broadbills, blue-naped pitta, vivid niltava, long-billed plover and black-headed shrike-babbler, to name just a few.
To explore the many birding hot spots in this region, the Gurudongma Team has designed jeep based birding tours, as also a birding trek; based on extensive knowledge of the terrain and environment. Inputs have been drawn from explorations by Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury, and Ramana Athreya (during the Eaglenest Biodiversity Project 2004, funded by the Rufford foundation, UK) . The Gurudongma Team, has carried out extensive high altitude birding explorations in 2002 and 2004. These were arguably the first ever, birding reconnaissance, linking Dirang Valley with Tawang along the remote route; which was first explored by British surveyors lead by F.M. Bailey in 1913 - and came to be called the “Bailey Trail”.
The main hot spots in this region are -
Closed to visitors till recently, these areas have now been opened to tourists. However a route specific entry permit is still required. Foreign birders should bear in mind that they have to obtain a Restricted Area Permit, for Namdhapa, Eagles Nest, Pakke, and Dirang-Sela-Tawang. This permit costs USD 50 per person, it is valid for 10 days, and is granted to groups of a minimum of 04 persons. Additional permits are required to enter the various sanctuaries. Our assoviated in Arunachal Pradesh will obtain these permits for our clients.
The best time for birding in the North East is
November to mid March. However in snow bound areas above 3000m, it is best
to plan trips during Apr- June and Oct-Nov.
You will find our suggestions of days required for each birding site. We have a few itineraries, for ready reference. These can be tailored to your requirements.
The name: Eagle’s Nest, is a 2800m high, pass across the Chaku Ridge. The pass is named after the famed 4th Indian Army Division of World War fame – whose Divisional logo was the Eagle. The jeep track which cuts across this great ridge, was built as a military line of communications to support the operations of this Division against the Chinese invasion of 1962.
The Sanctuary: The Eagles Nest Wild life Sanctuary is located about 350 Kms North West of Guwahati and covers an area of 218 sq Kms. The altitudinal range Is 500 to 3200 m.
The sanctuary extends from Eagle’s Nest Pass to just North of Khellong (see map below)The entire stretch from Lama Camp on the northern slope, up across Eagle’s Nest Pass and down the southern slope to Khellong is prime birding area. A jeep trail runs from Tenga to Kamengbari through Eagle’s Nest Pass. This track enables jeep based birding trips. The sanctuary has a variety of vegetation ranging from lowland evergreen forest; broad-leaved forest, bamboo, conifers; roadside scrub and farmland - in both subtropical and temperate altitudes.
To get to Eagles Nest, you have to fly in from Delhi, Bagdogra or Kolkotta to Guwahati. You first drive 181 due West to Tezpur, for an overnight halt. The next day drive 165 Kms (4-5 hrs) to Tenga, entering Western Arunachal Pradesh at Bhulukpong, via the Tezpur-Bomdila –Tawang Highway. From Tenga it takes 1.30 hrs to reach Eagles Nest pass by the jeep trail.
The birds: Some of the specialty birds which can be seen are: rufous-bellied hawk-eagle, northern goshawk, pied falconet, common hill-partridge, temminck's tragopan, ashy wood-pigeon, tawny wood-owl, rufous-necked hornbill, ward's trogon, golden-throated barbet, crimson-breasted pied-woodpecker, bay woodpecker, pale-headed woodpecker, grey-chinned minivet, rufous-bellied bulbul, maroon-backed accentor, eye-browed thrush, fea's thrush, gould's shortwing, white-browed shortwing, blue-fronted robin, little forkail, golden bush-robin, rufous-breasted bush-robin, puple cochoa, grey-sided laughing-thrush, scaly laughing-thrush, black-faced laughing-thrush,red-faced liocichla, coral-billed scimitar-babbler, slender-billed scimitar-babbler, Various wren-babblers (wedge-billed, bar-winged, pygmy, spotted, rufous-throated and scaly-breasted), gold-headed babbler, cutia, rufous-bellied shrike-babbler, green shrike-babbler, white-hooded babbler, red-tailed minla, Various tit-babblers/fulvettas (golden-breasted, brown-throated, and yellow-throated), Three sibias ( beautiful, and rufous-backed), Various yuhinas (black-chinned, rufous-vented and white-naped), fire-tailed myzornis, Six parrotbills (greater and lesser rufous-headed, brown, grey-headed and fulvous-fronted), mountain tailorbird, three tesias (chestnut-headed, grey-bellied and slaty-bellied), Various flycatcher-warblers (broad-billed, white-spectacled, chestnut-crowned and black-faced), four niltavas (including vivid and large), Thirteen flycatchers (including. white-gorgeted), rufous-bellied and grey-crested tits, sultan tit, beautiful nuthatch, wallcreeper, brown-throated treecreeper, yellow-bellied flowerpecker, mrs gould's and fire-tailed sunbird, gold-naped black-finch, beavan's bullfinch, brown bullfinch
Birding areas along main highway Bhalupong-Tenga
This highway which is the entry route to the sanctuary passes along the eastern borders of the Eagles Nest and provides an interesting birding transect from 300-1600m altitude. Tipi (46 Kms from Bhalupong) offers birding along the road and on the banks of the Bhareli River.