Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Nepal: Lantang National Park, 11 April - 4 May, 2001 ,
11 April - Singapore airlines flight from Australia to Kathmandu via Singapore.
12 April - Kathmandu including a visit to Buddist temples at Swayamshunath and its surrounding forest.
13 April - 9 hour bus journey from Kathmandu to Dhunche (1950m).
14 April - 6 hour walk from Dhunche to Thulo Syabru (2200m).
15 April - 5 hour walk from Thulo Syabru to Lama Hotel (2480m).
16 April - 4 hour walk from Lama Hotel to Ghora Tabela (2950m).
17 April - 5 hour walk from Ghora Tabela to Lantang (3480m).
18 April - 5 hour walk from Lantang to Kyanjin Gompa (3900m).
19 April - 4 hour (return) walk from Kyanjin Gompa to Kyimoshung Icefall.
20 April - 9 hour (return) walk from Kyanjin Gompa to summit of Tsergo Ri (5000m).
21 April - 3 hour (return) walk from Kyanjin Gompa to summit of Kyimoshung Peak (4620m). 6 hour walk from
Kyanjin Gompa to Rimchee (2300m).
22 April - 3 hour walk from Rimchee to Thulo Syabru.
23 April - Thulo Syabru.
24 April - 6 hour walk from Thulo Syabru to Sing Gompa (3350m).
25 April - 6 hour walk from Sing Gompa to Gosainkund (4385m).
26 April - 9 hour walk from Gosainkund over Lauribina La Pass (4600m) to Gopte (3500m).
27 April - 3 hour walk from Gopte to Magingoth (3200m).
28 April - 5 hour walk from Magingoth to Kutumsang (2500m).
29 April - Kutumsang.
30 April - 6 hour walk from Kutumsang to Chisapani (2180m).
1 April - 5 hour walk from Chisapani over Shivapuri Watershed to Sunderijal (1400m) to Kathmandu.
2 April - Godaveri Botanical Gardens and lower slope of Pulchowki.
3 April - Kathmandu including a visit to Buddist temples at Pashupatinath.
4 April - Singapore Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Australia via Singapore.
My son, Nicholas, and I visited Nepal for the first time in April-May of 2001. We spent most of our time in the mountains of Lantang National Park along the Chinese (Tibeten) border to the northeast of Kathmandu. We organised our trek independently. This was easy to do in Nepal with its excellent tourist infrastructure. We hired an English speaking guide/porter for $10 US/day through one of the numerous trekking companies in Kathmandu. A guide was not essential but having one certainly helped when crossing the high, snow covered passes. We stayed and ate in guest houses that were present in each of the villages along the trek.
Our trip began with a long flight from Sydney to Kathmandu via Singapore. As we passed over eastern Nepal, we saw several of the world's highest peaks including Everest (8848m). We arrived in Kathmandu early in the afternoon and headed straight to the main tourist centre of Thamel for the remainder of the day. Birds were few in the city but included House Swifts, House Crows, Tree Sparrows and Red-vented Bulbuls.
In the morning, we walked for 30 minutes from our hotel in Thamel to Swayamshunath, a Buddist temple situated on a hilltop and surrounded by woodland. The temple was well worth a visit. Although there were many tourists, few people ventured along the trails into the woodland. Here, we found Blue-throated Barbets, Blue-capped Rock Thrush, Olive-backed Pipits, Greenish Warblers, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch and Common Rosefinch. Rhesus Monkeys were abundant around the temples.
We travelled for nearly 9 hours by bus from Kathmandu to Dhunche, the start of the Lantang trek. It was amazing to see how many people and animals could fit into or on top of a medium-sized bus. Most of the journey traversed mountains with terraced slopes and little remaining natural vegetation. Along the way, we recorded several species of birds that we did not observe elsewhere including: White-throated Kingfishers, Chestnut-headed Bee-Eaters, Spot-winged Stares, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongos and a pair of Purple Sunbirds.
We spent an hour birding along the road below the army checkpost at Dhunche. In retrospect, we should have spent a day in the Dhunche area since the forest here was good and birdlife was prolific. Mixed species flocks were common and included Blyth's Leaf Warblers, Lemon-rumped Warblers, Slaty-blue Flycatchers and Yellow-bellied Fantails. Other highlights included Blue-capped Rock Thrush and three Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers.
From Dhunche, we began the walk to Thulo Syabru. Initially, the trail passed through agricultural land with patches of forest. Of interest here was a singing Crested Bunting, a pair of Black-winged Cuckoo Shrikes and a beautiful male Crimson-breasted Woodpecker. Along a river, we had our first of many sightings of Plumbeous Redstarts and White-crowned Water Redstarts.
After reaching the village of Bharku, we left the road and followed a trail that climbed up a steep slope. Soon, we entered dense hardwood and coniferous forest with an understorey of moss-covered rhododendrons. We found Spotted Forktails on several occasions where small streams crossed the trail. Many mixed species flocks were encountered and these usually contained Long-tailed Minivets, Blyth's Leaf and Lemon-rumped Warblers, Grey-hooded Warbers and Black-throated Tits. We were surprised to find several flocks of Collared Grosbeaks foraging on the forest floor. Along the way, we had great views of the snow-clad Ganesh Himal and adjacent ranges in Tibet. At dusk near Thulo Syabru, we found a male Brown Bullfinch singing from the top of a pine.
We birded for a couple of hours around Thulo Syabru, especially in the conifers along the first part of the trail towards Dhunche. We found a large mixed-species flock that contained a pair each of Green and White-browed Shrike-Babblers, Verditer Flycatchers, Chestnut-tailed Minlas, Whiskered Yuhinas, Grey-headed Warblers as well as numerous Phylloscopus warbers. Also seen was a covey of four Hill Partridges that scurried across the trail and up an adjacent slope.
We enjoyed an open air breakfast at our guesthouse and admired the surrounding snowclad mountains. With our telescope, we spotted a group of people climbing over a snowfield high on one of the peaks. We were surprised when our guide indicated that this would be our trail in a few days time.
Later, we walked for five hours from Thulo Syabru to Lama Hotel. The trail initially descended through terraced farmland where we saw Striated Prinia, Common Stonechat and Grey Bushchat. Eventually, the trail crossed a small river (Ghopcha Khola) before again descending through bamboo thickets to the Lantang Khola (river) near Landslide. The forest along the river was wet and tall and we encountered Black-faced Warbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Small Niltava, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Snowy-browed Flycatcher and Little Forktail. Troops of Langur Monkeys were seen at close range on several occasions. The trail followed the river for a couple of kilometres before crossing the river and then steeply ascending to Lama Hotel.
We walked in the early morning towards Ghora Tabela before returning to Lama Hotel and exploring an oak and rhododendron covered slope behind the lodge area. A male Kalij Pheasant was sighted as it perched on the trunk of an oak tree and probed into the bark. A female fed in a more typical manner at the base of the tree.
We saw a male Darjeeling Woodpecker as it called from the top of a tree within the accommodation area. Green-tailed Sunbirds, Blyth's Leaf Warblers, Lemon-rumped Warblers and Yellow-bellied Fantails were all abundant on the slope behind the lodges. We also found our first Spot-winged Rosefinch.
In the late morning, we walked for four hours from Lama Hotel to Ghora Tabela. This portion of the Lantang Trek was especially beautiful with an understorey of red, pink and white-flowered rhododendrons and fragrant yellow-flowered daphne. The rhododendrons around Ghora Tabela were alive with birds and this was one of the most productive sites that we visited. The heads of many species of birds were white with pollen from the flowers. This area was especially good for the smaller species of Phylloscopus warblers such as Buff-barred, Ashy-throated, Lemon-rumped and Hume's. Laughing-Thrushes were a common sight and sound and included Variegated, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned. We found our first Rufous-breasted Accentors and Blue-fronted Redstarts in a thicket just behind our lodge. In the nearby forest, we watched a Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and the only pair of Short-billed Minivets recorded for the trip. The snow-capped peak of the nearby Lantang II (6571m) accentuated the beauty of the Ghora Tabela area.
We birded the area around Ghora Tabela for a couple of hours before walking to Lantang. A little above Ghora Tabela, we left the forest and entered a rocky habitat with low-growing shrubs and grassy ridges. Beautiful Rosefinch and Rufous-breasted Accentor were the common birds of the area. Near Lantang, we saw large flocks of Snow Pigeons, Yellow-billed and a few Red-billed Choughs. Rosy Pipits were numerous in the damp yak pastures.
In the late afternoon, we walked a little beyond Lantang and climbed to the base of a partially frozen waterfall. We saw more Snow Pigeons that were nesting on a bare cliff-face. A Himalayan Monal called from the slope but could not locate the bird.
We awoke to a cold, grey sky. It began snowing as we departed Lantang and we walked in progressively heavier snow all the way to Kyanjin Gompa. Few birds were seen in these conditions. In mid-afternoon, the clouds lifted and we walked from our guest house upriver to an area of wide gravel flats. We immediately found several Ibisbill, flushed a Wood Snipe from the river bank, and saw many White Wagtails, Olive-backed and Rosy Pipits, White-crowned Water Redstart and Plumbeous Redstarts. While exploring this area, the clouds suddenly descended and we experienced a "white-out" of thick fog and snow. We had to use a compass to find our way back to the lodges.
The morning was clear, beautiful and freezing. All of the slopes surrounding Kyanjin Gompa were blanketed with snow. We walked up a trail to the top of a ridge behind Kyanjin Gompa and were able to see the Lirung Glacier and Kyimoshung Icefall. Birds were scarce but included a dark-phase Buzzard (Upland?), Lammergeier, Tickell's Leaf Warbler, Blue-fronted Redstart, Beautiful Rosefinch, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Olive-backed and Rosy Pipits and Winter Wrens. As the morning warmed, we frequently heard the sharp crack and then deep rumbling of avalanches on the nearby slope of Lantang Lirung (7200m).
In the afternoon, we walked for several kilometres up the scenic valley beyond Kyanjin Gompa. Pipits, White Wagtails, Ibisbill and Brown Dippers were common along the river but few other species were encountered. While we ate lunch, we spotted a White-throated Dipper, the only observation of this species on the trip. Lammergeiers were seen several times as they drifted up and down the valley.
Just before dusk, we walked about a kilometre below Kyanjin Gompa to an area where steep, rocky slopes bordered the trail. Here, we found two spectacular male Himalayan Monals. One bird called and then glided down the slope in good light. The metallic colouration of these birds was an unforgettable sight.
We had an early breakfast (5am) and then left Kyanjin Gompa to climb the nearby peak of Tsergo Ri (5000m). The first portion of the climb was steep but then reached a grassy ridge before once again ascending steeply. On the ridge, we saw large flocks of Plain-backed Mountain Finch and Alpine Accentors. Further along, we found our first male Red-fronted Rosefinch. Just before reaching the snowline, we found a flock of tame Snow Partridges but unfortunately we neither heard nor saw Snowcocks. After several hours of extreme effort, we reached the summit of Tsergo Ri. The view of the surrounding peaks of rock and ice was absolutely stunning. One of the highlights of the climb was observing fresh Snow Leopard tracks. The animal had probably been at the summit that morning while we struggled up the mountain.
We again had an early start and climbed to the summit of Kyimoshung (4600m). We hoped to find Snowcocks but again failed to encounter these birds although we saw more Plain-backed Mountain Finch and Alpine Accentors. The views of Lantang Lirung and the glaciers made up for the lack of birds.
After breakfast, we packed and then began a 6 hour walk back to Rimchee. Just before departing Kyanjin Gompa, we found three Himalayan Griffons that circled high over the village. The return trip was fairly quiet. We found the only Grey-backed Shrikes of the trip near the village of Lantang as well as small flocks of Red-billed Choughs and large numbers of Snow Pigeons. Between Lantang and Ghora Tabela, we spotted a herd of Himalayan Tahr (goats) that were grazing on a grassy slope near the trail. As we approached Rimchee, the skies darkened and it rained for most of the evening.
We birded around Rimchee for an hour before heading on to Thulo Syabru. We found a singing Nepal Wren Babbler just across the trail from our lodge. Leaf warblers and Yellow-bellied Fantails were abundant in the surrounding forest.
We stopped near Landslide where we could watch several bee hives on the cliffs above the opposite bank of the river. It was not a long before a Yellow-rumped Honeyguide flew to a branch near the hives. We also saw wild Rock Doves standing on boulders in the river. In the valley directly below Thulo Syabru, we found an Orange-bellied Leafbird, a beautiful Ultramarine Flycatcher and a Scaly Thrush.
We spent a rest day in the Thulo Syabru area. We began by descending to the bridge that spans the small river (Ghopcha Khola) along the trail towards Landslide. We had read in other trip reports that Long-billed Thrush had been found in this area. The forest below the bridge was heavily disturbed, but soon after arriving, we found a pair of these amazing birds. We watched the pair for a half-hour as they scraped and probed into the wet soil along the river with their oversized bills. The birds were confiding and often fed within a couple of meters of the rock where we sat.
In the afternoon, we walked back to the coniferous forest beyond the prayer flags above Thulo Syabru. Laughingthrushes were conspicuous and we observed Black-faced, White-throated and Spotted. We also found a pair of Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers.
We climbed the steep trail from Thulo Syabru to Sing Gompa. Near Dursagang, we found a Northern Goshawk in an area of good forest. Further along, we stopped for a rest at a teashop on the crest of the ridge above Dursagang and found a number of birds. Most beautiful were two male Pink-browed Rosefinches that fed in similarly coloured rhododendron flowers. A Golden Eagle and Lammergeier drifted over us and later, we found a beautiful male Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush that sang from the top of a conifer. White-collared Blackbirds were often seen in the understorey and Orange-flanked Bush Robins were frequent along the trail.
The forest around Sing Gompa contained many flowering rhododendrons and birds were numerous. Many of the trails near Sing Gompa were carpeted with red flowers that had fallen from the rhododendrons.
In the late afternoon, we walked back from Sing Gompa to a ridge where we sat and watched the final bird activity for the day. Orange-flanked Bush Robins fed around the edges of a clearing, and we saw occasional Speckled Woodpigeons in flight. Green-tailed Sunbirds were common in the area. At dusk, we found a Plain-backed Thrush that fed quietly on the ground beneath a daphne.
An hour was spent birding near Sing Gompa before commencing the long climb to Gosainkund (4385m). The weather again deteriorated through the morning and it began snowing soon after our arrival at Gosainkund. Most of the afternoon was spent in our down sleeping bags in order to stay warm. The guesthouse had a fire burning, but ventilation was poor and the "lounge" was filled with smoke. The snow stopped for awhile in late afternoon and we were able to explore the nearby lakes that are sacred to the Hindus. Red-fronted Rosefinch, Alpine Accentor, Winter Wren, Olive-backed and Rosy Pipits were common. Some of the Alpine Accentors were tame and hopped up to the windows of the lodges. We saw pika (dwarf rabbit-like animals) and a black and silver coloured martin (mammal) in this area.
The most amazing sight was of two Indian men who walked barefoot from the lodge through the snow and down to the partially iced lake. They waded knee-deep in the freezing water and tossed rice into the lake as part of a religious ceremony. We were cold in our down jackets!
Today was the longest walk of the trek. We left Gosainkund at 7 am and struggled through deep snow to the summit of Laurebina La (4600m). We then descended steeply towards Phedi. Along the way, we saw White-crowned Water Redstarts that foraged on top of ice-covered streams. Red-fronted Rosefinch and Alpine Accentor
were common over the pass.
We left the snow a little before reaching Phedi. The habitat between Phedi and Gopte was an interesting mixture of dwarf bamboo, juniper and rhododendron. Birding was good and worth more time than we had to spend. Birds of interest here included a flock of Grandala, a male Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, a male White-browed Bush Robin, numerous Golden Bush Robin, numerous Plain-backed Thrush, many Fire-tailed Sunbird and White-winged Grosbeaks. The Grandalas all exhibited female plumage and behaved much like woodswallows.
We stayed at a very "rustic" guesthouse at Gopte. Most of the rooms were wooden boxes with no windows or light. Immediately behind the accommodation were numerous flowering rhododendrons. These plants were frequented by a pair of the sunbird-like Fire-tailed Myzornis, many laughingthrushes and the only male Dark-breasted Rosefinches of the trip. Golden Bush Robins were numerous and Fire-tailed Sunbirds were the most conspicuous bird of the area.
In the early morning, we saw a Himalayan Monal that called from a rocky crag above the guest house. Fire-tailed Myzornis were again seen in the rhododendrons behind the lodges. We walked a short distance back towards Phedi and tracked down a Great Parrotbill that sang from bamboo and rhododendron thickets. Further along, we heard a strange song that consisted of four soft, ascending notes that were nearly an octave apart. After much searching, we found the source, a Yellowish Bush Warbler that sang while hidden in bamboo thickets. In this area, we often saw flashes of scarlet as male Fire-tailed Sunbirds darted across the trail. Sometimes the males displayed and would fly slowly with their long tails held vertically.
After a couple of hours of birding near Gopte, we left and walked towards Thare Pati. Below Gopte, the trail passed through forest that was draped with moss. In this habitat, we found a Hoary-throated Barwing and what we believe to have been a female Blanford's Rosefinch. Near Thare Pati, we saw several White-winged Grosbeaks.
From Thare Pati, we walked on to Magingoth. Along the way, we observed a number of female-plumaged White-browed Rosefinch. While eating lunch at Magingoth, we heard another Great Parrotbill that called from the hill behind the army compound and we saw a light-phase Booted Eagle as it soared above the forest. Spotted Laughingthrush were common around Magingoth and were easily seen. White-collared Blackbirds were also conspicuous by sight and song.
In the early morning, we heard two Satyr Tragopan calling near Magingoth. We climbed a steep ridge to try and see the birds, but were unsuccessful. We did find a pair of Blood Pheasants and later a single male Blood Pheasant along the trail above Magingoth.
From Magingoth, we continued our descent to the village of Kutumsang. At one time, the forest above Kutumsang would have been interesting with many tall oaks. Now, most of the trees resembled telephone poles with nearly all of the side branches removed. We saw people collecting these branches and leaves and feeding them to their cattle.
One "advantage" of the trees with little foliage was that the normally difficult to see cuckoos (Common, Oriental and Large Hawk) were easy to spot. In the understorey, we found many Stripe-throated Yuhinas that often travelled in flocks of 20 or more. Ultramarine Flycatchers and Yellow-browed Tits were also common in this open forest. Indian Blue Robins were initially detected by their loud, distinctive calls and later we saw a few either singing from treetops or foraging in leaf-litter.
Rest day at Kutumsang. Highlight was a pair of Spotted Laughingthrushes that we locate on the first ridge to the south of the village.
We walked from Kutumsang to Chispani. Most of the forest was gone and we did not see many birds along this route. The best birding was in a few remnant patches of damp forest on some of the ridges. White-tailed Nuthatches and various laughingthrushes (Striated, White-throated, Streaked, Black-faced) were sighted. Most interesting was a Rusty-cheecked Scimitar-Babbler that called from thickets near Chisapani.
We passed through the Shivapuri Watershed before dropping down to the outskirts of Kathmandu. Along the drier slopes of the watershed near Chisapani, we saw the only Upland Pipit of the trip as well as numerous Common Rosefinches. Along the top of the ridge of Shivapuri Watershed, we saw several species of laughingthrush and also heard and eventually saw a White-tailed Robin in a damp gulley. Many species travelled in large interspecific flocks that were dominated in numbers by Phylloscopus warblers.
We returned by bus and taxi to Thamel once again for our final few days in Nepal. Travelling across Kathmandu was an ordeal due to May Day marches.
We travelled by taxi to the Godaveri Botanical Gardens. The first few hours of the morning were wet and birding difficult due to frequent showers. The gardens were good birding and produced several new birds for the trip including: Grey-headed Woodpecker, Great Barbet, Asain Barred Owlet, White-crested Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Grey Treepie, Red-billed Magpie and Maroon Oriole.
We visited the Hindu temples of Pashupatinath, about 15 minutes by taxi from Thamel. Once again, there were remnant patches of forest around the temples. Blue-throated Barbets were easy to see in the trees around the temples and we also found a couple of pairs of Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches as well as other common species.
Returned to Australia.
1. Snow Partridge - Lerwa lerwa. A flock of 10 were seen
at app. 4500m while climbing Tsergo Ri, Kyanjin Gompa. Others were heard as
they called from the rocky cliffs behind the lodges at Gosainkund.
2. Hill Partridge - Arborophila torqueola. single bird and a small covey were seen near Thulo Syabru. Singles seen in the same area
3. Blood Pheasant - Ithaginis cruentus. a pair and a single male was sighted early in the morning in the rhododendron forest along the trail above Magingoth. The male was lighter grey and had more extensive pink on the tail than is illustrated in the Birds of Nepal.
4. Satyr Tragopan - Tragopan satyra. Two males were heard
calling from ridgetops in the rhododendron forest above Magingoth. We were able
to approach within 20m of one bird but it always remained hidden from view.
5. Himalayan Monal - Lophophorus impejanus. Males were seen on the slopes below Kyanjin Gompa and from the rocky outcrops above Gopte. Others were heard near Ghora Tabela and Lantang. The males are stunning when seen in good light.
6. Kalij Pheasant - Lophura leucomelana We saw this species
on three occasions. A male was seen in a gulley near the army checkpoint at
Dhunche. Near Lama Hotel, a male was seen probing into the bark of an oak tree
about 2m above the ground while a female fed at the base of the tree. The final
sighting was of a male in the
scrubby forest just above Kutumsang.
7. Grey-headed Woodpecker - Picus canus. One seen at
8. Darjeeling Woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis. A male was heard and then seen in a treetop within the lodge area of Lama Hotel.
9. Crimson-breasted Pied Woodpecker - Dendrocopos cathpharius. A male was seen along the first portion of the walk between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru.
10. Rufous-bellied Woodpecker - Dendrocopos hyperythrus. A male was watched for a number of minutes in the wet, mossy forest behind the lodges of Ghora Tabela.
11. Great Barbet - Megalaima virens. Several seen and heard at Godaveri.
12. Blue-throated Barbet - Megalaima asiatica. Seen in Kathmandu in forest surrounding temples of Swayamshunath and Pashupatinath. Others heard near Sunderajil.
13. Yellow-rumped Honeyguide - Indicator xanthonotus. 1 seen along river at bee hives near Landslide.
14. Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater - Merops leschenaulti. A pair was seen from the bus near Trisuli.
15. White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis. Several were seen from the bus between Kathmandu and Trisuli.
16. Large Hawk-Cuckoo - Hierococcyx sparverioides. Heard
near Thulo Syabru and Bamboo. Easily seen in the heavily prunned oak trees near
17. Eurasian Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus. Heard and seen between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru. Easily seen in the heavily prunned oak trees above and below Kutumsang.
18. Oriental Cuckoo - Cuculus saturatus. Heard and seen between Thulo Syabru and Sing Gompa. Easily seen in the heavily prunned oak trees above and below Kutumsang.
19. Asian Koel - Eudynamys scolopacea. Seen in Kathmandu in forest surrounding temples of Swayamshunath and Pashupatinath.
20. Himalayan Swiftlet - Collocalia brevirostris. Small
flocks seen near Ghora Tabela, Lantang, Kyajin Gompa and Gopte.
21. White-throated Needletail - Hirundapus caudacutus. Pairs seen flying over ridgetops near Kutumsang and Chisapani.
22. House Swift - Apus affinis. Numerous in Kathmandu. Others seen near Kutumsang.
23. Fork-tailed Swift - Apus pacificus. Small flocks sighted at Ghora Tabela and Lantang.
24. Collared Owlet - Glaucidium brodiei. One found in forest near Thulo Syabru.
25. Asian Barred Owlet - Glaucidium cuculoides. One found at Godaveri..
26. Rock Pigeon - Columba livia. Three along river at Landslide.
27. Snow Pigeon - Columba leuconota. First recorded between
Ghora Tabela and Lantang. Large flocks observed around Lantang and Kyanjin Gompa.
Many of those at Lantang were nesting on bare, rock faces near a waterfall.
28. Speckled Woodpigeon - Columba hodgsonii. Birds thought to be this species were sighted on several occasions flying over forests between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru. One well seen at Sing Gompa.
29. Oriental Turtle Dove - Streptopelia orientalis. Common in forested areas. Recorded at Thulo Syabru, Bamboo, Lama Hotel, Ghora Tabela, Lantang, Sing Gompa, and Shivapuri Watershed.
30. Wood Snipe - Gallinago nemoricola. One bird flushed from a vegetated riverbank above Kyanjin Gompa while we searched for Ibisbill.
31. Ibisbill - Ibidorhyncha struthersii. At least 6 birds were recorded from the wide, gravel flats along the river above Kyanjin Gompa.. Often swam in the river.
32. Black-shouldered Kite - Elanus caeruleus. One observed while descending the Shivapuri Watershed watershed near Sundarijal.
33. Black Kite - Milvus migrans. Common around Kathmandu.
34. Lammergeier - Gypaetus barbatus. First seen near Bamboo. Seen daily around Kyanjin Gompa and one seen above Dursagang.
35. Himalayan Griffon Vulture - Gyps himalayensis. One seen near Lantang and three seen over Kyanjin Gompa.
36. Crested Serpent Eagle - Spilornis cheela. One soaring over Kutumsang.
37. Northern Goshawk - Accipiter gentilis. One over forest above Dursagang..
38. Shirka - Accipiter badius. One in forest at Pashunipath.
39. [Besra - Accipiter virgatus]. One bird thought to be this species sighted at Godaveri..
40. Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus. One between Lantang and Kyanjin Gompa and one in valley above Kyanjin Gompa.
41. [Common Buzzard/Upland Buzzard - Buteo buteo/Buteo hemilasius]. One dark-phased bird perched on a boulder above Kyanjin Gompa (>4000m).
42. Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos. One at Ghora Tabela, one over ridge above Dursagang, and one between Gosainkund and Gopte..
43. Booted Eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus. One perched then flying over Magingoth..
44. Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus. Pair sailing over Tsergo Ri (>5000m). One at Kutumsang and one near Chisapani.
45. Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis. Kathmandu and Godaveri.
46. Indian Pond Heron - Ardeola grayii. Several nesting in trees near the bustop for Dhunche in Kathmandu.
47. Woolly-necked Stork - Ciconia episcopus. One sailing over valley near Chisapani.
48. Orange-bellied Leafbird - Chloropsis hardwickii. One in forest near steel bridge below Thulo Syabru.
49. Long-tailed Shrike - Lanius schach. Several along drive to Dhunche and others in fields below Thulo Syabru.
50. Grey-backed Shrike - Lanius tephronotus. Three only between Kyanjin Gompa and Lantang.
51. Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius. One near Thulo Syabru and one near Kutumsang.
52. Yellow-billed Blue Magpie - Urocissa flavirostris. Small groups from Dhunche to Thulo Syabru and between Gopte and Kutumsang.
53. Red-billed Blue Magpie - Urocissa erythrorhyncha. One only in Godaveri Botanical Gardens.
54. Grey Treepie - Dendrocitta formosae. Several in Godaveri Botanical Gardens.
55. Spotted Nutcracker - Nucifraga caryocatactes. Numerous near Thulo Syabru.
56. Red-billed Chough - Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. Small flocks near Lantang.
57. Yellow-billed Chough - Pyrrhocorax graculus. Large flocks around Lantang and Kyanjin Gompa. Some seen sailing high above Tsergo Ri at > 5000m. A few also seen near Gosainkund.
58. House Crow - Corvus splendens. Common around Kathmandu.
59. Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos. Common all areas and altitudes.
60. Common Raven - Corvus corax. Several near Kyanjin Gompa..
61. Maroon Oriole - Oriolus traillii. Several above Godaveri along road to Pulchowki..
62. Large Cuckoo-Shrike - Coracina macei. Pair near Chisapani.
63. Black-winged Cuckoo-Shrike - Coracina melaschistos. Pair near Dhunche and another near Bamboo.
64. Long-tailed Minivet - Pericrocotus ethologus. Numerous near Dhunche, Thulo Syabru, Magingoth and Kutumsang.
65. Short-billed Minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris. One pair only in forest at Ghora Tabela.
66. Yellow-bellied Fantail - Rhipidura hypoxantha. Common around Thulo Syabru, Ghora Tabela and also near Sing Gompa.
67. White-throated Fantail - Rhipidura albicollis. One only on lower slope of Shivapuri Watershed .
68. Black Drongo - Dicrurus macrocercus. Common between Kathmandu and Dhunche.
69. Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus leucophaeus. Common in forest around Dhunche and Thulo Syabru.
70. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo - Dicrurus remifer. Only seen in transit between Kathmandu and Dhunche.
71. White-throated Dipper - Cinclus cinclus. One along river in valley above Kyanjin Gompa.
72. Brown Dipper - Cinclus pallasii. Common along river from Landslide to KyanjinGompa.
73. Blue-capped Rock-Thrush - Monticola cinclorhyncha. One in forest surrounding Swayamshunath, Kathmandu. Common at Dhunche and then again near Chisapani.
74. Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush - Monticola rufiventris. Three between ridge above Dursagang and Sing Gompa.
75. Blue Whistling Thrush - Myiophoneus caeruleus. Common at all locations along trek. One pair seen in rocks high on Tsergo Ri. Others observed feeding on ice above frozen streams at Gosainkund Pass.
76. Plain-backed Thrush - Zoothera mollissima. One near Sing Gompa. Others near Gopte and Magingoth.
77. Scaly Thrush - Zoothera dauma. Three below Thulo Syabru.
78. Long-billed Thrush - Zoothera monticola. One pair along river near the steel bridge below Thulo Syabru. We watched these strange thrushes for nearly 30 minutes. The birds were not shy and often fed just a few meters below us.
79. Tickell's Thrush - Turdus unicolor. One singing at dusk from a pine near Thulo Syabru. Others seen from Kutumsang to Chisapani.
80. White-collared Blackbird - Turdus albocinctus. Numerous above Dursagang to Sing Gompa and then from Tharepati to Magingoth.
81. Dark-sided Flycatcher - Muscicapa sibirica. One only below village of Thulo Syabru.
82. Rusty-tailed Flycatcher - Muscicapa ruficada. One only below village of Dhunche.
83. Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher - Ficedula strophiata. Common bird in rhododendron thickets from Dhunche to Ghora Tabela and from Gopte to Kutumsang.
84. Snowy-browed Flycatcher - Ficedula hyperythra. One along the river near Bamboo.
85. Ultramarine Flycatcher - Ficedula superciliaris. Several near Thulo Syabru and along climb from Thulo Syabru to Dhunche. Most easily seen in oak forests above Kutumsang.
86. Slaty-blue Flycatcher - Ficedula tricolor. Several near Dhunche and between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru.
87. Verditer Flycatcher - Muscicapa thalassina. Seen near Thulo Syabru, Kutumsang to Chisapani and Godaveri Gardens.
88. Grey-headed Flycatcher - Culicicapa ceylonensis.
Commonly heard and occasionally seen. Thulo Syabru to Lantang and Gopte to Kutumsang.
89. Small Niltava - Niltava macgrigoriae. One male seen along steep slope between Thulo Syabru and Landslide.
90. Rufous-bellied Niltava - Niltava sundara. Common in understorey from Thulo Syabru to Ghora Tabela.
91. Pygmy Blue Flycatcher - Muscicapella hodgsoni. One male in bamboo thickets along steep descent from Thulo Syabru to Landslide.
92. Indian Blue Robin - Luscinia brunnea. Distinctive
song first heard near Kutumsang. Birds heard and seen from Kutumsang to Shivapuri
93. Orange-flanked Bush-Robin - Tarsiger cyanurus. One pair near Ghora Tabela. Most common beyond Gosainkund pass. Especially numerous around Magingoth.
94. Golden Bush-Robin - Tarsiger chrysaeus. Several pairs between Phedi and Gopte. Others near Magingoth.
95. White-browed Bush-Robin - Tarsiger indicus. One male in understorey along trail from Phedi to Gopte.
96. Rufous-breasted Bush-Robin - Tarsiger hyperthrus. One male flew up from understorey to treetop to sing along trail from Phedi to Gopte.
97. Oriental Magpie Robin - Copsychus saularis. Common in villages near Kathmandu and at Godaveri.
98. Blue-fronted Redstart - Phoenicurus frontalis. Common from Ghora Tabela to Kyanjin Gompa and then from Sing Gompa to Magingoth.
99. White-capped Water Redstart - Chaimarrornis leucocephalus. Common bird along the rivers.
100. Plumbeous Redstart - Rhyacornis fuliginosus. Common
bird along the rivers.
101. White-tailed Robin - Myiomela leucura. One heard and one seen at crest of ridge of Shivapuri watershed.
102. Little Forktail - Enicurus scouleri - several on
rocks in river between Landslide and Bamboo.
103. Spotted Forktail - Enicurus maculatus - several pairs along small streams that crossed the trail between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru.
104. Grandala - Grandala coelicolor - flock of 20 birds
seen soaring over the forest and later perched beteen Phedi and Gopte. All were
105. Common Stonechat - Saxicola torquata - frequent in agricultural areas between near Dhunche, Thulo Syabru and near Chisapani.
106. Pied Bushchat - Saxicola caprata - several seen from the bus in the vicinity of Trisuli Bazaar.
107. Grey Bushchat - Saxicola ferrea - common between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru and from Magingoth back to Kathmandu.
108. Spot-winged Stare - Saroglossa spiloptera - several seen from bus on drive between Trisuli Bazaar and Dhunche.
109. Common Mynah - Acridotheres tristis - Common around
Kathmandu and Godaveri.
110. Jungle Mynah - Acridotheres fuscus - Several seen in Kathmandu and Godaveri.
111. Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch - Sitta castanea - A pair seen in a mixed species flock at Godaveri. Another pair seen in the forest behind the temples of Pashupatinath, Kathmandu.
112. White-tailed Nuthatch - Sitta himalayensis - a few
in forest around Thulo Syabru and near Kutumsang.
113. Eurasian Treecreeper - Certhia familiaris - 1 only near Sing Gompa.
114. Rufous-vented Tit - Parus rubidiventris - common near Ghora Tabela, Sing Gompa and Gopte to Magingoth.
115. Coal Tit - Parus ater - only a few near Sing Gompa.
116. Grey-crested Tit - Parus dichrous - only a few near
117. Green-backed Tit - Parus monticolus - common in forest between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru, from Kutumsang to Chisapani and at Godaveri.
118. Black-lored Tit - Parus xanthogenys. Several seen
in forest surrounding temples of Swayamshunath, Kathmandu. Others seen near
Dhunche, Thulo Syabru, Shivapuri Watershed and Godaveri.
119. Yellow-browed Tit - Sylviparus modestus. A few in heavily sheared oak forest of Kutumsang and also at Shivapuri Watershed.
120. Black-throated Tit - Aegithalos concinnus. Common
from Dhunche to Ghora Tabela, Gopte, and from Kutumsang to Shivapuir Watershed.
121. Rufous-fronted Tit - Aegithalos iouschistos. Small flocks found near Ghora Tabela and again near Sing Gompa.
122. Winter Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes - fairly common at high altitudes in rockfalls. Seen around Kyanjin Gompa, on climb of Tsergo Ri, around accomodation at Gosainkund, and along descent from Laurabina La Pass.
123. Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica - common over Chisapani.
124. Red-rumped Swallow - Hirundo daurica - a few seen with Barn Swallows near Chisapani.
125. Nepal House Martin - Delichon nipalensis - most numerous in valley below Dhunche and below Thulo Syabru. Others seen between Ghora Tabela and Lantang. Others seen near Gopte.
126. Himalayan Bulbul - Pycnonotus leucogenys - common around Dhunche and between Chisapani and Kathmandu.
127. Red-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus cafer Common in Kathmandu,
Godaveri, along drive from Kathmandu to Dhunche and from Sundarijal to
128. Mountain Bulbul - Hypsipetes mcclellandii - a few seen between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru, Shivapuri Watershed and at Godaveri.
129. Black Bulbul - Hypsipetes leucocephalus - common near Thulo Syabru, Kutumsang and Godaveri.
130. Striated Prinia - Prinia criniger - a few in agricultural areas below Dhunche and Thulo Syabru. Conspicuous by song.
131. Oriental White-eye - Zosterops palpebrosus - a flock in forest around temples at Swayamshunath, a few near Thulo Syabru, Kutumsang and Godaveri.
132. Grey-bellied Tesia - Tesia cyaniventer - 1 seen and others heard in wet forest along river near Bamboo. It took much scrambling over large rocks to finally see the bird.
133. Common Tailorbird - Orthotomus sutorius - one bird
in thickets near temples at Swayamshunath, another near Dhunche and another
134. Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler - Cettia acanthizoides - 1 bird singing from bamboo near Gopte. A real skulker and it took quite awhile to see bird. Song was amazing and consisted of four soft notes that each ascended nearly an octave.
135. [Bush Warbler - Cettia sp.] - we had fleeting glimpses of bush warblers along the descent from Laurabina La Pass to Gopte. None of the birds were seen well enough to identify, but we suspect that they were probably Grey-sided.
136. Tickell's Warbler - Phylloscopus affinis - A couple
seen near Dhunche, others in dwarf rhododendrons in the alpine area above Kyanjin
Gompa, and between Lantang and Ghora Tabela.
137. Blyth's Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus reguloides - most abundant leaf warbler on the trek. Flocks seen in forest at most sites but most common at mid-altitudes.
138. Buff-barred Warbler - Phylloscopus pulcher - a few near Thulo Syabru, common near Ghora Tabela and Sing Gompa and others near Magingoth.
139. Ashy-throated Warbler - Phylloscopus maculipennis - only seen between Thulo Syabru and Ghora Tabela.
140. Lemon-rumped Warbler - Phylloscopus chloronotus
- common from Thulo Syabru and Ghora Tabela, Sing Gompa and Gopte to Magingoth.
141. Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus humei - only a few seen near Ghora Tabela.
142. Greenish Warbler - Phylloscopus trochiloides - numerous in forest around temples at Swayamshunath. Flocks from Kutumsang to Shivapuri Watershed .
143. Large-billed Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus magnirostris - 1 only seen in forest above Sing Gompa.
144. Whistler's Warbler Warbler - Seicercus whistleri - many seen between Thulo Syabru and Kyanjin Gompa. We believe that most of the "Golden-spectacled" warblers that we observed were Whistler's Warblers based upon the song.
145. Grey-hooded Warbler - Seicercus xanthoschistos - several in forest around temples at Swayamshunath, others near Thulo Syabru, Chisapani and Godaveri.
146. Chestnut-crowned Warbler - Seicercus castaniceps - twice seen along river between Landslide and Bamboo and once above Godaveri.
147. Black-faced Warbler - Abroscopus schisticeps - two pairs seen in forest between Landslide and Bamboo.
148. White-throated Laughingthrush - Garrulax albogularis - flocks between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru, along descent from Thulo Syabru to Landslide, Kutumsang, and in Shivapuri Watershed .
149. White-crested Laughingthrush - Garrulax leucolophis - one flock early in the morning at Godaveri.
150. Striated Laughingthrush - Garrulax striatus - several
along river between Landslide and Bamboo, others between Kutumsang and Chisapani,
and one in forest above Godaveri.
151. Spotted Laughingthrush - Garrulax ocellatus - one flock near Thulo Syabru, more common around Magingoth. One pair seen at crest of ridge just south of Kutumsang.
152. Streaked Laughingthrush - Garrulax lineatus - fairly
common in open areas near Thulo Syabru, Ghora Tabela, Lantang, and between Kutumsang
153. Variegated Laughingthrush - Garrulax variegatus - most common near Ghora Tabela but others seen near Thulo Syabru.
154. Black-faced Laughingthrush - Garrulax affinis - common near Ghora Tabela, others at Lantang, Kyanjin Gompa, Magingoth, Kutumsang and on Shivapuri Watershed .
155. Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush - Garrulax erythrocephalus - several near Dhunche, Thulo Syabru, Gopte, Magingoth, Kutumsang and near Chisapani.
156. Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler - Pomatorhinus erythrogenys - 3 near Dhunche and 2 in scrubby vegetation near Chisapani.
157. Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler - Pomatorhinus ruficollis - 2 near Thulo Syabru, 1 between Magingoth and Kutumsang, and 1 between Kutumsang and Chisapani.
158. Nepal Wren Babbler - Pnoepyga immaculata - 1 seen and others heard at Rimchee and Lama Hotel.
159. Pygmy Wren Babbler - Pnoepyga pusilla - 1 heard only along a river below Dhunche.
160. Black-chinned Babbler - Stachyris pyrrhops - 2 heard
in scrub near Chisapani,1 near the end of the trek on the Shivapuri Watershed,
and 2 at Godaveri.
161. White-browed Shrike-Babbler - Pteruthius flaviscapis - a number heard between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru, and occasionally seen in mixed-species flocks.
162. Green Shrike-Babbler - Pteruthius xanthochloris - 1 pair only in a mixed species flock near Thulo Syabru.
163. Hoary Barwing - Actinodura nipalensis - 1 only seen probing into clumps of moss on a conifer below Gopte.
164. Chestnut-tailed Minla - Minla strigula - a pair near Thulo Syabru, others near Ghora Tabela. Frequent on Gosainkund Trek from Gopte to Shivapuri Watershed .
165. Rufous-winged Fulvetta - Alcippe castaneceps - common on hill just south of Kutumsang and near ridge of Shivapuri Watershed .
166. White-browed Fulvetta - Alcippe vinipectus - fairly
common from Ghora Tabela to Kyanjin Gompa and from Phedi to Magingoth.
167. Rufous Sibia - Heterophasia capistrata - one of the most common mid-altitude forest birds. Seen from Dhunche to Ghora Tabela, from Thulo Syabru to Sing Gompa, and from Kutumsang to Shivapuri Watershed .
168. Whiskered Yuhina - Yuhina flavicollis - fairly common from Thulo Syabru to Lama Hotel, Kutumsang to Shivapuri Watershed , and Godaveri.
169. Stripe-throated Yuhina - Yuhina gularis - large flocks around Kutumsang and others at Shivapuri Watershed . Callnote is an odd, frog-like croak.
170. Rufous-vented Yuhina - Yuhina occipitalis - a few only from Lama Hotel to Ghora Tabela, Sing Gompa, and Gopte to Magingoth. Seen at higher altitudes than the other Yuhinas.
171. Fire-tailed Myzornis - Myzornis pyrrhoura - a pair of these beautiful babblers were seen twice in a flowering rhododendron directly behind the guest houses at Gopte.
172. Great Parrotbill - Conostoma aemodium - one seen calling from bamboo and rhododendrons a little above Gopte and another heard calling from army post area near Magingoth.
173. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker - Dicaeum concolor - common in forest from Dhunche to Thulo Syabru, Chisapani and Godaveri.
174. Purple Sunbird - Nectarinia asiatica - 1 pair only from bus on trip between Kathmandu and Trisuli Bazaar.
175. Mrs. Gould's Sunbird - Aethopyga gouldiae - seen
twice near Thulo Syabru.
176. Green-tailed Sunbird - Aethopyga nipalensis - common from Dhunche to Ghora Tabela, Thulo Syabru to Sing Gompa and Magingoth to Shivapuri Watershed .
177. Fire-tailed Sunbird - Aethopyga ignicauda - common only at high altitudes on Gosainkund Trek. Most common bird in flowering rhododendrons from Gopte to Magingoth.
178. House Sparrow - Passer domesticus - common in Kathmandu.
179. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus - Kathmandu.
180. White Wagtail - Motacilla alba - only on gravel flats at high altitude along river above Kyanjin Gompa.
181. Grey Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea - seen twice along river near Lama Hotel.
182. Upland Pipit - Anthus sylvanus - only on pastures near Chisapani.
183. Olive-backed Pipit - Anthus hodgsoni - 1 in Kathmandu
at Swayamshunath Temples. Common at high altitudes above the forest from Ghora
Tabela to Kyanjin Gompa, Sing Gompa to Gosainkund, and a few to Magingoth.
184. Rosy Pipit - Anthus roseatus - common in damp areas at high altitudes. First seen near Ghora Tabela but more numerous from Lantang to Kyanjin Gompa. Also near Gosainkund.
185. Alpine Accentor - Prunella collaris - flocks above Kyanjin Gompa on slope of Tsergo Ri. Common in snow at Gosainkund. Some birds were tame and entered Yak houses or perched on window sills at Gosainkund.
186. Altai Accentor - Prunella himalayana - pair only high on slopes of Tsergo Ri.
187. Rufous-breasted Accentor - Prunella strophiata - common bird from Ghora Tabela to Kyanjin Gompa. Also seen near Sing Gompa and Gopte.
188. Plain Mountain-Finch - Leucosticte nemoricola - flocks seen high on slopes of Tsergo Ri and on trail to Kyimoshung Peak.
189. Yellow-breasted Greenfinch - Carduelis spinoides - common in Kathmandu at Swayamshunath Temples. Flock in village of Thulo Syabru.
190. [Blanford's Rosefinch - Capodacus rubescens] - in the wet forest below Gopte, we found a female rosefinch that we believe to have been this species. The bird did not have streaks on the back and did not have wingbars. It was very non-descript and unlike female Dark-breasted Rosefinches that we also observed later in the day. The face of this bird was white with pollen from rhododendrons.
191. Dark-breasted Rosefinch - Carpodacus nipalensis
- 1 female between Ghora Tabela and Lantang. More frequent between Gopte and
Magingoth. Most were female-plumaged but we saw a couple of males feeding beneath
rhododendron behind the guest houses at Gopte.
192. Common Rosefinch - Carpodacus pulcherrimus - flocks in Kathmandu at Swayamshunath Temples. Others near Dhunche and again at end of trek on Shivapuri Watershed.
193. Beautiful Rosefinch - Carpodacus pulcherrimus - the most common rosefinch on the trek. Abundant along rocky trail above treeline from Ghora Tabela to Kyanjin Gompa.
194. Pink-browed Rosefinch - Carpodacus rhodochrous - one male near Ghora Tabela and two males feeding in rhododendron above Dursagang.
195. Spot-winged Rosefinch - Carpodacus rhodopeplus - female plumaged birds seen at Lama Hotel. Others including a couple of males were observed near Magingoth.
196. White-browed Rosefinch - Carpodacus thura - only female plumaged birds were sighted between Thare Pati and Magingoth.
197. Red-fronted Rosefinch - Carpodacus puniceus - two seen high on the slopes of Tsergo Ri. Common on snow at Gosainkund and Laurabena La Pass.
198. Brown Bullfinch - Pyrrhula nipalensis - 1 singing from top of conifer near Thulo Syabru.
199. Red-headed Bullfinch - Pyrrhula erythrocephala - several in mixed-species flocks between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru.
200. Collared Grosbeak - Mycerobas affinis - flocks of these beautiful birds were frequent between Dhunche and Thulo Syabru. Others seen near Gopte. They often fed on the ground.
201. White-winged Grosbeak - Mycerobas carnipes - small flocks near Gopte and Thare Pati. Often fed on the ground below shrub cover.
202. Crested Bunting - Melophus lathami. Seen once singing from a telephone wire below Dhunche.