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Nepal: Langtang Valley & Gosainkund Trek, 8th May - 1st June 2002,
Moira and Graeme Wallace, Edinburgh, Scotland. firstname.lastname@example.org
Annotated Species List.
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
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 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
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
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, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal, Telephone 977 1 429609, Fax 977 1 439331, E-mail email@example.com
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 ® London®Abu Dhabi®Kathmandu.
10/5 Birding at Phulchowki
11/5 Birding at Phulchowki
12/5 Drive from Kathmandu ®Trisuli Bazaar ® Dhunche (1966 m)
13/5 Dhunche ® Bharku ® Syabru (2120 m)
14/5 Syabru ® Bamboo ® 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 ®Langtang (3305 m)
16/5 Langtang ® 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 ® Yala Karka (4640 m) ® Kyanjin ® 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 ® Lama Hotel (2380 m)
19/5 Lama Hotel ® Syabru (2120 m)
20/5 Syabru ® Foprang Danda ® 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 ® Cholong Pati ® Laurebinayak (3600 m)
23/5 Laurebinayak ® Gosainkund (4300 m)
The trail from Phedi ® Ghopte is very poor (and is pretty bad thereafter until Pati Bhanjyang.)
25/5 Birding around Ghopte (3566 m)
26/5 Ghopte ® Tharepati (3505 m)
27/5 Tharepati ® Kutumsang (2470 m)
28/5 Kutumsang ® Chisapani ( 2194 m)
29/5 Chisapani ® Sundarijal ® 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.
· 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 Birwatchers'Guide to Nepal. Carol Inskipp. 1988. Prion Ltd
(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.
Lonely Planet - Nepal. Hugh Finlay. 2001[ISBN 1 86450 247 9]
Nepal April 25 -
ANNOTATED SPECIES LIST
References below are to the plates in A Birdwatchers' Guide to Nepal.
1.2 Snow Partridge (Lerwa lerwa)
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 (Tetraogallus tibetanus)
Great scope views of 3 birds at the top of Yala Karka on 17/5 with 8 birds in total.
1.8 Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus)
Heard only. A single bird calling in fields below Dhunche on 13/5.
3.1 Hill Partridge (Arborophila torqueola)
Heard only. Birds heard calling on 7 different dates with one very close at Phulchowki but all remained hidden.
4.2 Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus)
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 (Tragopan satyra)
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 (Lophophorus impejanus)
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 (Lophura leucomelanos)
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 (Indicator xanthonotus)
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 (Dendrocopos auriceps)
Seen on 2 dates around Lama Hotel.
15.4 Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
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 (Dendrocopos hyperythrus)
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 (Dendrocopos darjellensis)
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 (Megalaima virens)
Seen both days at Phulchowki with 4 on 10/5; heard regularly between Dhunche and Lama Hotel.
17.3 Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)
Only once, during a stop on the road to Trisuli Bazaar on 13/5.
17.6 Golden-throated Barbet (Megalaima franklinii)
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 (Megalaima asiatica)
Single seen from the steps to
21.8 White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
2 seen along the hydro-electric canal between Trisuli Bazaar and Dhunche on 12/5.
22.6 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
2 birds on the road between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5.
23.3 Large Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides)
First seen at Phulchowki on 10/5, but then seen and heard almost daily thereafter.
23.6 Indian Cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus)
Seen only once from the road beyond Trisuli Bazaar on 12/5.
23.7 Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Seen around Syabru on 13&19/5 and thereafter regularly on trek.
23.8 Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus)
A single bird seen at Phulchowki on 10/5, only heard thereafter.
23.9 Lesser Cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)
Heard regularly throughout the trip and seen at Syabru on 14&19/5.
23.11 Grey-bellied Cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus)
Seen once at Syabru on 14/5.
26.3 Himalayan Swiftlet (Collocalia brevirostris)
Seen regularly throughout the trek with a maximum of 30 above Syabru on 20/5.
26.7 Silver-backed Needletail (Hirundapus cochinchinensis)
2 birds seen on 2 dates; around Langtang on 18/5 and Singh Gompa on 22/5.
27.4 House Swift (Apus affinis)
A flock of 10 above Dhunche on 13/5 was the only record.
30.1 Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei)
Heard only beyond Syabru on 14 & 19/05.
32.1 Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Only around Phulchowki, Kathmandu and Dhunche; not seen on trek.
32.3 Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota)
Common between Langtang and Kyanjin with a maximum count of 51 on 16/5. Not seen elsewhere.
32.6 Speckled Wood Pigeon (Columba hodgsonii)
Flight views of several pairs of birds and finally seen perched above Singh Gompa on 21/5.
32.7 Ashy Wood Pigeon (Columba pulchricollis)
Single bird in the rain at Phulchowki on 10/5.
34.2 Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)
Daily in small numbers (2-4) in Langtang but not seen in Gosainkund.
34.4 Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
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 (Treron sphenura)
Great views of a single bird below Dhunche and 3 more between Syabru and Lama on 14/5.
48.2 Ibisbill (Ibidorhyncha struthersii)
The mist finally cleared from the
59.6 Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Daily in small numbers above Kathmandu and on the road to Dhunche.
61.1 Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus)
Great views of this magnificent vulture around Kyanjin on 16 &17/5.
62.1 Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis)
Regrettably, only brief flight views of a sub adult as it cruised by below Laurebinayak on 22/5.
62.2 Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus)
Fantastic views of 4 birds, very close on the road to Dhunche on 12/5.
63.2 Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
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 (Ictinaetus malayensis)
Single birds at Syabru on 13/5 and again on 20/5.
66.2 Shikra (Accipiter badius)
Single record of a male perched just beyond the bridge over the
68.3 Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Almost daily in small number between Singh Gompa and Tharepati.
68.5 Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius)
This huge buzzard seen above Singh Gompa on 22/5.
69.3 Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
A pair seen between Syabru and Lama Hotel on 14/5.
71.1 Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus)
A single seen soaring between Syabru and Bharku on the trail to Dhunche on 13/5.
71.5 Mountain Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis)
Single seen soaring above Singh Gompa on 22/5 another perched below Kutumsang on 28/5.
72.4 Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Only one record of a bird at Gul Bhanjyang on 28/5.
73.5 Oriental Hobby (Falco severus)
Scope views of a pair perched above Godaveri on 11/5.
74.3 Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Poor flight views of a single bird above Singh Gompa on 22/5.
78.6 Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
A few birds at Phulchowki and at either end of the trek.
88.11 Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii)
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 (Lanius schach)
Seen on 5 dates with a maximum of 3 birds between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5.
89.7 Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus)
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 (Garrulus glandarius)
Single at Phulchowki; 2 between Dhunche and Bharku on 13/5; 2 beyond Chisapani on 29/5.
90.5 Yellow-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa flavirostris)
2 between Langtang and Lama on 18/5 and 6 beyond Kutumsang on 28/5
90.6 Red-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha)
A pair seen at the last gasp above Sundarijal on 29/5.
90.8 Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda)
A single at Phulchowki on 11/5.
90.9 Grey Treepie (Dendrocitta formosae)
2-3 birds seen on each of our 2 visits to Phulchowki.
91.3 Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes)
4-6 birds seen daily around Singh Gompa up to Cholong Pati on 20 to 22/5.
91.4 Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Common between Langtang and Kyanjin with a maximum count of 30 birds on 16/5.
91.5 Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)
Less common, but in the same location as the previous species with a maximum of 10 birds on 16/5.
91.7 House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Only in Kathmandu.
91.10 Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)
Seen every day of the trip.
92.7 Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)
2 birds seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
92.10 Black-winged Cuckooshrike (Coracina melaschistos)
2 birds seen between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
93.6 Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus)
Seen regularly throughout the trip except at the highest altitudes.
93.9 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus)
A pair in the forest at Sheopuri on the descent to Sundarijal on 29/5
93.10 Yellow-bellied Fantail (Rhipidura hypoxantha)
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 (Rhipidura albicollis)
Seen both days at Phulchowki and between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
94.1 Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
5 birds between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
94.2 Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Daily, with a maximum of 10 on the lower levels of the Langtang trek.
94.6 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer)
Singles each day at Phulchowki.
95.9 Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii)
Only one, an immature bird near Kyanjin on 16/5.
96.2 Blue-capped Rock Thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus)
6 birds between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5.
96.3 Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush (Monticola rufiventris)
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 (Myophonus caeruleus)
Seen almost daily with a maximum count of 20 on 15/5 between Lama and Langtang.
97.1 Pied Thrush (Zoothera wardii)
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 (Zoothera citrina)
Single bird seen briefly below Dhunche on 13/5.
97.5 Plain-backed Thrush (Zoothera mollissima)
Singles just below Gosainkund on 23/5 and before Ghopte on 25/5.
97.6 Long-tailed Thrush (Zoothera dixoni)
Singles above Singh Gompa on 21&22/5.
97.7 Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma)
Great views of a bird below Ghopte on 25/5 and another between Tharepati and Kutumsang on 27/5.
97.8 Long-billed Thrush (Zoothera monticola)
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 (Turdus unicolor)
A male seen in an open area below Kutumsang on 28/5. This completed the thrush set.
98.3 White-collared Blackbird (Turdus albocinctus)
Seen daily in small numbers in and around Singh Gompa.
98.4 Grey-winged Blackbird (Turdus boulboul)
Seen both days at Phulchowki with a maximum of 6 birds and others around Syabru.
99.6 Gould's Shortwing (Brachypteryx stellata)
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 (Brachypteryx
2 birds below Ghopte on 25/5.
100.3 Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)
5 birds between Syabru and Lama on 14/5 and others in the same area on our return.
100.10 Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata)
Regular throughout the trip.
101.4 Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra)
Only once in the forest below Langtang on 15/5.
101.6 Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris)
A single at Singh Gompa on 20/5 and 4 in the forest at Sheopuri on 29/5.
101.7 Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula tricolor)
Single male at Singh Gompa on 21/5
102.3 Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassina)
Common at Phulchowki and daily from Dhunche to Lama Hotel.
102.7 Small Niltava (Niltava macgrigoriae)
Single at Phulchowki on 11/5 and singles near Lama Hotel on 14&15/5.
103.9 Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)
Seen daily in small numbers up to Singh Gompa on 20/5 but never thereafter.
104.6 Indian Blue Robin (Luscinia brunnea)
4 to 5 males seen each day at Phulchowki and odd singles thereafter.
105.1 Orange-flanked Bush Robin (Tarsiger cyanurus)
Only in the forest around Singh Gompa where a couple of birds were seen on each of 3 days.
105.2 Golden Bush Robin (Tarsiger chrysaeus)
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 (Tarsiger indicus)
2 seen at Singh Gompa on 21/5 and on three dates around Ghopte.
105.5 Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)
6 birds seen around Dhunche but only 2 others near Sundarijal on 29/5.
107.1 Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis)
Seen almost daily in small numbers from Kyanjin onwards to the end of the trek.
107.2 White-capped Water Redstart (Chaimarrornis leucocephalus)
Common along all fast flowing, rocky streams but nonetheless a beautiful bird.
107.3 Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus)
Also common along all rocky streams.
107.4 White-bellied Redstart (Hodgsonius phaenicuroides)
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 (Myiomela leucura)
A female on Phulchowki on 10/5 and a male near Sundarijal on 29/5.
107.7 Grandala (Grandala coelicolor)
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
107.8 Little Forktail (Enicurus scouleri)
Seen on 4 dates always around small fast running streams.
107.12 Spotted Forktail (Enicurus maculatus)
Seen twice, first between Dhunche and Syabru on 13/5 and later between Lama and Syabru on19/5.
108.5 Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)
Seen in small numbers on the first 3 days of the Langtang trek but rarely thereafter.
108.7 Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata)
Only seen on 12/5 with 6 birds between Kathmandu and Dhunche.
108.9 Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferrea)
Common; seen almost daily.
110.4 Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus)
Only seen on 12/5 with 3 birds from the roadside shortly after the bridge over the Trisuli Khola.
111.1 Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Not seen on trek, only found around human settlement at lower levels.
111.3 Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
2 birds seen near Phulchowki on 11/5.
112.4 White-tailed Nuthatch (Sitta himalayensis)
Seen regularly in the forest with a maximum of 8 between Syabru and Lama on14/5.
112.10 Eurasian Tree-creeper (Certhia familiaris)
Only seen around Singh Gompa where singles seen on the 3 days we were there.
112.12 Rusty-flanked Tree-creeper (Certhia nipalensis)
Once at Singh Gompa and singles on 25&26/5 around Ghopte.
113.4 Rufous-vented Tit (Parus rubidiventris)
Seen daily on the 10 days from Langtang to Tharepati.
113.6 Coal Tit (Parus ater)
Seen daily on the 7 days between Singh Gompa and Tharepati.
113.7 Grey-crested Tit (Parus dichrous)
Only once on 20/5 below Foprang Danda.
113.9 Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus)
Seen between Syabru and Lama with a maximum of 15; also between Kutumsang and Sundarijal.
114.1 Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Only seen on the Gosainkund trek. Daily on the 4 days from just below Gosainkund to Tharepati.
114.3 Black-lored Tit (Parus xanthogenys)
Daily in small numbers at Phulchowki and from Syabru to Lama but not thereafter.
114.7 Yellow-browed Tit (Sylviparus modestus)
Seen both days in at Phulchowki and 3 birds seen from Lama to Langtang on 15/5.
114.10 Black-throated Tit (Aegithalos concinnus)
10 at Phulchowki on 11/5 and 8 between Lama and Langtang.
114.12 Rufous-fronted Tit (Aegithalos iouschistos)
Seen daily between Langtang and Syabru with a maximum of 10 and again at Tharepati.
115.7 Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
6 birds at Phulchowki on 11/5 and 4 more at Sundarijal were the only ones noted.
116.1 Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
20 between Kathmandu and Dhunche on 12/5; 10 more at Kutumsang on 28/5.
116.4 Northern House Martin (Delichon urbica)
4 birds between Langtang and Lama on 18/5.
116.6 Nepal House Martin (Delichon nipalensis)
Up to 50 birds seen on 13&14/5 between Dhunche and Lama Hotel. Smaller numbers around Ghopte and Kutumsang.
117.2 Striated Bulbul (Pycnonotus striatus)
A single bird on Phulchowki on 10/5 was the only record.
117.8 Himalayan Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys)
Seen daily in small numbers at Phulchowki and between Dhunche to Lama Hotel but not thereafter.
117.9 Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
One bird near Gul Bhanjyang was the only record.
118.7 Mountain Bulbul (Hypsipetes mcclellandii)
Only one record from Phulchowki on 10/5.
118.8 Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)
Seen daily at Phulchowki and up to Lama on the Langtang.
119.3 Striated Prinia (Prinia criniger)
Seen daily in small numbers from Dhunche to Syabru.
120.10 Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Seen daily at Phulchowki and in small numbers from Dhunche to Syabru.
120.11 Chestnut-headed Tesia (Tesia castaneocoronata)
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 (Tesia cyaniventer)
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 (Cettia flavolivacea)
Seen in ones and twos on four dates around Singh Gompa and Ghopte.
121.8 Grey-sided Bush Warbler (Cettia brunnifrons)
4 to 5 birds seen daily around Singh Gompa and from Ghopte to Tharepati.
125.2 Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)
A single bird near Pati Bhanjyang.
125.10 Smoky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuligiventer)
4 birds seen on their breeding ground between the
126.1 Tickell's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus affinis)
5 birds seen between Langtang and Lama on 18/5.
126.4 Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher)
Seen almost daily in small numbers during the 9 days from Singh Gompa to Tharepati.
126.5 Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis)
Only on 20/5 with 2 birds between Syabru and Singh Gompa.
126.6 Lemon-rumped Warbler (Phylloscopus chloronotus)
Single only in the forest beyond Singh Gompa on 21/5.
126.11 Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides)
Singles on 3 dates; twice between Langtang and Lama and at Ghopte.
126.13 Large-billed Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus magnirostris)
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 (Phylloscopus occipitalis)
A single bird identified between Kutumsang and Chisapani on 28/5
127.3 Blyth's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus reguloides)
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 (Seicercus burkii)
Seen almost daily throughout the trip except at highest elevations.
127.6 Grey-hooded Warbler (Seicercus xanthoschistos)
Up to 10 seen on both days at Phulchowki and smaller numbers as far as Lama Hotel.
127.9 Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps)
2 birds at Phulchowki on 10/5.
127.12 Black-faced Warbler (Abroscopus schisticeps)
Single on Phulchowki on 11/5 and 4 others between Syabru and Lama Hotel on 14/5.
128.2 White-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax albogularis)
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 (Garrulax leucolophus)
5 birds seen at Phulchowki on 10/5.
128.7 Striated Laughingthrush (Garrulax striatus)
Up to 10 birds seen at Phulchowki with a further 10 between Lama and Syabru on 19/5.
128.14 Spotted Laughingthrush (Garrulax ocellatus)
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 (Garrulax caerulatus)
A single bird only; seen on both days at Phulchowki.
129.6 Streaked Laughingthrush (Garrulax lineatus)
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 (Garrulax subunicolor)
3 birds seen on 21/5 around Singh Gompa.
129.11 Variegated Laughingthrush (Garrulax variegatus)
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 (Garrulax affinis)
Seen on seven dates in both Langtang and Gosainkund.
129.13 Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Garrulax erythrocephalus)
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 (Pomatorhinus erythrogenys)
Single on Phulchowki on 11/5.
130.12 Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis)
4 birds on 10/5 and 6 on 11/5 at Phulchowki.
130.15 Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler (Xiphirhynchus superciliaris)
An unexpected sighting of this uncommon and singular species just below Ghopte on 26/5.
131.4 Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga albiventer)
2-3 birds on 25&26/5 in the rocks just beyond the accommodation at Ghopte.
131.5 Nepal Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata)
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 (Pnoepyga pusilla)
2 birds seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
133.1 Spiny Babbler (Turdoides nipalensis)
Heard only at the usual site above Godaveri; 2 birds calling but they remained hidden from view.
133.13 Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea)
Single seen on Phulchowki on 11/5.
134.1 Cutia (Cutia nipalensis)
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 (Pteruthius flaviscapis)
Single bird seen on Phulchowki on 10/5.
134.4 Green Shrike Babbler (Pteruthius xanthochlorus)
3 birds seen between Ghopte and Tharepati on 26/5.
134.12 Chestnut-tailed Minla (Minla strigula)1
Seen regularly throughout the trip.
134.13 Red-tailed Minla (Minla ignotincta)
3 birds seen in the forest at Sheopuri between Chisapani and Sundarijal on 29/5.
135.3 Rufous-winged Fulvetta (Alcippe castaneceps)
10 birds seen on Phulchowki on 10/5.
135.4 White-browed Fulvetta (Alcippe vinipectus)
First at Phulchowki and then daily in small numbers from Singh Gompa to the end of the trek.
135.10 Nepal Fulvetta (Alcippe nipalensis)
Only at Phulchowki on 10&11/5 and then only 1 to 2 birds.
135.13 Whiskered Yuhina (Yuhina flavicollis)
Seen regularly throughout the trip with a maximum of 10 birds in a day.
135.14 Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis)
Also seen regularly with a similar maximum.
135.15 Rufous-vented Yuhina (Yuhina occipitalis)
Seen regularly throughout the trip after Syabru to Singh Gompa.
135.18 Fire-tailed Myzornis (Myzornis pyrrhoura)
This colourful, lively bird seen in good numbers each day at Ghopte including adults feeding 2 young.
136.2 Rufous Sibia (Heterophasia capistrata)
Common throughout in the forest.
136.12 Fulvous Parrotbill (Paradoxornis fulvifrons)
20 birds seen feeding on bamboo at Ghopte on 25/5 with a further 4 the following day.
139.18 Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)
Quite common from Dhunche to Langtang .
140.6 Green-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis)
This elegant sunbird with a blue tail seen regularly until Singh Gompa but not thereafter.
140.7 Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata)
Only 2 birds seen between Dhunche and Syabru.
140.9 Fire-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga ignicauda)
This flashing species seen in small numbers daily between Gosainkund and Ghopte.
141.1 House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
In Kathmandu and Dhunche.
141.6 Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Fairly common around human settlement.
142.2 White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
4 birds seen at the Ibisbill site at Kyanjin.
142.6 Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Also around Kyanjin in small numbers.
143.6 Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus)
2 birds seen in fields below Chisapani on 28/5.
144.2 Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)
Very common with a maximum of 20 around Kyanjin.
144.5 Rosy Pipit (Anthus roseatus)
Fairly common at higher elevations of Kyanjin and Gosainkund.
145.1 Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris)
Common at Gosainkund with up to 25 birds.
145.2 Altai Accentor (Prunella himalayana)
Similarly common at Gosainkund with up to 20 birds.
145.4 Rufous-breasted Accentor (Prunella strophiata)
Seen in small numbers on the 5 days between Singh Gompa and Tharepati with a maximum of 8.
148.3 Yellow-breasted Greenfinch (Carduelis spinoides)
Seen around Dhunche in small numbers and 30 between Lama and Syabru on 19/5.
A pair on Yala Karka on 17/5 and singles daily around Gosainkund.
149.8 Dark-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacus nipalensis)
Seen daily in small numbers between Singh Gompa and Tharepati with 4 males at Gosainkund.
149.9 Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
Male and female between Dhunche and Syabru on 14/5.
149.10 Beautiful Rosefinch (Carpodacus pulcherrimus)
3 and 4 birds respectively on 15&16/5 between Lama and Kyanjin.
149.11 Pink-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochrous)
Seen in small numbers on each of the 6 days from Singh Gompa to Tharepati.
150.4 Spot-winged Rosefinch (Carpodacus rodopeplus)
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 (Carpodacus thura)
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 (Carpodacus puniceus)
2 and 4 birds either side of Gosainkund on 23&24/5.
150.10 Crimson-browed Finch (Pinicola subhimachalus)
2 females below Tharepati on 27/5.
151.1 Brown Bullfinch (Pyrrhula nipalensis)
8 birds on Phulchowki on 11/5 and then close views of 6 more near Syabru on 14/5.
151.3 Red-headed Bullfinch (Pyrrhula erythrocephala)
A female and then 2 males at Singh Gompa on 20 & 21/5.
151.7 Collared Grosbeak (Mycerobas affinis)
4 birds at Singh Gompa on 21/5.
151.9 White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes)
Seen daily in small numbers on the 7 days from Singh Gompa to Kutumsang.
152.1 Crested Bunting (Melophus lathami)
3 birds in fields below Dhunche on 12 &13/5.
SUMMARY MAMMAL LIST
Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)
3 on the road to Dhunche
Assamise Macaque ( Macaca)
5 on the steep ascent/descent from Syabru to the Langtang Khola.
Grey Langur (Presbytis entellus)
1 between Syabru and Foprang Danda.
Yellow-throated Marten (Martes flavigula)
1 just below Syabru.
Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus)
5 on the steep hillside above Langtang.
Orange-bellied Squirrel (Dremomys lokriah)
Royle's Pika (Ochotona roylei)
Common and often tame.