Birding in Kumoan
WILD KUMAON – BIRDING AROUND CORBETT/ SATTAL/ PANGOT
DURATION: 6 DAYS
GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size of 4 is recommended
HIGHLIGHTS: BIRDING / SHORT MOUNTAIN TREKS/ ROYAL BENGAL TIGER / ASIATIC ELEPHANTS
The Kumaon region in the northern part of India is surrounded by the beautiful Himalayas and is a maze of these mountain ranges and numerous rivers and lakes. With forests of Sal, Pine, Cyprress, Oak and Fir and gorgeous valleys and grasslands, this area is a delight for any bird lover. This tour will focus on birding and give you the opportunity to spot and photograph a wide variety of bird species. Jim Corbett National Park itself has more than 500 species of birds, apart from being home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant. Sattal and Pangot together have over 500 species of residential and migratory Himalayan birds.
JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK:
From Delhi- The easiest way to reach Corbett from Delhi is via road. The total distance is 250 kms which will be covered in 6 hrs. Ramnagar, the town adjacent to the park provides good hotel and resort options. You can also take the overnight train to reach Ramnagar early morning.
The oldest national park in India, Corbett Tiger Reserve is a beautiful forest with a rich variety of habitats. Nestled at the base of the Himalayas, with the Ramganaga river as its main water source, these forests give you an assortment of landscapes to photograph the tiger in all its glory. The habitats range from wet to dry, mountainous to plain with large grasslands and dense Sal patches. Named after Jim Corbett, the famous hunter turned conservationist, this park is known for its tiger population and has over 500 bird species. Owing to a large amount of wide spread grasslands, these jungles are also home to the Asiatic Elephant. Due to its placement at the foothills, the light in these forests have been termed as magical. The park has 6 tourism zones.
SAFARI TIMINGS IN CORBETT:
MORNING: 6 am- 11 am
AFTERNOON: 2:30 pm- 5:30 pm
(Please note: Corbett Tiger Reserve is shut during the monsoon season from 1st July to 30th September)
From Ramnagar, by road about 70 kms via Nainital. Sattal is 20 kms further south east from Nainital.
Sattal literally means the land of the 7 lakes, sat meaning 7, while tal meaning lake in the local language. The area lies in the Lower Himalayan Range and is surrounded by Pine and Oak forests, along with heavy shrubbery and numerous creeks and mountain streams.
From Nainital, Pangot is about 15 kms away.
With a similar forest cover as Sattal, Pangot is a small but beautiful hamlet surrounded by dense jungles and the Lower Himalayan Range.
BIRD SPECIES TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Among the many species that you will be seeing, some of the important ones to look out for are Khaleej Pheasant, Minivets, Nuthaches, woodpeckers, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Flycatchers, Barbets, Sunbirds, Shrikes, Bee eaters, Magpies and various Owls like the Brown Fish Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Tawny Fish Owl, just to name a few.
DAY 1 (TRAVEL): On arrival at Ramnagar early morning, you will check into your resort outside Jim Corbett Park. Post breakfast, you will proceed for your Safari inside the Bijrani zone (OPTION- Travel to Jhirna). After the safari, you will come back to the resort for lunch and then head back for your afternoon safari after a short rest. Apart from the various bird species that our experienced guide will help you spot and photograph, you also stand the chance to see the Royal Bengal Tiger in these forests. The evening will be spent relaxing in the resort.
DAY 2: The day begins early as you will head out towards the Jhirna zone with a packed breakfast and lunch. You will be spending your entire day at Jhirna. The night will be spent at Ramnagar.
DAY 3 (TRAVEL): You will be leaving for Sattal early morning by road, stopping for on the way at a quaint mountain joint. On arrival at Sattal, you will check in at the resort, have lunch and rest. You can go for a short birding trail in the evening around the resort.
DAY 4- DAY 5: You will be spending these two days going for birding trails in Sattal and Pangot. As the two locations are not that far from each other, the days will be split between the two. You will be staying at Sattal. The Woodpecker trail in Pangot, as the name suggests, is great for woodpeckers, while the Vinayak point is known to be a good trail for the Khaleej and Cheer Pheasants. Similarly, Chaafi village near Sattal is a good 15 kms trek where you can photograph various kingfisher and owl species.
DAY 6 (TRAVEL): Before checking out post lunch, you can visit Nainital and go for a boating experience on the massive lake. You can also visit the Butterfly museum or walk up to the surround peaks. The Eco Cave Gardens, an interconnected network of 7 caves, is a famous tourist spot in the area which can also be visited. You also have the option of shopping for local handloom and organic produce in Nainital. After your lunch, you begin your journey back to Ramnagar from where you will continue your journey for Delhi by road or by the overnight train.