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Birding Tours in Eastern India.... and beyond

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is the easternmost state of India. Arunachal Pradesh shares a border with the states of Assam to the south and Nagaland is to the southeast. Myanmar lies towards the east, Bhutan towards the west and Tibet to the north. Itanagar is the capital of the state. Though Arunachal Pradesh is administered by India, the People’s Republic of China holds a territorial claim over portions of the state. Arunachal Pradesh means “land of the rising sun” in reference to its position as the easternmost state of India. Most of the people living in Arunachal Pradesh are either of Tibetan or Thai-Burmese origin. Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its mountainous landscape. Much of it is covered by the Himalayas. However. parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap,which are covered by the Patkai. Kangto, Nyegi Kangsang, the main Gorichen peak and the Eastern Gorichen peak are some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas.For all this access the area is practically unknown to visitors – less than a dozen birders have visited Eagle nest in the last decade. Ditto with Pakke and other areas. 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 (in winter), beautiful nuthatch, are regularly seen in this area. Other specialities which can be seen with some patience and local knowledge are tragopans, blood pheasant, monal, ibisbill, purple cochoa, long-tailed and silver-breasted broadbills, blue-naped pitta, vivid niltava, long-billed plover and black-headed shrike-babbler, to name just a few – in fact more than half the species on the 450+ birdlist would qualify as specialities on any birder’s list! The best time for birds is from December to March. May is a good time in Arunachal mountains for seeing elusive birds by following their song – such as purple cochoa, rufous-bellied shortwing and blue-fronted robin – as well as summer visitors like ruddy kingfisher, crow-billed drongo, emerald cuckoo, etc.
Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary & Pakke Tiger Reserve is on of the finest birding areas in Asia. It is situated at 500-3200m and covers an area of 218 sq. km.The park is located in W. Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. The general forest type consists of lowland evergreen forest (better at Pakke); broad-leaved forest, bamboo, conifers; roadside scrub and farmland – all these in both subtropical and temperate altitudes.Dirang Tawang- this region spread over 2 districts is not part of any protected area and is situated at an altitude of 1500-4300+ m (all of it accessible by road). It is situated over two states namely W. Kameng & Tawang districts, Arunachal Pradesh. The main locations are Dirang (W. Kameng) and Jang (Tawang) Area comprised of dry inner valleys, cultivation, temperate broad-leaved and conifer forests,scrub, and alpine meadows.Namdapha Tiger Reserve is India’s eastern most Tiger Reserve. It is also the eastern most protected area of our country. This 1985 sq km protects some of the best moist tropical forests in the region. The Noa-Dihing River cuts the park from east to west. The altitude of the park ranges from 200mts to 4575mts and covers the broad range of vegetation types.

Map of Arunachal Pradesh

Collared Owlet

Collared Owlet

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Cachar Wedgebilled Babbler

Cachar Wedgebilled Babbler

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