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Birding Tours in Eastern India.... and beyond

MISHMI HILLS

The Mishmi Hills has stunningly beautiful terrain thrown up by the sharp twisting of the Himalayan ranges as they turn from a southeasterly to a southerly direction and descend rapidly to the tropical forests of China and Myanmar. It is a southward extension of the Great Himalayan Mountain Range – its northern and eastern reaches touching China.
Dibang Valley: Much of the Mishmi Hills comes under the Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Dibang Valley district is named after the Dibang River – one of the key tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. The Dibang originates in China and flows through the length of the valley in a north-south direction. The Dibang Valley district is divided into Lower and Upper Dibang Valley. The headquarters of the two districts are Roing and Anini respectively. Roing is in the plains close to the Lohit River. Anini is at an elevation in the mountains and is close to the China border. The Valley is bounded on the north by China, on the East by the Lohit district and McMohan Line, on the west by the Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh and on the south by the Tinsukia district of Assam. The district rises from the Himalayan foothills to the middle ranges with the highest point of Mayodia Pass at a height of 2655 meters.
rusty_throated_wren_babble
Some other species include :
Mishmi Hills is situated in the Eastern Himalayan province, and is the richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone and one of the Mega bio-diversity hotspots of the world. The hills vary in elevations and receive heavy rainfall, which can be as much as 4,500-5,000mm annually in the foothill areas. The pre-monsoon showers start from March and the monsoon is active till October. The humidity in the rainy season is often over 90%. This diversity of topographical and climatic conditions favours the growth of luxuriant forests which is home to myriad plant and animal forms. Over 6,000 plants species, 100 species of mammals, 681 species of birds, 500 species of orchids, 52 species of Rhododendron and a large number of butterflies, and insects can be found in these forests.
The vegetation here can be classified into the following forest types: Tropical Evergreen, Tropical Semi-evergreen, Sub-Tropical Broad Leaved, Sub-Tropical Pine, Temperate Broad Leaved, Temperate Conifer, Sub-Alpine Woody Shrub, Alpine Meadow, Degraded, Bamboo, and Grasslands. This area is possibly the center of origin for some crop plants such as the banana.
slender_billed_scimitar_babbler
Bird life: The area supports around 680 bird species. It is, perhaps, one of the least explored birding areas in all of Asia and many new species await discovery here. Specialties include the Sclater’s Monal, Blyth’s and Temminck’s Tragopan, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pale-capped Pigeon, Ward’s Trogon, Dark-sided Thrush, Green and Purple Cochoa, Rusty-bellied and Gould’s Shortwing, Beautiful Nuthatch, Rusty-throated and Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Fire-tailed Myzornis, at least four Parrotbill species, Black-headed Greenfinch, Scarlet Finch, and Grey-headed Bullfinch. blyths_tragopan
Birding Areas:
Roing area: The Roing area is the 1st stop in a Mishmi Hills bird tour. Roing is located in the foothills and the altitude stretches from 200m to 550m. The Mishmi Hills rise around the Dibang River Basin and the Roing area is a mix of extensive floodplains and outer Himalayan foothills.
Key species: Many Himalayan foothill species can be found in the Roing area. Key birds include Black Eagle, White-browed Piculet, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broadbill, White-throated Bulbul, Daurian Redstart, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spot-throated Babbler, Beautiful and Long-tailed Sibias, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Sultan Tit, numerous scimitar babblers, laughingthrushes, shrike-babblers, fulvettas and yuhinasMayodia Pass Mayodia Pass: At 2666m this is the highest point on the road from Roing to Anini and is 56 kms uphill from Roing town. Mayodia is rocky with a certain cold barrenness about it. The habitat comprises of temperate forests. Strangely there is a lack of conifer growth even at this height and extensive bamboo brakes dominate the roadside vegetation. Key species: Mayodia is a must visit for those seeking the high-altitude Sclater’s Monal. It is also one of the few places where the Blyth’s Tragopan is regularly encountered. Many other rarely observed species like Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Grey-sided, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Gould’s and Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Fire-tailed Myzornis etc can be found here.

Nearest Airport & Rail Head Mohanbari airport Dibrugarh. ;
Approach to the Mishmi Hills area is from Sadiya Ghat which is on the north of the Lohit River. Sadiya Ghat is reached by river ferry from Saikhoa Ghat which is about 70kms from Tinsukia town in Assam. Roing town is 65 kms from Sadiya Ghat and is the last big town in Mishmi Hills trip. Dibang Valley Jungle Camp is 12 km, and Mayodia Pass is 56 kms from Roing and Hunli is another 44 kms on the same road. The road is black-topped and motorable. Landslides and washed away bridges are a feature of the area.
Accommodation:
Roing:
Dibang Valley Jungle Camp: This is our own Camp at the 12th Mile marker on the road to Mayodia. Set on a hillside commanding a fantastic view of the Dibang River basin, the facilities here are basic but comfortable.
Mayodia Pass:
A Govt. Inspection Bungalow and a Coffee House cum Guest House a couple of kms. below Mayodia Pass are the only places to stay in. Both are basic and command stunning views.

Birding Itinerary

lodge
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