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This tour is meant for birders who are in good physical health and can walk in high altitude area. The treks and walks are moderate in nature. The bird species are special trans-Himalayan species while a lot of them are Palearctic. The scenery is spectacular. The area around the Indus river is green and the rest is a cold desert. Ladakh is also known for its Monasteries. The monasteries of Ladakh are what give the region its unique flavor and beauty. Typically, most gompas are built so that they perch precariously on lone rocks or craggy mountain-faces. In this tour we encourage traditional village based homestays, where you can see the traditional way of life and sample ladakhi food.
TOUR: BIRD WATCHING TOUR
DURATION: 12 NIGHTS / 13 DAYS
TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1 :- ARRIVE DELHI

Assistance upon arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 2 :- Delhi - Leh (3,500 m) - By early morning flight

After an early breakfast you are transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Ladakh. This is one of the most sensational flights in the world. On a clear day from one side of the aircraft you can see in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and on the other side of the aircraft, so close that you feel you could reach out and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel. You would take a little time to settle in and acclimatize since you have gone from a relatively low elevation in New Delhi to over 11,000 feet! The afternoon will be spent in the vicinity of you accommodation for acclimatization and some birding. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 3 :- Surrounding area of Leh

Today morning we will bird along Shey marshes. One can expect common rosefinch, Hume’s lesser white-throat, blue rock thrush, Eurasian hobby, common coot, booted eagle, blue throat, common tern, Hume’s short-toed lark, plain mountain finch, rock bunting, mountain chiffchaff, citrine and grey wagtail etc. Afternoon visit to Trisul Lake for red-crested pochard, northern pintail, common teal, tufted duck, little grebe, garganey etc. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 4 :- Surrounding area of Leh

Today morning we will bird at Thiksey. One can expect to see golden oriole, long-tailed shrike, blue-whistling thrush, Eurasian cuckoo, common rosefinch, hill pigeon etc. Afternoon we will visit the Stok Palace and then carry on to Hemis. Here we can expect Tibetan snowfinch, Eurasian crag martin, northern house martin, lammergeier, white wagtail, fire-fronted serin, plain mountain finch, blue sheep etc. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 5 :- Leh - Khardung La (18,380 ft) - By Surface / 49 km / Approx 2 ½ hrs

Today morning we will be going on an excursion to bird at Khardung La. We will be reaching a height of 18380 ft, the highest motorable pass in the world. One can expect winter wren, brown dipper, robin & alpine accentor, Himalayan snowcock, Brandt’s mountain finch, great rosefinch, white-winged redstart, yellow-billed chough etc. The Mammals we could see will be Himalayan marmot, mouse hare, wooly hare, and blue sheep. Afternoon is free to discover the riches of this exotic destination with a visit to Leh town. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 6 :- Leh - Zingchan - By Surface / Approx 1 hr - Rumbak (12,540 ft)

Trek / Approx 5 hrs Drive to Zingchan in the morning. Trek to Rumbak for birding. Full day birding in Rumbak Valley. One can expect golden eagle, Himalayan griffon, Tibetan snowfinch, chukar, fire-fronted serin, sulphur-bellied warbler, white-throated dipper etc. Overnight stay in a tented camp or in a home stay (promoted by Snow Leopard Conservancy).

DAY 7 & 8 :- Rumbak

Full day birding around Rumbak Valley. One can see brown & robin accentor, tickell’s leaf warbler, streaked rosefinch, Tibetan snowfinch, chukar, common & fork-tailed swift, red-billed chough, Himalayan snowcock, fire-fronted serin, twite etc. One can also expect to see blue sheep, Red fox and the elusive snow leopard. Overnight stay in a tented camp or in a home stay (promoted by Snow Leopard Conservancy).

DAY 9 :- Rumbak - Zingchan - Trek / Approx 3 ½ hrs - Leh - By Surface / Approx 1 hr

Morning birding in Rumbak Valley. Trek to Zingchan. Check the forest patch at Zingchan for unusual species such as rusty-tailed flycatcher, grey bushchat etc. Travel to Leh Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 10 :- Leh - Puga (14,520 ft) - By Surface / Approx 5 ½ hrs

We will spend the day travelling to Puga stopping en route for birding at Chumathang. One can expect to see golden eagle, common merganser, Ibisbill, horned lark etc. Check the stream at Puga emerging out of sulphur spring for black-necked crane, brown-headed gull, ruddy shelduck etc. Overnight stay in a tented camp at Puga.

DAY 11 :- Puga - Across Namshang La (15,840 ft) - Thadsang Karu (15,246 ft) - Tso Moriri (14,916 ft) - Puga

Morning excursion to the lakes for ruddy shelduck, bar-headed goose, ruff, lesser sand plover, white-winged black tern, long-legged buzzard etc. Black-necked crane is big a possibility too. Spend the evening near the camp checking the stream, rock faces and bushes for Eurasian eagle-owl, white-winged redstart, robin accentor, Asian house martin, white-throated dipper, lammergeier etc. Overnight stay in a tented camp at Puga.

DAY 12 :- Puga - Across Polo Konga (16,236 ft) - Tso Kar (14,949 ft) - By Surface / Approx 2 ½ hrs

Travel to Tso Kar in the morning across Polo Kongka Pass. One can see large flocks of Brandt’s mountain finch. As you enter the lake area, you may see black-necked crane, common redshank, lots of other shorebirds and waterfowl. Tibetan wild ass, marmot, Stolizka’s mountain vole are mammal species that are seen commonly. Explore the area for little owl, Tibetan sandgrouse, plain-backed snowfinch etc. Horned lark, Hume’s short-toed lark and Tibetan snowfinch are some of the common birds here. Afternoon visit to fresh water lake for avocet, breeding colony of crested grebe, ruddy shelduck etc. Black-necked crane is a possibility too. Overnight stay in tented camp at Tso Kar.

DAY 13 :- Tso Kar - Across Taklang La (17,358 ft) - Leh - By Surface / 140 km / Approx 4 hrs

After morning birding at Tso Kar, travel to Leh via Tanglang La stopping en route for birding. Arrive Leh in the afternoon. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the Hotel.

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