For all Birding and Bird photography enthusiasts Travelderness brings to you an excursion to Naina devi Bird Reserve, alongwith the hamlets of sattal/jeolikote in Nainital district for an opportunity to spot and photograph the residents and summer migrants at varying altitudes. This is a 5D/4N tour during which we will hope to target maximum summer migratory species , rare species and the residents at all the places.
1) Birding in sattal-chanfi-sigri and jeolikote to spot and photograph maximum number of birds
2) riverside birding at chaffi
3) Covering different altitudes and geographies for maximum species
4) Target maximum migratory species
5) Accommodation at two different places in sattal and sigri
Naina Devi Bird reserve is a reserve in the nainital district of uttarakhand with a total notified area of 111.9 sq. km It has some spectacular birding trails and forest patches consisting of temperate broad-leaf forests to alpine grasslands to rhododendron shrubberies. Wide altitudinal variation supports a very large segment of avian fauna to inhabit this forest range.
The summer season sees a return of the strikingly beautiful oriental turtle dove, the ubiquitous Grey winged blackbird and the brightly colored maroon oriole , add to this the possibility of spotting the rare Cheer phesants and the shy Koklaas pheasant and Hill partridge plus different species of woodpeckers like Himalayan, brown fronted , rufous bellied, and greater yellownape !
The forests in this area also finds many a mammal like the Barking Deer, Leopard, Himalayan Goral, and even the enigmatic and hardly seen donkey sized Serow moving onto the Tar roads and forest paths to get respite from the dewy chilled Oak and Deodar Forest during the nights and even days.
Add to this the wonderful hospitality of the locals, Sizzling Pahaari Chai (Mountain brewed Tea), Bonfires to soothe the frosty breath and body, and a simple excursion turns into an experience.
Sattal is a tiny hamlet set amongst dense forests of oak and pine trees, Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and ecological amplitude. It has 500 species of resident and migratory birds, 20 species of mammals, over 525 species of butterflies and over 11,000 species of moths, beetles, bugs and other insects. The unique avian fauna includes red-billed blue magpie, green magpie, kingfishers, barbets, babblers, greater yellownape, bulbuls , red billed leothrix, blue winged siva, fulvous breasted woodpecker, tickells thrush and many more.
Catch the early morning shatabadi which reaches Kathgodam at 11:40 pm. Then we check into sattal resort for lunch followed by an entire afternoon of birding at the hide and around the resort, We hope to find around 40 species of birds in this session which might include White-Capped and Plumbeous Redstarts, Himalayan Bulbuls, White Crested Laughing Thrush, Lineated and Blue-throated Barbets, Grey treepie, Red-billed blue Magpie, Common magpie, Lesser and Greater Yellownapes, grey – headed Woodpeckers, prinias, mountain bulbul and more. Dinner and lights off !
End of Day One!
Early morning start as we walk towards the sattal lake hoping to see white throated laughing thrushes, scarlet minivet, slaty headed and plum headed parakeets , blue winged sivas, black bulbuls and more. We make our way back to the resort by 10 for breakfast and rest, Post lunch we leave for chaffi primarily to look for brown fish owl , crested kingfisher, spotted forktail, brown dipper etc. Back to the resort for dinner and lights off.
End of Day 2
Early morning Birding at studio point which is a natural narrow stream where birds flock during summers. Hope to see Mountain bulbul, paradise flycatcher, thrushes, black lored tit, green backed tit, flycatchers like rusty tailed, verditer and many more . – Back to the resort for breakfast between 10-11. Post breakfast, We make our way to the resort at Sigri ( 1.5 hour drive ) , Check in and lunch followed by an afternoon session of Birding near the resort and Ghugukham, looking for Ultramarine flycatcher , thrushes , tits , bar tailed treecreeper, great barbet, rufous sibia and the various woodpeckers. Back to the resort for snacks/tea, followed by dinner and overnight at resort !
End of Day 3
Early morning start towards cheer point to look for the elusive cheer and koklaas pheasants, the forest around is good for raptors like Himalayan vulture , black eagle, and if we are luck even a bearded vulture, add to this the resident upland pipit and long tailed minivets ! Back to the resort for breakfast
– Post breakfast, we scan the area around the resort for some more birds followed by early lunch, Afternoon session involves a drive through dense Oak and Deodar forests till Kunjakharak Forest Rest House, with pauses for bird spotting at various milestones . The forests here hold the promise of the musical yet uncommon Hill Partridge, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Grey-winged Blackbird, Eurasian Jay and recently even offered us sightings of the Black Backed Forktail at two different spots as well.
Kunjakharak is the end of the road, and provides a viewer with spectacular views of the Kosi River Valley. We will take a lunch break between 2 and 3 to take in the surrounding forest and its feathered residents like Black-throated Tits, Coal Tits, White-throated Laughingthrushes, Maroon Oriole and the enormous Scaly-bellied Woodpecker to name a few. The birding around the forest rest house is not to be underestimated, and in one of our previous tour in mid-November 2016 we stumbled upon a rarely seen Goldcrest (a small Oriental White-eye sized warbler as well as the more regular Rufous-bellied and Himalayan Woodpeckers, White-tailed Nuthatch, The crimson coloured Long-tailed Minivet, Ashy throated and Buff barred Warblers to name a few.
We aim to head back to the resort late evening for an opportunity to spot Mammals that may include Wild Boar, Leopard (if we are very lucky) and even one of the 2-3 Tigers recorded coming up from the Corbett Tiger Reserve in the Camera traps of the Forest Department.
– Dinner and overnight at the resort
End Of day 4
Early start 6 a.m again to “Cheer point” primarily to look for the elusive Cheer pheasant ( if we have missed it the previous day). The forest around is good for Koklaas pheasant, Common Kestrel, Himalayan and Rufous-bellied woodpeckers, White-tailed nuthatches, thrushes like the Chesnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Scaly Thrush, etc. Mammals like Himalayan Brown Goral on the rolling grassy slopes of Cheer Point and possibilities of Barking Deer, Sambar and even Serow in the forests around.
Back to the resort early around 9 a.m for breakfast followed by transfer to Jeolikote, we scan the area around for some afternoon birding along the road and the river half a km away from the road , primarily to look for white crested laughing thrushes, pigeons wedge tailed and pin tailed , common green magpie, niltavas, barbets , crimson sunbird , prinias, grey bushchat , we make our way back to kathgodam around 2 pm for onwards journey.
End of Tour !
Note : Bird and Wildlife sightings depend greatly on season, timing, and patience.
Sightings mentioned in the itinerary are only a guide and cannot be guaranteed.
Every evening we will compile the bird sightings of the given day and work out plans for the next day
- All Transport ( kathgodam to kathgodam )
- All meals (VEG)
- Accommodation in a resort in Sigri on twin sharing basis/ in resort at Sattal on twin sharing basis
- Naturalist for the entire duration of the tour
- Anything not mentioned in inclusions
- Any delay, price rise occurring due to political, natural crisis,snowfall
- Personal expenses like shopping, medicines, tips, laundry etc.
- conveyance charges to kathgodam and back
- Mineral Water
- good trekking shoes
- warm clothes/ jacket/woolen cap/ gloves as nights can get quite cold in these parts
- A pair of sunglasses
- sunscreen, lip balm
- Binoculars (Always better if you have a personal pair, or else the guides and tour organisers will share theirs during select activities with you)
- Camera with good magnification capability
- Personal Medicines.