Bhutan 2003
Trip List

 
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Trip List: The Birds and Mammals
recorded on the 2003 VENT Bhutan
Leaders: K. David Bishop and Dion Hobcroft 
22 March - 13 April,2003

 

 

BHUTAN 2003
compiled by Dion Hobcroft / K. David Bishop
27 June 2003
 

T = Globally threatened or Near Threatened

NON- PASSERINES

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis: (2) Basai-nesting, (10) Okhla.

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis: (1) Basai Reservoir, (4) Okhla.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus: B: (1) on Tsang Chu near Wangdi, 27 March.

Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger: (20) Okhla

Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis: (4) Okhla

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo: (2) Okhla, B: regularly encountered in small numbers on most rivers in Bhutan with a high count of (20) on the Mo Chu (River).

Little Egret Egretta garzetta: Common on wetlands near Delhi.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea: Moderately common on wetlands near Delhi

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea: Small numbers at Basai and Okhla.

Great Egret Casmerodius albus: Small numbers at Basai, Sultanpur and Okhla.

Placed by some authorities in Egretta or Ardea.

Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia - Small number at Basai; (1) Okhla.

Placed by some authorities in Egretta.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis: Basai, Sultanpur and (20) Okhla

Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii: Basai, (10) Okhla

Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala: (c.100) Sultanpur

Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans: (10) Okhla

Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus: (2) Sultanpur (1) male Okhla. Globally threatened.

Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus: (1) Sultanpur

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus: (20) Basai

Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus: (10) Basai

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia: (30) Sultanpur

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber: (300) Okhla - spectacular morning flights of flamingos.

Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus: (300) Basai, B: (2) Thimphu, (5) Tsang Chu.

Greylag Goose Anser anser: (4) late migrants at Okhla.

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea: (20) Okhla B: (5-7) along the Tsang Chu below Punakha, (50) along the Mo Chu above Punakha, (1) near Jakar.

Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotus: (12) Basai

Gadwall Anas strepera: small numbers at Basai and Okhla

Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope: Basai, (2) Okhla B: (2) Tsang Chu below Wangdi, (4) Mo Chu above Punakha, (1) Mo Chu at Tashitang

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos: B: (1) female, Tsang Chu below Wangdi. Rarely recorded in Bhutan.

Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha: Basai, Sultanpur, (50) Okhla

Yellow-nibbed Duck Anas zonorhyncha: B: (2) Tsang Chu below Wangdi.
NOTE: This distinctive subspecies has recently been given full species status by some authorities. It can be separated from Spot-billed Duck by the more uniform sooty black upperparts, dark grey tertials, blue as opposed to green speculum and absence of the pink-red loral spot. This is the long distance migratory species that breeds in north Asia and is a rarely recorded passage migrant in Bhutan.

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata: (100) Basai, (100) Okhla, B: (1) female on Mo Chu above Punakha.

Northern Pintail Anas acuta: (50) Basai, (2) Okhla, B: (4) Tsang Chu near Wangdi, (2) males Mo Chu above Punakha, (1) Mo Chu in Tashitang.

Garganey Anas querquedula: (15) Basai, (30) Okhla.

Common Teal Anas crecca: (50) Okhla - B: One male with other northern Palearctic ducks, on the Tsang Chu near Wangdi. A rare winter visitor and passage migrant in Bhutan.
NOTE: Some authorities treat New World taxa as a separate species Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis.

Common Pochard Aythya farina: (1) Okhla. B: (4) Tsang Chu near Wangdi

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula: (10) Basai Reservoir, (1) Okhla, B: (1) male on Tsang Chu near Wangdi.

Common Merganser Mergus merganser B: (2) Thimphu, (10) Tsang Chu near Wangdi, (4) Tsang Chu below Punakha.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus: B: (1) Tsang Chu near Wangdi 27 March, (1) Mo Chu near Punakha and (1) Mo Chu in Tashitang both on 12 April.

Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus: (1) light morph Sultanpur. Also known as Crested Honey-Buzzard.

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus: (1) Sultanpur

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo: B: recorded on seven days with a maximum count of 4 on 24 March in Paro Valley. All birds seen well considered to belong to the subspecies japonicus.

Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius: B: (1) near Pele La on 10 April was a very heavy set Buteo with a shape more reminiscent of a Golden Eagle than a Common Buzzard. A single buzzard on 4 April near Yutong La may possibly have been this species but the shape was not as convincing as the Pele La individual and this record is considered tentative.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus: (1) Okhla was a late winter migrant that was seen perched on several occasions giving us an excellent opportunity to study this long-necked Buteo.

Black Kite Milvus migrans: Abundant in the vicinity of Delhi and recorded in large numbers on both days at all sites visited including (100 plus) at Okhla.
NOTE: The large and distinctive form that breeds in northwest and northeast India is treated by some authorities as a separate species, Black-eared Kite, Milvus lineatus. However, there is extensive hybridisation in the broad area of contact.

Pallas’s Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus: B: Excellent views of three individuals on the Tsang Chu near Wangdi on 27 March. A distant views of a fledgeling still in the nest on a steep ridge above Tingtibi 1-2 April. Another excellent view of a single adult on Tsang Chu downstream from Punakha on 11 April. Globally threatened.

Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis: B: An outstanding year for this gigantic species. 25 March, (1) soaring over Cheli La; 29 March, (1) over Pele La, (18) soaring over the ridge near our camp (3291m elevation, east side Pele La) on 30 March giving wonderfully close views. (1) on 5 April near Thrumsingh La. Highest count of (27) again near east side of Pele La on 10 April.

Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus: B: The first ever record of this species on a VENT Bhutan tour and a definite crowd pleaser was a single adult on the east side of Pele La on 30 March that gave repeated views in the flock of Himalayan Griffons.

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus: (4) Basai, (6) Okhla.

Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela: B: (1) Tashitang on 28 March, 1 between Trongsa and Shemgang on 30 March, single adult perched and studied well in telescope on 6 April on Limithang Road and (1) in flight on 11 April between Punakha and Dochu La.

Eurasian (Western) Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus: (4) Basai, (4) Okhla, B: (1) on 26 March between Thimphu and Cheri Gompa.
NOTE: There has been and probably will continue to be much dispute as to whether the ‘marsh harriers’ of Europe and Asia should be treated as one or two species. The evidence is inconclusive. Consequently we prefer to treat the two, generally clearly identifiable taxa, as good species so that more exact information is available for future studies of this group. The taxa we observed was the Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus distinct from Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus.

Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus: B: (2) on 8 April in flight over Limithang Road.

Shikra Accipiter badius: (1) en route to Basai was seen perched well with a sparrow clenched between its talons. (1) Okhla was also observed very well.

Besra Accipiter virgatus: B: (1) adult giving excellent flight views at Sengor on 6 April.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus: B: (1) on 31 March mobbing the Booted Eagle seen between Trongsa and Tingtibi. A couple of other probables were seen. Also known as Northern Sparrowhawk.

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis B: A total of four sightings. (1) in Haa Valley on 25 March, (1) near Trongsa on 30 March, (1) perched and in the telescope near Tingtibi on 1 April, (1) in flight between Jakar and Pele La on 10 April.

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis: B: Recorded on seven dates with a maximum of two birds. Several excellent views of this distinctive raptor. Good views along the Tashitang trail, near Trongsa and on consecutive days along the Limithang Road.

Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga: (4) adults perched and in flight at Basai. Globally threatened.

Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca: (1) at Basai. A sub-adult seen perched and in flight with Greater Spotted Eagle for direct comparison.

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos: B: (1) in flight on 30 March below east side of Pele La associating with vultures.

Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii: B: (1) adult in flight between Tingtibi and Trongsa on 3 April, (1) adult in flight on 7 April on lower Limithang Road.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus: B: (1) dark morph that gave excellent repeated flight views at close range on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Mountain Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis: B: Recorded on 15 days with a maximum of three plus on 6 April on the Limithang Road. Several individuals were seen in display flight performing spectacular manoeuvres.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus: B: Widespread and moderately common in open, non-forested country. Recorded on 10 days with a maximum of 6 on 28 March between Tashitang and the Punakha Dzong.
Also known as Eurasian Kestrel.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus: B: (2) hunting around the Wangdi Dzong on 27 March.

Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus: (1) at Okhla. Heard calling at Basai.

Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus: (2) Sultanpur Jheel, heard at both Okhla and Basai with (3) seen well at the Delhi Parade ground woodlands.

Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola - B: Widespread and common, heard most days. Single seen very briefly on the Limithang Road by a couple of lucky observers. Also known as Common Hill Partridge.

Rufous-throated Hill Partridge Arborophila rufogularis: B: Heard only: Tingtibi to Shemgang plus one bird glimpsed by one lucky observer on the old road near Pele La on 30 March.

Chestnut-breasted Partridge Arborophila mandellii: B: Heard only on the Limithang Rd. Globally threatened.

Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus: B: A very good year for this gorgeous bird with excellent views of ten birds on 25 March as we approached Cheli La. A further 21 birds were recorded on 9 April as we drove across the pass at Thrumsing La en route from the Limithang Road to Jakar.

Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra: B: Despite our best efforts we were only able to hear this species this year. It was heard calling at Dochu La, Pele La and Sengor and despite coming quite close we just did not get the lucky break we were all after.

Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus: B: A truly incredible year for this most spectacular bird. There were more monals recorded this year than in all of the previous VENT tours combined since 1994. Everyone enjoyed incredible views of a total of 19 individuals on 25 March at Cheli La including several males that just sat out in the open allowing superb scope views. A further two males and a female were seen on the old Pele La Road on the morning of the 30 March. One male taped in and nearly collided with the group. Also known as Impeyan Pheasant.

Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelana: B: Notably common this year with several birds seen on at least seven days. On the drive up to Cheli La we recorded 4 on the 25 March, 5 on 28 March at Tashitang, 3 on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi, 6 on 1 April near Tingtibi, 2 on 3 April near Trongsa, 10 on 11 April between Punaka and Dochu La plus our final 6 in Tashitang on the 12 April. We observed the subspecies melanota at Cheli La and moffitti in Tashitang and lathami near Trongsa.

Grey Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum: B: Two birds heard only, 1-2 April, within a steeply forested river valley at c. 750m, near our Tingtibi campsite.

Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus: (2) Sultanpur, (4) including some superb males Delhi woodlands.

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus: (2) Basai, (2) Sultanpur , (3) Okhla.

Black-tailed Crake Porzana bicolor: An absolutely superb view of a tape responsive individual on 24 March in the Paro Valley. A single bird flushed in the wetland behind the Thimpu Fitness Centre on 26 March.

Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla: (1) Basai, seen by one lucky observer, (1) Okhla also seen by one lucky observer.

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio: (50) Basai, Sultanpur , (10) Okhla.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus: (10) Basai. Also known as Common Gallinule.

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra: (100) Okhla.

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus: (3) males on the flats at Sultanpur.

Sarus Crane Grus antigone: (2) Sultanpur. The world’s largest species of crane. Globally threatened.

Common Crane Grus grus: (16) Sultanpur

Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii: B: (2) along the Paro Chu on 24 March. (2) on the Mo Chu in Tashitang on 28 March. (3), including a suspected incubating bird on the Jakar Chu on 5 April. (2) on 12 April in Tashitang. Yet again we enjoyed multiple, superb views of this grand bird, illustrating yet again that Bhutan is indeed a stronghold for this very special species.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus: Basai, (200) Okhla

Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta: (10) Basai, (50) Okhla.

Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus: (2) Delhi woodlands.

Small Pratincole Glareola lactea: (100) Okhla, seen distantly aerially hawking for insects.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola: (1) Okhla, a vagrant in the Delhi area.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius: Basai, (4) Okhla

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus: Basai

Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malarbaricus: (12) Sultanpur - great views of this scarce Indian endemic.

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus: Basai, Sultanpur, (50) Okhla. B: (3) on the Tsang Chu near Wangdi on 27 March.

River Lapwing Vanellus duvauceli: (10) Okhla B: (6) along the Tsang Chu below Punakha; (12) along the Mo Chu blow Tashigang and (4) at this site on the return visit.

White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucrurus: (1) Basai

Indian Courser Cursorius coromandelicus: (6) of these stunning scarce and local endemics on the Sultanpur flats.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax: (200) Basai, (50) Okhla.

Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola: B: (1) heard only (KDB only) over our camp on the east slope of Sengor on 5 April.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago: Basai, Sultanpur, (5) Okhla. B: (1) flushed from wetland behing Thimpu Fitness Centre on 26 March.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa: Basai, Okhla

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata: Basai

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus: Basai

Common Redshank Tringa tetanus: Basai, (1) Okhla

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis: Basai, (6) Sultanpur

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia: (3) Basai Reservoir, (2) Okhla

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus: Basai, (5) Okhla. B: (4) on the Mo Chu River between Tashitang and Punakha on 28 March.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola: (100) Okhla.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos: (2) Okhla. B: (1) Thimpu on 26 March, (1) Jakar on 5 April, (1) on Mo Chu near the Punakha Dzong.

Little Stint Calidris minuta: (10) Basai

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii: (5) Basai, (10) Okhla

Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus: (10) Okhla.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus: (1) Okhla

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida: (5) Okhla

Rock Dove Columba livia: Widespread and common.

Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota: B: (10) Cheri Monastery on 26 March. Superb and prolonged views of a flock of c. 50 in flight just below Pele La on 30 March. A flock of 30 just below Doch La on 11 April.

Speckled Wood Pigeon Columba hodgsoni: B: Good scope perched views of a small flock of at least 10 on the Limithang Road on 8 April.

Ashy Wood Pigeon Columba pulchricollis: B: Heard only on 10 April between Pele La and Punakha.

Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decoacto: Basai, Sultanpur, (50) Okhla.

Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis: B: Widespread, common and observed nearly daily, often foraging on the road.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis: Sultanpur, (10) Okhla, Delhi woodlands;

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis: B: (2) between Trongsa and Tingtibi on 31 March, (1) between Punakha and Dochu La on 11 April and (1) between Tashitang and Punakha on 12 April.

Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica: Basai

Barred Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia unchall: B: Recorded in small numbers daily along the Shemgang Road and Limithang Road.

Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica: B: Single flushed from the road above Tingtibi on 3 April.

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera: (2) Sultanpur, (2) Okhla perched on wires and giving excellent scope views.

Pin-tailed Green Pigeon Treron apicauda: B: (15) Tingtibi seen perched on a wet 1 April at c. 650m in degraded subtropical forest. A further stunning male that was found feeding in a fruiting tree beside the bus on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi on 3 April.

Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenura: B: (3) found in degraded roadside forest on the drive between Punakha and Pele La on 29 March.

Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia: B: Recorded only on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi. (1) on 1 April and (4) on 2 April.

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri: Widespread and common at all sites visited in Delhi.

Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala: (7) Six males and one heavily courted female at Sultanpur. Stunning views of this spectacular group at the Delhibird nestbox just above the Salim Ali centre.

Large Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus sparveroides: B: Excellent scope views of one bird on the lower Limithang Road plus another bird seen briefly on 7 April. Heard almost daily from 31 March with birds calling at fever pitch throughout the nights we camped on the Limithang Road.

Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus fugax: B: Heard only on 2 April on Shemgang Road near Tingtibi.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus: B: Heard only on two dates, 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi and on 7 April on the Limithang Road.

Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus: B: Excellent views of single birds perched and in the scope on 7 and 8 April on the Limithang Road with a further good view on the road below Dochu La on 11 April. Heard frequently.

Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii: B: Heard only on 1 April within degraded Subtropical Forest above Tingtibi, c. 650 m elevation.

Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus: B: A stunning scope view of a single male at Tashitang on 12 April glowed in the sunlight and was a superb bird.

Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris: B: Seen on three occasions. (1) taped in near our Tingtibi campsite on 3 April, (1) in forest below Dochu La on 11 April and (1) at Tashitang on 12 April. Heard reasonably frequently.

Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea: (1) Okhla. A great male that gave excellent views was the first of the spring season according to the Delhibird group and its leader Bill Harvey.

Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis: B: (1) observed by one lucky group member on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi on 1 April.

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis: Heard only at Sultanpur and Delhi woodlands and great views of (4) at Okhla.

Mountain Scops Owl Otus spilocephalus: B: Heard only but throughout the night at our camp on the Limithang Road. Lived up to its reputation of being very difficult to tape in and spotlight.

Indian Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena: (1) Sultanpur. Basking at the entrance to its tree hollow.

Collared Scops Owl Otus lettia: B: Heard only at our camp on the Limithang Road.
NOTE: Until very recently this taxa was treated as part of a widespread species Otus bakkamoena found throughout the Oriental region. However the recent book on Owls of the World – Koenig, Weick and Becking (2000) provides evidence that this taxon actually comprises four species: Indian Scops Owl O. bakkamoena Throughout the Indian subcontinent below 2,200m although absent from the north-west and north-east; Collared Scops Owl O. lettia replaces the above species immediately to the north and extends throughout much of China; Sunda Scops Owl O. lempiji Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali; and Japanese Scops owl O. semitorques.

Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodei: B: (1) found perched and in the scope until we left it on the Limithang Road on the 7 April. Heard frequently this year on 13 days.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco: B: Heard only on the 30 March just before dawn whilst camped at Pele La.

Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides: B: Single bird seen briefly on 31 March while driving between Trongsa and Tingtibi. Excellent scope studies of two birds perching out on the Shemgang Road on 2 April. Heard almost daily on the Shemgang and Limithang Roads.

Spotted Owlet Athene brama: (1) Sultanpur, (1) Okhla nesting in the hollow of a Banyan Fig tree.

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus: B: Up to 7 birds hawking around the lights at dawn of the Zangtho Pelri Hotel, Punakha on 27 and 28 March. Also known as Jungle Nightjar.

Himalayan Swiftlet Collocalia brevirostris: B: Locally common, recorded on 10 days with a maximum count of 100.

White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus: B: Scarce this year, recorded on only three days with a maximum of 12 on 7 April on the lower Limithang Road

Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus: B: Widespread and locally common recorded on 8 days with a high count of over 200 on 11 April below Dochu La.

Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus: B: (1), a male seen on 7 April on the Limithang Road that allowed several of the group to see it before disappearing. Also heard on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi on 31 March..

Ward’s Trogon Harpactes wardii: B: (1), a female studied extensively in the telescope on 9 April on the Limithang Road from point-blank range within Cool Mixed Broad-leaved Forest, c. 2200m, on the Limithang Road. Globally threatened.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis: B: Singles seen on 4 days on both the Tsang Chu and Mo Chu rivers allowing very good scope views. Also known as Eurasian or River Kingfisher.

White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis: Basai, Sultanpur and (10) Okhla. B: Recorded on 5 days on both the Tsang Chu and Mo Chu rivers.

Crested Kingfisher Ceryle lugubris: B: (2) seen at Tashitang on 28 March.

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctiornis athertoni: B: (2), possibly a nesting pair that gave superb views on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La. (2) more were near the Tingtibi Camp on 1 April and again on the following day, with a single on the 3 April.

Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis: Basai,Sultanpur, (50) Okhla.

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis: (5)

Hoopoe Upupa epops: (1) Okhla. B: Recorded on 11 days with a maximum of 5 on 5 April in the Bumthang Valley.

Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris: (2) Basai, perched near the temple giving very good views.

Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis: B: Without doubt, for many, THE highlight of a great tour. Sensational views of several birds along the road from Shemgang to Tingtibi with (8) on 1 April, (4) on 3 April including a male perched beside our bus for nearly half an hour. On the Limithang Road we had another superb encounter with (8) on 7 April including pairs mutually preening and sharing fruit. Superb photographic and video opportunities of these most charismatic birds. Globally threatened.

Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis: B: Recorded on 1, 2 and 3 April on the Shemgang Road near Tingtibi with a maximum count of three birds seen perched and in the telescope allowing all to appreciate these truly awesome birds

Great Barbet Megalaima virens: B: Widespread and common, recorded on 12 days, with the gull like wailing call a constant feature of forest birding in Bhutan and repeated excellent views.

Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica: Heard only, Delhi woodlands.

Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii: B: Widespread and regularly recorded in small numbers including several superb views. Seen on six days and heard on several more.

Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica: B: (3) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (10) on 1 April near Tingtibi with a couple more on the two following days.

Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala: Superb views of a single bird foraging in an Acacia tree, Sultanpur.

Yellow-rumped Honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus: B: One male provided superb Questar studies as he attended a Rock Bee hive along the Thimpu Chu on 26 March en route to Cheri Gompa; a second male was seen well at the well known site below Trongsa upon our return from Tingtibi – we have recorded this species at this particular site, annually since 1994. This is a little known and rarely observed species. Globally threatened.

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla: (1) Basai - allowed a lengthy scope view of this most unusual woodpecker.

Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus: B: (2) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La.

Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Picoides canicapillus: B: Recorded only on the Shemgang Road near Tingtibi with (1) on the 1 April, (3) on 2 April and (1) on 3 April with several very good views.

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Picoides hyperythrus: B: (1) male on 30 March on the old road at Pele La and a cracking view on 7 April on the Limithang Road of (1) male.

Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Picoides cathpharius: B: Several great views including a male on 27 March between Dochu La and Wangdi. There was also (1) on the Limithang Road on 7 April and a probable nesting pair below Dochu La on 11 April.

Darjeeling Woodpecker Picoides darjellensis: B: Recorded on 5 days including a pair at Cheli La on 25 March, (1) female at Pele La on 30 March and seen daily in singles and pairs on the Limithang Road.

Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus: B: Two pairs between Shemgang and Tingtibi on 1-2 April and a pair on the Limithang Road on 7 April.

Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha: B: Excellent views of a pair at Tashitang on 28 March with (3) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus - B: One male between Punakha and Pele La on 29 March with another on 1 April near Tingtibi. Heard on two other dates.

Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus: B: Heard only on 1 April near Tingtibi.

Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense: (2) Sultanpur including a male taking his reflection in a window, giving super views.

Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis: B: The loud laughing call of this species was heard daily on the Shemgang and Limithang Road but the bird itself was very elusive with only one sighting along the Tashitang trail on 28 March that was seen by a few members of the group. This is a woodpecker known for its elusiveness.

Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae: B: Heard only on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La.

Indian Bush Lark Mirafra erythroptera: (1) seen on perched on a roadside post en route to Basai.

Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix grisea: (2) seen on the roadside en route to Basai and (4) on the flats at Sultanpur.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata: (2) Basai.

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula: (5) in display flight in fields surrounding Basai, (2) Okhla. B: (2) giving good scope views in open field in the Bumthang Valley on 4 April.

Eurasian Crag Martin Hirundo rupestris (c.20) between Trongsa and Tingtibi and four near Shemgang.

Plain Martin Riparia paludicola: Small flocks, Okhla.

Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii: (2) Basai, (10) Sultanpur-some very good views of this spectacular swallow.

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica: B: (1) between Jakar and Punakha on 10 April, seen by one observer in a flock of Nepal House Martins.

Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalensis: B: Fabulous views of nesting birds and large flocks hawking over the roads and cliffs. Recorded on six days with a high count in excess of (100).

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba: B: Widespread and moderately common along creeks and rivers and associated open habitats such as farmland. Two subspecies present, the more abundant black faced alboides (max. count 10) on 24 March in Paro Valley and the much scarcer whiter faced leucopsis (1 on 27 March, 1, 12 April). Also known as White Wagtail.
NOTE: The ‘Pied’ Wagtail complex is variously treated as a single polymorphic species (OBC Checklist – Inskipp et al 1996) or, as is done by the A.O.U. (1998) and Clements (2000) as a series of separate species comprising a superspecies. However, in Kamchatka and southern Ussuriland where Pied and Black-backed wagtails are sympatric there is limited hybridisation. Therefore we follow the A.O.U. (1998) and treat the Pied Wagtail as a separate species from Black-backed Wagtail. Currently only the subspecies lugens is incorporated as the Black-backed Wagtail.

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola: (3) Okhla - all stunning males of the black-backed subspecies calcarata.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava: (10) Basai - all belonging to the subspecies beema with the greyish head and white eyebrow.
NOTE: Yellow Wagtail taxonomy is currently being re-evaluated and the final outcome is uncertain. Some authorities include all races within M. flava, while others treat each distinctive form as a full species.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea: B: (1), Mo Chu near Punakha on 28 March with (2) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi including one bird that gave superb views.

Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus: (10) Basai, (5) Okhla.
NOTE: The recent revision of the taxonomy of the Richard’s Pipit (including Paddyfield Pipit) complex has resulted in the large northern migratory form richardi being accepted as a distinct species Anthus richardi. Consequently the name Anthus novaeseelandiae is now restricted to the species occurring in New Zealand and Australia. The relatively small(ish) form found in the cultivated lowland of south and south-east Asia is now treated as Paddyfield Pipit A. rufulus

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni: B: Widespread and common; seen in moderate numbers (range 2-20) most days.

Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus: (2) en route to Basai. B: At least 3 in various plumage states from delicate, near-full breeding plumage to relatively drab, in the grasslands of Cheli La on 25 March.

Slender-billed Oriole Oriolus tenuirostris: B: Superb views of a stunning pair in a pine grove on the lower Limithang Road on 7 April. Behaviour suggested the male was defending a well-established territory. Breeding status of this seldom encountered bird is uncertain in Bhutan.

Maroon Oriole Oriolus trailli: B: Recorded on 5 days especially near Tingtibi and on the Limithang Road with a daily maximum of (6) on three dates. Several great looks at males and females.

Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos: B: Widespread and common. Recorded on six days with a maximum count of (6) at Tashitang on 12 April.

Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus: (2) pair found nest building in roadside Acacia en route to Sultanpur.

Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris: B: Recorded daily on Shemgang Road near Tingtibi and on the Limithang Road. High counts of (10) on both 7-8 April.

Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus: B: Recorded on six days with a maximum of (10) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris: B: Widespread and moderately common, this gorgeous bird was seen on nine days with a maximum of (10) on 30 March between Pele La and Trongsa.

Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus: B: Widespread and moderately common at lower altitudes. Recorded on eight days with a maximum of (20) on 1 April near Tingtibi.

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus: B: Recorded in small numbers daily near Tingtibi with a single bird below Dochu La on 11 April.

Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus: B: (5) below our Yongkola camp, on the Limithang Road on 7 April.

Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus: B: 2 in degraded subtropical forest surrounding our camp near Tingtibi on 1 April.

Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus: (3) Okhla and Delhi woodlands.

Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer: (20) Okhla B: Widespread and common, recorded on 11 days with a maximum count of (100 plus) on 31 March driving between Tingtibi and Trongsa.

White-throated Bulbul Alphoixus flaveolus: B: Totals of 20, 6 and 2 along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road, 1-3 April.

Ashy Bulbul Hypsipetes flavala: B: Moderately common on three days along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road (range 2-10).

Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii: B: Locally common and widespread along the Tashitang Trail; western slope Pele La; Trongsa to Shemgang; Shemgang to Tingtibi Road.

Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus - B: Widespread and common to abundant sometimes in flocks of c. 20 in suitable wooded habitat. Recorded on 13 days with a high count of (20) at Tashitang on 28 March.
NOTE: Sibley & Monroe (1990) treat the Asian population of Black Bulbul as a separate species. Consequently the specific name madagascariensis is now confined to the population on Madagascar and leucocephalus becomes the specific name for birds in Asia.

Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii: B: Recorded at Tashitang, between Trongsa and Tingtibi where moderately common (range 6-10).

Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii: B: (1) Paro, (1) Paro, (2) Cheri Gompa, (12) Tashitang, (2) Jakar, (5) Tashitang. Numerous very good views including adults ouzelling in the fast flowing rivers and attending recently fledged chicks, especially at Tashitang.

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes: B: Singles recorded on 4 days including one co-operative individual that sat in the telescope at Dochu La on 27 March.

Altai Accentor Prunella himalayana: B: A flock of (100+) just below the pass at Cheli La (3988 metres) on 25 March. Another flock (30) on the old road at Peli La on 30 March. Both flocks allowed good scope views.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris: B: (10), Peli La on 30 March with another flock of (10) on 4 April at Yutong La.

Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata: B: Widespread but rather scattered within scrubby areas adjoining farmland. Recorded on 8 days with a maximum count of (6) in the Paro Valley on 24 March and Cheri Gompa on 26 March.

Blue-capped Rock-Thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus: B: Widespread and locally common, recorded on nine days with a maximum count of (20). Especially numerous on the Shemgang and Limithang Roads. The male is a beautiful bird and everyone had frequent excellent views.

Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush Monticola rufiventris: B: Excellent views of males and the distinctive female. Recorded on 7 days with a maximum of (20) on 9 April on the drive between the Limithang Road and Jakar.

Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius: B: Recorded on 5 days with a maximum count of (3) on 31 March on the drive between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus: B: Common and ubiquitous; recorded on 20 days with a maximum count of (75) on both 31 March and 10 April. At times pairs were recorded every 100 - 200m of road with many nesting in the concrete road culverts.

Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera peronii: B: (3) on 29 March at a roadside stop between Punakha and Peli La. A further single was seen above our Tingtibi camp on the Shemgang Road on 3 April. This is an infrequently encountered species in Bhutan.

Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni: B: (1) perched male singing and seen very well in the telescope on 5 April between Jakar and Thrumsingh La. A typically very secretive and elusive bird.

Plain-backed Thrush Zoothera mollissima: B: (1) Dochu La on 27 March, (1) on the roadside between Punakha and Peli La on 29 March, (1) below the pass at Thrumsing La en route to Sengor on 5 April. Like the previous species typically very cryptic.

Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma: B: (2) Tashitang on 28 March and (1) seen briefly at the same location on 12 April.

Long-billed Thrush Zoothera monticola: B: One of the highlights of the tour and a new bird for David Bishop. The first bird was seen at the waterfall beyond the bridge at Tashitang on 28 March but unfortunately most people missed it. Then on the 12 April, another individual, was seen very well by all as it fed on the muddy roadside at Tashitang. What a bill! Globally threatened.

White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus: B: Widespread and moderately common, recorded on 12 days with a maximum of (30) on 30 March along the Old Peli La Road and then Trongsa.

Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul: B: Not as numerous as the previous species, recorded on 6 days with a maximum of (2) on 10 April between Jakar and Punakha. Several excellent views all up.

Dark-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis: B: Recorded on 5 days with a maximum of (15) at our camp near Sengor on 5 April. These birds plus the individual recorded at Tashitang on 28 March, individual at Tingtibi on 2 April and individual on 6 April belonged to the black-throated subspecies atrogularis. The pair seen on the Old Peli La Road on 30 March belonged to the red throated nominate subspecies (ruficollis).

Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophrys: B: Several heard only along the Limithang Road near our Yongkola camp.

Bluethroat Luscinia obscura: (1), Basai, (3) Okhla including one in near breeding plumage.

Orange-flanked Bush Robin Tarsiger cyanurus: B: Recorded on six days with a maximum of 20 on 10 April near the pass at Thrumsingh La. Several excellent views of stunning males.

Golden Bush Robin Tarsiger chrysaeus: B: (1) female, skulking in dense undergrowth on the old road at Peli La on 30 March. Heard only at Thrumsing La on 5 April.

Rufous-breasted Bush Robin Tarsiger hyperythrus: B: (1) female that gave excellent views feeding on the roadside edge below Dochu La on 11 April was a most unexpected discovery of this rarely seen bird. Everyone enjoyed a very good view.

White-browed Bush Robin Tarsiger indicus: B: (1) male seen by leader only at Yutong La on 4 April when it briefly foraged in the open at the edge of a clump of bamboo.

Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis: (4) Delhi woodlands. B: Moderately common at low and medium elevations in lightly wooded farmland and around settlements. Recorded on 10 days with a maximum of (20) on 12 April between Tashitang and Punakha.

Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata: (2) en route to Basai, (2) Okhla and Delhi woodlands.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros: (1) female Okhla. B: (1) male at Yutong La on 4 April that was enjoyed at length in the telescope.

Hodgson’s Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni:. B: Widespread and moderately common this year, recorded on 13 days with a maximum of (10) on 26 March between Thimphu and Cheri Gompa. Numerous good views of the handsome males.

White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps: B: (1) female that gave good views just below the pass at Cheli La on 25 March. The first one recorded on a VENT Bhutan tour as usually a winter visitor only.

Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis: B: Common and widespread this year, recorded on 14 days with a maximum of (20) on two dates, 26 March between Thimphu and Cheri Gompa and 10 April between Jakar and Punakha. A beautiful little bird.

White-capped Water Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus: B: Widespread and common; seen on 19 days and found on virtually every creek, stream and river that we encountered; c. 700 - 3500m. A thoroughly delightful and dapper bird.

Plumbeous Water Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus: B: Widespread and common; seen on 16 days with as many as (15+) on one day; usually seen in pairs with many males singing; found along virtually every stretch of creek, stream and river we encountered in addition to cliff-side waterfalls and springs.

White-tailed Robin Myiomela leucurum: B: Heard calling on the Shemgang Road near Tingtibi on 1-2 April. A very good view of a tape responsive male on the Limithang Road on 8 April, flashing his white tail panels.

Blue-fronted Robin Cinclidium frontale: B: The beautiful song of this incredibly elusive species was heard at very close range, c. 2200m, Limithang Road on 8 April and a couple of lucky observers enjoyed a view. Globally threatened.

Grandala Grandala coelicolor: B: An incredible record and the first ever on a VENT Bhutan tour of this high altitude speciality. A flock of (30), mixed males and females in flight at 2445 metres between Pele La and Trongsa on 30 March gave everyone just enough time to take in the superb gorgeous blue colours of the males-perhaps the bluest birds on the planet.

Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri: B: (2) at the foot of the lovely waterfall, together with 2 Slaty-backed Forktails at Tashitang on 28 March. (1) on a roadside stream on 30 March between Pele La and Trongsa. Very good views.

Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus: B: (4) Tashitang on 28 March, (1) Tingtibi on 1 April and (2) Tashitang on 12 April. Very good views.

Spotted Forktail Enicurus maculates: B: Notably difficult to observe. (2) Cheri Gompa on 26 March gave excellent scope views. (1) on 8 April on Limithang Road and (2) on road up to Dochu La on 11 April were much shyer.

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata: (1) Okhla. B: (1) male on 26 March between Thimphu and Cheri Gompa, (6) mostly males on the Tsang Chu on 27 March while searching for the rare Hodgson’s Bushchat, (1) male on 28 March between Punakha and Tashitang.

White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucura: (3) Okhla. Excellent views of this rare and localised Indian endemic.

Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata: (10) Okhla.

Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea: B: Widespread and common; observed on 11 days in open scrubby country, especially farmland. Maximum count of (10) on 10 April on drive between Jakar and Punakha.

Brown Rock-Chat Cercomela fusca: (2) en route to Basai feeding around an abandoned mud-brick building. A stakeout for this localised species courtesy of Bill Harvey.

Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata: B: (1) taped in on 1 April above Tingtibi. (3) taped out on 6 April on Limithang Road but typically elusive and frustrating although eventually most people enjoyed a view. Heard only on 9 days.

Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea: B: (2) taped in on lower Limithang Road on 7 April and providing good views. Heard only on 3 days.

Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer: B: (1) taped in on lower Limithang Road on 7 April with another very co-operative individual on the Limithang Road on 9 April. Heard only on 2 days.

Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler Cettia fortipes: B: Singles seen on three dates with everyone seeing this species well. (1) on 1 April near Tingtibi, (1) on 7 April and again on 8 April on Limithang Road.

Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler Cettia acanthizoides: B: (1) on 5 April near Thrumsingh La, (2) on 6 April between Sengor and the lower Limithang Road. Some superb views.

Grey-sided Bush-Warbler Cettia brunnifrons: B: (2) Old Pele La Road on 30 March, (1) 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi. Heard only on three other days. Everyone enjoyed good views.

Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus: (1) Basai, singing well and seen a couple of times well.

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon: (4) Basai, singing well and seen perched out several times albeit mostly briefly. One of the few locations where this species can be seen in India.

Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius: (1) Okhla. B: Seen daily near our camp near Tingtibi in small numbers (3,2 and 2), 1-3 April.

Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cuculatus: B: (1) Limithang Road on 7 April.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita: (4) Okhla.

Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus: (1) Sultanpur, (1) Okhla.

Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher: B: Several seen and heard giving their distinctive song, especially in Blue Pine Forest. (1) in a mixed species flock, Cheli La on 25 March; (1) Pele La on 30 March, (6) Thrumsingh La on 5 April, (1) en route to Jakar on 9 April and (2) more at Thrumsingh La on 10 April. Also known as Orange-barred Warbler

Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis: B: Fairly common this year, most frequently encountered in mixed species flocks. Seen on 10 days with a maximum of (20) on 8 April on Limithang Road.

Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus: B: (1) Dochu La on 27 March, (1) near Trongsa on 3 April, (4) Bumthang Valley on 4 April and (4) the following day between Jakar and Sengor.
NOTE: Several small and very similar Phylloscopus warblers were until recently considered to be sub-species of Pallas’s Warbler P. proregulus. Fieldwork in the mountains of central China by Per Alstrom and Urban Olsson has established that the forms chloronotus and kansuensis which were formerly considered to be subspecies of P. proregulus are in fact distinct species; Lemon-rumped Warbler P. chloronotus and Gansu Leaf Warbler P. kansuensis.

Large-billed Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris: B: (2) Tashitang on 12 April.

Blyth's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides: B: Recorded on six days with a maximum of (30) in forest below Dochu La on 11 April.

Yellow-vented Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus cantator: B: (10) Tashitang on 28 March, recorded daily near Tingtibi with a maximum of (10), 1-3 April. This is a distinctive and little known Phylloscopus species. Threatened Species.

Golden-spectacled Warbler Seicercus burkii: B: (2) on 27 March at Dochu La, (1) on 3 April between Tingtibi and Trongsa, (6) on 6 April between Sengor and Lower Limithang Road, (2) on 7 April on the Limithang Road, with (5) in forest at and below Dochu La on 11 April.
NOTE: The Golden-spectacled Warbler has until very recently been treated as a single species, Seicercus burkii, widely distributed in the mountains of southern Asia. A recent paper by Per Alstrom suggests that it is actually a complex of four or five species. However, the jury is still out on this one and even if confirmed the various ‘forms’ may not be identifiable in the field, especially outside the breeding season. At least two species occur and probably breed in Bhutan: Golden-spectacled Warbler S. burkii and Whistler’s Warbler S. whistleri. See Ibis (1999) 141, pp 545-568.

Whistler’s Spectacled Warbler Seicercus whistleri - B: Individuals specifically studied on Dochu La on 27 March reported under Golden-spectacled Warbler almost certainly belonged to this taxon.

Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos: B: Recorded on 11 days with a maximum of (20) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La. Recorded daily near Tingtibi and on the Limithang Road.

White-spectacled Warbler Seicercus affinis: B: (1) seen on 8 April on the Limithang Road.

Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys: B: (5) on 7 April and (1) on 9 April on the Limithang Road. Excellent views allowing us to study the throat and identify the species.

Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps: B: Widespread in low numbers, recorded on 7 days with a maximum of (10) on 7 April on the Limithang Road and on the 11 April in forest below Dochu La.

Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni: B: One of the highlights of the tour. A pair of this rare warbler responded superbly to tape playback and put on a great show within bamboo understorey in Cool Mixed Broad-leaved Forest, c. 2200m, Limithang road on 8 April. Globally threatened.

Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis: B: (3) on 3 April in roadside forest above our camp at Tingtibi.

Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps: B: Recorded on 4 days with (3) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (10) on both 7-8 April on Limithang Road with (6) in forest below Dochu La on 11 April. One of the most attractive and charming of all Old World Warblers.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus: B: (1) below Cheli La in Haa Valley on 25 March, (5) in the Bumthang Valley below Yutong La on 4 April with (3) the following day near Thrumsingh La. Some great crest expansion displays by agitated males to Collared Owlet impersonations.

Striated Warbler Megalurus palustris: (5), Okhla, several excellent song flight displays by this species, the largest of the Old World warblers.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis: (1) Basai, (1) Okhla.

Striated Prinia Prinia criniger: B: Seen on three days. (1) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (1) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi and (1) on 2 April near Tingtibi. Heard on 4 other days (chitzereet-chitzereet-chitzereet).

Hill Prinia Prinia atrogularis: B: Superb views of a singing male in breeding plumage in roadside scrub above Tingtibi on 2 April.

Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris: (10) Basai, (10) Okhla, several in superb fresh breeding plumage, singing loudly (twee-dulu-lu-lee) from exposed perches, Okhla.

Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis: (10) Okhla (jimmy-jimmy-jimmy).

Plain Prinia Prinia inornata: (5) Okhla (tlik-tlik-tlik).

Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis: (1) Okhla - excellent view (bzer-bzer-bzer)

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca: (4) Sultanpur, (4) Okhla. All identified as subspecies althaea, sometimes split as Hume’s Whitethroat.

Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica: B: (6) on 6 April on the upper Limithang Road. The only record on tour this year. Also known as Siberian Sooty Flycatcher.

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata: B: Widespread and common, recorded on 15 days with a maximum of (20) on 27 March between Dochu La and Punakha.

Red-throated Flycatcher Ficedula parva: (3) subspecies parva, (1) male subspecies albicilla, Sultanpur. (3) subspecies parva, Okhla.
NOTE: Some authorities treat the eastern Asian form F.p. albicilla as a distinct species. It differs most conspicuously by the complete grey breast band in the male. We saw both subspecies at Sultanpur.

Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni: B: Seen daily in small numbers near Tingtibi 31 March-2 April, and on the Limithang Road 7-9 April. Maximum of (10) on 8 April.

Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris: B: A superb little bird, recorded on 7 days including Tashitang, Tingtibi, Limithang Road and forest below Dochu La. Maximum of (2) recorded on three days.

White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger: Heard only on 2 April in forest below our camp at Tingtibi. A very secretive species.

Slaty-backed Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsonii: B: (1) on 3 April in forest above Tingtibi.

Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina: B: Widespread and often very common, recorded on 13 days with a maximum of (20) on 8 April on the Limithang Road. A truly spectacular bird.

Large Niltava Niltava grandis: B: (2) males on 7 April and (1) male on 8 April on Limithang Road.

Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae: B: (1) male Tashitang on 28 March and 12 April, (1) male between Punakha and Pele La on 29 March and (1) male on Limithang Road on 7 April.

Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara: B: (4) males in forest below Dochu La on 11 April.

Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor: B: (1) on 7 April and (1) on 9 April on the Limithang Road. Both were males.

Blue-throated Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides: B: (2) males on both 30-31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi. Heard calling on both 1-2 April. Excellent views of this forest gem.

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicacapa ceylonensis: B: Widespread and moderately common, seen on 9 days with a maximum of (10) daily on the Limithang Road.

Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha: B: Recorded on 4 days with a maximum of (2) on 27 March in forest below Dochu La and on 6 April on the Limithang Road below Sengor.

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis: B: Recorded on 7 days with a maximum of (5) on on 8 April on the Limithang Road.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi: (2) stunning white morph males on passage migration at Sultanpur with complete tail streamers.

Common Wood-shrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus: (2) Sultanpur

Large Wood-shrike Tehphrodornis virgatus: B: (1) on 1 April and (3) on 2 April in forest below our camp at Tingtibi.
NOTE: Sibley & Ahlquist (1990) show that the Wood-Shrikes belong in a predominantly African group Malaconotiidae along with the Bush-Shrikes.

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys: B: Moderately common and several seen superbly well in scrub at the edge of farmland and forest edge. (1) 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (1-4) daily near the Tingtibi camp 31 March-3 April. Heard calling on lower Limithang Road.

White-browed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii: B: Sensational views of (4) in partially degraded subtropical woodland, c. 650m elevation, near Tingtibi on 1 April.

Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis: B: Widespread and moderately common. (2) in forest below Cheli La towards Paro on 25 March, (2) on 30 March between Pele La and Trongsa, (2) on 5 April between Jakar and Thrumsingh La, (2) on 7 April on the Limithang Road with more heard calling at this and other sites.

Coral-billed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus: B: (6) on 9 April on the Limithang Road, in a huge mixed foraging flock that saw the entire group running in an attempt to keep pace with this speedy flock. This species was a major highlight as it is rarely encountered and famously elusive.

Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris: B: One of THE highlights of the tour with a couple of very responsive pairs providing incredible views (even in the telescope) within their bamboo habitat. (2) on 29 March c. 3100m elevation at Pele La, (2) on 6 April on the Limithang Road between Sengor and Namling.

Long-billed Wren-Babbler Rimator malacoptilus: B: Heard only on both 8-9 April on Limithang Road.

Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer: B: Heard only on 31 March as we descended the Shemgang Road towards Tingtibi.

Pygmy Wren- Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla: B: (1) seen very well by all on 3 April in roadside forest above the Tingtibi camp. Heard calling on at least 7 days.

Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus: B: Fabulous views of one of three very confiding individuals as they responded superbly to our tape on 7 April (2000 – 1900m) elevation, Limithang Road. Globally threatened.

Spotted Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis formosus: B: (1) seen very well, Tashitang on 12 April. Heard calling on six days.

Bar-winged Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis troglodytoides: B: (1) gave an incredible performance within a metre of David on 9 April on the Limithang Road en route to Jakar. This was a real wow moment and many photographs and video was recorded as this bird did not want to stop.

Wedge-billed Wren-Babbler Sphenocichla humei: B: (1) almost certainly the same bird seen on both the 8-9 April at c. 1900 metres just above our Yongkola camp on the Limithang Road. It gave excellent views including being briefly in the telescope. The rediscovery of this most enigmatic of Asian wren babblers has been one of the ornithological highlights of Bhutan tours. This was only the second VENT tour this bird has been seen on. This is one of the least known and most sought after Asian birds. Globally threatened.

Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps: B: Recorded on 5 days with a maximum of (10) on the Limithang Road on 6 April.

Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea: B: (1) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (1) on 6 April, (1) 7 April, (5) on both 8-9 April on Limithang Road gave everyone the chance to see this gorgeous little bird up close.

Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps: B: (1) on 1 April, (10) on 3 April in forest above our Tingtibi camp. A further (5) were seen on 8 April on the Limithang Road.

Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei: (3) Okhla

Large Grey Babbler Turdoides malcolmi: (2) Sultanpur.

Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus: Common at Sultanpur; Okhla and Delhi woodlands

Common Babbler Turdoides caudatus: (5) Okhla

Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea: B: (2) skuking in dense undergrowth in forest below Dochu La on 11 April were seen by a few group members.

Cutia Cutia nipalensis: B: An incredible flock of at least (30) foraged to within 5 metres of the group on the Limithang Road with a single bird seen lower down in the afternoon on the 7 April. A sensational species.

White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis: B: (2) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi, (2) on 2 April and (3) on 3 April in forest above Tingtibi, (1-3) recorded daily on the Limithang Road 7-9 April. Heard calling on two other dates. Some fabulous views.

Green Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius aenobarbus: B: (1) in a mixed flock on Dochu La on 27 March and an excellent view of one attracted to owlet mimcry on 5 April between Jakar and Thrumsingh La.

Black-eared Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius melanotis: B: Stunning views of this truly gorgeous gem in mixed species flocks. (3) on both the 1-2 April in forest above and below Tingtibi with (4,1,1) recorded on the Limithang Road on 7-9 April.

Black-headed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius rufiventer: B: Two sensational views of this rarity. (1) female foraging in roadside trees at Namling on the Limithang Road on 6 April and (1) male in a huge mixed foraging flock on the Limithang Road on the 9 April was seen repeatedly and very well.

Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni: B: (5) on 8 April and (20) on 9 April on the Limithang Road allowing everyone very good views of this interesting looking species.
Also known as Spectacled Barwing.
NOTE: This taxon should not be confused with Actinodura ramsayi, which occurs in Thailand, and is also referred to as Spectacled Barwing.

Hoary-throated Barwing Actinodura nipalensis: B: Exceptional views of (5) on Dochu La on 27 March with (2) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La plus (1) on 6 April between Sengor and the upper Limithang Road.; several on two days along the Limithang Road.

Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera: B: (50 plus) on 1 April and (10) on 2 April at Tingtibi. (2) were seen on 8 April on the Limithang Road.

Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula: B: (20) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (4) on 30 March between Pele La and Trongsa, (1) on 6 April between Sengor and the Limithang Road plus (10) on 11 April in forest below Dochu La.

Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta: B: (1) at Tashitang on 28 March, (3) on 2 April at Tingtibi with a very impressive flock of (40 plus) on 7 April on the Limithang Road that gave superb views.

Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis: B: An exceptional year for this rarely seen species: a very confiding flock of (30 plus) at c. 2600m elevation on the Limithang Road on the 6 April provided a sensational show. (6) more were seen well on the 8 April in the same location.

Yellow-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinerea: B: In many ways this species epitomises the quality of the birding in Bhutan. A little known and rarely if ever seen species throughout most of its range it is locally common in Bhutan especially along the Limithang Road. On three consecutive days (7-9 April) we recorded totals of 20, 4 and 10.

Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps: B: Widespread and moderately common, seen on 6 days with a maximum of (10) on 6 April on the upper Limithang Road.

White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus - B: Widespread and common, seen on 8 days with a maximum of (20), on 6 April near Sengor. Usually with mixed species flocks in the understorey of both mixed Evergreen and Broad-leaved Forest: Dochu La, Pele La, Chendibji area, Yutong La, Ura to Gayzam Chu, Thrumsing La and higher elevations along the Limithang Road.

Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis: B: Very skulking although locally quite numerous. Seen on six days including both days at Tashitang and consecutive days at Tingtibi.

Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata: B: Common to occasionally abundant and ubiquitous. Seen on 17 days with the highest daily count of (30 ) on 8 April on the Limithang Road.

Striated Yuhina Yuhina castaniceps: B: A very localised species. (20) along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road on 1 April and (20) near Tingtibi on 3 April.

White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri: B: (5) on 2 April at Tingtibi with (5) on 7 April on the Limithang Road. Uncommon to rare throughout its entire range and listed as a Threatened Species.

Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis: B: Widespread and common; recorded on 9 days with a maximum count of (20) on 4 days especially on the Limithang Road. Observed in mixed species flocks and mono-specific flocks in mixed Broad-leaved Forest.

Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis: B: Widespread and common, especially at high elevations. Recorded on 8 days with a high count of (40 plus) on 27 March at Dochu La.

Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis: B: Widespread and common, recorded on 9 days with a high count of (40) on Dochu La on 27 March.

Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta: B: (6) on 28 March at Tashitang, with (5-10) recorded daily between 31 March to 3 April at Tingtibi. Also known as Black-lored Yuhina.

White-bellied Yuhina Yuhina xantholeuca: B: (3) at Tingtibi on 2 April was the only sighting of this species on tour.

Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura: B: A very good tour for this spectacular and much sought after species. (3) at Cheri Gompa on 26 March came into mob Collared Owlet mimicry, (4) were seen as we birded downhill from Dochu La on 27 March with (2) being spotted by one tour member inside the forest above Dochu La on 11 April.

White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis: B: Widespread and common, recorded on 10 days with a maximum count of (40) on two days.

White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus: B: One of the most attractive and effervescent of Asia’s laughingthrushes. Seen daily (31 March-2 April) over three days (range 5-30) along the road between Tongsa and Shemgang and Shemgang and Tingtibi plus being heard on two other days.

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger: B: (2) in primary forest on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi on 2 April at c. 1600 metres. Very shy but everyone finally had a view.

Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis: B: (5) in partially disturbed subtropical forest below our camp near Tingtibi on 2 April.

Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus: B: Common and recorded widely in suitable forested habitat on 10 days with a high count of (15) on the Limithang Road on 7 April.

Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax ruficollis: B: Fabulous views of (1-14) daily from 31 March to 2 April in scrubby areas of disturbed forest below our camp near Tingtibi.

Grey-sided Laughingthrush Garrulax caerulatus: B: (2) on 7 April and (2) on 9 April on the Limithang Road but typically very shy and elusive.

Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus: B: (4) in roadside scrub on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (2-4) recorded daily on 6-8 April in disturbed forest edge on the Limithang Road.

Blue-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax sqamatus: B: (3) on 31 March were seen on the roadside between Trongsa and Tingtibi. A rare sighting of this very secretive species.

Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis: B: Widespread and notably common and very vocal at high elevations. Seen on 7 days with a maximum count of (10) on both 25 March at Cheli La and 27 March at Dochu La.

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus: B: (2) on 10 April on drive between Pele La and Punakha, (5) at the pass at Dochu La on 11 April and (2) at Tashitang on 12 April. Some good tape responsive views including in the scope.

Great Parrotbill Conostoma oemodium: B: A pair of birds just popped up on the side of the road as we descended through tall Silver Fir Forest with a dense understorey of bamboo on the east side of Thrumsing La, Limithang Road, c. 3100m elevation on 5 April. Very good view.

Brown Parrotbill Paradoxornis unicolor: B: (20) in forest below Cheli La on 25 March gave super views including feeding on the ground on a narrow trail - most unusual for parrotbills.

Fulvous Parrotbill Paradoxornis fulvifrons: B: (2) birds well spotted by David from the bus in dense bamboo at the pass, Yutong La on 10 April. Unfortunately only seen by a fortunate few.

Black-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis nipalensis: B: Sensational views of this gorgeous little bird as a flock of 30 actively fed in a grove of dense bamboo on the Limithang Road on 6 April. A second flock of 20 was seen on the 9 April also on the Limithang Road.

Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis ruficeps: B: (2) on 8 April and (6) on 9 April on Limithang Road gave everyone superb views.

Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus: B: A delightful species and a great favourite with everyone. Recorded on 7 days with a maximum of (10) on 27 March in forest below Dochu La. Recorded daily on the Limithang Road. Also known as Red-headed Tit.

Rufous-fronted Tit Aegithalos iouschistos: B: Recorded on 7 days with a maximum count of (20) on 6 April between Sengor and Namling on the Limithang Road. Also known as Black-browed Tit.

Rufous-vented Tit Parus rubidiventris: B: Recorded on 8 days, moderately common at high altitude. Highest count was (50) on 5 April on the drive from Jakar via Thrumsing La to Sengor.

Coal Tit Parus ater: B: Widespread and moderately common in all high elevation forests. Recorded on 10 days with a high count of (100) on 5 April as the previous species.

Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous: B: Widespread and moderately common in all high elevation forests. Recorded on 10 days with a high count of 20 at both Cheli La on 25 March and 5 April on the drive from Jakar via Thrumsing La to Sengor. Also known as Brown-crested Tit.

Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus: B: Common to locally abundant and ubiquitous in suitable forested habitat. Seen on 20 days with counts exceeding (20 plus on at least 5 days. One of the most frequently seen but nevertheless most attractive Himalayan species.

Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus: B: A truly spectacular but rather uncommon species. (1) on 2 April at 1600 metres on Shemgang Road above Tingtibi, (1-2) recorded daily on the Limthang Road on 6-8 April.
NOTE: Previously treated as conspecific with Black-lored Tit Parus xanthogenys, however, the ranges of these two taxa overlap without hybridisation and they are morphologically distinct.

Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus: B: Widespread and moderately common, recorded on 7 days with a high count of (10) on 29 March on the drive between Punakha and Pele La. Typically associated with mixed species flocks.

Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea: B: What a stunner! Exceptional views of two on 1 April in forest on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi. Two more were seen in the same area the following day with (1) on 7 April on the Limithang Road.

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea: B: (2) on 28 March at Tashitang, (1) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi, (4) on both 1 and 3 April near Tingtibi.

White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis: B: Widespread and moderately common, recorded on 11 days this year. Maximum count was (4) but this was on 7 days including everyday on the Limithang Road.

Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa: B: Fabulous views of (3) calling and foraging in the crown of a huge canopy tree below the road allowing us to look down on them at c. 1750m elevation, along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road on 2 April. One of the highlights of the entire tour. This is one of Asia’s most rarely seen and least known birds with the Shemgang Road currently the only known site in the world for this species. Threatened Species.

Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria: B: A very good year for this species seen on three occasions and very well by every person on the tour. (1) on 24 March in the Paro Valley, (1) on 27 March on the Tsang Chu upstream from Wangdi, feeding on a roadside cutting beside the bus at point blank range, (1) at Tashitang on 28 March.

Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familliaris: B: (4) on 25 March at Cheli La with singles on both 9-10 April at Thrumsigh La and Pele La. Also known as Common Treecreeper.

Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis: B: (1) Dochu La on 27 March, (3) at Pele La on 29 March and (2) at Dochu La on 11 April.

Brown-throated Treecreeper Certhia discolor: B: (2) on 30 March near Trongsa, (2) on 2 April on the Shemgang Road above Tingtibi, (2) on 11 April forest below Dochu La. Excellent views of all of these birds. Great views of all three species of treecreeper was a feature of this tour.

Fire-capped Tit Cephalopyrus flammiceps: B: (3) two males and a female nest building in a tiny tree hollow at Tashitang on the 28 March allowed some good scope views. This may be the second nest record for Bhutan the previous one from last year’s VENT tour.

Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica: Moderately common Basai, Sultanpur, Okhla; Delhi woodlands.

Mrs Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae: B: Moderately common, often together with Green-tailed Sunbirds and mixed species flocks. The resident subspecies in Bhutan is especially spectacular. Recorded on 7 days with a maximum count of (5) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La.

Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis: B: Common to abundant and often ubiquitous. Seen on 12 days with a high count of (30 plus) on 27 March at Dochu La.

Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata: B: Common and widespread especially at elevations generally lower than the previous two species. Seen on 13 days with a maximum daily total of (10) on 4 days.

Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda: B: (2) males seen all too briefly on 6 April below Sengor.

Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna: B: (1-6) seen on the three days along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road, 31 March-2 April.

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus: B: Widespread and moderately common at middle elevations. Recorded on 12 days with a maximum count of (10) on 2 April near Tingtibi. Also known as Buff-bellied Flowerpecker.

Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosa: (10) Delhi woodlands, B: Recorded on 6 days with a high count of (10) on 1 April in disturbed forest near Tingtibi.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach: (5) of the striking black-headed race tricolor observed Okhla B: Recorded on 11 days with a maximum of (10) on 31 March on the drive between Trongsa and Tingtibi. A species of farmland-forest edge.

Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus: B: Widespread but scarce. Recorded on 6 days with a maximum of (5) on 10 April in the Bumthang Valley near Jakar.

Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus: (2) between Basai and Sultanpur. (1) Okhla. A particularly beautiful small shrike.

Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus: Common at Basai, Sultanpur, (20) Okhla and Delhi woodlands.
NOTE: Asian populations once united with African Black Drongo under D. adsimilis are now widely treated as a separate species macrocercus.

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus: (2) Sultanpur B: Widespread and common to very common, recorded on 14 days with a maximum of (30plus) on 31March on the drive between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus: B: (1) Tashitang 28 March, (2-10) recorded daily along the lower section of the Shemgang to Tingtibi Road, 31 March-3 April. (2-6) recorded on Limithang Road on 7-8 April and (3) in forest below Dochu La on 11 April.

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer: B: (1) on 31 March near Tingtibi, (2) on Limithang Road on 7 April with (1) at the same location on 9 April.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus: B: (1) on 2 April in primary forest above Tingtibi.

Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentotus: B: (4) Tingtibi on 1 April with (1) at same location on 3 April.
NOTE: Dear old Ripley again. This time he lumped all the drongos from India to Melanesia and Australia as one huge polymorphic species Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentotus. This was very unfortunate as the islands of Indonesia e.g. Sumatra, Sulawesi, and the Lesser Sundas all support distinctive and intervening forms. As a consequence the taxonomy of this group has been revised and at least four well-defined species have resulted. The specific name hottentotus now only applies to populations in south and southeast Asia. They are characterised by their filamentous hair-like crest (hence the common name). This species ranges east to the Moluccas. The Spangled Drongo, which is confined to New Guinea, Australia and nearby islands now receives the specific scientific name D. bracteatus. For more information see Sibley & Monroe (1990).

Yellow-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa flavirostis: B: One of the many great birds of Bhutan. Widespread and common from near to Paro and Thimpu and east to the Limithang Road. Seen on 13 days with a maximum count of (10). Also known as Gold-billed Magpie or Gold-billed Blue Magpie.

Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis: B: (1) Tingtibi on 1 April gave very good views, (1) Limithang Road on 7 April also gave great views.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius: B: (6) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (2) on 3 April near Trongsa, (2) on 11 April in forest near Dochu La and (2) on 12 April at Tashitang.

Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda: (4) Delhi woodlands.

Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae: B: Widespread and locally moderately common. (4) Tashitang on 28 March and (10) here on 12 April, (10) per day from 31 March to 3 April on the Shemgang Road near Tingtibi, (1) recorded on Limithang Road on 7 and 9 April. Also known as Himalayan Treepie.

Black-billed Magpie Pica pica: B: Common in the upland valleys of the Bumthang Region with between 15-30 individuals recorded on 4-5 April and on the return journey 9-10 April. The subspecies that occurs in the Bumthang Valley is bottae. This subspecies has a black rump. This subspecies has been split recently, by some authorities, as the Tibetan Magpie Pica bottae.

Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes: B: Widespread and common in higher elevation evergreen forests from Paro and the Cheri Valley east to the Limithang Road. Recorded on 10 days with a high count of (20) at Cheli La on 25 March.

Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax: B: Moderately common and seen on 9 days with a high count of (200) on 4 April in the Bumthang Valley en route to Jakar.

House Crow Corvus splendens: Abundant in Delhi. B: (1) Thimphu on 26 March.

Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchus: (2) Sultanpur, (2) Okhla. B: Common to very common and widespread, recorded daily with as many as (100) around our camp at Sengor. Also known as Jungle Crow.

Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus: B: (10) feeding in flowering Coral tree (Brachychiton) between Wangdi and Punakha on 27 March. (2) more in the same trees on 29 March. Also known as Grey-headed Starling.

Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum: (1) Basai.

Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra: Basai, Sultanpur, (50) Okhla.

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis: Common and ubiquitous in open country in the Delhi area. B: Recorded on 8 days with a high count of (130) on 27 March in the Wangdi-Punakha area.

Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus: Moderately common at Basai, Sultanpur and (10) Okhla.

Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans: B: Common in suitable scrub and open country especially around farm buildings. Recorded on 12 days with a high count of (1000) feeding in a field in the Bumthang Valley en route to Jakar on 4 April.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus: B: Ubiquitous in suitable open country especially around farm buildings. Recorded on 10 days with generally (10) birds on these days.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus: (3) Okhla.

Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthocollis: (2+) Sultanpur -including a lovely male in breeding plumage.

Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar: (20) Okhla, several in breeding plumage, scrub and tall grassy areas adjacent to marshes along the east bank of the Yamuna River, Okhla.

Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus benghalensis: (1) Basai, (10) Okhla. Several in breeding plumage.

Red Avadavat Amandava amandava: (20) Basai, (10) Okhla.

Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica: (2) Sultanpur, (1) Okhla

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata: (5) Okhla

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides: B: (50) on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi, (30) near our camp on the Limithang Road on 7 April.

Tibetan Siskin Carduelis thibetana: B: (7) on 27 March in forest below Dochu La, (30) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (200 on 2 April near Tingtibi. Always in tight flocks and difficult to get a good view of feeding in the canopy and wheeling around.

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus: (5) including handsome males in scrubby farmland, east bank Yamuna R., Okhla.

Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus: B: (25) on 4 April in fields in the Bumthang Valley en route to Jakar with (13) the following day and (10) on 10 April on return drive in the Bumthang Valley. Great views of several males.

Dark-rumped Rosefinch Carpodacus edwardsii: B: (1) female on 6 April between Sengor and the upper Limithang Road.

Dark-breasted Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis: B: (1) knockout male that perched out well on 25 March in forest below Cheli La.

White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura: B: (2) including a male on 25 March in forest below Cheli La, (2) including a male at Namling on the Limithang Road on 6 April.

Crimson-browed Finch Propyrrhula subhimachala: B: (3) females on 30 March on the Old Pele La Road, (5) including one stunning adult male and one sub-adult male in forest above our Sengor campsite on 6 April.

Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi: B: (1) female below our camp at Yongcola on the Limithang Road on 7 April, (1) stunning male above our camp on the Limithang Road on 9 April.

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra: B: (2) on 25 March at Cheli La, (10) on 27 March at Dochu La, (4) on 29 March at Pele La, (20) at Yutong La on 4 April, (10) at Thrumsingh La on 5 April and (2) below our camp at Sengor on 6 April.

Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala: B: (2) in forest below Cheli La on 25 March, (6) at Dochu La on 27 March, (1) on 4 April between Trongsa and Yutong La.

Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis: B: (3) in forest approaching Cheli La on 25 March, (2) at Pele La on 29 March, (2) on 4 April at Yutong La and (3) at Thrumsingh La on 5 April. Some stunning scope studies of this magnificent bird.

Spot-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas melanzanthos: B: (2) near Trongsa on 30 March, (7) on Limithang Road on 7 April, (2) between Pele La and Punakha on 10 April with (10) in forest below Dochu La on 11 April. Some very good views.

White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes: B: (30) in juniper forest at Cheli La on 25 March, (2) at Thrumsingh La on 9 April and (6) near Pele La on 10 April. Excellent views.

Gold-naped Finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta: B: (2) females seen very well on the Limithang Road on 8 April. Threatened Species.

Crested Bunting Melophus lathami. B: (1) male on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (10) mostly singing males on 31 March between Trongsa and Tingtibi, (1) male on 11 April near Punakha.

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla: B: (5) behind the Thimphu Fitness Centre on 26 March, (1) near Wangdi on 27 March, (1) in a field with hundreds of Russet Sparrows and a few Beautiful Rosefinches in the Bumthang Valley en route to Jakar on 4 April, (1) a surprise vagrant feeding on roadside grass on the Limithang Road on 7 April and (6) in dry fields near Punakha on 11 April.

MAMMALS

Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis: B: Widespread and common especially at lower elevations. Recorded on 6 days including Tashitang and Tingtibi. Maximum count of (30) on 31 March on drive between Trongsa and Tingtibi.

Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta: (30) Delhi woodlands

Common (Hanuman) Langur Presbytis entellus: B: (5) on 29 March between Punakha and Pele La, (10) below Pele La on 10 April. Notably larger and more heavily furred than populations in India.

Capped Langur Presbytis pileatus: B: Wonderful looks a total of (10) of these handsome primates along the Limithang Road on 7 April.

Golden Langur Presbytis geei: B: Notably common from just below Trongsa to Shemgang and down to our camp near Tingtibi. Large numbers (30 – 70) seen on four days with several troops feeding on or at the side of the road from 31 March to 3 April.

Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula: B: (1) Cheri Gompa on 26 March, (1) between Punakha and Pele La on 29 March, (1) that ran across the road in front of the bus on 12 April as we approached Dochu La.

Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes auropunctatus: (2) Okhla.

Leopard Panthera pardus: B: Heard only on 10 April beside the road in the afternoon while we were stalking a Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush on 10 April. A fresh footprint seen on the road on 6 April between Sengor and Namling on the Limithang Road and fresh spray scent marking very strong on the road below Dochu La on 11 April.

Common Jackal Canis aureus: B: (1) seen very close to our hotel in Punakha on 27 March.

Himalayan Black Bear Selenarctos thibetanus: B: (2) seen together on the Old Pele La Road on 30 March including one that fell asleep in the sun for over thirty minutes. Very relaxed bear. This was a first time sighting on a VENT Bhutan tour. Very good scope views.

Horshoe Bat sp. B: (1) seen at dusk eating an insect while perched in a tree on the Limithang Road on the evening of 8 April. Many microchiropteran bats of unidentified species were seen whilst camping.

Giant Pied Squirrel Ratufa bicolor: B: (2) including one that gave incredible views on 31 March between Trongsa and Shemgang.

Hoary-bellied Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus: B: (10) daily in forest near Tingtibi 1-3 April.

Five-striped Squirrel Funambulas pennanti: (10) Sultanpur, (20) Delhi woodlands and Okhla.

Himalayan Striped Squirrel Tamiops macclellandi: B: Common and widespread especially along the Limithang Road. Recorded on 11 days with a maximum of (3).

Serow Capricornis sumatraensis: B: (1) Scoped feeding on opposite hillside between Jakar and Thrumsingh La on 5 April.

Goral Nemorhaedus goral: B: (2) scoped while feeding unconcernedly on opposite hillside on Old Pele La Road on 30 March, sharing the same hillside with the Himalayan Black Bears.

Common Barking Deer (Muntjac) Muntiacus muntjak: B: Heard only on Shemgang to Tingtibi Road on 1 April, (1) seen on the Limithang Road on 8 April and (1) at Tashitang on 12 April.

Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus: A herd of (c. 50), Sultanpur.

Wild Boar Sus scrofa: B: (1) Tingtibi on 31 March.

Royle’s Pika Ochotona roylei: B: (4) at the pass at Cheli La on 25 March were most likely of this species.

Indian Hare Lepus nigricollis: (1) Sultanpur-disturbed during the day whilst searching for Indian Courser and Yellow-wattled Lapwing.

Reptiles and Amphibians:

Speckled Forest Skink Mabuya macularia: B: (1) male on the Limithang Road on 8 April.

Himalayan Toad Bufo himalayanus: B: (1) found by one group member whilst camping at Pele La on 29 March. Probably this species.


© Dion Hobcroft / K. David Bishop
 

 

   
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