[I - India; B -
1.Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax
carbo B: One immature along the Po Chu.
2.Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger I: Sultanphur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R;
3.Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster I: Sultanphur Jheel. Currently classified
as Near Threatened.
NOTE: The Old World populations of Darter represent
one of a handful of species
whose taxonomic status has flipped back-and-forth at the vagary of taxonomic
Some authorities treat the three Old World forms of the Darter which inhabit
Asia and Australia as a single species Anhinga melanogaster. Other authorities
the taxa of each region as separate species. Clearly the three taxa represent a
superspecies, whether or not these taxa have yet evolved into fully-fledged
open to conjecture. The taxon found in the America’s, Anhinga anhinga is widely
regarded as specifically distinct from Old World form(s).
4.Grey Heron Ardea cinerea I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna R; Assam.
5.Purple Heron Ardea purpurea I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna R; Assam.
6.Great Egret Egretta alba I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna R; Assam.
NOTE: Placed by some authorities in Casmerodius or
7.Little Egret Egretta garzetta I: Assam.
8.Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla; Assam.
NOTE: Placed by some authorities in Egretta.
9.Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna R;
Assam – all in fine breeding plumage.
NOTE: Consistent differences between B. ibis and B.
coromandus in breeding plumage,
proportions and vocalisations indicate they are better treated as two species.
Rasmussen & Anderton. 2005 ‘Birds of South Asia The Ripley Guide’ indicates that
in North America are referable to Western or Common Cattle Egret B. ibis.
10. Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii I: Sultanphur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna R;
Assam. B: One on the mid-slopes of Kori La.
11. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala I: Ten at Sultanphur Jheel. Globally
12. Asian Openbill Stork Anastomus oscitans I: Approximately 10 between Somdrup
Jonkhar and Gauhati.
13. Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus I: Three at Sultanphur Jheel.
14. Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus I: Six at Siltanphur Jheel.
15.Red-naped Ibis Pseudibis papillosa I: Two at Sultanphur Jheel and Okhla,
16.Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia I: Thirty at Sultanphur Jheel.
17.Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus I: Circa at Okhla, Yamuna R.
18.Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica I: Several between Somdrup Jonkhar
and Gauhati, Assam.
19. Comb Duck Sarkidornis Sarkidiornis melanotus I: Thirty at Sultanpur Jheel.
20. Gadwall Anas strepera I: Okhla, Yamuna R.
21. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope I: Just one drake at Okhla, Yamuna R; B: Three
along the Po Chu.
22. Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha I: Common at Sultanphur Jheel
and Okhla, Yamuna R.
NOTE: This distinctive taxon has recently been given
full species status by some
authorities (see for example Rasmussen & Anderton 2005). It can be separated
Chinese Spot-billed Duck by the less uniform sooty black upperparts; green as
to a blue speculum and the presence of a pink-red bill spot. This is the
population that breeds throughout the Indian subcontinent and SE Asia. The
part of the equation is referred to as Chinese Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha
this taxon breeds in north and eastern Asia and is a very rarely recorded
migrant in the Indian subcontinent.
23.Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata I: Several at Sultanphur Jheel and at Okhla,
24. Garganey Anas querquedula I: Several at Sultanphur Jheel and at Okhla,
25.Eurasian Teal Anas crecca I: One drake at Sultanphur Jheel.
26. Common Pochard Aythya farina I: One drake at Okhla, Yamuna R.
27.Common Merganser Mergus merganser B: One drake on the Puna Tsang Chu.
28.Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus I: One at Sultanphur Jheel.
29. Black Kite Milvus migrans I: Widespread in the Delhi area and near Gauhati.
30. Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis B: A good year for this gigantic
species: 24 April – a total of 33+ soaring over the east slope of Pele La
including eye-level views; 29 April – two low over the Gaytse Valley, Bumthang
31.Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela B: Ones and twos recorded on eight
32. Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus I: At least three adult females
hunting over reed-beds and scrub along the Yumuna R. It is interesting to note
that we rarely encounter males in the Delhi region.
33. Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus B: One displaying near Tingtibi.
34.Shikra Accipiter badius I: One seen at Sultanpur Jheel and good looks at two
females at Okhla, Yamuna R.
35. Besra Accipiter virgatus B: One dashed into a tree full of small birds along
the Tashitang Track, Jigme Dorji Nat. Pk.; one on the Shemgang Rd.; one on the
middle Limithang Rd. and one near Moshi.
36.Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus B: One circled as we lunched near the
Gayzamchu and then a female perched for lovely views on the slopes of
Thrumsingla. The following day we saw at least two around our Sengor camp.
Also known as Northern Sparrowhawk.
37. Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmanicus B: One distantly on Yutong La and two
between Jakar and Ura.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) argue that
burmanicus is specifically distinct
from Common Buzzard Buteo buteo.
38. Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus B: One between Jakar and Ura.
39. Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis B: Fairly common this year with one on the
lower slopes of Pele La; presumed pairs daily over the Shemgang Rd. especially
near our camp and one that nearly came throught the window of our bus and a
total of six as we drove from Shemgang to Trongsa. A most evocative and
distinctive eagle as it hunts within the inter-canopy spaces. Very rarely seen
40. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos B: One soaring high over Shonkar Louri.
41.Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus I: One mobbed by crows as it circled low
over Sultanpur Jheel.
42. Mountain Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis B: Notably widespread and fairly
common with as many as three seen on one day between Morong and Somdrup Jonkhar.
43. Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos B: One seen distantly near Somdrop
Jonkhar; a rarity in the kingdom and VENT’s second record in Bhutan.
44. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus I: B: Widespread and moderately common in
open, non forested country.
Also known as Eurasian Kestrel.
45.Oriental Hobby Falco severus B: At least two individuals hunting dragonflies
at dusk near Somdrup Jonkhar.
46.Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus I: One at Okhla, Yamuna R.
47.Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus I: Several heard and one handsome
male seen near Okhla, Yamuna R.; also heard Assam.
48. Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus I: Several seen at Sultanpur Jheel
and at Okhla, Yamuna R.
49. Common Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola B: Widespread and heard on many
Also known as Hill Partridge.
50. Rufous-throated Hill Partridge Arborophila rufogularis B: Heard on several
days between Tingtibi and Morong.
51.Chestnut-breasted Partridge Arborophila mandellii B: Heard commonly along the
lower section of the Shemgang and Limithang roads. Globally threatened.
52.Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus B: A quiet year for this species with just
a group of four seen nicely as we ascended Cheli La on our first morning in
53.Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra B: Quite simply the best year ever for this
species! One heard on Cheli La, a very rare locality record for this species;
3-4 males and two females on Pele La – two of the males responded dramatically
to KDB’s tape and came charging in out of the fog! Two males along the roadside
above Sengor one afternoon and again the next morning plus at least five heard
around our Sengor camp; and one female just below Namling on the Limithang Road.
54. Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus B: A total of four including several
gorgeous males seen superbly within and at the edge of magnificent Silver Fir
forest on the slopes of Cheli La; fabulous looks at five adult males within
mixed Rhododendron, Silver Fir, Birch forest on Pele La; and another heard above
Jakar. This too is one of the world’s most iridescent and spectacular birds.
Amazing to think we completely missed this species on our first couple of tours
to the kingdom.
Also known as Impeyan Pheasant.
55. Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelana B: Notably common this year with 26
counted on Cheli La and a further three between Ha and the confluence; seven on
the Tashitang Track; one male on the Shemgang Rd.; one female below Namling and
a male and female above our Yongkola – Bonkosomey camp the following day.
56. Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus I: Several at Sultanpur Jheel and along the
east bank of the Yamuna River; also heard in Assam near the Bhutan border.
57.Sarus Crane Grus
A pair of these glorious birds at Sultanpur Jheel.
58. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus I: Several at Sultanpur Jheel;
Okhla, Yamuna R. and Assam.
59. Black-tailed Crake Amaurornis bicolor B: Three seen superbly at Rotong and
heard near Paro. This species was only known from one specimen prior to VENT’s
tours to Bhutan. It now appears that this species is locally common throughout
60. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus I: Sultanpur Jheel.
Also known as Common Gallinule.
61. Common Coot Fulica atra I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R.
Also known as Eurasian Coot.
62.Grey-headed Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla,
NOTE: The Purple Swamphen complex is now split into
63.Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus I: Several en route to Gauhati,
64. Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus I: Distant looks at a group
of ten near Okla, Yamuna R.
65. Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii B: Fabulous views of two along the Paro
Chu; seven along the Po Chu; five along the Mo Chu; heard along the Puna Tsang
Chu and one along the Jakar Chu. Bhutan is indeed a stronghold for this very
66. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus I: Common; Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla,
67. Indian Thick-knee Burhinus indicus I: One at Sultanpur Jheel.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) split this taxon
from Eurasian Thick-knee.
68. Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus I: Yamuna R; Assam.
69. River Lapwing Vanellus duvauceli B: One along the Paro Chu; several along
the Puna Tsang Chu, Po Chu and Mo Chu.
70. Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola B: One ‘roding’ at dusk and dawn over
our camp on Pele La and one roding over our Sengor camp.
71. Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria B: One of the most interesting and
surprising finds of the tour; a single rather bedazzled bird was watched closely
and at length one evening as we were spotlighting along the Limithang Road.
72. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa I: Four in partial breeding plumage at
73. Common GreenshankTringa nebularia I: Two, Sultanpur Jheel.
74. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus I: Two, Sultanpur Jheel. B: One along the
Paro Chu and one along the Paro Chu.
75. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola I: One, Sultanpur Jheel.
76. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos B: One along the Paro and two along the
77.Ruff Philomachus pugnax I: Circa. 300 at Sultanpur Jheel.
78.Pallas’s Gull Larus ichthyaetus I: Four in breeding plumage, Sultanpur Jheel.
79. Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus I: Several along the Yamuna River.
80. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida I: Ten in breeding plumage over the Yamuna
81. Rock Pigeon Columba livia I: B: Widespread and common. It is now almost
impossible to determine which individuals are feral birds and which are wild
82. Ashy Wood-Pigeon Columba pulchricollis B: Two seen in flight on Yutong La. A
very rarely encountered species in Bhutan.
83. Speckled Wood-Pigeon Columba hodgsonii B: Three around our Sengor campsite;
one seen by Don on Kori La.
84. Oriental Turtle-Dove Streptopelia orientalis B: Widespread, common and
observed almost daily, often foraging on the road.
85. Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna
86. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis B: Moderately common locally in open
country. Widespread and along the lower slopes of Dochu La; Puna Tsang Chu
valley; Po Chu valley; Punakha; Tashigang trail; above Wangdi; one on the
Limithang Rd. at Yongkola; several between Kori La and Trashigang and on our
eastern descent. I: Assam.
87. Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla,
88. Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decoacto I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla,
89. Barred Cuckoo-dove Macropygia unchall B: Notably common and vocal this year;
several daily along the Shemgang Rd., heard on the Limithang Rd. and six seen
90. Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica B: One below Trongsa.
Also known as Green-winged Ground-Dove.
91. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera I: Fairly common Sultanpur
Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna R.
92. Pin-tailed Green Pigeon Treron apicauda B: Just one within degraded
Subtropical Forest above Tingtibi and two below Morong.
93. Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostris B: One in flight below
94. Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenura B: A flock of six between Trongsa
and Shemgang; heard several time along the Shemgang Rd. and two below Rontong.
95. Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia B: One near Tingtibi and a total of
six below Morong.
96. Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria I: One in flight over the Yamuna
97. Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri I: Fairly common, Sultanpur Jheel
and Okhla, Yamuna River, Assam.
98. Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri I: One male seen nicely near the
99. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus B: Fabulous views of an
especially responsive individual at our campsite on the Shemgang Rd.
100. Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparveroides B: Widespread and common. Seen
or heard on many days.
NOTE: Sometimes placed in Cuculus.
101. Common Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx varius I: Superb, close views of one at
Sultanpur Jheel; heard in Assam.
NOTE: Sometimes placed in Cuculus.
102. Whistling Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor B: Widespread but sparse,
nevertheless this year we heard more than the usual occasional individual and
enjoyed superb views of a single bird sitting out sunning itself along the the
NOTE: What was previously treated as Hodgson’s
Hawk-Cuckoo H. fugax has now been split into at least three species and the
population resident in the Himalayas becomes Whistling Hawk-Cuckoo (King 2004,
Rasmussen & Anderton 2005). Sometimes placed in Cuculus.
103. Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus B: Heard daily from the Shemgang Rd.
eastwards and at least one seen in flight along the Limithang Rd. I: Heard in
104. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus B: Widespread; heard most days and several
Also known as Eurasian Cuckoo.
105. Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus B: Widespread and common; heard most days
and seen on Dochu La.
106. Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus B: Heard commonly along the Limithang
Rd. east to near Morong.
107. Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus B: Great ‘scope views of one bird
along the Shemgang Rd.; one heard on the middle Limithang Rd. and one heard at
our Morong campsite.
108. Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus B: What a simply stunning bird!
A male was observed constantly flying to and fro feeding an adult female
seemingly in some sort of courtship display near our Yongkola camp on the middle
109. Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus B: One male heard and seen near
110. Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris B: Several seen and heard
on a few days.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) point out that
‘Drongo Cuckoo’ clearly involves multiple species. The birds we saw and heard in
the Himalayas is just one of several species derived from this split.
111. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna River;
one male seen in Assam.
112. Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis I: Sultanpur Jheel, Okhla, Yamuna River.
113.Lesser Coucal Centropus ateralbus B: One seen and heard just above Tashigang.
I: One seen in Assam.
114.Mountain Scops-Owl Otus spilocephalus B: Heard most days from Tingtibi east
115.Collared Scops-Owl Otus lettia B: Seen briefly at our campsite on the
Shemgang Rd. where also heard regularly.
NOTE: Until recently this taxon was treated as part of
a widespread species Otus bakkamoena found throughout the Oriental region.
However the book ‘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.
116. Tawny Fish-Owl Ketupa flavipes B: Fantastic views of a single male of this
very rarely seen species, along the Mo Chu, Jigme Dorji Nat. Pk.
117. Himalayan Wood Owl Strix nivicola B: Heard one evening near our Sengor
NOTE: Split from Tawny Owl Strix aluco (see Rasmussen
& Anderton 2005).
118. Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodei B: Heard almost daily from Shemgang
119.Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides B: Rather quiet this year with
birds heard along the Shemgang and Limithang roads.
120. Spotted Owlet Athene brama I: Two seen nicely along the Yamuna River at
121. Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka B: Super views of at least three birds
hawking every morning outside our hotel near Punakha; heard at ca. 2000m on the
Limithang Rd. and at our Ronong Camp.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) point out that
Himalayan (jotaka) South Indian
(indicus) and Sri Lankan (kelaarti) populations exhibit clear, consistent
and vocal differences such that they should be treated as separate species.
122. Himalayan Swiftlet Collocalia brevirostris B: Very few seen this year with
just six on the Limithang Rd. one rainy day and then small numbers between
Tashigang and Somdrup Jonkhar.
123. White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus B: This wonderfully
evocative bird was first seen as black thunder clouds threatened; twos and
threes in a loose aggregation of maybe 40 birds performed their spectacular
aerial acrobatics over the Mangde Chu near Tingtibi; a second group of ca. 20
performed similar aerial fancies as we descended from Shemgang en route back to
Trongsa; three were displaying over potential nests sites high on Yutong La.
124. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis I: Common in Assam.
125. Dark-rumped Swift Apus acuticauda B: One of the many advantages of the VENT
itinerary is that it takes us east to the south-east border of Bhutan and thus
permits us to once again encounter this very rarely seen and localised species:
a flock of ten below Deothang put on a great show.
126. Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus B: Widespread and locally common. Seen
almost daily with nesting birds observed at several sites.
127. Little Swift Apus affinis I: Yamuna R. B: Two on Pele La and six possibly
nesting at a colony of House Martins on the Shemgang Road.
128. Ward’s Trogon Harpactes wardii B: Perhaps the ultimate Bhutan bird
experience. What a truly wondrous experience; one pair seen on the mid-slopes of
Pele La; a pair plus one female of very territorial and confiding birds put on a
never to be forgotten show as they flirted, called and just sat for ca. 10
minutes, providing a life-time of visual memories including truly amazing ‘scope
views. In addition to at least one other pair heard along the Limithang Road.
129. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis B: Scattered ones and twos along the Po Chu,
Puna Tsang Chu and Mo Chu.
Also known as Eurasian or River Kingfisher.
130. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis B: 1-2 along the Puna Tsang
Chu and Po Chu; one below Kori Laand 1-2 daily between Tashigang and Somdrup
Jonkhar. I: Yamuna R; Assam.
131. Crested Kingfisher Ceryle lugubris B: Notably common this year with good
numbers seen along the Po Chu, Mo Chu and Puna Tsang Chu; including one
individual hovering, diving and taking a fish in front of the Punakha Dzong.
132. Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctiornis athertoni B: A fabulous encounter with a
pair between Trongsa and Shemgang and another gorgeous male showing off his
beard near Yongkola along the Limithang Rd.
133. Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis I: Several at Sultanpur Jheel and
along the Yamuna R.
Also known as Green Bee-eater
134. Hoopoe Upupa epops B: One or two in the Jakar Valleyand one along the
middle Limithang Rd.
135. Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris I: Great views of a small group at
Okhla along the Yamuna River.
136. Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis B: A total of seven above Tingtibi provided
a wonderful spectacle and three on our rainy but very birdy afternoon in the
giant bamboo near Tingtibi.
137. Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis B: Without doubt, for many a major
highlight of a great tour. Sensational views of several birds daily along the
road from Shemgang to Tingtibi: 26 April: four males above our camp on the
Shemgang Rd.; 27 April: three males along the Shemgang Rd; 28 April: one male
between Shemgang and Trongsa; 1 May: two below our Yongkola camp on the
Limithang Rd; 2 May: one pair en route on the middle Limithang Rd.; 3 May:
spectacular close views of a male on the middle Limithnag Rd.; 5 May: one pair
on the east slope of Kori La; and 7 May: one male below Morong. Globally
138. Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus B: Fabulous looks at three birds along
the Buntar Road.
139. Great Barbet Megalaima virens B: Widespread and common, recorded almost
140. Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii B: Widespread and recorded in
141. Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica B: Several between Trongsa and
Shemgang; several heard and seen daily between Shemgang and Tingtibi; several
heard and seen on the eastern descent.
142. Blue-eared Barbet Megalaima australis B: One heard near Somdrup Jonkhar. I:
Heard near the border crossing.
143. Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala I: Two at Sultanpur Jheel; Assam.
144. Yellow-rumped Honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus B: One male seen by some as
he attended a Rock Bee hive along the Thimpu Chu; a second male was subsequently
seen nicely by all bekow Trongsa. This is a little known and rarely observed
species. Globally threatened.
145. Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus B: Two individuals seen nicely on the
146. White-browed Piculet Sasia ochracea B: One seen with a mixed flock below
Trongsa and a second on the Shemgang Road.
147. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus B: Great looks at a
male just below Deothang.
148. Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Picoides macei B: Good looks at a pair near
149. Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Picoides hyperythrus B: One male seen very
close-by drumming below Cheri Gompa; heard on Dochu La; two on the slopes of
Pele La; two on the upper slopes of Pele La; two on Kori La and below Rontong.
150. Darjeeling Woodpecker Picoides darjellensis B: One pair seen well on Pele
La; one female near Yongkola and a male on Korila.
151.Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Picoides cathpharius B: Great looks at a female
on the Tshitang Track; a pair on the slopes of Pele La and superb close views of
a male on Kori La.
152. Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus B: Great looks at one male on the
153. Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha B: Heard along the Tashitang Trail;
Pele La; and the middle Limithang Rd.
154. Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus B: Excellent views of a male feeding on
the ground in a field at the start of the Tashitang Track; heard and seen
frequently along the Shemgang Rd.; Korila and below Morong.
155. Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus B: Fine looks at one of these
magnificent woodpeckers in flight near Somdrup Jonkhar.
156. Pale-headed Bamboo Woodpecker Gecinulus grantia B: Fabulous views of three
birds in giant bamboo including at least one drumming. A very rarely recorded
species in Bhutan or for that matter anywhere.
157. Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis B: Notably common this year with
several birds seen and/or heard on at least 10 days. One bird on the Limithang
Rd. put on a good show but the pair at our Rontong camp were simply incredible.
158. Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium bengalenses I: Great looks at a pair at
159. Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae B: Heard daily below Morong.
160. Indian Bushlark Mirafra erythroptera I: Several seen very nicely at
161. Greater Crested Lark Galerida cristata I: Sultanpur Jheel.
162. Ashy-crowned Finch-lark Eremopterix griseus I: Sultanpur Jheel.
163. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula B: Several seen and heard at our Sengor
camp and below Rontong.
164. Grey-throated Sand-Martin Riparia chinensis I: Good looks at many birds at
Sultanpur Jheel and along the Yamuna R.
NOTE: Split from Plain Martin (Rasmussen & Anderton
165. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica I: Several along the Yamuna R; also Assam. B:
One at Tingtibi; 20-30 nesting under the eaves of the shops of Mongar village.
166. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica B: Four in the Paro Valley; six below
167. Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii I: Sultanphur Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna
168. Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus B: Several with Nepal House Martins on
Pele La and many nesting with Nepal House Martins on the Shemgang Road.
169. Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalensis B: A widespread and locally common
breeding species with nesting colonies on the Shemgang and Limithang roads.
170. Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba B: Widespread and moderately common along
creeks and rivers and associated open habitats such as farmland: Paro Valley;
Cheli La; Puna Tsang and Po chus; Thrumsingla. Mostly we observed the
distinctive subspecies alboides, however, as we moved east we encountered some
individuals of the subspecies dukhunensis.
Also known as White Wagtail
171. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola I: Two along the Yamuna R.
172. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea B: Scattered ones and twos.
173. Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus I: Yamuna R.; Assam
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 lowlands of south and south-east Asia is now treated as
Paddyfield Pipit A. rufulus.
174. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris I: Two at Sultanpur Jheel.
175. Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni B: Widespread and common; seen in
moderate numbers (range 2-10) on many days, including several individuals
uttering their full song.
176. Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus B: One along the Paro Chu and six below Rontong.
177. Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschista B: Widespread and locally
178. Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus B: Widespread and moderately
179. Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris B: Widespread and fairly
common, seen and/or heard on eight days.
180. Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus B: Widespread and generally common
at lower elevations, seen and/or heard on five days.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) show that southern
India populations should be treated as a separate species. Conseqeuntly northern
populations adopt the specific name speciosus.
181. Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris B: Notably uncommon this year;
our first birds were a pair near Bonkosomey Camp along the Limithang Rd. and
along the Pemygatsel Rd.
182. Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus I: One pair at Sultanpur Jheel.
183. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus B: Common along the Shemgang
Rd. and on the eastern descent.
184. Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus B: A strikingly handsome bulbul.
Several on the slopes of Pele La and daily along the Shemgang Rd.; several daily
from the middle Limithang Road eastwards.
185. Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris B: One in degraded Subtropical
Forest above Tingtibi and one in the Somdrup Jonkhar area.
NOTE: The Black-crested Bulbul group is better treated
as a superspecies consisting probably of five allopatric species: P.
melanicteris – Sri Lanka; P. gularis Western Ghats, South India; P. flaviventris
– Himalayas and Central India eastwards to Vietnam; P. dispar – Sumatra; and P.
montis – Borneo. (Rasmussen & Anderton 2005).
186. Himalayan White-cheeked Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys B: Common between
Korila and Rontong.
187. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer B: Ubiquitous in all but the most
densely forested areas up to c. 2300m. I: Sultanpur Jheel; Yamuna R.; Assam.
188. White-throated Bulbul Alphoixus flaveolus B: Many seen within Subtropical
Forest above Tingtibi and along the Buntar Road.
189. Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala B: Seen in secondary woodland on two days along
the Shemgang Rd. and above Somdrup Jonkar.
NOTE: For the change of genus see Inskipp et al
190. Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandi B: Common along the Tashitang Trail
and Shemgang Rd. and one on the Limithang Rd.
191. Himalayan Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus B: Common and widespread;
seen almost daily.
NOTE: For details of the revised taxonomy of this
interesting but complex group see Rasmussen & Anderton (2005).
192. Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella B: Fine views of glowing males as well as
females near Somdrup Jonkhar.
193. Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons B: One along the Buntar Road.
194. Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii B: A fine pair showed off
beautifully along the Tashitang Trail; two along the Shemgang Rd and one female
below our Yongkola camp.
195. Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii B: 2-3 daily from the Paro Chu east to the
Wangdi Chu and one between Shemgang and Trongsa.
196. Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata B: Notably uncommon this year.
Invariably encountered within scrubby areas adjoining farmland: one on Pele La;
the Limithang Rd.; and below Rontong.
197. Blue-capped Rock-Thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus B: The male is not only a
beautiful looking creature but a great songster. Widespread and common with
several individuals and pairs recorded on most days.
198. Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush Monticola rufiventris B: Yet another very
handsome species that we saw on several occasions including the very striking
199. Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus B: Common and ubiquitous;
recorded daily 150 - 3200m; at times pairs were recorded along every 100 - 200m
of road; many nest in the concrete road culverts.
200.White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus B: Moderately common in the Blue
Pine forests of the west east to Trongsa, thereafter sparse and uncommon.
201. Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul B: Fairly common this year: one in
the Cheri Valley; one on Dochu La; two on Pele La; one male singing below
Trongsa; one on Yutong La; and a total of ten on Kori La.
202.Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophrys B: One seen nicely below Shemgang.
Also heard along the Tashitang Track and below Rontong to Deothang.
203.White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana B: Great looks at a male and
several heard on the Limithang Rd.; also heard on Yutong La and Thrumsing La.
204.Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis I: Sultanpur Jhee; Okhla, Yamuna R.
205.Striated Prinia Prinia criniger B: Seen well along the Po Chu and below
Trongsa; heard commonly on our eastern descent.
206.Hill Prinia Prinia atrogularis B: Superb views of a singing male in full
breeding plumage within roadside scrub below our Morong Camp.
207.Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens B: Two heard near Deothang.
208.Graceful Prinia Prinia gracilis I: Okhla, Yamuna R.
209.Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris I: Several in superb fresh
breeding plumage along the Yamuna R.
210. Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R.
211. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata I: Sultanpur Jheel.
212. Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata B: Very tough to see well this
year despite that this charismatic species is widespread and heard frequently we
only saw one or two reasonably well along the Limithang Road.
213. Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea B: One seen very nicely along the
Trashitang Track and heard commonly from the middle Limithang Rd. eastwards.
214. Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer B: Widespread and heard frequently;
one seen near Chendibji Chorten and along the Limithang Rd.
215. Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler Cettia fortipes B: Heard or seen on several
days, invariably in open, scrubby country with one very obliging individual just
below our Morong Camp.
216. Hume’s Bush-Warbler Cettia brunnescens B: Four one seen superbly on the
upper slopes of Yutong La.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) separate Himalayn
populations from those in China which have a quite different song, hence the
amended common name.
217. Grey-sided Bush-Warbler Cettia brunnifrons B: Widespread and fairly common.
Superb views of a few individuals and pairs as they responded dramatically to
218. Himalayan Aberrant Bush-Warbler Cettia Cettia flavolivacea B: One in a
mixed species flock along the Pemygatsel Rd.
219. Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum I: One, Sultanpur Jheel.
220.Black-browed Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps I: Good looks at one in
tall grass/reeds at Okhla along the Yamuna River. An unusual record.
221. Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius I: One or two at Sultanpur Jheel and
along the Yamuna River.
222.Siberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita I: Okhla, Yamuna R.
NOTE: Split from Common Chiffchaff (Rasmussen &
223.Tickell’s Leaf-warbler Phylloscopuus affinis B: Uncommon this year with
scattered one and twos on eight days.
224.Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher B: Several seen and heard, usually
in mixed species flocks.
Also known as Orange-barred Warbler
225.Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis B: Widespread and generally
common, most frequently encountered in mixed species flocks.
Also known as Grey-faced Warbler, Grey-faced
Leaf-Warbler, Grey-throated Willow Warbler
226.Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus B: Fairly common this year
with small numbers in mixed flocks on Cheli La; Dochu La; Pele La; common on the
Limithang Road and one on Kori La.
NOTE: Several small and very similar Phylloscopus
warblers were until recently considered to be a 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.
Also known as Pale-rumped Warbler.
227.Hume’s Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus humei B: One on the slopes of Cheli La;
Cheri Valley; below Trongsa and Yutong La. This and a couple of other very
similar and very confusing species provide quite an identification challenge.
228.Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides B: One on Pele La and Kori La.
229.Large-billed Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris B: Widespread and fairly
230.Blyth's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides B: Widespread and common,
locally very common.
Also known as Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler, Blyth’s
Crowned Willow Warbler.
231.Yellow-vented Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus cantator B: Great looks at four on
two days along the Shemgang to Tingtibi Rd. especially below 900m. This is a
distinctive and little known Phylloscopus species.
Also known as Yellow-faced Leaf Warbler or
Yellow-throated Leaf Warbler
232.Whistler’s Spectacled Warbler Seicercus whistleri B: Most of the Golden
Spectacled Warblers we encountered belonged to this taxon.
233.Golden-spectacled Warbler Seicercus burkii B: Birds we saw below Trongsa
down to Tingtibi almost certainly belonged to this taxon.
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 provides strong
evidence that this taxon is actually a complex of four or five species. 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.
234.Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos B: Widespread and fairly common
throughout much of the tour except at the highest elevations.
235.White-spectacled Warbler Seicercus affinis B: Very uncommon with singles
seen on two days along the Limithang Road.
236.Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys B: Two along the Mithun Farm track
below Shemgang and two on the middle Limithang.
237.Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps B: Widespread in low numbers,
often with mixed species flocks; notably common on Pele La east to just below
Trongsa daily along the Limithang Road and between Rontong and Morong.
238.Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps B: One of the most attractive and
charming of all Old World Warblers. Several on Pele La; two on the Shemgang Road
and notably common along the Limithang Road below Namling with several seen on
daily east to Somdrup Jonkhar.
239.Broad-billed Warbler Abroscopus hodgsonii B: Superb views of one very
responsive bird on the Limithang Road. Globally threatened.
240.Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris I: Four along the Yamuna R.
241. Sykes’s Warbler Hippolais rama I: Yamuna R.
NOTE: Breeds sympatrically with Booted Warbler in
Central Asia (Svensson 2001) and the genetic distance between the two taxa is
relatively large (Helbig & Seibold 1999).
242.Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata I: One, Sultanpur Jheel.
243.Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca I: Four, Sultanpur Jheel.
244. Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica B: Notably more common and
widespread this year with ones and twos recorded on many days and at least one
pair observed nesting.
Also known as Siberian Sooty Flycatcher.
245.Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea B: Great looks at three birds
along the Pemygatsel Road.
246.Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata B: Four on Dochu La and
common from Yutong La east to Mongar.
247.Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva B: One or two seen briefly at
248.Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra B: One male seen well by Ingrid
249.White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monnileger B: Heard only along the
Shemgang Road and Limithang Road; regarded as one of the most difficult birds to
250.Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni B: Just one male on the
251. Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris B: A truly lovely bird that
graced us with fine views on several occasions, often with mixed species flocks.
252.Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor B: Single males seen well on Cheli
La and along the Limithang Road.
253.Verditer Flycatcher Muscicapa thalassina B: Widespread and often very common
bird, seen almost daily. A truly spectacular bird.
254.Large Niltava Niltava grandis B: Heard regularly from Trongsa east to
Somdrup Jonkhar; one male seen briefly on Kori La.
255.Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae B: Several superb views of glowing males
and females singing on territory including one incredible ‘scope study of a male
along the Trashitang Trail where a total of three were encountered. Several
heard and seen along the Limithang Rd. east to near Deothang.
256.Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara B: A real stunner, several males gave
us great views: several seen and heard daily on the Limithang Road and Kori La.
257.Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor B: One male singing his heart out on
the Trashigang Track.
258.Blue-throated Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides B: Gorgeous males seen
beautifully between Trongsa and Shemgang and along the Shemgang Road.
259.Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicacapa ceylonensis B: Widespread and
moderately common; seen daily except at higher elevations.
260.Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea B: Eventually good looks for some at a
male and a female above Khaling.
261. Himalayan Red-flanked Bush-Robin Tarsiger rufilatus B: A gorgeous male on
Cheli La was the only one seen this year.
NOTE: Split by Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) from north
Asian T. cyanurus.
262.Golden Bush-Robin Tarsiger chrysaeus B: Sensational views of a gorgeous male
in dense bamboo below Thrumsing La.
263.Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis B: Moderately common at low and
medium elevations in lightly wooded farmland and around settlements. I: Assam.
264.White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus B: One heard near Somdrup Jonkhar.
265. Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna R.
266.Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros I: Four, Sultanpur Jheel.
267. Hodgson’s Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni B: One female between Ha and the
268.Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis B: Notably uncommon this year:
one pair on Cheli La; two males in the Cheri Valley; two on Pele La; and two on
269.White-capped Water Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus B: Widespread and
moderately common; seen on many of the creeks, streams and rivers that we
encountered; c. 700 - 3500m. A thoroughly delightful, charming, dapper bird.
Also known as River Chat, River Redstart, White-capped
Chat, White-capped River Chat.
270. Plumbeous Water Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus B: Widespread and common;
seen almost daily with as many as 8 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; from near the Paro
Valley east to Somdrup Jonkhar.
Also known as Plumbeous Redstart.
271. White-tailed Robin Cinclidium leucurum B: Heard at many sites but only one
male seen along the Shemgang Road but seen very nicely.
272. Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri B: One pair foraging on the sides of a
spectacular waterfall on the Limithang Road and another seen briefly at the top
of the falls on the ‘Namling Death Drop’.
273.Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus B: Notably uncommon this year:
just two along the Mo Chu on the Trashitang Trail and one below Deothang.
274.Spotted Forktail Enicurus maculatus B: One flushed from the edge of the road
275.Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura I: Yamuna R.
NOTE: Some authorities treat the population wintering
in the Indian sub-continent as a full species separate from Common Stonechat
Saxicola torquatus. See, however, Rasmussen & Anderton (2005).
276.White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucura I: One pair seen very nicely in the
‘scope in tall riverside grasslands along the Yamuna River. An increasingly
uncommon and localised species.
277.Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R.
278.Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea B: Widespread and common; observed on a total
of 12 days in open scrubby country, especially farmland.
279.Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha B: Notably uncommon this year
with the first birds only recorded on the west slope of Yutong La where a flock
of 12 plus several other individuals presented an unusual sight; also several
seen between Jakar and Sengor and below Rontong.
280.White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis B: Several on Pele La, the
Shemgang Road and eastwards from the Limithang Road to Somdrup Jonkhar.
281. Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea B: Great looks at a male between
Trongsa and Shemgang; an unusual location for this species.
Timaliidae (Babblers) – Colloquially known as ‘Real Birds’ this is the most
heterogenous group of Asian birds reflecting a surprising and generally very
attractive diversity of form and function. Systematics of Asian birds has lagged
behind that of other continents for an overly long time. Happily that situation
is being rapidly redressed and the recent publication of Rasmussen & Anderton
(2005 – Birds of South Asia) and even more recently volume 12 of the Handbook of
the Birds of the World (HBW) summarises the exciting new findings and presents
them in a clear and concise manner. I have indicated these changes below which
include several worthy splits and numerous re-assignments at the generic level.
The sequence of species and generic assignment follows volume 12 of HBW.
282.Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense I: Four, Okhla, Yamuna R.
283. Golden-breasted Fulvetta Lioparus chrysotis B: Superb views of this
gorgeous bird; a group of four along the Limithang Road.
NOTE: Previously placed in Alcippe.
284.White-browed Fulvetta Fulvetta vinipectus B: Widespread and locally common
usually with mixed species flocks in the understorey of both mixed Evergreen and
Cool Mixed Broad-leaved Forest at high elevations.
NOTE: Previously placed in Alcippe.
285.Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta B: Four below Trongsa; six on the
Also known as Black-lored Yuhina.
286.Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis B: Widespread and common, especially
at high elevations.
287.Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis B: Widespread and common, especially
at high elevations.
288.White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri B: Fairly common this year: two below
Shemgang; four on the Limithang Road and several seen between Rontong and
289.Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis B: Wonderfully widespread and common;
recorded almost daily; observed in mixed species flocks and mono-specific flocks
in mixed Broad-leaved Forest.
290.Striated Yuhina Yuhina castaniceps B: A rather localised and this year
rather rare species; ten along the Shemgang Road and several below our Morong
291. Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis B: Usually very skulking and locally
quite numerous, this year, however, we were treated to several very good views
of this interesting looking Fulvetta: ca. 10 along the Trashitang Trail; several
daily on the Shemgang Road and four on Kori La.
292.Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps B: One or two along the Trashigang
Track and in degraded sub-tropical forest above Tingtibi.
293.Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris B: Yet another
major tour highlight with a very responsive pair providing incredible views
within their bamboo habitat on Yutong La and another near Khaling.
Also known as Sicklebilled Scimitar-babbler.
294.Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys B: Moderately
common and several seen superbly well, in scrub just above Wangdi; below Trongsa;
along the Shemgang Road and heard below Yongkola and on Kori La.
295.White-browed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii B: Sensational views
of a two very responsive birds within partially degraded Subtropical woodland,
c. 650m elevation, near Tingtibi.
296.Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis B: Great views of a
very confiding pair on Pele La; Kori La and below our Morong Camp.
297.Bar-winged Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis troglodytoides B: We all had fabulous
views of a single songster on Yutong La – the first time we have found it at
this site! Interestingly the birds in Bhutan look decidedly more like those
illustrated for SE Arunachal Pradesh than the eastern Himalayas.
298.Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus B: Brief views of this
fabulous little songster along the Limithang Rd. and then after a struggle great
views for most of one near Narphung. Globally threatened.
299. Spotted Wren-Babbler Elachura formosus B: One reacted immediately and flew
in like a bullet along the Trashitang Track and again along the Shemgang Rd.;
heard at several other locations.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Spelaeornis.
300.Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer B: Superb views of this
charming sprite on Pele La.
301. Pygmy Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla B: Widespread and rather uncommon as
well as being very difficult to see again this year.
302.Golden Babbler Stachyridopsis chrysaea B: Several along the Shemgang Road,
and then commonly most days along the Limithang Road east to below Rontong.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Stachyris.
303.Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyridopsis ruficeps B: Commonly heard and/or seen
on at least seven days.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Stachyris.
304.Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Macronus gularis B: Heard near Somdrup Jonkhar.
NOTE: Formerly treated as conspecific with the Bornean
population, however, clear
morphological, bigeographic and vocal differences strongly suggest these two
should be treated as separate species.
305.White-hooded Babbler Gampsorhynchus rufulus B: Fine looks at a group of five
in giant bamboo near Tingtibi.
NOTE: Formerly treated as conspecific with G.
torquatus Collared Babbler of Thailand and SE Asia.
306.Yellow-throated Fulvetta Pseudominla 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. We saw it daily at this fabulous site
including as many as 10 on one day!
NOTE: Formerly placed in Alcippe.
307.Rufous-winged Fulvetta Pseudominla castaneceps B: Widespread and locally
common; often in mixed species flocks in cool mixed Broad-leaved Forest.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Alcippe.
308.Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei I: Several seen in scrub surrounding the
Okhla marshes along the east bank of the Yumna River.
309.Large Grey Babbler Turdoides malcolmi I: Sultanpur Jheel.
310. Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus I: Sultanpur Jheel.
311. Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis B: Superb views a male and three females
on Pele La; heard commonly on the Limithang Road; one male below Rontong.
NOTE: Formerly treated as conspecific with C.
legalleni Vietnamese Cutia.
312. Grey-sided Laughingthrush Dryonastes caerulatus B: An exceptional year for
this normally very elusive species; two very responsive birds were seen in
bamboo on the Middle Limithang Road; a total of four very confiding birds just
below our Yongkola Camp included one that permitted ‘scope views!
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
313. Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Dryonastes ruficollis B: Fabulous views of
four very responsive birds below Trongsa.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
314. White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus B: One of the most
attractive and effervescent of Asia’s laughingthrushes. Common, seen daily over
four days (range 3-50) along the road between Trongsa and Tingtibi; several from
Yongkola to Kori La.
NOTE: Sumatran populations are now treated as a
separate species G. bicolor Black-
315. Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis B: Two within
secondary woodland and partially degraded Subtropical Forest near Tingtibi.
Sorting out this species from Lessers is a no mean feat.
316. White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis B: Widespread and
common, locally very common; occasionally in flocks of >50 with daily totals
exceeding 200. Recorded on many days.
317. Striated Laughingthrush Grammatoptila striata B: Common and recorded widely
in suitable forested habitat on most days.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
318. Bhutan Laughingthrush Trochalopteron imbricatum B: Common daily along the
Shemgang Road and also on our eastern descent.
NOTE: Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) present good
evidence for splitting this taxon from Streaked Laughingthrush Trochalopteron (Garrulax)
lineatus. The Bhutan Laughingthrush ranges throughout Bhutan eastwards to W
Formerly placed in Garrulax.
319. Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush Ianthocincla rufogularis B: One along the
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
320.Spotted Laughingthrush Ianthocincla ocellatus B: Amazing views of a pair
right alongside our bus between Ha and the confluence; several heard and seen on
Pele La; heard on Yutong La and Thrumsing La.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
321. Scaly Laughingthrush Trochalopteron subunicolor B: A total of three seen on
two days along the Limithang Road.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
322.Blue-winged Laughingthrush Trochalopteron squamatum B: A total of four seen
well on the Shemgang Road.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
323.Black-faced Laughingthrush Trochalopteron affinis B: Widespread and fairly
common this year at upper elevations.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Garrulax.
324.Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Trochalopteron erythrocephalum B: Widespread
in low numbers.
NOTE: Formerly conspecific with T. chrysopterum Assam
melanostigma Silver-eared Laughingthrush, and T. peninsulae Malayan
Formerly placed in Garrulax.
325.Crimson-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea B: One on the Shemgang Road and
then fabulous views of a very responsive individual below Morong.
NOTE: Formerly treated as conspecific with L. ripponi
of Thailand, Burma and S China.
326.Chestnut-tailed Minla Chrysominla strigula B: Common and widespread.
Also known as Bar-throated Siva/Minla.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Minla.
327.Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta B: Widespread and common, often with mixed
328.Blue-winged Minla Siva cyanouroptera B: Moderately common this year being
seen with mixed species flocks on a total of nine days.
Also known as Blue-winged Siva.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Minla.
329.Silver-eared Mesia Mesia argentauris B: One below Shemgang; six along the
Shemgang Rd.; abundant below our Morong Camp.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Leiothrix.
330.Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea B: One on the Shemgang Rd.; several
seen and/or heard along the Limithang Road east to near Deothang.
331. Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides B: Fairly common below our Morong
332.Rufous Sibia Malacias capistratus B: Common to occasionally abundant and
ubiquitous; seen almost daily.
Also known as Black-capped Sibia.
NOTE: Formerly placed in Heterophasia
333. Hoary Barwing Actinodura nipalensis B: Exceptional views of one on Pele La
and one on the Limitnag Road.
334.Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni B: Fabulous views of several
335.Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura B: One seen all too briefly above
336.White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis B: Widespread and fairly
common with birds heard most days and some fine views of individuals, often with
mixed species flocks.
337.White-bellied Erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca B: Two on two days with mixed
species flocks on the Shemgang Road.
338.Great Parrotbill Conostoma aemodium B: One on Pele La; at one pair seen very
well and another found nesting in bamboo on the upper slopes of Thrumsing La.
339.Brown Parrotbill Paradoxornis unicolor B: Fabulous views of four in the
340.Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis atrosuperciliaris B: Superb
views of a group of 4-6 with a mixed flock in a large stand of the huge giant
bamboo near Tingtibi. This is a very rarely seen species especially in Bhutan.
341. Fire-capped Tit Cephalopyrus flammiceps B: Fine views of a male with a
mixed species flock on Pele la and another on Kori La.
342.Rufous-vented Tit Parus rubidiventris B: Small number seen regularly at high
343.Coal Tit Parus ater B: Widespread and moderately common in all high
344.Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous B: Widespread and moderately common in all
high elevation forests.
Also known as Brown-crested Tit.
345.Great Tit Parus major I: One seen well just across the border into Assam.
346.Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus B: Common to locally abundant and
ubiquitous in suitable forested habitat. Seen daily at all localities visited.
One of the most frequently seen but nevertheless most attractive Himalayan
347.Black-spotted Yellow Tit Parus spilonotus B: This is a very snazzy looking
bird. One along the Shemgang Road.; and two most days along the Limithang Road
and on our eastern descent.
348.Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus B: Widespread and moderately common,
especially in mixed species flocks.
349.Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea B: What a stunner! Exceptional views of two
pairs along the Shemgang Road.
350.Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus B: A delightful species and a great
favourite with everyone when we finally caught up with it. Four on the Shemgang
Rd. and then several daily from above Yongkola camp east to near Deothang.
Also known as Red-headed Tit.
351. Rufous-fronted Tit Aegithalos iouschistos B: Several good sightings this
Also known as Black-browed Tit.
352.Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta citrinocristata B: One male along the
Trashigang Track; pairs seen on two days on Pele La; two on the Limithang Rd.
NOTE: Treated as a separate species from that in the
lowlands of India (Rasmussen & Anderton 2005).
353.White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis B: Widespread and fairly common;
usually in mixed species flocks.
354.Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa B: A pair seen carrying food between Morong
355.Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis B: Groups of three and two seen
on two days on Pele La.
356.Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familliaris B: Two on Thrumsing La.
Also known as Common Treecreeper.
357.Brown-throated Treecreeper Certhia discolor B: Excellent views of a pair
collecting nest material on Kori La.
358.Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica I: Several in scrub at Sultanpur Jheel
and along the Yamuna R.
359.Mrs Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae B: Several wonderful, close views of
this exquisite creature.
360.Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis B: Widespread and common to
abundant and often ubiquitous. Seen virtually daily except in the Paro Valley,
Cheli La and below c. 1200 m elevation.
361. Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata B: Common and widespread
especially at elevations generally lower than the previous two species.
362.Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja B: Great looks at several gorgeous and
very confiding males on the Trongsa to Shemgang Road and below our Morong Camp.
363.Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda B: One male above the Jakar Valley
and a male and female feeding among a spectacular collection of flowering
rhododendrons above the Gayzamchu.
364.Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna B: Two in Tingtibi; and in the
forests above Somdrup Jonkhar.
365.Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum B: Outstanding views of
this rarely encountered gem with a mixed species flock on the upper slopes (ca.
3000m) of Dochu La and two just Sengor on the Limithang Road.
366.Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundoo I: One near Sultanpur Jheel.
NOTE: Split by Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) from Golden
367. Maroon Oriole Oriolus trailli B: Moderately common this year with some
great views of both males and females.
368. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus B: Notably widespread and
common; often with mixed species flocks.
Also known as Buff-bellied Flowerpecker.
369.Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosa B: Widespread, locally common, seen
on several days but not at high elevations.
370.Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus B: Something of a surprise; one with a mixed
species flock on the Pemygatsel Road and another carrying food below our Morong
371. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R. B:
Moderately common and widespread.
372. Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus B: Widespread, common and seen almost
daily especially in areas of open country.
373. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus I: Sultanpur Jheel; Yamuna R; also Assam.
NOTE: Asian populations once united with African Black
Drongo under D. adsimilis are now widely treated as a separate species
374. Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus B: Widespread and common to very common;
recorded almost daily.
375.Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus B: Moderately common along the lower section
of the Shemgang Road and above Somdrup Jonkhar.
376. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer B: Just one seen along the
Shemgang Road and one along the middle Limithang Road.
377.Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus B: One over Tingtibi. I: Assam.
378.Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius B: One on Dochu La and two on the west
slope of Pele La.
379.Gold-billed Magpie Urocissa flavirostis B: One of the many great birds of
Bhutan and the Himalayas. Widespread and common, especially at the forest edge
and around relatively undisturbed farm-houses from Chelila east to near Deothang.
Also known as Yellow-billed Magpie or Gold-billed Blue
380.Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis B: Superb views of one between Pele La
and Trongsa and then two along the Shemgang Rd.
381.Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda I: Sultanpur Jheel; Okhla, Yamuna R.
382.Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae B: Widespread and locally moderately
Also known as Himalayan Treepie.
383. Black-billed Magpie Pica pica B: Common in the upland valleys of the
384.Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes B: Widespread and common in
higher elevation evergreen forests from Cheli La and the Cheri Valley east to
the Limithang Road
NOTE: This taxon is split from populations to the west
viz. Larger Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga multipunctata.
385. Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax B: Moderately common in small
groups: Paro Valley, Cheli La, Cheri Valley, Bumthang region, and Thrumsing La.
386. House Crow Corvus splendens I: Sultanpur Jheel; Yamuna R. and Assam.
387. Large-billed Crow Corvus japonensis B: Common to very common and
widespread, recorded daily.
NOTE: The entire ‘Large-billed Crow’ complex has been
revised (see Rasmussen and Anderton 2005). The very large-billed birds that
inhabit the Himalayas from Afghanistan eastwards to Aranachal Pradesh are the
birds we observed in Bhutan and they appropriately retain the name Large-billed
Crow but are given the specific name japonensis. Populations in the lowlands of
NE India are now referred to as Eastern Jungle Crow C. levaillantii and
populations in peninsula India, south from the base of the Himalayas are refrred
to as Indian Jungle Crow C. culminatus. Based on my own observations of Indian
sub-continent and populations elsewhere in SE Asia I completely concur with
these authors revision of this fascinating group.
388. Indian Jungle Crow Corvus culminatus I: Sultanpur Jheel; Yamuna R.
389. Eastern Jungle Crow Corvus levaillantii I: Assam.
390.Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus B: Several just below Deothang
Also known as Grey-headed Starling.
391. Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra I: Sultanpur Jheel; Yamuna R. and
NOTE: Previously placed in Sturnus.
392.Common Myna Acridotheres tristis Common and ubiquitous in open country
including the midst of urban madness! B: Common from the Wangdi Valley east to
Trongsa and Shemgang. I: Delhi, Yamuna R. and Assam.
393.Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus I: Moderately common especially as a
commensal of man, sometimes in horribly yucky areas.
394.White-vented Myna Acridotheres javanaicus I: Assam.
395.Jungle Myna Acridotheres grandis I: Assam.
396.Rosy Starling Pastor roseus I: Sultanpur Jheel and Okhla, Yamuna R.
397.Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris I: Yamuna R.
398.Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa I: Two in Assam.
399.Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans B: Common in suitable scrub and open country
especially around farm buildings. Often together with Eurasian Tree Sparrows.
Also known as Cinnamon Sparrow.
400.Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus B: Ubiquitous in suitable open country
especially around farm buildings. I: Assam.
401. House Sparrow Passer domesticus Common and ubiquitous, especially as a
commensal of man. B: Mongar, Somdrup Jonkhar. I: Delhi; Yamuna R. Assam.
402.Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xantholeuca I: Sultanpur Jheel.
403.Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar I: Several in breeding plumage along the
404.Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus B: At least six pairs building nests just
below Deothang. I: Assam.
405. Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus bengalensis I: Yamuna R.
406.Red Avadavat Amandava amandava I: A total of ca 150 in various plumage
states, scrub, grassy areas and farmland adjacent to marshes on the east bank of
the Yumna R.
407.Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura puntulata I: Yamuna R. B: Six in the Po Chu
408.White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata B: A flock of six below our Morong Camp.
409.Plain Mountain Finch Leucosticte nemoricola B: An exceptional year for this
species, hundreds possibly thousands were seen at remarkably low elevations: 18
April – 8 Paro Valley; 21 April – 200 Dochu La; 23 April – 50 Pele La; 24 April
– 200 near Chendibji; 28 April – 50 below Shemgang; 29 April – 150 Shemgang Rd.;
30 April – 20 between Ura and Gayzamchu; 1 May – 400+ below Sengor, Limithang
Rd.; 6 May – 30+ over our Rontong Camp.
410. Crimson-browed Finch Propyrrhula subhimachala B: Fabulous views of a
handsome male and two females as they fed quietly among a seeding sapling on the
upper Limtihang Road.
411. Dark-breasted Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis B: One male on Pele La and
one on Thrumsing La.
412. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus I: Yamuna R. B: Twenty on Pele La;
ten below Trongsa; four on Yutong La; 200-300 on Kori La and daily to Somdrup
413. Dark-rumped Rosefinch Carpodacus edwardsii B: Six females on Dochu La.
414. White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura B: A total of six including some
lovely males high on Cheli La; four on Pele La and one male above Sengor.
415. Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides B: A flock of five in flight
416.Tibetan Siskin Serinus thibetanus B: Flocks of several hundred, totalling
ca. 1,000, feeding noisly in a tall forest of Silver Fir and five below Shemgang.
417. Spectacled Finch Callacanthis burtoni B: One female feeding along the road
up Cheli La was a stunning surprise and the first record for Bhutan!
418. Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala B: Five on Yutong La.
419. Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis B: Fabulous ‘scope views of a pair on
the Pemygatsel Road.
420.Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis B: What a gorgeous bird! Unfortunately
this year just three males were seen on Cheli La and two females on the upper
421.White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes B: Great looks at four on Cheli La;
two on Pele La and two on Yutong La.
422. Spot-winged Grosbeak Coccothraustes melanozanthos B: Six on two days on the
423.Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi B: Absolutely stunning views of two males
and a female below Shemgang and one male on the middle Limithang Rd.
424.Crested Bunting Melophus lathami B: Scattered groups of 2-10 on four days.
1.Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis B: Widespread and common especially at
2.Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatto I: Delhi.
3.Common (Hanuman) Langur Presbytis entellus B: Notably larger and more heavily
furred than populations in the warmer climatic plains of India.
4.Capped Langur Presbytis pileatus B: Wonderful looks at a troop of these
handsome primates along the Limithang Road.
5.Golden Langur Presbytis geei B: Notably common from just below Shemgang and
down to near Tingtibi. Large numbers (20 – 50) seen on four days with several
troops feeding on or at the side of the road including taking dirt from exposed
6.Himalayan Masked Palm Civet Paguma larvata B: One seen at night near our
7.Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes auropunctatus I: Okhla, Yamuna R.
8.Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula B: One along the Shemgang Road. This
is a spectacular beast and one we have seen several times on our Bhutan tours.
9.Tibetan Polecat Mustela putorius B: One seen by Don near Thimpu. Lucky duck!
10.Parti-coloured Flying-Squirrrel Hylopetes alboniger B: One seen on our night
drive along the Limithang Road.
11.Hodgson’s Flying Squirrel Petaurista magnificus B: Spectacular views of
several perching for extended views including one at arm’s length on the
Limithang Road. A truly gorgeous creature.
12.Giant Pied Squirrel Ratufa bicolor B: One along the Shemgang Road and two
below our Morong Camp.
13.Hoary-bellied Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus B: Several seen along the
14.Orange-bellied Squirrel Dremomys lokriah B: One along Limithang Road.
15.Five-striped Squirrel Funambulas pennanti I: Delhi.
16.Himalayan Striped Squirrel Tamiops macclellandi B: Common and widespread
especially along the Limithang Road east to Deothang.
17.Common Barking Deer (Muntjac) Muntiacus muntjak B: One on the Trashitang
trail; heard several times on the Shemgang Road and below Rontong.
18.Sambar Cervus unicolor B: An adult female on the upper slopes of Pele La.
19.Goral Nemorhaedus goral B: A group of thre seen superbly at Cheri Goempa.
20. Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus I: Common at Sultanpur Jheel.
21. Royle’s Pika Ochotona roylei B: Widespread at high elevations.
22. Indian Hare Lepus nigricollis I: Sultanpur Jheel.
23.[Leopard Cat Felis bengalensis B: Fresh scat found
on Pele La, collected and analysed!]
1.Calotes sp B: A very attractive lizard basking on Shemgang Road
1.Glassy Bluebottle Graphium cloanthus
2.Common Windmill Atrophaneura polyeuctes
3.Common Birdwing Troides helena
4.Great Mormon Princeps memnon
5.Red Helen Princeps helenus
6.Paris Peacock Princeps paris
7.Chocolate Albatross Appias lyncida
8.Yellow Orangetip Ixias pyrene
9.Great Orangetip Hebomoia glaucippe
10.Hill Jezebel Delias belladona
11.Grey Pansy Precis atlites
12.Tawny Rajah Charaxwes polyxena
13.Orange Oakleaf Kallima inachus
14.Common Map Cyrestis thyodamas
15.Glassy Tiger Parantica aglea
16.Common Tiger Danaus genutia
17.Magpie Crow Euploea radmanthus
And all this in addition to a wonderful variety of skinks, frogs, dragonflies,
damselflies and unidentified butterflies. Not to mention of course a profusion
of delightful flowering plants and shrubs.
A selection of flowering plants identified during the course of the VENT Bhutan
tour -April - May 2008 (courtesy Sally Roberts)
Arisaema (many species, incl. – probably - costatum, erubescens, flavum,
griffithi, intermedium, jacquemontii, nepenthoides, propinquum, tortuosum)
Bamboo (several species, incl. male)
Berberis: (aristata, koehniana)
Daphne: bholua, mucronata
Iris: (goniocarpa, hookerana)
Melastoma (prob. normale)
Mimosa: (pudica, rubicaulis)
Myosotis: (alpestris, silvatica)
Orchids: (many, incl. coelogyne corymbosa, dendrobium denneanum, d. transparens,
pleione praecox darjeeling)
Pinus: (roxburghii, walliciana)
Primula (many, incl. calderana,capitata, dickenana, edgeworthii, glabra,
glomerata, hackelia, ramzaneu)
Rhododendron (about 25 – 30 species) incl. – probably – anthopogon,campanulatum,
cinnabarium, falconeri, grande, hodgsonii, lanatum, lindleyi, setosun, triflorum)
Rosa: (laevigata, serica)
Streptopus simplex (hekorima candida))