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Eaglesnest wildlife sanctuary, West Kameng, is located in Western Arunachal Pradesh and is the highest in elevation. Named after the Kameng river which drains the basin of Gori Chen and Kangto peaks, this region is spread below the Himalayan watershed on the borders with Tibet in the North and Bhutan in the West. The topography is truly amazing rising from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam through tangled ridges at elevations of around 1500 meters to 7080 meters on the watershed of the Himalayas.
The biggest advantage of Eaglesnest (expected to provide the bulk of the star species) over other montane forests of Arunachal is a jeep track which cuts right through its heart from the pass at 2800m down to the flood plains of Assam at 100m – its easy access, excellent forest and wide altitudinal range is a unique combination for Arunachal.
The contiguous forests,Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary, Nameri National Park (in Assam) and the surrounding blocks of reserve forests, encompassing over 2500 sq.km and 3400m in altitude, form one of the largest protected regions of Arunachal. This east Himalayan area is located close to the Bhutan border in western Arunachal. We will be visiting the Eaglesnest wildlife sanctuary (mid altitude: 800-2800m) and some higher altitude (3000-4000m) localities further north below the Tsela pass. This visit to a really high altitude area and we look forward to augmenting the species list with birds of fir, rhododendron scrub and alpine meadows.
Some of the specialty birds which can be seen are: Rufous-bellied hawk-eagle, northern goshawk, pied falconet, common hill-partridge, temminck’s Tragopan, ashy wood-pigeon, tawny wood-owl, Rufous-necked hornbill, ward’s trogon, golden-throated barbet, crimson-breasted pied-woodpecker, bay woodpecker, pale-headed woodpecker, grey-chinned Minivet, Rufous-bellied bulbul, maroon-backed accentor, eye-browed thrush, fea’s thrush, Gould’s Shortwing, white-browed Shortwing, blue-fronted robin, little Forktail, golden bush-robin, Rufous-breasted bush-robin, purple Cochoa, grey-sided laughing-thrush, scaly laughing-thrush, black-faced laughing-thrush, Bugun and red-faced Liocichla, coral-billed scimitar-babbler, slender-billed scimitar-babbler, Various wren-babblers (wedge-billed, bar-winged, pygmy, spotted, Rufous-throated and scaly-breasted), cutia, Rufous-bellied shrike-babbler, green shrike-babbler, white-hooded babbler, red-tailed minla, Various tit-babblers/Fulvetta (golden-breasted, brown-throated, and yellow-throated), Three sibias ( beautiful, and Rufous-backed), Various Yuhina (black-chinned, Rufous-vented and white-naped), fire-tailed Myzornis, Six Parrotbill (greater and lesser Rufous-headed, brown, grey-headed and fulvous-fronted), mountain tailorbird, three Tesia (chestnut-headed, grey-bellied and salty-bellied), Various flycatcher-warblers (broad-billed, white-spectacled, chestnut-crowned and black-faced), four Niltava (including vivid and large), Thirteen flycatchers (including. white-gorgeted), Rufous-bellied and grey-crested tits, sultan tit, beautiful nuthatch, Wallcreeper, brown-throated Treecreeper, yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, mrs Gould’s and fire-tailed sunbird, gold-naped black-finch, Bevan’s bullfinch, brown bullfinch.
Day 01: Guwahati- Nameri
Arrive Guwahati by air. Met at the airport by your birding guide and driven to Nameri Eco Camp for dinner and overnight at Nameri Eco Camp.
Day 02: Nameri - Lama camp, 2350m (Eagles Nest WLS)
Early morning birding at Tippi- Balukpong. After breakfast depart at 0600 hrs and drive to Tenga, The route follows the main highway to Tawang along the Bhareli River. Enroute, you will go birding around Sessa, 1200m. From here the road climbs over the Nichiphu pass to descend to the Tenga Valley, 1200m. From the military township of Tenga we take a branch road climbing rapidly to Lama camp, 2350m on the edge of the Eagles Nest Sanctuary. We expect to arrive around 1600 hrs Overnight at Lama camp, located amidst Temperate broad-leaved primary and degraded forest at an altitude of 2350m.
Day 03: Birding Lama Camp, 2350m – Eagles Nest Pass, 2899m and back.
Morning birding around Lama Camp. Thereafter birding drive to Eagles Nest Pass, 2800 and back. Birding will be along a jeep track in temperate bamboo, conifer and broad-leaved forest and scrub. Overnight at Lama camp.
Day 04 Birding Lama Camp, 2350 m- Eagles nest Pass 2899 m - Chaku - Bompu camp, 1940 m
Birding drive cum trek from along the jeep track over the pass and down to Chaku and Bompu at 1940m. The habitat is Temperate broad-leaved forest, meadows, road side scrub and ancient clear-felled patches. Overnight at Bompu camp.
Day 05-06: Birding Bompu camp, 1940 m.
Full day birding around Bompu camp. Overnight at Bompu Camp.
Day 07: Birding drive cum trek Bompu to Sessni, 1250 m
Birding drive cum trek down to 1250 m. The habitat is Subtropical broad-leaved forest and bamboo, large patches of open scrub. Overnight at Bonpu camp.
Day 08: Birding around Sessni, 1250 m
Birding trek around Sessni down to 1000 m. Lunch at Bonpu and Overnight at Lama camp.
Day 09: Lama Camp to Guwahati in 09 hours. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Departure
Transfer to Guwahati airport and fly out. TOUR ENDS
The design of Kalypso Birding Tours is focused on the selected bird-rich areas covering hot spots. The tour spans the entire range of altitude and habitat, thus presenting a unique birding opportunity.
VISITORS TO INDIA MUST OBTAIN A VISA BEFORE DEPARTURE
Tips For Birding Treks in the Himalayas
These tips are based on years of experience in the high Himalayas, and are in essence mere guidelines for those who lack experience in high altitude trekking - above altitudes of 3000 meters.
Unless you are taking regular exercise, physical preparation for high altitude trekking should start 4-6 weeks in advance. The requirement is to work on strengthening your climbing muscles – thighs, calf, feet, and back. You also need to build up your lung capacity and endurance. Gym workout, climbing stairs with loaded rucksack, wearing trekking boots, isometrics, and long walks will get you ready.
What to wear
Head dress: A broad-brim soft sun hat is required for lower altitudes and for use during clear sunny weather. Always carry a woolen cap balaclava (monkey cap) for cold weather and for use at night.
Under garments: absorbent cotton underwear, for trekking. Thermals for evening and night.
Clothing: Loosely fitted cotton garments for trekking. No tight jeans. Tracksuit is preferable. T-shirt –shorts combination is an alternative, in clear sunny weather. For camp wear in evenings a woolen tracksuit or shirt –trouser combination.
Outer garments: Rainproof parka for extreme cold conditions. Head to toe lightweight rainwear should be carried.
Socks: absorbent cotton socks next to skin. Comfortable heavy-duty woolen or equivalent outer socks. Cold feet are the worst misery in the mountains. Carry one set of spares.
Boots: most important part of your outfit. Must be broken-in (used) and be large enough for double socks and expanding feet. Practice walking with shoe-socks combination over distances, and check feet are free of blisters. Shoes must be heavy- duty trekkers, suitable for stony, slippery and slushy conditions. Avoid plastic and rubber materiel. Cary a spare pair of trainers – for use in camp and for emergency use in case boots are damaged or soaking wet.
If you have done reasonable physical preparation, are prudent in your eating habits, and take it easy, you will enjoy walking the Himalayas, and your senses will bring you the special flavor of our mountains.
More detailed instructions would be sent to you before your arrival