Northern India Birds and Wildlife
In conjunction with Wild India Journey
7-18 January 2024
Tour at a glance:
Tour leaders – Noam Weiss and Shyam Sharma
12 full days of birding
6-11 people with 2 guides
Difficulty – easy
Photography options – Very good
Flyways Birding is excited to partner with Wild India Journey to offer this great Birding and nature tour to Northern India. This tour is perfect for “first timers” to India, offering an impressive list of birds and numerous opportunities to enjoy some of India’s impressive large mammals such as the Indian Leopard and of course the amazing Bengal Tiger. The tour includes a visit to a few of the most famous wildlife parks in India, several sessions in a 4×4 safari jeeps, a boat trip on the famous Chambal river and a cultural visit to the world famous Taj Mahal and the fort of Agra.
Besides the incredible list of birds possible on this tour, we will take the time to enjoy many other aspects of wildlife. India in general and the parks we will visit in particular are fantastic for mammals large and small, snakes and other reptiles. Here is a short list of some of the “four legged” creatures we hope to find:
Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Striped Hyena, Sambar deer, Spotted deer, Bluebull, Northern or Hanuman langur, Rhesus macaque, Golden jackal, Jungle cats, Sloth bear, Black buck, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Five-striped Palm Squirrels, Indian Flying Fox, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Porcupines, Long-eared Hedgehogs, Small Indian or Grey Mongoose, Small Indian Civet, Gharial a thin-snouted crocodile, Gangetic River Dolphin, Marsh Crocodile and more.
Click for our Full Program
Day 1- October 29 – Arrival in Delhi and transfer to Hotel Shanti place.
Day 2 – October 30 – Delhi – Sultanpur – Jaipur
First official day of the tour. Following an early breakfast, we will drive to Sultanpur National Park. Sultanpur is an official Ramsar site and a great introduction to the birds of India. We will spend most of the day birding in and around the park looking for Sind sparrow, Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, Sarus Crane, Black Francolin, Common Hoopoe, Paddyfield Pipit, Purple Sunbird, Little Cormorant, Eurasian Thick-knee, Gray Francolin, , Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Spot-billed Duck, White Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Crested Lark, Red-vented Bulbul, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Rosy Pelican, Eurasian Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Bluethroat, Long-billed Pipit and many more. In the afternoon we will drive to Jaipur.
Overnight in Hotel Umaid Bhawan or similar in Jaipur
Day 3 – October 31 – Jhalna (Jaipur)
Morning and afternoon visit to The Jhalana Sanctuary
Along with various other wildlife species, the Jhalana Sanctuary in Jaipur is well recognized for its impressive population of Leopards. The reserve has healthy populations of Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer and Nilgai which in turn attract many predators. This is one of the best places in India to find Leopards, sometimes within minutes of entering the park. Besides the impressive Felines, the park is fantastic for other wildlife including common Langur, Desert Fox and with luck even Indian Civet or Hyena. Additionally, this park offers one of the most breathtaking vistas of the Aravalli mountain range, sunrises, and sunsets. The park is of course fantastic for birds as well and with luck we may find various Owls (Indian and Oriental Scops Owl, Dusky Eagle Owl) Jungle Nightjar and a nice collection of birds of prey.
Overnight in Hotel Umaid Bhawan or similar in Jaipur.
Day 4 – Nov 1st – Jaipur – Ranthambore
We will have another morning visit to the Jhalana Sanctuary and after an early lunch we will head towards Ranthambore. We will make some birding stops on the way to search for Indian courser, Streak-throated Swallow, chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, great grey shrike and more. We will arrive at Ranthambore in the afternoon and have time for some birding outside the park in hope of finding Painted sandgrouse, Rufous-fronted Prinia, White-naped Woodpecker, Desert and Variable Wheatears and more.
overnight in The Sher Garh Resort or similar.
Day 5 – Nov 2nd – Ranthambore – Bengal Tigers and birds.
Morning and afternoon visit to the Ranthambore National Park.
Many people agree that Ranthambore is one of India’s most stunning tiger reserves. The Reserve’s forests, lakes, and dry scrub are ringed by a series of lofty escarpments and scattered with ancient forts and temples, which creates an ideal environment for seeing both birds and mammals. In addition to the Bengal Tigers, Ranthambore offers fantastic birding.
Some of the key birds we will search for include: Grey Francolin, Jungle Bush-Quail, Barred Buttonquail, Painted Spurfowl, Brown-capped Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, White-naped Woodpecker, Brown-headed Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Stork-billed and White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Cuckoo, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Sirkeer Malkoha, Alexandrine and Plum-headed Parakeet and the beautiful Crested Treeswift. The park is very good for nocturnal birds and we will search for: Indian Scops-Owl, Rock Eagle-Owl, Brown Fish-Owl, Mottled Wood-Owl, Spotted Owlet, Indian Nightjar and Savanna Nightjar.
With many soaring birds around we will always keep an eye to the sky and hopefully encounter: Egyptian Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture, Cinereous Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Short-toed Snake-Eagle, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Greater spotted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Booted Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Red-necked Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Laggar Falcon, Black Stork, Woolly-necked Stork,
The mixed vegetation hosts many songbirds as well including: Bay-backed, Long-tailed and Southern Grey Shrike, Rufous Treepie, Indian Golden-Oriole, Large Cuckooshrike, Spot-breasted and White-browed Fantail, White-bellied Drongo, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Common and White-tailed Iora, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher, Variable, Desert and Isabelline Wheatear, Wire-tailed, Red-rumped and Streak-throated Swallow, Dusky Crag-Martin, Rufous-fronted, Grey-breasted, Graceful, Jungle, Ashy and Plain Prinia, Indian White-eye, Booted Warbler, Sykes’s Warbler, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Indian Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Rufous-tailed Lark, Crested Bunting and many more.
Overnight in The Sher Garh Resort or similar.
Day 6 – Nov 3rd – Ranthambore – Bharatpur (Keoladeo National Park)
Final morning safari in the Ranthambore Tiger reserve looking for more Tigers and any missing target birds. After lunch we will drive to Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur.
Overnight in hotel Udai Villas Palace or similar.
Days 7-8 – Nov 4th and 5th – Keoladeo National Park – Bharatpur
Two full days Birding in and around The Keoladeo National Park.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is without a doubt one of the best places in Asia for birdwatching. The Sanctuary offers a variety and abundance of birdlife that is unmatched outside of Africa, and the sheer number of birds there will inevitably astound you. We will witness an exceptional variety of water birds, raptors, and some animals during one of the greatest seasons to visit Bharatpur. The shaded, tree-lined bunds of the flooded “jheels” make for the ideal location for both birdwatchers and photographers.
The list of possible birds at Keoladeo is incredible, here is a small selection of possibilities:
Dusky Eagle Owl, Brown Boobook, Indian Scops Owl, Large-tailed Nightjar, Grey Nightjar, Indian Courser, Sirkeer Malkoha, Jacobin Cuckoo Sarus Crane, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Jungle Bush Quail, Barred Buttonquail, Black Francolin, Yellow-legged Green Pigeon, Egyptian Vulture, Oriental Honey-buzzard , Indian Vulture, Crested Serpent-Eagle , Short-toed Snake-Eagle, Indian Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle, Tawny Eagle , Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier. Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork, European White Stork, Black-necked Stork, Great White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Yellow Bittern, Black Bittern, Indian Black Ibis, Indian Cormorant, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, White-tailed Lapwing, Greater Painted-snipe, River Tern, Whiskered Tern, Indian Grey Hornbill, Coppersmith Barbet, Brown-headed Barbet, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Isabelline Shrike, Bay-backed Shrike, Long-tailed Shrike, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Indian Bushlark, Common Tailorbird, Graceful Prinia , Ashy Prinia , Plain Prinia, Zitting Cisticola, Booted Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Hume’s Warbler, Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Greenish Warbler, Western-crowned Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Greater Whitethroat, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Verditer Flycatcher, Bluethroat, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Black Redstart, Siberian Stone chat, Pied Bush chat, Gray Bush chat, Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Brown Rock Chat, Variable Wheatear, Red Avadavat, Indian Silverbill, Scaly-breasted Munia, White-capped Bunting, Striolated Bunting and many more.
Overnight in hotel Udai Villas Palace or similar.
Day 9 – Nov 6th – Bharatpur to Chambal
Final morning of birding outside The Park. After early breakfast drive to National Chambal Sanctuary, arriving around lunch time. Afternoon birding around the campus.
The Chambal River, the lifeblood of all the species in the Sanctuary, is where we will be enjoying our boat journey. There is a great variety of aquatic species in this area, and some of the highlights we’re expecting to see on these expeditions are the Gangetic River Dolphin, Marsh Crocodile, Gharial (fish-eating Crocodile), freshwater turtles and River otters.
Overnight in the Narsingh Bagh Dholpur or Similar.
Day 10 – Nov 7th – National Chambal Sanctuary
Full day of birding by boat and jeep in the National Chambal Sanctuary & adjoining areas.
The National Chambal Sanctuary was established to preserve this unique river ecology, with its diverse flora, aquatic life, and avifauna. The River Chambal is one of the country’s most beautiful and least polluted river systems. The surroundings surrounding the river are a genuine bird watcher’s paradise and present an opportunity to add several species that are not found at Bharatpur, including the unusual Indian Skimmer (difficult in October) and the Black-bellied Tern, which is frequently spotted resting on sandbars in the middle of the river.
Other good birds here include the beautiful Small Pratincole, Great Thick-knee, Little and Great Cormorants, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Lesser Whistling-duck, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Comb Duck, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Burmese Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Osprey, Common Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, River and Red-wattled Lapwings, Common and Spotted Redshanks, Common Greenshank, Green, Wood and Common Sandpipers, Little and Temminck’s Stints, and Pallas’s Gull. Other species present in the area include Black Kite, Steppe Eagle, Indian Peafowl, Rock Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Rose-ringed (or Ring-necked) Parakeet, Indian Roller, White-throated and Pied Kingfishers, Sand Lark, Plain Martin, Barn and Wire-tailed Swallows, White, Masked and White-browed Wagtails, Large Grey and Jungle Babblers, Common and Bank Mynas, Black Drongo and many more.
Overnight in the Narsingh Bagh Dholpur or Similar.
Day 11 – Nov 8th – Agra, Fort and Taj Mahal
After breakfast we will drive to Agra and visit The world famous Taj Mahal & Agra Fort. Here there will also be a chance for some souvenir shopping as Agra is famous for its precious and semi -precious stone and handicrafts. After lunch in a restaurant we will drive back to Delhi with some chances for birding en route. Overnight in hotel Shanti Palace or similar.
Day 12 – Nov 9th – Departure
Today we say a warm Alavida to India and transfer to the airport for our flights home.
Tour price: $2880
Single supplement: $3420
All accommodation and transportation within the country
All meals from dinner on day 1 till breakfast on the last morning.
All guiding and entry fees.
Visa to India
Alcoholic drinks and items of personal nature