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Bhutan (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I thought I would post here in the hopes that perhaps Bhutan could get its own subforum. It seems like a country with enough interest to garner its own forum, and, as I'm currently living here, its really most of what I would have to post about, which I would think may be useful to others that are considering a tour though the country.
I'll start off by saying that I will be in the country for the next 6 months, volunteer teaching at a monastery near Dewathang, in Samdrup Jongkhar. SJ seems to be a great place for birds. The Helm Guide that I have (Inskipp) shows that, if I counted right, SJ has 349 birds regularly occurring (I didn't count the vagrants). Many are resident, and many others are from colder parts of Bhutan coming down for the winter. And this is a region, by the way, that is maybe 2,000 sq. km.
My elevation is about 900 m and is mostly subtropical broadleaved forest, and it is the most populous part of SJ, but that is a very relative term. It is mostly forest.
So far, moderate birding the last three weeks has yielded about 80 birds, but since I don't have a car, I'm pretty much limited to where I can walk to and from.
Very common birds, seen most days at the monastery and nearby, would be Red-vented Bulbul, Oriental Magpie Robin, Common Myna, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Oriental Turtle Dove, Black Drongo, House Swift, Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, Blue-throated Barbet, Common Iora, Common Tailorbird, Grey-backed Shrike, Grey Treepie, Japanese White Eyes, and, interestingly, Black Eagle, which lazily floats by most days, if not all.
Common birds in the surrounding area would be Blue Whistling Thrush, Orange-bellied Leafbird (seen about every time I go into the forest), Olive-backed Pipit, Ashy, Bronzed, and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongos, Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Grey Stonechat, Imperial Mountain Pigeon (seen today roosting in large numbers in the town of Dewathang), Grey-capped Pymgy and Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers, various Bulbuls (primarily Black-crested), Common Kestrel, White-browed Scimitar Babblers, Streaked Spiderhunter, and, down by the river, White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts.
And then, of course, many more, too numerous to mention.
The highlights, no doubt, have been Rufous-necked and Great Hornbills. Amazing birds of which I have yet to get good views or photos, and I'm still eager to see the other two. Other personal highlights have been both Lesser and Greater Yellownapes, and the Common Green Magpie, all three beautiful birds.
Hope the list is helpful to anyone traveling through this wonderful area, feel free to leave comments or corrections (I don't check updated names too often), or PM if you're headed this way!

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