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ASIA, INDIA

HOTEL EAGLE'S NEST > DHARAMSALA

Hotel Eagle's Nest

Hotel Eagle's Nest is set in over 50 acres of cedar, oak and rhododendron, situated in the splendid Himalayan foothills (6,808ft/2,042m), overlooking the Kangra and Kullu Valleys and the palace of the Dalai Lama, amidst his community in exile from Tibet. This unusual and beautiful corner of India has the snowcapped Dhauladhar mountain range as its spectacular backdrop - providing stunning views from the garden.

Eagle's Nest Birdwatching Trips, March 2010 - April 2010

Over 450 species to be seen!

+ + News! Special opportunity for Birders & Nature lovers! Indian Government National Bird Census: volunteers wanted end of January at Pong Lake near Himalayas in HP… please read more below.

Suggested itineraries

3 night / 4 day, cost per person rs. &18,000 (240GDP /$370)

Arrive at Hotel Eagles Nest, tea. Evening: welcome drink with info-talk and dinner.

Morning: meet Arvind Sharma, expert birding guide, to discuss the programme.

1 day: walk to Triund, or possibly to Snowline, for High Altitude birds.* Picnic lunch and porters provided.

1 day: A/C Jeep drive to Tea Garden area and Palampur for Sub-Tropical/Tropical birds** of the famous Shivalik Hills.

1 day: walk around Dharamkot (Eagles Nest Hill), and down through the forest to local village Naddi for Hill birds.***

Last day: at leisure at Eagles Nest for horse riding, Badminton, in-house massage/ shopping or sightseeing in Mcleodganj.and departure.

9 night / 10 day, cost per person rs. 52,800 inc tax (=700GBP /$1100) or extension for 2 weeks (13 night /14 day) extra rs. 15,000 (200GDP /$312)

Arrive at Hotel Eagles Nest, tea. Evening: welcome drink with talk and dinner.

Morning: meet Arvind Sharma, expert birding guide, to discuss the programme.

1 day: walk to Triund, or possibly to Snowline, for High Altitude birds.* Picnic lunch and porters provided.

2 day: A/C Jeep drive to Tea Garden area and Palampur for Sub-Tropical/Tropical birds** of the famous Shivalik Hills.

3 day: walk around Dharamkot (Eagles Nest Hill), and down through the forest to local village Naddi for Hill birds.***

4 day: at leisure at Eagles Nest – resort facilities, or visit to Mcleodganj/Dalai Lama Temple

5 day: drive to Pong Lake, one of the largest (403 Sq.km) internationally recognized (RMASAR) lakes with protected wetland areas. Huge numbers of migratory water birds ****(Please read accompanying article).

6 + 7: overnight on Ranser Island, reached by boat. Stay in a simple Forest Rest House (min. 1 month advance booking vital). Quality camping can be arranged for large groups. Extra option: fishing for Golden Mahasheer and fresh fish dinners for non-veg!

Extra option: visit rural pottery – and even make your own!

8 day: Drive back to Eagles Nest. At leisure.

9 day: Option:Visit Hot Springs and river for bathing, or Mcleodganj and Norbulinka, Tibetan Arts and Culture Centre and traditional temple amidst lush gardens.

Last night complementary drink and banquet dinner.

10 day: depart Eagles Nest (no check out time).

EXTENSION for 2 week Trip:

10 day: Option: drive to Kangra for 11am ‘Toy Train’ narrow gauge railway, for 2.5 hr journey to Haripur-Guler. Lunch at Heritage Hotel and visit famous Kangra School of Painting and the old fort and option to see the local pottery.

11 day: Drive 4 hrs to Barot Valley, very lush, known for its superb river fishing.

Stay at Forest Guest House

12 day: Fishing and bird watching by the riverside. Stay 2nd night.

13 day: return to Eagles Nest. Rest of day at leisure.

Last night complementary drink and banquet dinner.

14 day: depart Eagles Nest (no check out time).

Trips can be arranged according to weather conditions. Groups up to 6 will need one jeep. Groups of 7 – 12 will need 2 jeeps. Extra discounts available on Groups over 7.

Birds to be sighted:

*High Altitude, including: large birds of prey, like the huge Himalayan Griffon Vulture, the Golden Eagle, and the Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture – known for its enormous wingspan (up to 3m) and habit of dropping bones onto rocks from a height to split them for the marrow inside.

Other birds include: Snow Pigeon, Hill Partridge, Altai Accentor, Alpine Accentor, Himalayan Snow Cock, Koklass Pheasant, Grey-creasted Tit, Barn Owl, Collared Owlet, White-cheeked Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Tawny Owl, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Eurasian Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Yellow Grosbeak, Brambling, Booted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Hume's Warbler, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Wood Pigeon, Himalayan Swiftlet, Grey Nightjar, Eurasian Hobby, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Mountain Finch, Rufous-vented Tit and others.

**Sub Tropical/tropical, including: Sarus Crane with its juveniles and nests of Cattle Egret in colonies in the KangraValley and surrounding forests of this lush rural area.

Indian Peafowl, the National Bird of India, can be seen in the forests where it breeds. White–rumped Vulture (Red list Bird), Green Bee-eater and other bee-eaters, Spotted Forktail, Rock Bunting, Purple Sunbird and other sunbirds, Rufous Treepie, Black Francolin, Shikra, Drongos, Black Headed Shrike, White Capped Red Start, and flocks of brightly flashing Scarlet Minivet, amongst others.

***Hills, including: many beautiful Kalij Pheasant, Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Himalayan Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Asian House Martin, Rosefinch, Green Shrike Babbler, Laughing Thrushes, Whistling Thrush, Verditer Flycatcher, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Black Headed Sibia, Red capped Tit and many other Tits, Himalayan Jay, and the Himalayan Magpie with its long tail feathers and distinctive undulating flight, and many of the High Altitude birds depending on season, amongst others.

****Water & waders, migratory, including: Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Eurasion Spoonbill, Black-headed Ibis, Asian Openbill, Lesser Adjutant, Woolly-necked Stork, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Greyleg Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveller, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Merganser, Duck Spec, Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-breasted Crake, Eurasian Curlew, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Temminck's Stilt, Dunlin, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Thick-Knee. Great thick-Knee, Small Pratincole, Yellow-legged Gull, Pallas's Gull, Brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull, and Whiskered Tern are some of the main attractions among 240 species of migratory birds.

Spring-Summer visitors and resident Birds of Pong Wetland: Indian-Skimmer, Indian Pitta, Indian Roller, European Roller, Domisieel Crane, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Lesser Coucal, Eurasian Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar, Pied Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Blue –throated Barbet, Indian Grey Hornbill, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpeacker, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-hooded Oriole, Hooded Pitta, Singing Bushlark, Indian Bushlark, Oriental Skylark, Eurasian Skylark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Sand Lark, Crested lark, Plain Martin, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Black Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Bay-backed Shrike, Little Cormorant, Grey Heron, Cattle Eagret, Great Eagret, Intermediate Eagret, Cinnamon Bittern, Spot-billed Duck, Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Northern Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, River Lapwing, Littleringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, River Tern, Black-bellied Tern, amongst others.

Indian National Bird Census – Volunteers wanted!

I am writing (as an amateur birder) to advise that there is a unique opportunity for volunteers to be a part of the Indian Government National Bird Census - taking place in Northern India (State of Himachal Pradesh) near The Himalayas at a huge area of water and wetlands - over 403 sq.k - "Maharana Pratap Sager sanctuary, a place renowned for both its million+ migratory birds and resident species. This event takes place annually at the end of January or early February - exact dates to be advised.

Each year around 150 - 200 volunteers are needed to help with counting birds over a period of 2 full days. Accommodation and meals are provided in Forest Rest Houses, and volunteers are split into small groups lead by Forest Officers or other expert guides. The weather usually starts cool and then is warm during the day, and it is likely one day will be spent on the water in a boat, and another on land around the wetlands or forested perimeter of the lake.

Over 450 species of birds are listed, and the region is designated internationally recognized RAMSAR.

For further information contact: Hotel Eagle's Nest
Upper Dharamkot, Mcleodganj,
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
INDIA - 176219

Email:info@hoteleaglesnest.com

Phone(s) :+91 (0) 92184 02822, +91 (0) 1892 221910, +91 (0) 1892 221920, +91 (0) 1892 220794

Click here to see Hotel Eagle's Nest

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