For those with a passion for wildlife, few spots are richer than northern India — home of world-famous Corbett National Park, the Himalayan foothills, the wetlands of Bharatpur, and Ranthambhore National Park, one of the best places in the whole of India to see Tiger!
Famed Bharatpur embraces eleven square miles of wetland, woodland, and thorny scrub — all full of birds. The bugling of Sarus Cranes and chaotic honking of Bar-headed and Graylag geese are among the marvels of a Bharatpur dawn. As the morning warms up, many raptors may be found, and such sought-after species as Black Bittern and Pheasant-tailed Jacana stalk the wetlands; throughout the day the activity is constant. We'll also make an excursion to that most ethereal of India's monuments, the majestic Taj Mahal.
Ranthambhore is a 400-square-kilometer park situated in an area of rocky hill country, clothed in dry, deciduous forest, grassland and scrub, and dotted with several small lakes that can be alive with birds. Seeing Tiger will be a priority, of course, but Ranthambhore also boasts an exciting array of birds, and on our travels around the sanctuary and in surrounding areas we'll be looking for such species as Jungle Bush-Quail, Painted Spurfowl, Painted Sandgrouse, Great Thick-knee, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Spotted Owlet, Plum-headed Parakeets, Rufous Treepie, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher, and White-capped Bunting.
In Corbett, India's oldest park, more than 500 species of birds have been recorded — from Kalij Pheasant, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, and Brown Fish-Owl to Plumbeous and White-capped redstarts, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch. And in the Himalayas around Nainital, the bird life is no less impressive, with Himalayan Griffon, Great Barbet, Red-billed Blue-Magpie, Black-headed Jay, Scaly-breasted Cupwing, and several species of laughingthrushes heading the list.
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"A great tour experience, saw more birds than I thought I would, saw Tiger and Sloth Bears, and was impressed with the visit to the Taj Mahal... I had enjoyed traveling with Terry Stevenson and chose this tour because he was the guide. I'll absolutely travel with Terry again, and I was very impressed with Tom Johnson's detailed knowledge about the birds' taxonomy, and I look forward to traveling with Tom another day as well." D.M., NORTHERN INDIA 2019