We start our incredible tour in New Delhi, exploring the nearby Sultanpur jheel for a host of ducks, geese, gulls and waders, in addition to rarer species such as Striated Grassbird, Red Avadavat, Yellow-bellied Prinia and Sind Sparrow.
We move on, ascending the Kumaon Himalayan foothills to Manila Here we bird amidst endless forested vistas and towering snowcaps seeking out high altitude specialities that include Cheer, Kalij and Koklass Pheasants, no less than five species of Zoothera thrushes, the lovely Golden Bush Robin and much, much more. Descending lower down the foothills, we reach the famous Corbett National Park. This scenically spectacular area affords some excellent birding with good chances for Tawny and Brown Fish Owls, Pallas's and Lesser Fish Eagles, Red Junglefowl, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Crested Treeswift, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Rufous and Grey Treepies, beautiful White-crested Laughingthrush, stunning Rufous-bellied Niltava, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, three species of elegant forktails, skulking cupwings bird flocks often containing over 30 species, as well as two monotypic families in Wallcreeper and Ibisbill.
We spedn time in the famous Ranthambore National Park, where we search for the desirable Bengal Tiger, undoubtedly one of the best places on earth to see this giant cat! Other game abounds and we stand reasonable chances of observing Leopard and Sloth Bear. The rich woods, chaurs and dry thickets of this scenically stunning park also offer up Red Junglefowl, the resplendent Indian Peafowl, Indian Scops Owl, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Crested Serpent Eagle, White-bellied Drongo, the active White-browed Fantail and the endemic Painted Sandgrouse.
Next we visit the world-famous waterbird sanctuary of Keoladeo National Park, better known as Bharatpur. Here we will bird the jam-packed wetlands that teem with waterfowl, pelicans, herons, storks, cranes, raptors, waders and migrant passerines. Some of the species we will look for include Sarus Crane (the world's tallest flying bird), Cotton Pygmy Goose, Painted and Black-necked Storks, Asian Openbill, Black Bittern, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas and migratory White-tailed Lapwing.
A boat trip down the Chambal River takes us to one of the last strongholds of the strange Ganges River Dolphin and Indian Skimmer. Other river specialists here include Black-bellied and River Terns, River Lapwing and the bizarre Gharial. Nearby grassland and scrub plains are host to Indian Courser, the endemic Sykes's Lark, a trio of wheatears and Isabelline Wheatear. Finally, we head to the fabulous Taj Mahal - allowing us to marvel at the elegance of its design and the immense numbers of intricately carved and inlaid semi-precious stones that adorn its walls.
This fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable birding and wildlife tour of Northern India is taken at a leisurely pace and its multi-faceted birding, wildlife and cultural focus means it can be enjoyed by both birders and non-birders alike.
Sarus Crane; Koklass & Cheer Pheasants; Ibisbill; Wallcreeper; Long-billed Thrush; Little Forktail; Painted Sandgrouse; Black Bittern; Indian Skimmer; Sykes's Lark; Bluethroat; Red-billed Blue Magpie; Golden Bush Robin; Collared Falconet; Black Francolin; Indian Peafowl; Indian Courser; Indian Skimmer.
Bengal Tiger; Leopard; Sambar; Nilgai; Chital; Hog Deer; Yellow-throated Marten; Ganges River Dolphin (rare); Sloth Bear (rare); Jungle Cat.
wetlands, teak woodlands, rivers, sal (oak & rhododendron) forests, dry acacia woodlands
cool to mild in lowlands, cold in Himalayan foothills with a chance of snowfall
6 with 1 Rockjumper leader
comfortable to luxurious hotels & lodges
Taj Mahal; Kosi, Chambal River; Fatehpur Sikri; Agra Fort; Himalayan scenery
good to incredible
This was the first group birding tour Ive ever taken (meaning, more than myself and either one or two other persons). Rockjumper and Nigel Redman made it a very pleasurable experience, with wonderful birds, beautiful landscapes, and good flexibility and adaptability to the various challenges and obstacles thrown our way on the trip. I heartily recommend both this tour and Nigel Redman as a tour leader! I would happily go on any tour for which Nigel was the leader; his knowledge of ornithology, history, and birding folklore is encycylopedic, and his easy humor and casual nature made for happy hours in our vehicles or over dinner tables (this, in contrast to the group next to us in some of the dining halls, where hardly a word was spoken by any tour member when the trip leader was going through the days list; that was a dictatorship; Nigels tour was a democracy in many ways.)
David Hoddinott is wonderful and a great leader.
As usual another fantastic journey masterfully organized and enabling us to discover places and birds in the best possible way. Supreme guide, all matters perfect, except the lack of heating in the bus. Chilly India, believe it or not !
David Hoddinott was at his best even on new grounds full of lifers.
Greg de Klerk and David Erterius were great - super knowledgeable and really kind. You can tell that they both care about birds and their guests. I hope I can go on a Rockjumper tour with them again.
01 Feb 2025 - 17 Feb 2025 (17 days)
USD9,000 - Spaces Available
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
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