I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… You know that, you only have world class guides. The last two days made the trip ‘beyond expectations’ with the birds we saw in Saital… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination. I especially have to thank Rich for taking pictures for me: I can immediately tell which ones he took: they make clear memories that are memorable…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.
Over a billion people call India home; one of the world’s richest cultural settings and a landscape that boasts a staggering geographical diversity. Situated in the far north-western corner of the country; we visit India’s newest national park – the Great Himalayan National Park. This unexplored terrain of vast wilderness is one of the strongholds for a species that will be the main focus of our quest – the Western Tragopan! Arguably one of the most attractive and sought-after of all the pheasants, with an estimated global population of only 2,500 to 3,000 individuals. This tour has been set up to specifically target this most desirable and little-known species. The local population refer to this species as ‘Jujurana’, which translates roughly as “king of the birds”. According to local legend, the Western Tragopan was created by using the most beautiful and colourful feather of each bird on the universe. We will explore the mountainous terrain on foot, traversing exquisite, unspoiled trails and fantastic scenery to boot. While we search for our main quarry, we shall also enjoy a supporting cast of many range-restricted species confined to the Himalayas such as the iconic Himalayan Monal, the reclusive, long-tailed Cheer Pheasant, Bearded Vulture, Snow Pigeon, Long-billed Thrush, Wallcreeper, Altai Accentor and White-cheeked Nuthatch amongst many others. Set in an unspoilt, beautiful series of valleys and ridges, this tour is a set to reward even the most travelled birder.
Western Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Cheer Pheasant, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Long-billed & Tickell’s Thrushes, Wallcreeper, Bearded Vulture, Golden & Black Eagles, Koklass & Kalij Pheasants, Snow Pigeon, Brown-fronted, Himalayan & Scaly-bellied Woodpeckers, Pink-browed Rosefinch, White-cheeked Nuthatch, Black-and-yellow Grosbeak, Himalayan & Black Bulbuls, Black-chinned Babbler, White-throated Bushtit, Whistler’s Warbler, Variegated Laughingthrush, Crested Kingfisher, Upland Pipit, Spotted & Little Forktails, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Altai Accentor, Red-billed & Alpine Choughs, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler, Chestnut-headed Tesia, White-collared Blackbird, Himalayan Bluetail, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous Water Redstart and Spotted Nutcracker.
Nepal Grey Langur, Rhesus Monkey, Himalayan Goral, Common Giant Flying Squirrel.
temperate and sub-tropical forest, alpine heath, alpine meadows, rivers, grasslands.
days are warm, but evenings are very cold with sub-freezing temperatires possible. Rain is also possible.
Arduous, with lots of high altitude hiking and camping. This tour requires very good fitness levels.
unspoilt landscapes, rarely seen birds, friendly people.
What our clients say about tours to India
- Northern India
Dear Erik, Thanks for the trip report of a fantastic tour. Wow, what an experience and I am so glad we did it – most importantly with Rockjumper. Everything was taken care of and we moved smoothly from one place to the next with no problems (well none that we knew of!)
All the best!CG, Northern India
The entire tour was truly excellent. David is an outstanding, world-class bird guide, talented, able-bodied, friendly and courteous. I would definitely travel with him again.JF, Southern India 2017
Clayton was friendly, informative and fun…. Very athletic and cheerful. Find him to be a wonderful guide.PWN, India 2013
I thought David was an excellent guide. He certainly knows his birds and was very passionate and I also found him to be very keen to discuss birds and pass on knowledge; I enjoyed being able to share his passion. I also found him to be friendly and I had the impression that he was always trying to make sure that the group was generally satisfied. He was certainly very thorough at making sure that everybody had seen all the birds.FH, Southern India
David was an excellent leader with exceptional birding skills. He was very attentive and helpful in handling both the birding and the logistics. In addition to his birding and guiding skills, David is also very personable and easy to talk to. I would definitely go on another trip with him as a guide.BB, Birds & Tigers I
We had a wonderful trip with Rich Lindie and Stephan Lorenz, and we would certainly be happy to travel with either of them again. They were both excellent with the birds, had a great sense of humour, and were helpful and patient when individuals required extra assistance. In addition to the birding, we enjoyed a long list of mammals sighted in the various national parks. The accommodations and meals were also very good.LC & PD, Northern India 2017
RBT guide, David Erterius, and local guide, Ansar Khan, were excellent! Their birding skills were off the charts, and were always mindful that all participants saw the bird whenever possible. They were a great team and always made sure that all went smoothly.CR & LR, Northern India
David Erterius has an amazing memory for birds and bird calls. Our group had a variety of skills and interests, and he did a good job of balancing photographer’s and birder’s needs. As a birder with limited spotting skills, I especially appreciated his ability to get many of the birds in the scope and to give me special help when I was having trouble seeing the bird.BH, Northern India
RBT has landed a rising young star in the bird guide business; his temperament is a hidden asset…yes, he knows the birds well, but the manner in which he carries out his day-to-day duties and responsibilities as leader in a foreign land instills confidence, calm and discipline, without losing focus or patience. We enjoyed traveling with him and will look to his future trips for our travel.CH, Northern India II 2014
This was a great trip. A terrific itinerary and we saw lots of birds and we saw tigers at Ranthambhore and Corbett. Glen and [the local leader] were excellent guides—great spotting skills, and they made sure everyone saw the bird. The logistics worked very well because Glen and [the local leader] were a great team.BG, Pvt Castleman India
We loved Glen Valentine! Very skilled, and not defensive if we questioned an ID. Liked that he continued to call out even the common birds throughout the tour, which meant we got a chance to really study each species. Good sense of humor, and fun to bird with!Pvt Castleman India
David Erterius is an absolute delight. Our group was unanimous in its respect for his exceptional birding skills, tirelessness, even temper and sense of humour. I especially appreciated that he always let us know what the plans were, and was most considerate of our needs (birds and otherwise), and our comfort. I look forward to an opportunity to travel with him again.KT, Birds & Tigers I
Both David and Rajveer were excellent guides. In fact, it seemed at times as though they were able to summon animals.RR, Northern India
I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.NM, Northern India