Day 1: Arrive New Delhi
Arrive Delhi international airport. You will be met and transferred to the hotel (day room). Birding at Okhla barrage and city forest with a guide. Connect overnight train to Sawai Madhopur (railhead for Ranthambhor National Park) at 2145 hours from New Delhi railway station. Overnight in train.
Day 2: Ranthambhor National Park
Arrive at 0505 hours and transfer to the recommended resort. Morning birding around the resort with a guide. Afternoon jeep drive in the park with a guide for birding and tiger-tracking. Overnight in the resort. The birds that one can expect around the resort are grey francolin, sirkeer malkoha, painted sandgrouse, Indian courser, yellow-wattled lapwing, southern grey shrike, Isabelline wheatear, desert wheatear, variable wheatear, ashy-crowned sparrow lark, greater short-toed lark, blue rock thrush, common buzzard etc.
Day 3: Ranthambore – Bharatpur
Morning tiger-tracking with a guide in ranthambhor national park. You can have the option of going to the park for tiger-tracking or visiting the 1000-year old fort. You will be transferred to the railway station to connect train to Bharatpur at 1250 hours arrive Bharatpur at 1535 hours and transfer to the hotel. Overnight hotel.
Day 4-6: Bharatpur
Three full days of birding in Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot and cycle rickshaws with a birding guide. Note: one boat ride will be arranged subject to availability. Keoladeo national park has some of the finest wetlands in the world and is the world heritage site. Over 400 species of birds find a refuge in the 29 square kilometers of shallow lakes & woodland of the park. A third of them are winter migrants which breed as far as Siberia & Central Asia.
Day 07 : National Chambal Sanctuary
Transfer to Chambal early in the morning. Morning boat cruise with a guide to see Indian skimmer, black-bellied tern, large flocks of migratory waterfowl, cranes such as common, demoiselle and sarus; fish-eating crocodile and marsh mugger; Gangetic dolphin; turtles etc. Return by 1500 hours to Agra. Afternoon visit to the Taj Mahal. Transfer from the hotel in the evening to connect train to Lal Kuan (railhead for Nainital; 3 hours drive) at 2130 hr. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper train.
Day 08 & 09: Saatal
Arrive Lal Kuan at 0830 hours. You will be met and transferred to Saatal (2 hours). Full day birding with a guide. Two nights at KMVN Rest House or a tented camp or similar. The drive is through the forested area of Saatal. One can see a variety of Himalayan species along the way such as red-breasted accentor, chestnut-headed tesia, greater & lesser yellownaped woodpecker, blue-throated barbet, rufous-chinned laughing thrush, black bulbul, dark-throated thrush etc.
Day 10: Pangot, 15 km from Nainital
You will be transferred to Pangot via Nainital. Full day birding with a guide at Cheena Peak & Kilbury. Overnight at jungle lore birding lodge. The entire drive is through the forested area of China Peak Range via snow view point and Kilbury, the main habitats for excellent birding. One can see a variety of himalayan species along the way such as lammergeier, himalayan griffon, blue-winged minla, spotted & slaty-backed forktail, rufous-bellied woodpecker, rufous-bellied niltava, khalij pheasant, variety of thrushes etc. Nainital region supports almost 150 bird species out of which 130 species have been recorded at Pangot and surrounding areas. The numerous perennial & seasonal creeks are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna including the leopard, yellow-throated himalayan matins, himalayan palm civet, ghoral, barking deer, sambhar etc.
Day 11: Pangot
Another day of birding at Pangot village, Baggar and Gughu Khan. These walks can be very rewarding. Overnight stay at the lodge. One can see crested serpent-eagle, mountain hawk-eagle, woodpeckers such as brown-fronted, stripe-breasted, rufous-bellied etc. Thrushes such as dark-throated, mistle etc. striated prinia can be see in the terraced fields. Warblers such as tickell’s leaf-warbler, greenish, golden-spectacled, grey-hooded. Flycatchers such as asian brown, rusty-tailed, ultramarine, verditer, tickell’s blue, rufous-bellied niltava etc., orange-flanked bush robin, blue-capped redstart. Laughingthrushes such as white-throated, striated & streaked, chestnut-crowned etc. Look for accentor, upland pipit, blue-winged minla, whiskered yuhina etc.
Day 12: Mongoli Valley-Corbett NP
Drive early morning to Bajun (45 minutes) and trek into Mongoli valley. The trek will last about 4-5 hours. Packed lunch will be served. Drive to corbett national park from Mongoli (3 hours) stopping en route to look for ibisbill. Overnight stay in park. One can see crested woodpeckers such as greater yellownape, scaly-breasted, speckled piculet etc. large flocks of slaty-headed parakeets, numerous spotted and oriental turtle doves, grey bushchat, russet sparrow. Cuckoo indian, oriental, large-hawk and eurasian. Large-billed crow, grey treepie, black-headed jay, maroon oriole, large cuckoo shrike, tits such as rufous-naped, black-throated & yellow-browed and smaller numbers of black-lored and green-backed. White-tailed nuthatches, chestnut bellied nuthatches and bar-tailed treecreeper.
Day 13: Dhikala/Gairal Forest Lodge (Corbett National Park)
Morning elephant safari through the grasslands and dense forests. This is the best mode of transport for wildlife viewing. Return at 0900 hours for breakfast and then spend time till lunch on a watchtower overlooking a water hole. Drive to wildSome of the best birding areas of Dhikala/Gairal are sambhar road and Khinanauli. One can expect to see great slaty woodpecker, great hornbill, puff-throated babbler, white-rumped shama, pallas’s fish eagle etc.
Day 15: Corbett National Park-Delhi
Morning bird walk at Kumeria and a walk from Garjia temple. Afternoon drive to Kathgodam (2½ hr.) to connect overnight train to Delhi or connect train from Ramnagar at 2130 hr. Overnight in train.
Day 16: Delhi
Arrive Delhi early in the morning. You will be met and transferred to the hotel. Full day excursion to Sultanpur bird sanctuary (2 hours drive one way) with a guide. Return in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel. One can expect Indian courser, greater flamingo, great white pelican sarus and common crane, shikra, lesser thick knee, plaintive and grey-bellied cuckoo, crested serpent eagle, a lot of other waterfowl etc.
Day 17: New Delhi-onward journey
Transfer to the airport to connect flight to the next destination.