EAST INDIA & ANDAMAN ISLANDS
East India is dominated by the state of West Bengal. The northern part of the state is an extension of northeast India and shares much of the rich bird and mammal life of that region in superb montane and sub-Himalayan forests. Singalila National Park, which touches the Indo-Nepal border, is renowned as perhaps the best site in India to see the delightful but secretive Red Panda, while some of the region’s most sought-after birds or those more usually associated with Bhutan, such as Rusty-bellied Shortwing and Satyr Tragopan, can be easier to see here. Further south, the hills give way to the plains, which dissolve into the vast delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers which spreads fan-like into Bangladesh. The unique environment of Sundarbans National Park, a mix of waterways, mudflats and extensive mangroves is home to some interesting wildlife including Masked Finfoot, Brown-winged Kingfisher and Mangrove Pitta, and is perhaps the most incongruous setting to find Tiger, alongside Estuarine Crocodile and Irrawaddy Dolphin.
We also include here the Himalayan state of Sikkim, now officially part of northeast India but which adjoins northern West Bengal, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are more usually combined with, and therefore included as part of South India.
Key species across the region: Satyr Tragopan, Blood Pheasant, Hill Partridge, Grandala, Black-faced, Rufous-necked, Scaly and Spotted Laughingthrushes, Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler, Rufous-throated and Long-billed Wren-babblers, Red-throated and Black-throated Thrushes, Himalayan Cutia, Fire-tailed Myzornis, White-throated Redstart, Rusty-bellied, Gould’s and White-browed Shortwings, Himalayan Rubythroat, Himalayan Bluetail, Siberian Blue Robin, White-tailed and Blue-fronted Robins, Golden, White-browed and Rufous-breasted Bush-Robins, Black-throated, Fulvous, Brown and Great Parrotbills, Black-headed and Himalayan Shrike-babblers, Golden-breasted and White-browed Fulvettas, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Himalayan Beautiful and Himalayan White-browed Rosefinches, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Tawny Fish Owl, Red Panda, Tiger, Yellow-throated Marten and numerous more elusive mammals.
EAST INDIA BIRDING & WILDLIFE TOURS
BIRDING | SHORT TOUR
The Sundarbans: Birds of the Delta
A 5-day exploration of the waterways, mudflats and mangroves in the Indian part of the vast delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, and their rich birdlife.
5 DAYS | OCTOBER TO MARCH
Birds of West Bengal and Sikkim
A 17-day birding tour to some of the least-visited parts of the Eastern Himalayas, in search of spectacular specialities from rich mid-altitude forests to the Tibetan Plateau.
17 DAYS | FEBRUARY TO MARCH
EASY TO MODERATE
BIRDS & MAMMALS
India and Nepal: Red Panda Expedition
A 12-day exploration of the forests of West Bengal and Singalila National Park at the Indo-Nepal border, in search of Red Panda, incredible birdlife and Himalayan vistas.
12 DAYS | NOVEMBER AND MARCH TO MAY
MODERATE TO CHALLENGING