16 day birdwatching tour to Myanmar
Myanmar (formally Burma) is unique in the world in its biodiversity. It offers outstanding nature, wildlife and bird-viewing opportunities. It is the largest country in South East Asia and lies on the boundaries of continental South East Asia, Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau. This location marks a rich biodiversity with varied ecosystem, including lowland and mountance forests and various wetland habitats including coastal and riverine wetlands.
Himalayan species are found in the mountains in the north and west, and tropical Malayan species inhabit the south. Myanmar is still relatively unexplored, yet offers some of the most exciting birding in the region. In fact new species of birds are still being discovered in Myanmar. A recent example is the Naung Mung Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia naungmungensis that was discovered during February of 2004. Myanmar is a bird watcher’s paradise with 1070 bird species of which six are endemic species which are globally endangered White-browed Nuthatch Sitta victoriae, near-threatened Hooded Treepie Crypsirina cucullata, White-throated Babbler Turdoides gularis, Burmese Bushlark Mirafra microptera, Jerdon’s Minivet Pericrocotus albifrons (recently split from White-bellied Minivet) and Andaman Teal Anas albogularis (recently split from Sunda Teal), and thirty five species are near-endemics.
Hlawga Wildlife Park: Hlawga is established in 1982 and is a small wetland area, comprised of semi-evergreen, mixed deciduous and swamp forests. It is 6.24 sq km on the outskirts of the Yangon city in South Myanmar. 179 bird species has been recorded here.
Arrive at Yangon (formerly Rangoon) international airport. Transfer and check in the hotel for one night stay. If we have time we will do Yangon City birding where Little Grebe, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, Lesser Whistling Duck, Common Moorhen, Oriental Darter, Little cormorant, Coppersmith Barbet, Mynas, Bee-eaters, Bulbuls, Tailorbird, Prinia and others will be seen. Overnight will be at hotel in Yangon.
In the morning, we will drive to Hlawga Wildlife Park to do birding. Here we will be able to see the rare Pale-capped Pigeon, Racket-tailed Treepie, Red Junglefowl, Green, Blue-tailed and Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, Green-billed Malkoha, Lesser Racket-tailed and Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, White-rumped Shama, Black-headed, Black-crested, Red-vented, Red-whiskered, Stripe-throated with red eyes and near-endemic Streak-eared Bulbuls, White-crested and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes, Puff-throated and Chestnut-capped Babblers, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Ruby-cheeked, Olive-backed and Purple Sunbirds, some water bird species such as Oriental Darter, Spot-billed and Lesser Whistling Ducks, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Common Moorhen, White-breasted Waterhen, Red-wattled Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover and others. We can also see wintering bird species such as Osprey, Black-naped Oriole, Spotted Redshank, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Black-naped Oriole, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Oriental Reed, Greenish and Yellow-browed Warblers and Forest Wagtail. Late afternoon we will drive back to Yangon. Overnight will be at hotel in Yangon.
Early in the morning, we will take a short flight to Bagan (formally Pagan) for a two night stay. We will spend the remainder of the morning exploring the area and we can see our first Myanmar endemic birds White-throated Babbler and Burmese Bushlark.
In the afternoon we will be birding by wooden boat along the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River to see White-tailed Stonechat, Sand Lark, Long-billed Pipit, Spot-billed Duck, River Lapwing, Great Thick-knee, Small Pratincole, Pied Kingfisher, thousands of Plain and Sand Martins, Indian Skimmer, River and Black-bellied Terns, Laggar Falcon and others. We can also see wintering bird species such as Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Temminck’s Stint, rare Greater Spotted Eagle, Harriers, Common Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon. Overnight will be at hotel in Bagan.
We will be birding the whole day in and around Bagan. Here we can see another two Myanmar’s endemic birds which are Jerdon’s Minivet (recently split from White-bellied Minivet) and rare Hooded Treepie, together with Myanmar near-endemic birds – Vinous-breasted Starling and Plain-backed Sparrow, Chinese Francolin, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Rain Quail, Burmese Shrike, Spotted Owlet, Indian Nightjar, House Martin, Red Collared and Eurasian Collared Doves, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Brown Prinia and many more. We can also see wintering bird species such as Eurasian Wryneck, Brown Shrike, Red-throated Flycatcher, Siberian Rubythroat, Daurian Redstart and Yellow-streaked Warbler. Overnight will be at hotel in Bagan.
In the early morning, we will drive south and across the Ayeyarwaddy River by car, before continuing westwards. After crossing the river we will travel throughout hilly semi desert and dry deciduous forests. Birding stops en-route. Here we can see again Jerdon’s Minivet, Hooded Treepie and Long-billed Pipit, together with near-endemic bird White-rumped Falcon, White-eyed Buzzard, Collared Falconet, various species of Woodpeckers, Blue-throated and Lineated Barbets, Asian Barred Owlet, Alexandrine, Rose-ringed, Blossom-headed, Grey-headed and Red-breasted Parakeets, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Small, Scarlet and Rosy Minivets, Common and Large Woodshrikes, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and others. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Mountain Oasis Resort, on the lower slope of Mt. Victoria where we will stay for six nights.
We will be birding five full days at Mt. Victoria (Natmataung National Park).
Natmataung (Mt. Victoria) National Park is a major focal point of the tour. It holds a great variety of eastern Himalayan bird species together with some Myanmar endemic bird and near-endemic bird species.
The habitat type of higher altitude of Mt. Victoria is characterized by pine, oak, rhododendron and evergreen forests with shot grassland.
Here we can able to see White- browed Nuthatch, Myanmar’s fifth and most irresistible Myanmar endemic bird which is known only in this site. Other speciality birds that could be seen on this area are Myanmar near-endemic birds – Mount Victoria Babax (recently split from Chinese Babax), Brown-capped Laughingthrush and Whistler’s Warbler, rare and shy Blyth’s Tragopan, Hill Partridge, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Slaty-backed and Rufous-gorgetted Flycatchers, White-browed Shortwing, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Yellow-browned and Black-browned Tits, Striated Bulbul, Brown Bush, Ashy-throated and Black-faced Warblers, Slender-billed Scimitar, Scaly-breasted Wren, Pygmy Wren, and Green Shrike Babblers, White-browed Fulvetta, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Fire-tailed Sunbird and others.
At mid altitude of Mt. Victoria is covered by pine and evergreen forests. Dwarf bamboo also occurs in the understory and in thickes open area.
Here we can see Myanmar near-endemic bird Black-throated Prinia (recently split from Hill Prinia), rare Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Grey-chined, Long-tailed and Short-billed Minivets, Long-tailed and Black-breasted Thrushes, Indian Blue Robin, Spotted Forktail, White-tailed Nuthatch, Black-bibbed Tit, Broad-billed and Aberrant Bush Warblers, Red-faced Liocichla, Cutia, Streak-throated Barwings, Blue-winged and Red-tailed Minlas, Black-throated Parrotbill, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Spot-winged Grosbeak and others.
At the lower altitude of mountain has pine and deciduous forests.
Here we can see Myanmar near-endemic Stripe Laughingthrush, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Scaly Thrush, Yellow-cheeked and Black-throated Tits, Crested Finchbill, Striated Prinia, Brownish-flanked Bush, Russet Bush, Grey-hooded and Grey-crowned Warblers, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Spot-throated and Spot-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Nepal and Rusty-capped Fulvettas, Silver-eared Mesia, Mrs Gould’s and Green-tailed Sunbirds and many more.
At all altitude zones where we can see Myanmar near-endemic bird species – Chin Hills Wren Babbler (recently split from Long-tailed Wren Babbler) and Assam Laughingthrush (recently split from Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush), Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Crimson-breasted and Darjeeling Woodpeckers, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Green-backed Tit, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler and Grey Sibia
Many raptors such as Black Baza, Oriental Honey and Common Buzzards, Changeable Hawk, Mountain Hawk, Crested Serpent and Black Eagles, Besra, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kesterl and Oriental Hobby can be also seen.
We can also able to see wintering species such as Chestnut, Grey-sided and Eyebrowed Thrushes, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Black Redstart, Buff-throated, Hume’s, Radde’s and Tickell’s Leaf Warblers, Common Rosefinch, Chestnut and Little Buntings.
Morning, return to Bagan for one night stay. Birding stops en-route. Overnight will be at hotel in Bagan.
Today we will take a short flight to Heho and make a short drive to Kalaw for a two night stay. Birding stops en-route. Overnight will be at hotel in Kalaw.
After a shot drive to evergreen forest area, we will birding the whole day at here. Here we can see Myanmar near-endemic birds – Burmese Yuhina, Dark-backed Sibia and Indochinese Cuckooshrike, White-browed Laughingthrush, Streaked Wren, Golden, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar, White-browed Scimitar, White-browed Shrike and Rufous-fronted Babblers, Silver-eared Mesia, Rusty-capped and Grey-cheeked Fulvettas, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Sooty-headed, Mountain, Black, Ashy and Brown-breasted Bulbuls, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Sliver-breasted and Long-tailed Broadbills, Black-breasted Thrush, Vivid Niltava, White-crowned Forktail, White-capped Water Redstart, Bianchi’s and White-tailed Leaf Warblers, Black-throated Sunbird, Black-headed Greenfinch, Crested Bunting and many more.
We can also see wintering bird such as Grey-backed Shrike, Daurian Redstart, Chestnut-flanked and Japanese White-eyes, Spotted Bush Warbler and Chestnut Bunting.
Overnight will be at hotel in Kalaw.
We will drive a shot distant to Nyaung Shwe and then make boat ride and birding on Inle Lake.
Here we can see rare Jerdon’s Bushchat, very rare Sarus Crane, Collared Myna, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Ruddy-breasted and Black-tailed Crakes, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Black-winged Stilt, Oriental Pratincole, Cinnamon and Yellow Bitterns, Lesser Whistling and Spot-billed Ducks, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Plaintive Cuckoo, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Plain and Yellow-bellied Prinias and Striated Grassbird. We can also see migrant bird species such as very rare Baer’s, Ferruginous, Red-crested and Common Pochards, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Common Coot, Grey-headed Lapwing, Marsh Sandpiper, Brown-headed Gull, Harriers, Steppe Eagle, Bluethroat, Dusky and Black-browed Reed Warblers and Yellow-breasted Bunting.
And also breeding or roosting colony of Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets, Indian Pond, Chinese Pond and Black-crowned Night Herons, Little Cormorant, Vinous-breasted, Chestnut-tailed, Black-collared and Asian Pied Starlings, Common, Jungle, White-vented and Collared Mynas can be seen in the evening. Overnight will be at hotel on Inle Lake.
We have a final morning birding on Inle Lake and drive to Heho for flight to Yangon. Overnight will be at hotel in Yangon
City tour or visit to famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the city’s primary Landmark, with its magnificent golden stupa. Transfer to Yangon international airport for the departure flight at your flight time.
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