Nepal is a paradise for bird lovers with over 848 species (almost 8% of the world total) of birds. And among them almost 5 hundred species are found in the Kathmandu Valley alone. The most popular bird watching spots in Kathmandu are Phulchoki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati River, Taudaha and so on. Get your binoculars and look forward to a rewarding experience.
The wetlands and open fields inside the valley make up a diverse habitat for many species of birds. Besides this, lots of birds but in different species found in Nepal depending on the vegetation and altitude of Nepal. Nepal is home of some endangered birds like Impeyan Pheasant, Nepal’s national bird and Spiny Babler, found only in Nepal. This program takes one, to explore the birds as well as wildlife in some of the very famous wetlands and National parks of Nepal.
Nepal Major Bird Watching Places
The Kathmandu Valley :
Kathmandu has four major bird watching areas, and one can start on the banks of the Bagmati and Manohara rivers. Birds sighted along there rivers are the Egrets, herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, Wood Sandpipers and Plovers. The Chovar Gorge is particularly recommended as an area for birds as its isolation from human habitation has encouraged their presence.
Phulchowki is another ideal site, with a Redheaded Trogan, a very rate bird sighted there in April 2002 (it was last seen n Nepal 44 years ago). Phulchowki is 2760 meters and 18kms southeast of Kathmandu and is reached via Godawari and the Botanical Gardens. Walking can start from behind the gardens, with a combination of trails and roads. The hillside is covered with forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. About 90 species have been recorded in this area including the endemic spring babbler, as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers and the Black-throated Parrot bill, to name a few.
Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve, & Nagarjun:
Two other areas of the valley are the Shivapuri Watershed Reserve, 12kms north of the city, and Nagarjun in the North West . Shivapuri can be reached two ways either from Sundarijal or from Budhanilkantha. The reserve is managed by Nepalese Army and it costs Rs 250 for foreigners to enter. (Rs1000/- is charged for a movie or video camera). Some of the birds in the area are the Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, little Pied Fly Catchers, Rupy-throats, and Babblers. At Nagarjun at 2105 meters pheasants, magpies, sunbirds, and ruby throats are found.
in Pokhara, the two well known lakes Phewa Tal and Begnas Tal and the surrounding areas are highly recommended. Of particular interest are the areas with minimum disturbances, away from human inhabitation the forests around the south shore of Phewa lake. Look out in the fields and pools especially in the winter for Egrets, Herons, Pipits, and Buntings etc. other birds are occurring are Gulls, Terns, Ducks, and Falcons etc.
Begnas Tal is 15Km away from Pokhara and it easily reached by taxi or bicycle. Accommodations are available here too. Terraced hills and light forests surround the lake. One should spend time on the slopes and wet fields. Birds sighted here are Ducks, pheasant-tailed jacana; Hoppie Grey bellied Tesias, common pintail snipe, bulbuls etc. Pokhara lakeside is basically a tourist town, which caters to all the needs f visitors. From cheap lodges to very expensive star hotels are available in and around Pokhara. Lakeside is full of restaurants of all kinds. Pokhara can be reached by air or by road. Bird watching is best in October and April.
Koshi Barage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
Koshi Barage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: are in the eastern Terai to the Far East of Nepal. The Koshi is great for waterfowl and waders, with about 26 varieties of ducks alone. Here the method of viewing is by boat, gliding through the waters in the stillness of the early morning and evenings. Over 450 species have been sighted hare, including Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges, and Storks.
Chitwan National Park :
Chitwan is in the lowlands of Nepal , known as the Terai. The Royal Chitwan National park is the best-known site in Nepal for bird watching. Bird watching need to be done from the safely of a chair, the back of an elephant or in a jeep (by far the last choice). And if you wish to walk, accompanied by a guide or a naturalist, or preferably an ornithologist. The area consists of Sal Forest , Riverine forest, and grasslands, with three rivers forming the boundaries of the park. Some 500 species have been recorded in Chitwan and some of them are Blue Indian Roller, Stork-billed Kingfishers, Bengal Florican, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Bee-eaters, and Cormorants.
One of the best ways of viewing birds in Nepal is a leisurely trek through the foothills of the Kingdom. There are three main trekking areas in Nepal : the Langtang region six hours by road North of Kathmandu, the Solu Khumbu region eight hours by road East of Kathmandu and the Annapurna region, six hours by road or a 30 minute flight West of Kathmandu. Of the three trekking regions, the Annapurna region offers the widest variety of species. The region is also easily accessible.