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West Bengal: Lower Himalayan Birds

With Bhutan a stones throw away, the region of Lava and Neora Valley is a pristine forest unhindered by human development. As a result, tragopans and bears abound in this narrow strip.

What iO thinks

Close to North Bengal’s border with western Bhutan lies a stretch of pristine forest shrouded in cloud and mist. This mature moist evergreen biotope covers an altitude range from 1600m to 2500m.


The Paktham Forest on the road to the village of Lava from Algarah and the north western margin of the Neora Valley National Park form the core of this birding hotspot.


The Lava area is the place to see Satyr Tragopan, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Broad-billed Warbler, Blue-fronted Robin, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Scarlet Finch and many more rarities.
Adjoining Loylegaon is also worth a visit for these and other great birds.

Bird list

Bar-headed Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Common Hill Partridge, Rufous-throated Hill Partridge, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Satyr Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Rock Dove, Freckled Pigeon, Ashy Pigeon, Oriental Turtle Dove, Red Collared Dove, Spotted-necked Dove, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Yellow-legged Green Pigeon, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Large-tailed Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar, White-throated Needletail, Himalayan Swiftlet, Fork-tailed Swift, Little Swift, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Drongo Cuckoo, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Whistling Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Himalayan Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, Slaty-legged Crake, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Greenshank, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Jerdon’s Baza, Crested Serpent Eagle, Himalayan Vulture, Indian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Black Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Pied Harrier, Crested Goshawk, Shikra, Besra, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk, Black Kite, Eurasian Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Upland Buzzard, Bay Owl, Brown Boobook, Collared Owlet, Asian Barred Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Mountain Scops Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Collared Scops Owl, Brown Wood Owl, Tawny Owl, Red-headed Trogon, Ward’s Trogon, Great Hornbill, Common Hoopoe, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Northern Wryneck, White-browed Piculet, Rufous Woodpecker, Greater Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Greater Flame-backed Woodpecker, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Small Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Short-billed Minivet, Long-tailed Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Rosy Minivet, Large Cuckooshrike, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Black-headed Shrike-babbler, Himalayan Shrike-babbler, Green Shrike-babbler, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Erpornis, Maroon Oriole, PASSERIFORMES: Dicruridae, Ashy Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Hair-crested Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, White-throated Fantail, Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Shrike, Grey-backed Shrike, Rufous Treepie, Grey Treepie, Alpine Chough, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Common Green Magpie, Eurasian Nutcracker, House Crow, Large-billed Crow, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Plain Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Little Spiderhunter, Streaked Spiderhunter, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Maroon-backed Accentor, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Indian Silverbill, White-rumped Munia, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Olive-backed Pipit, Rosy Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, White Wagtail, White-winged Grosbeak, Common Rosefinch, Scarlet Finch, Crimson-browed Finch, Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Spot-winged Rosefinch, Brown Bullfinch, Red-headed Bullfinch, Golden-naped Finch, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Plain Mountain Finch, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch, Red Crossbill, Tibetan Siskin, Little Bunting, Fairy-fantail, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Fire-capped Tit, Yellow-browed Tit, Coal Tit, Rufous-vented Tit, Fulvous Tit, Green-backed Tit, Cinereous Tit, Black-lored Tit, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Hill Prinia, Brown Bush Warbler, Russet Bush Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Nepal House Martin, Barn Swallow, Dusky Crag Martin, White-throated Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Striated Bulbul, Himalayan Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, White-spectacled Leaf Warbler, Grey-cheeked Leaf Warbler, Golden-spectacled Leaf Warbler, Whistler’s Leaf Warbler, Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Leaf Warbler, Greenish Leaf Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Grey-hooded Leaf Warbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Grey-bellied Tesia, Grey-sided Bush Warbler, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Rufous-faced Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Leafworker, Broad-billed Warbler, Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Hume’s Bush Warbler, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Black-throated Tit, Black-browed Tit, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, White-browed Fulvetta, Brown Parrotbill, Striated Yuhina, Black-chinned Yuhina, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Rufous-vented Yuhina, White-naped Yuhina, Oriental White-eye, Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Rusty-throated Wren Babbler, Elachura, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Golden Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Buff-chested Babbler, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Long-billed Wren Babbler, Nepal Nun Babbler, Striated Laughing-thrush, Cutia, White-crested Laughing-thrush, Spotted Laughing-thrush, Rufous-chinned Laughing-thrush, Greater Necklaced Laughing-thrush, White-throated Laughing-thrush, Grey-sided Laughing-thrush, Scaly Laughing-thrush, Blue-winged Laughing-thrush, Streaked Laughing-thrush, Black-faced Laughing-thrush, Chestnut-crowned Laughing-thrush, Rufous Sibia, Silver-eared Mesia, Red-billed Leiothrix, Red-tailed Minla, Red-faced Liocichla, Hoary-throated Barwing, Blue-winged Minla, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Goldcrest, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Ferruginous Flycatcher, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Pale-chinned Blue Flycatcher, White-gorgetted Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Large Niltava, Small Niltava, Asian Verditer Flycatcher, White-browed Shortwing, Lesser Shortwing, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Gould’s Shortwing, Indian Blue Robin, White-bellied Redstart, Little Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Blue-fronted Robin, Blue Whistling Thrush, White-tailed Robin, White-browed Bush Robin, Golden Bush Robin, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Long-tailed Thrush, Plain-backed Thrush, Dark-sided Thrush, Long-billed Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Purple Cochoa, Grey-winged Blackbird, Tickell’s Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Grey-sided Thrush, White-collared Blackbird, Chestnut Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Red-throated Thrush

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