Birding In the Himalayan Foothills (June 07 Days; # 327)
Pangot just 15 km from Nainital in Uttarakhand state is one of India’s beautiful hamlets. The feeling around here is like being in a remote Himalayan village and going by the records of Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, the area boasts of having over 250 bird species.
Pangot is mainly forested with thick oak, pine, and Rhododendron which serve as excellent nesting places for many resident and migratory birds. The weather is pleasantly warm in summer and during winter, the mountain peaks are covered in snow which is attractive to watch. There are well-defined trails starting from Pangot to Naina Peak and another one leading to Corbett National Park. There are also good trails from the lodge that go to Timla Pani, then to Ghughu Khan, Kilbury Forest House all the way to Cheena Peak. For safety and ensuring no one gets lost while trekking, there are enough guides to help tourists around.
Pangot is a heaven for the lovers of bird watching. Bird species such as the Lammergeier, Griffon, Blue-winged Minla, Woodpecker, Khaleej Pheasant, Rufous-bellied Niltava are all found here. As a tourist, there is more than the eyes can finish seeing. Honeymooners too are not left out. The calmness and quietness of Pangot together with all the beautiful surroundings make the honeymoon a memorable one.
Sattal or Sat Tal is an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes situated in the Lower Himalayan Range near Bhimtal, a town of the Nainital district in Uttarakhand, India. The lakes sit at an altitude of 1370 meters below lush orchards in the Mehragaon valley.
Set amongst dense forests of oak and pine trees, Sattal is one of the few unspoiled and unpolluted freshwater biomes in India. These lakes are a paradise for migratory birds. It is home to a few camps being operated mostly by local people catering to tourists looking for outdoor vacations.
At Sat Tal, the habitat offers species such as White-crested Laughingthrush, Rufousgorgeted Flycatcher, Red-billed Leothrix, Siberian Rubythroat, Rock Bunting, etc. This scattered and forested area is one of the most pleasant destinations. Look for Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Greater Yellow-naped Flameback, Speckled Piculet, Golden Bush Robin etc
Corbett National Park
It was named in the honor of Jim Corbett, a legendary hunter-turned-conservationist, best known for hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in the 1920s. Corbett Park is a popular retreat for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. It provides a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, especially the tiger in its natural habitat. The mammals include the Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, 4 species of deer, Nilgai, Gharial, Wild Boar, Hedgehog, Common Musk Shrew, Flying Fox, Indian Pangolin, 3 species of Civets, Himalayan & Sloth Bear, Jackal & Red Fox, Smooth Indian Otter etc. The park is very rich in reptiles including King Cobra. Nearly 600 species of birds dwell here such Long-tailed Nightjar, Jungle Owlet, Spot-bellied Owl, Bristled Grassbird, Black Francolin, Purple & Crimson Sunbird, Golden-Fronted & Orange-Bellied Leafbird, Hen Harrier, Changeable & Mountain Hawk-Eagle, and many more etc.