The Land of Rising Sun is how Arunachal Pradesh is often referred as; however, very few have ever ventured this mystic place to explore it’s un-paralled Bio-diversity. Arunachal Pradesh lies in the extreme North-east of India and is characterized with undulating mountains with the mighty Brahmaputra cutting across and giving birth to such pristine bio-diversity that it is considered as the 3rd most bio-diverse regions in the World.
The Mishmi Hills is a southward extension of the Great Himalayan Mountain Range - its northern and eastern reaches touching China. Much of the Mishmi Hills falls under the Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Dibang Valley district is named after the Dibang River - one of the key tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. The Dibang originates in China and flows through the length of the valley in a north-south direction. The Dibang Valley district is divided into Lower and Upper Dibang Valley. The headquarters of the two districts are Roing and Anini respectively. Mishmi Hills is situated in the Eastern Himalayan province, the richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone and one of the Mega bio-diversity hotspots of the world. The complex hill system of varying elevations receives heavy rainfall, which can be as much as 4,500-5,000mm annually in the foothill areas. The humidity in the rainy season is often over 90%. This diversity of topographical and climatic conditions has favored the growth of luxuriant forests which are home to myriad plant and animal form. Various plants species, species of mammals, birds, orchids, insects and butterflies can be found in this forest. Over 100 species of mammals, 600 species of birds, a large number of butterflies and insects can be found in these forests.
The vegetation here can be classified into the following forest types: Tropical Evergreen, Tropical Semi-evergreen, Sub-Tropical Broad Leaved, Sub-Tropical Pine, Temperate Broad Leaved, Temperate Conifer, Sub-Alpine Woody Shrub, Alpine Meadow, Degraded, Bamboo, and Grasslands. The altitude varies from just 150 mts @ Dibang River to around 3000 mts @ Myodia Pass thus offering a wide range of habitats. Such an amazing occurrence of life forms can be attributed to the location which is at the junction of the Paleoarctic, Indo-Chinese, and Indo-Malayan bio-geographic regions, Biotic elements from all these regions occur in this area making it very rich in floral and faunal resources.
The Mishmi Hills is home to some of the rarest endemics and sought after birds of the Indian subcontinent. Mishmi Hills was the place where Julian Donahue and Ben King had ‘re-found’ the enigmatic Rusty-throated Wren Babbler (now re-christened the Mishmi Wren Babbler) in 2004. This bird was known to the world from only a single skin of a female that landed in the mist-nets of Dr’s Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley during their survey of the area in the late forties. It lay hidden from the ornithologists’ eyes till the venerable duo lured it by playing the tape of similar species and managed to photograph it and also record its song.
There is great mammal diversity in the area. Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, Golden Cat, Jungle Cat, Marbled Cat and the Leopard Cat represent just the cat family. The endangered Red Panda is found in the northern reaches and the Hoolock Gibbon is abundant. One of the most unusual ungulates found here is the Mishmi Takin. This animal occurs here in small herds at elevations. Other important mammals include Musk Deer, and the Himalayan Black Bear.
The Mithun is a bovine of Indian origin. It is considered to be a descendent of wild gaur. This animal has religious significance and is intimately related to the socio-cultural life of the Mishmi people. The Mithun is considered to be a source of personal prestige with an economic value far in excess of the material contribution. Mithuns are unit of wealth and are allowed to move freely in jungle till used for food on festive occasions or for barter.
Birds: More than 500 species are recorded here that includes birds like Purple and Green Cochoa, Violet and Emerald Cuckoos not to mention Satyr Tragopan and Blood Pheasant. Also Gould’s Shortwing, White-hooded Babbler, Pale-headed Woodpecker and Pale-capped Pigeons, Several species of Laughingthrush, Babblers, Flycatchers, Yuhinas, Minla, Liochichla, Ward’s & Red-headed Trogon, Sunbirds, Sibia, Hornbills, Forktails, Rosefinches, Warblers, Scimmitar Babblers, Parrotbills, Woodpeckers, Tree-creepers, Nuthatch, Drongos, Accentors, Thrushes etc..... you may usually encounter “Bird Waves” and massive “Mixed hunting Parties” in this part of the world, where in hundreds of birds of different species move together scanning the forests.
We will be exploring this region starting from the plains of Assam near Maguri Bheel, then the foothills of Mishmi near Roing, 12 (bara) Kilo, Tiwari Goan and Myodia Pass (@ 2700 mts)..... each of this altitude promises different species composition according to the season.... a brief glimpse of the places that we are going to explore.
Our birding trip starts here. Maguri Beel of Tinsukia District is a wetland complex which is a part of the Dibru Saikhowa Important Bird Area but located just outside the Dibru Saikhowa National Park and Biosphere Reserve. ‘Beel’ is the local name for a lake with marshy areas at the edges. Maguri Beel is located in the south bank of the Dibru River, which is a channel of the mighty Brahmaputra River. The Dibru Saikhowa National Park is located in the northern bank of the Dibru River. This area is very rich in biodiversity and is important for conservation of waterfowl and grassland birds....some birds that can be encountered here include Striated Grassbird, Bar-headed Goose, Wagtails, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Wigeon, Garganey, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Lapwing, Grey-headed Lapwing, Jacanas, Pied Harrier, Several species of waders and such rare species like Jerdon’s & Marsh Babbler, Jerdon’s Bushchat, Spotted Bush Warbler, Baikal Teal and Falcated Duck, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Swamp Francolin etc ......we shall spend just a morning birding session here on our way to Mishmi Hills.
Roing Town & 12 Kilo (approx. 300m to 800m): The Roing area is the 1st stop in a Mishmi Hills bird tour. Roing is located in the foothills and the altitude stretches from 200m to 500m. The Mishmi Hills rise around the Dibang River Basin and the Roing area is a mix of extensive floodplains and outer Himalayan foothills. Birding here is good from the 12th mile or popularly called as “Bara Kilo (on the road to Mayodia) all the way downhill to the Itapani River. The hbitat here is Dense tropical evergreen, tropical semi-evergreen, sub-tropical broad leaved forests and a swath of semi-evergreen forests along the upper Brahmaputra River plains.
This region is home to key species like Rufous-necked and Great Hornbills, Black Eagle, White-browed Piculet, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broadbill, White-throated & Ashy Bulbul, Daurian Redstart, Black-backed & Slaty-backed Forktail, Spot-throated Babbler, Long-tailed Sibias, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Sultan Tit, numerous scimitar babblers, Yuhinas, Scarlet Finch, Lesser Racket-tailed & Spangled Drongo, Red-billed Scimmitar Babbler, Hill Prinia, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Maroon Oriole, Rufous-faced & Yellow-bellied Warblers, Scarlet-backed & Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Red-headed Trogon, Golden-fronted & Great Barbets, Green Magpie, Pale-headed & Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, White-hooded Babbler, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Emerald Cuckoo, Green Cochoa.... the Bamboo patches also host the very rare an elusive Hodgson’s Frogmouth. We will spend 5 nights in 12 Kilo
Tiwari Goan (approx.800m to 2000m): This small village is approximately mid-way from Roing to Mayodia pass road and comprises Dense evergreen forest. It is one of the mega diversity region where the Rufous-throated (Mishmi) Wren Babbler was re-discovered in 2004. The surrounding forest is host to many interesting species like Ward’s Trogon, Mishmi Wren Babbler, Wedge-billed & Spotted Wren Babblers, Several species of Laughingthrush, Tesia, Small & Rufous-bellied Niltava, Pygmy Blue Flycatchers, Yellow-throated & Golden-breasted Fulvettas, Black-chinned & Stripe-throated Yuhinas, Black-throated & Rufous-headed Parrotbills, Beautiful Nuthatch, Blue-winged & Red-tailed Minla, Black-eared & Black-headed Shrike Babblers, Himalayan Cutia, Red-billed Leothrix, Coral-billed Scimmitar Babbler, Golden-throated Fulvetta, Golden Babbler, Straited & Mountain Bulbul, Green-tailed & Black-throated Sunbirds, Green-backed & Yellow-browed Tits, Grey-chinned & Scarlet Minivets, Little-pied & Snowy-browed Flycatchers, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Golden & Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Purple Cochoa, Silver-eared Mesia, Voilet Cuckoo, Black-breasted Thrush, Tree-creepers, Fork-tailed Swift etc.
Mayodia Pass: At almost 2700m, Mayodia Pass is often covered in snow even in March. The terrain is rocky and the vegetation is dominated by ringal bamboo habitat. Some fantastic high-altitude birds can be encountered here birds like Himalayan Monal, Sclaters Monal and Blyth’s Tragopan. Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Ward's Trogon, Grey-sided, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Gould's and Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Maroon Accenter, Plain-backed Thrush, Brown-throated and Manipur Fulvetta etc. There is no other stay facility here except the very basic “Coffee House” that was build by the colonial settlers long back. The climate here can change rapidly due to the presence of other high altitude mountains in the surrounding area that influence the weather. The road further traverses to the town of Hunli, which are the headquarters of the district.
Date: 07th March 2015 (Saturday) to 14th March 2015 (Saturday) (travel days included)
Mode of Travel :
Mumbai - Dibrugarh - Mumbai (by Air/Rail on personal expenses)
Local travel in jeep from Dibrugarh – Tinsukhia – Roing – Mayodia – Dibrugarh (By Nature India)
From Mumbai to Dibrugarh & Back (To be taken care by participants themselves)
By Air: We suggest you to book tickets for following flight;
Mumbai - Dibrugarh
Indigo Flight No. 6E-319, Mumbai (7.40 hours) to Dibrugarh (14.00 hours)
Jet Airways Flight No. 9W-7099, Mumbai (5.45 hours) to Dibrugarh (13.25 hours)
Air India Flight No. AI-675, Mumbai (6.10 hours) to Dibrugarh (11.40 hours)
Dibrugarh - Mumbai Indigo Flight 6E-206, Dibrugarh (14.30 hours) to Mumbai (20.00 hours)
Air India Flight No. AI-705, Dibrugarh (12.15 hours) to Mumbai (19.35 hours)
There are other flights also available.... Please check the arrival & departure timing at Dibrugarh for to & fro flights. Book fast to get concessional rates.
One can reach Dibrugarh by Dibrugarh express, but it runs only on Fridays and takes about 53 hours :-(
* Nature India will not assist in booking for air/train tickets*
Saturday, 7th March, 2015: Pick-up at Dibrugarh Airport at 14.30 Hrs…..Departure in jeep for Tinsukhia / Maguri Beel..... Stay overnight at Eco camp in Maguri Beel.
Sunday, 08th March, 2015: Morning bird watching at Maguri Beel for water birds and Grassland specialities – Lunch – Proceed to Roing crossing the Bramhaputra river by Boat – Reach Roing / 12 Kilo by evening .......Stay at Help Tourism resort at 12 Kilo
Monday, 9th March 2015: Full day bird watching from Roing to 12 Kilo – Lunch on the way – continue birding – return back Stay at Help Tourism resort at 12 Kilo
Tuesday, 10th March, 2015: Start early morning – Birding along the way from 12 Kilo to Tiwarigoan to Mayodia Paas – lunch on the way - Stay at Help Tourism resort at 12 Kilo
Wednesday, 11th March, 2015: Start early morning – Birding along the way from 12 Kilo to Tiwarigoan to Mayodia Paas – lunch on the way - Stay at Help Tourism resort at 12 Kilo
Thursday, 12th March, 2015: Birding around Tiwarigoan & 12 Kilo – Lunch on the way – stay at Help Tourism resort at 12 Kilo
Friday, 13th March 2015: Check-out from 12 kilo – Bird along the way – from Roing to Maguri Beel – Lunch on the way – Stay at Maguri / Tinsukia
Saturday, 14th March, 2015: Check-out from Hotel – proceed to Dibrugarh Airport
More details on the itinerary will be given to those who register.....
Trip charges : (Dibrugarh to Dibrugarh only)…. Rs. 36000/- Only
Includes Stay in basic rooms on triple sharing basis at Dibang Eco camp, Stay on twin sharing basis at Kahua Resort near Maguri Bheel, Local transport by Jeeps, Park entry charges, Local Expert charges, vegetarian food, Entry permits for Arunachal Pradesh, Articles on Mishmi Hills & Maguri Beel and bird checklist & snacks ……
Individuals will have to pay additional entry charges IF there is any increase in charges by forest dept. as per the rules. And Camera charges if any.
Please note: Since this is a remote location, the facilities are basic at Mishmi Hills. However the stay is very clean and food is very good.
Dibang eco camp, 12 Kilo & Kahua Resort, Maguri Bheel
PS: Unfortunately, if the flight from Mumbai to Dibrugarh & back is cancelled due to bad weather or for any other reasons, Nature India will not to be responsible for making stay arrangements. Although, Nature India will assist for hotel bookings.
Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to email@example.com and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.15000/- after getting a registration mail from us..... (The seats will only be confirmed after receiving the advance amount) …..the remaining amount will be collected later in 2 phases as mentioned below.......Please Register at the earliest as only 12 seats are available.
Phase 1 - Rs. 15000/- as non-refundable Advance to be paid immediately, to confirm the participation. We need to forward this as an advance for logistics & to block our seats.
Phase 2 - Balance amount to be paid before 10th Feb,2015.
Resource Persons:Mr.Adesh Shivkar & Mr.Mandar Khadilkar & Local Expert
Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer non-refundable advance amount of Rs. 15000/- directly to the HDFC A/c : (please call Mandar @ 9930318665 for A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.15000/- to the following address and forward the details.
Name: Mr. Mandar Khadilkar
Address: Flat No.2, Blossom Apartments, Below Shantighan Hospital, LM Road, Kandarpada, Dahisar-West, Mumbai-400068.
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 15000/- (Phase 1) is strictly non-refunadable
2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours
3) This is primarily a Bird-watching / Photography trip
4) Weather conditions: Weather in North-East is unpredictable and Nature India will not be responsible for any days lost due to bad weather.
5) Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with Nature India's rules and policies http://natureindiapolicies.blogspot.in/2012/08/nature-india-policies.html
Please revert on firstname.lastname@example.org ID, in case you need any clarification.
For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 / 9820455713(Adesh) or 9930318665 / 9967518665 (Mandar)
Hope to see you for this wonderful trip
Thanks for your patience.
Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Appreciate, Respect & Conserve