Birds of the Sundarbans

Brown-winged Kingfisher

The Sundarbans National Park is a vast area of 4,262 sq. km in India alone, with a much larger portion in Bangladesh, forming the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. It is a part of the world’s largest delta, formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, and is also the world’s largest estuarine forest. In a landscape dominated by great tidal creeks and waterways, the only way to access and enjoy the area is by motorised boat.

The Sundarbans is the home of swimming Tigers, the curious Fishing Cat and Estuarine Crocodiles. The most sought-after birds include Brown-winged Kingfisher, Grey-headed Lapwing, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Buffy Fish Owl, Lesser Adjutant or maybe a Mangrove Whistler. We have three full days to explore the area, with a combination of our own private boat as well as short walks and viewing from the multiple watchtowers inside the park

Itinerary

Day 1: Kolkata to Sundarbans National Park

We will drive from Kolkata to the jetty at Gadhkali, where our private boat, the M B Sundari awaits. We then have a couple of hours gentle cruising down the rivers Hogol, Gomor, Durgaduani, Bidya and Gumdi, looking out for some of the six different species of kingfishers that we might find! After lunch at the Sunderbans Jungle Camp on the island of Bali, we will head out by boat and visit the Mangrove Interpretation Centre at Sajnekhali, and return via the Sudhyanakhali watchtower.

Days 2-4: Sundarbans National Park

Our three full days in the Sundarbans will involve lots more exploration of this vast area by boat. This will include the canopied walk at Dobanki, where we will hope to find Mangrove Whistler in the mangroves. We will also visit the furthest point that we can easily access, Netidhopani, where we will spend some time scanning from the watchtower. Whilst we will need some luck to come across one of the famous swimming tigers of the Sunderbans, we should definitely find some impressive basking Estuarine Crocodiles and maybe the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins.

Day 5: Sundarbans to Kolkata

We leave after lunch today, and the morning will be flexible depending on our successes over the previous days. The island village of Bali is well worth a stroll: as well as the villagers fishing, weaving and boat-making, we may see one of the resident Barn Owls roosting in a village hut!

Target Species

  • Lesser Adjutant
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle
  • Grey-headed Lapwing
  • Buffy Fish Owl
  • Brown-winged Kingfisher
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Mangrove Whistler

Species Checklist

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Important information

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As with all Bubo Birding tours, your booking is handled by Asian Adventures. This tour is guided by Mike Prince, plus local birding guides.

Prices quoted are approximate prices per person, assuming an exclusive 2 person tour. Larger group sizes attract a discounted per person price, e.g. at least 25% cheaper for 4 persons. International flights are excluded. The final price and itinerary will be confirmed before booking and depending on your expected arrival and departure plans.

See Asian Adventures for full tour details, including accommodation, what's included, other exclusions, prices for larger groups, single room supplements, and booking details.

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