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Chase the Birds in Tibet : A Growingly Popular Tibet Tour for Twitchers

Latest Update: November,25 2019

So you have been to Tibet and enjoyed yourselves a lot in the lofty snowy mountains, majestic alpine lakes and awe-inspiring cultural heritages, and think that’s it all for you to see in Tibet?

NO. There is one thing you should never miss in Tibet - birdwatching!

Actually, Tibet is home to many kinds of endangered species of bird and embraces a lot of migratory birds particularly in the winter time. Recently, we had some guests who came intentionally for a Tibet birding tour.

The group consists of 4 Swiss who are birdwatching lovers. We researched and customized a Tibet birding tour based on their requests. The first destination was Norbulingka, the former summer palace of the successive Dalai Lama.

Norbulingka Park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet, including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. And Norbulingka is where the annual Sho Dun Festival or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.

Birding in NorbulingkaGuests taking photos of birds in Norbulingka

Birding in Norbulingka

Birding in Norbulingka

After that, our driver took them to the second destination - Shugsheb Nunnery in Qushui County. Shugsheb Nunnery is close to Lhasa, halfway between Lhasa and Lhasa Gonggar Airport. However, it is almost unknown to, and hardly visited by, tourists. Nonetheless, as a Tibet-based tour agent company with some 40 local Tibetan guides, we know every corner of Tibet and the history below the surface and therefore can always render you off-the-beaten-path enjoyment.

Guests birding in Shugsheb NunneryGuests birding in Shugsheb Nunnery

Guests birding in Shugsheb NunneryGuests birding and enjoying the valley near Shugsheb Nunnery

This nunnery, although less touristy, is actually a very important nunnery in Tibet. It has been sitting there for about 900 years. In Tibetan language, Shugsheb means “hidden in pine tree woods” and it was said that about 1000 years ago there was a piece of land there full of pine trees and a natural spring hidden inside, where a lot of beautiful birds inhabited. Because of this, Shugsheb Nunnery has been known as one of the best birding places in Tibet.

Guests replenishing at Shugsheb NunneryOur guests taking a break and replenishing a bit at Shugsheb Nunnery

Guests birding at Shugsheb NunneryOur guests enjoying watching birds above the valley by Shugsheb Nunnery

Of all the birds you can see here, Tibetan Eared Pheasant is the most famous one. But other famous birds like Tibetan Snowcock, Brown-Cheeked Laughingthrush, Severtzev’s Tit Warbler, etc. can also be found here.

Capturing a birdCapturing a bird

Guests recording birds’ singingOur guest recording the birds’ singing

Guests drinking coffeeGuests taking a break and drinking coffee

Bird watching by Lhasa RiverBird watching by Lhasa River

Besides these two places they went to, there are many other places for birding in Tibet, like Lalu Wetland in Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake in Shannan, Pangong Tso in Ngari, etc. - Find more about the places for birding in Tibet.

As to the best time for birdwatching in Tibet, the first ideal time is from late October to December, when many birds fly to Tibet to spend winter. The second ideal time is from April to May, the breeding season of Himalayan birds. It is a good time do to bird watching since Tibet is getting away from the chilling coldness of winter but hasn’t yet entered the monsoon season started in June. - Check the top 6 places for birding in Tibet in winter.

When it comes to bird watching gears, the main gears you will need are a camera with zoom and telephoto lenses, a good pair of binoculars, preferably with around a 30-70x zoom, and a tripod for those more stable shots.

The Swarovski telescope our guests broughtThe Swarovski telescope our guests brought

A tripod helps get more stable photosA tripod helps get more stable photos

Some tips for bird watching:
1. DO keep a safe distance from the birds and their nests
2. DO NOT feed the birds with food in order to attract them
3. DO NOT use flashlight when taking photos
4. DO NOT wear bright or billowing clothes, as this can scare the birds, even from a distance.

Feel itchy for a fascinating birding tour in Tibet? Please feel free to email your inquiry to us. Our friendly travel consultants will have a detailed discussion with you and offer free consultation and help you map out an impeccable Tibet tour.

So if you’re ready to a Lifetime Tour to Tibet, our dedicated and professional teams are expecting you in Tibet! Please feel free to reach us, sharing your great ideas. We would like to offer the most useful Tibet tour advice, For Free!

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