Get up close with nature’s colourful ambassadors while Birding in Pangot & Sattal – these idyllic communities are a birdwatchers paradise, with around 300 species of resident and migratory birds nestled amidst diverse Himalayan landscapes, read this guide be prepared for an amazing time in this Himalayan village.
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By Air – The nearest airport is in Pantnagar (61km; 2 hours away). Although you will find better connectivity when flying in to Dehradun (260km – 6hours away) or New Delhi (300 Kms – 8 Hrs away)
By Rail – The nearest railhead is Kathgodam (27km; 45 minutes away) with Ramnagar also as an option (40km; 45 minutes away). Indian railways has regular service from major metros to both these stations. For real time availability and updates schedules please refer to www.irctc.co.in
Sattal is a seven-hour journey (306km) from New Delhi by road, via Haldwani and Bhimtal. It is 27km from Nainital.
Pangot is approximately a two-hour drive (55km) from Sattal, via Nainital. Enroute, you should stop at Snow View Point and Kilbury for some Birdwatching and Himalayan views.
WHEN TO GO BIRDING IN PANGOT & SATTAL
The best time to visit Sattal and Pangot is from October to June. Different species are sighted in different seasons – winter is the best time to see Upper Himalayan birds, which migrate to Sattal & Pangot during the cooler months. You might get to experience snowfall in Pangot if you visit in January. Temperatures in winter range from 0-24°C; in summer, from 10-30°C.
For guests serious about bird watching, we recommend planning their trips between December-January, when the bird activity is excellent, or around April-May, when most of the birds display their breeding plumage. This are the best months for Birding in Pangot.
STAY OPTIONS FOR BIRDING IN PANGOT & SATTAL
With a range of accommodations to suit every taste, we recommend the below options worth considering for a hassle free stay.
In Pangot – Jungle Lore Birding Lodge is our top choice with a wonderful location and amazing views across the valley. Kafal House , The Nest Cottages and Aranya Virasat are other options worth considering when looking for Birding in Pangot.
In Sattal – Two luxury options worth considering are Sattal Forest Resort and Two Chimneys, both with friendly staff and superb birding opportunities. Sattal Birding Lodge, Sattal Birding Camp and Country Inn are good mid-range options. Birder’s Den is a favourite among birders and photographers. Rooms are neat and clean, and the food is simple and tasty. The best part is the bird feeder on the premises which attracts more than 30 species of Himalayan birds.
TOP TIPS TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING FOR BIRDING IN PANGOT & SATTAL
Tip No 01 – Recommended duration of stay is minimum 3 nights to explore the region an d enjoy Birding in Pangot.
Tip No 02 – Warm clothing is a necessity during winter. It can get very cold; both at Sattal and Pangot.
Tip No 03- Forest-friendly colours such as shades of green and brown are always a good idea when Birdwatching
Tip No 04- A Field guide with a pair of binoculars will elevate your experience while Birding in Pangot & Sattal.
Tip No 05-Carry hats, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes as you will be travelling to various place by car and then going on short bird trails and treks.
Tip No 06-Hire a local Bird specialist, they know all the locations, are experienced and have real time information. This is our top tip for Birding in Pangot.
Tip No 07-ATMS can be found in a range of 10 – 15 Kms, though most hotels will accept cards, local shops and restaurant may require you to pay in cash though.
TOP NEARBY EXPERIENCES TO DO WHEN BIRDING IN PANGOT & SATTAL
The Butterfly Musuem of Sattal – Built almost single headedly by Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate, it features a collection of 2500 butterflies , including featuring one that looks like an owl and another that looks like a snake, there is as much to learn your as there is to cherish. This is one of the best experiences when Birding in Pangot & Sattal.
Kilbury Trek – One of the most popular treks here, it takes you from Pangot to Kilbury forest resthouse. A relatively moderate 8 Km kilometres long walk that takes you through the forest to the forest rest house and across the Naina peak, you can simply choose to do a small part of it you feel a little less actively inclined.
BEST NATURE TRAILS FOR BIRDING IN PANGOT & SATTAL
Famous Birding trails in Sattal & Pangot are popular for sightings of different species of Birds. We list some of them below . Ensure you visit atleast some of them when Birding in Pangot & Sattal to give yourself the oppurtunity to see many bird species.
Woodpecker Point – Approximately 2 Kms away from Pangot, this is a great location famous for sightings of the Himalayan Woodpecker and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and can yield many other species as well.
Chafi – a small village approximately 15km from Sattal, is another birding hotspot. You will get to see and photograph birds like the Crested Kingfisher, Brown Dipper, and various redstarts here. If you’re lucky, you might even sight the Tawny Fish Owl or the Fire-fronted Serin.
Vinayak Point – Known to be a good spot to see the Cheer Pheasant and Kalij Pheasant and photograph them up close.
Sattal Studio – a magical place to sit with your camera or binoculars and watch the birds come to bathe in both summers and winters; a place of calm and solitude within the dense forest and company of birdsong.
Pangot Nalla – a rustling stream flanked by rhododendrons, a favourite spot for the brown wood owl and the shy and graceful forktails.