Get your binoculars, and log book ready for birding paradise.
Seegreen is the ideal base for amateur and avid birdwatchers. Being in the lap of nature with trees on the estate and beyond, from your room and the cafe you can spot birds like White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Striated Laughing Thrush, Rufous Sibia, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Great Barbet, Eurasian Jay, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Ashy Drongo, Grey Treepie, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Verdite Flycatcher, and the Bar-tailed Treecreeper to name a few.
Venture out further and you're sure to spot the birds on your Himalayan bird lists. Download the Merlin Bird ID app, pack a picnic, and head out to explore the popular Hathipaon birding trails:
Long walk / long climb: 7 kilometres
This medium-level trek is for birders and nature lovers through the Benog Hill which is a fir and pine-clad slope surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. This sanctuary has many species of birds, mammals, and medicinal plants. If you're really lucky you may see the Himalayan Goat, Leopard, and Himalayan Bear. Your birding checklist must include: White-capped Water Redstart, Red-billed and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Himalayan Bulbul, Slaty Blue Flycatcher, Red-billed Leiothrix, Lammergeier Vulture, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crimson Firetail, Black-breasted Sunbird, Great Barbet, Himalayan Monal, and Khalij Pheasant.
Long walk / moderate climb: 6 kilometres
If you're keen on spotting Owls and Nightjars, the forests around Seegreen are home to the Mountain Scops-Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, Collared Owlet, Brown Wood-Owl, and the Large-tailed Nightjar. Inform Somender who will direct you on the right path and hand you the dogs on a leash as you set out with a powerful torch into the serene forest to spot these nocturnal beauties under a clear, moonlit sky.
Short walk / short climb: 4 kilometres
The George Everest House, steeped in history and Seegreen Lodges, are located on the same estate. The start of this trail is literally in our backyard. Once a simple bridle path, it now boasts a charming paved trail, winding past the picturesque meadows of Hathipaon. As you follow the path, you'll descend into the meadow and then climb onwards. In March and April the rhododendron trees are abloom making this birding route even more attractive.
This forest is a year-round haven for birds. Prime sightings happen early morning. You could plan to be at the top for sunrise and then start spotting Tree Pies, Mountain Quail, Tits, and many more. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional Barking Deer.
A mere 1.5 kilometres from Seegreen lies the abandoned residence of Col. George Everest, the visionary Surveyor General of India who meticulously mapped the Indian subcontinent in the late 1800s. This is the very same Col. Everest after whom the legendary Mt. Everest was named. Explore the site, named Sir George Everest's House and Laboratory, which also preserves the ruins of an observatory with sweeping views of the Doon and Algar Rivers.
Leisure walk: 4 kilometres
This leisurely stroll is ideal for early mornings and late evenings, especially for birdwatching enthusiasts. When you reach the Wishing Well, we recommend ascending towards George Everest Peak. As you pass Hathipaon Village, listen for the occasional calls of the Mountain Scops Owl and Magpies. Locals use the trail on the west of Hathipaonbasti, leading down to DudhliVillage or up to Cloud's End Resort. Both routes are a haven for birders.
The historic well, crafted 188 years ago by Col. Wish (from whom Col. Everest acquired the property 'at a very heavy price' of Rs. 3/-, according to the annals of history), awaits your discovery. This well served as Col. Everest's sole water source while residing on the park estate during his survey work.
This walk offers exceptional birdwatching opportunities and showcases rhododendron blossoms in spring. The Wishing Well walk is an all-time favourite of our estate owners, the house dogs, and all our repeat guests.
Moderate walk / moderate climb: 5 kilometres
India's first private nature reserve is located just about half an hour drive from Seegreen. This incredible forest is a thriving ecosystem, home to diverse flora and fauna. Birders can spend hours here spotting many species and also look out for Mountain Goat, Leopard, Porcupine, Barking Deer, over 60 species of mushrooms, and countless wildflowers.
Whether you prefer a half-day or full-day excursion, we can arrange your trip with or without a naturalist guide. To ensure a seamless experience, please inform us well in advance so we can coordinate your transport and secure a slot for your visit.
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