To explore the western Himalayan avifauna, the picturesque hill station of Nainital in the Kumaon hills is the perfect base. The broadleaf forest that blankets the hills has an altitudinal variation of 400 m to 2600 m, giving the whole region a diverse bird life. An astounding 650 species have been reported here.
Nainital and the adjoining hills forested with oak and rhododendron yield Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Spotted Forktail, Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrush, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Black-headed Jay.
At Corbett, you must visit the relatively unexplored confluence of the rivers Ramganga and Mandal. The forests are frequented by the Long-tailed Broadbill, Ultramarine Flycatcher and Blue-winged Minla to name a few. Brown Dipper and the Slaty, Little and Spotted Forktails are easy to spot, as are the Long-billed Thrush and Common Green Magpie.
Dhikala, in the heart of the National Park overlooks the Ramganga Valley and boasts of about 50 different birds of prey. Large owls include the Brown Fish Owl and the rare Tawny Fish Owl. You can also spot the Bright-headed Cisticola, Chestnut-capped Babbler and grassland species like Hen Harrier, Red Avadavat and Grass Owl with considerable ease.
In winters, the Ramganga reservoir is visited by ducks, waders, herons and egrets in large numbers. Osprey and Pallases Fish Eagle are also commonly seen here. The river Kosi is a good place to see the Ibisbill, Wall Creeper and the Great Thicknee.