Friday 28th May 1982: Chorten above Syabru to Dongal Pati Cholang hut (5 miles)
We woke at dawn (04:30). It was quite cold and my sleeping bag was a bit damp, but not as bad as I had feared it might be. A Tragopan started calling soon after dawn and once we’d hidden our rucksacks - not that there was likely to be anyone else about - and eaten a few biscuits and eggs it was light enough to go in after it. After two minutes I had excellent views of a female with just as excellent views of a male five minutes later. Absolutely brilliant. I then went to try and track down a Common Hill Partridge that was calling further around the hillside but failed despite getting close on two occasions. The first time I heard it flying off and the second I was edging around a hillside to overlook it when I flushed a deer which bolted in the direction of the partridge flushing it too! Good birding otherwise until 09:00 when we decided to continue on to Chandrabari. It was a steep climb and quite hard work with a loaded bag but we soon got to a ridge giving excellent mountain views to W. We arrived at Sing Gomba/Chandrabari (10,700 ft) by 12:00 and ate in a lodge there - Tibetan bread and butter from the cheese factory. I bought 1 kg of yak’s cheese for 52 rupees and also added a litre of water to my load. We weren’t sure whether there would be any water before Gosinkund as we were basically climbing up along a ridge. We left Chandrabari at 15:30 and climbed steadily along a forested ridge for 70 minutes, the last part in the rain, before arriving at a doorless and therefore draughty stone hut in a clearing at Dongal Pati Cholang (11,500 ft). At least it had a reasonable corrugated iron roof. We made futile attempts to light a fire while hail stones bounced in through the open doorway! Despite this I felt very content.
Birds recorded: Golden Eagle 2, Common Hill Partridge h, Satyr Tragopan 1 pair, Impeyan Pheasant 1 pair, Speckled Wood Pigeon 4, Large Hawk Cuckoo h, Cuckoo h, Oriental Cuckoo h, Little Cuckoo h, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 2, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker 1, Long-tailed Minivet 5, Red-flanked Bluetail 1, Grey Bushchat 2, White-collared Blackbird 4, Rufous-capped Bush Warbler h, Golden-spectacled Warbler 2, Blyth’s Crowned Leaf Warbler 1, Large-billed Leaf Warbler h, Lemon-rumped Warbler 3, Goldcrest 1, Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1, Variegated Laughingthrush 2, Spotted Laughingthrush 1, Streaked Laughingthrush 1, Black-faced Laughingthrush 2, Scaly-breasted/Nepal Wren Babbler 1, Black-capped Sibia 2, Rufous-vented Yuhina 1, Rufous-fronted Tit 2, Grey-crested Tit 1, Black-crested Tit 3, Coal Tit 2, Gold-billed Blue Magpie 3, Large-billed Crow 4, Spotted Rosefinch 1, White-winged Grosbeak 4.
|view from the climb towards Chandrabari. Tragopans seen, rhodedendrons in flower, sun shining, only a lighter bag could make it better ...|
|view from Chanrdabari|
|view from above Chandrabari, a perfect morning|