Peter Lobo

North Sikkim, with its Headquarters at Mangan, comprises of the valleys of Lachen, Lachung, Dzongu and Tholung. Each of these is formed by fast flowing glacier fed rivers originating from The Great Himalayan Range and its offshoots. On the West the Singelila Range and its spurs are dominated by the peaks of Narsing ,5825, Pandim, 6691, Khangchendzonga ,8586, Simvo, 6811, Siniolchu, 6888, Lamo Anden, 5200, Tent Peak 7365, and the Jonsang Peak 7459. To the North the Peaks of Donkong, 5660, Khanchenggyao, 6889, and Pauhunri, 7054, dominate the sky- line. On the Eastern side, the Chola Range at an elevation of 5500 demarcates the boundary with Chumbi Valley in Tibet. Perhaps in no other region is so much of natures bounty packaged by god in such a compact area.

Tholung Valley – a treasure house of Nature

The Tholung Valley is located in the shadow of the 6888 Meters high Siniolchu, and the 5200 Meters Lamo Anden, this is virtually an uninhabited valley with a miniscule population ( less than 50 ) of Lamas, yak herdsmen, wood cutters, cow and sheep graziers.

The Valley is approximately 540 sq Kms in area. The upper reaches comprise Glaciers, snow clad peaks, alpine lakes, moraine and meadows. There is a net work of streams feeding the Ringpi Chu River with many waterfalls . This river originates at the Kishong Tso Lake, 4228 M and cascades down to Be, 1450 M, till it joins the Rongyong Chhu at an altitude of 1085 M. –all in a distance of 26 Kms. The lower half of the valley has mixed open forest with amazing biodiversity. The altitudinal variation, variety of trees and shrubs, lack of human population and vehicular traffic combine to make it a haven for birds, and a prime birding site. A very good walking trail with offshoots of grazing trails provides access for birding. The entire length of the walking trail from Be to Talung Gompa (13 Kms) is a birding hot spot. Productive birding is also available for about 3 kms on the trail connecting Be with Lingsha.

A birding reconnaissance was carried out by General "Jimmy’ Singh, Peter Lobo Charles Lepcha, Sudesh Pradhan, and Chewang Penzo on 26-27 Nov 2001 ( 02 days) Tolung Valley as per following program:-

25 Nov: Move from Kalimpong to Mangan in North Sikkim and onward to Road head at Lingsha in the Rongrong Chu Valley

26 Nov: Morning: Birding trek Lingsha to Tsana ( mid point Lower Talung Valley) via Be. Evening: Birding around Tsana.

27 Nov: Birding trek Tsana to Lingsha. In the evening birding drive to Mangan

28 Nov: Return to Mangan

A total of 67 species were recorded. List is given below

List of Birds Recorded In Talung Valley, North Sikkim.

  1. Little Cormorant
  2. Crested Serpent Eagle
  3. Black Eagle
  4. Common Kestrel
  5. Himalayan Monal
  6. Kalij Pheasant
  7. Spotted Dove
  8. Grey Headed Parakeet
  9. White Rumped Needletail
  10. Himalyan Woodpecker
  11. Greater Yellownape
  12. Lesser Yellownape
  13. Black Drongo
  14. Long tailed Shrike
  15. Common Green Magpie
  16. Rufous Treepie
  17. Grey Chinned Minivet
  18. Small Minivet
  19. White Eared bulbul
  20. Himalayan Bulbul
  21. Black Bulbul
  22. Mountain Bulbul
  23. Straited Bulbul
  24. Redvented Bulbul
  25. Winter Wren
  26. Spotted Wren Babbler
  27. Rufous Sibia
  28. Rufous Backed Sibia
  29. Straited Yuhnia
  30. white Naped Yuhnia
  31. Whiskered Yuhnia
  32. Rufous Vented Yuhnia
  33. Chestnut Brown Laughing Thrush
  34. Striated Laughing Thrush
  35. White Crested Laughing Thrush
  36. Black Faced Laughing Thrush
  37. Pygmy Blue Flycatcher (Male)
  38. Yellow Bellied Wabbler
  39. Black Faced Wabbler
  40. Grey Hooded Wabbler
  41. Chestnut Headed Tesia
  42. Hill Prinia
  43. Striated Prinia
  44. Tickell’s Leaf Wabbler
  45. Yellow Vented Wabbler
  46. Ashy Throated Wabbler
  47. White Browed Wabbler
  48. Rufous Breasted Bush robin
  49. White Capped Water Redstart
  50. Plumbeous Water Redstart
  51. Blacked Backed Forktail
  52. Spotted Forktail
  53. White Crowned Forktail
  54. Little Forktail
  55. Himalayan Blue Whistling Thrush
  56. Common Stonechats
  57. Grey Bushchat
  58. Grey Winged Blackbird
  59. Blacked Lored Tit
  60. Grey Crested Tit
  61. Rufous Fronted Tit
  62. Sultan Tit
  63. Yellow Cheeked Tit
  64. Rusty Flanked Treecreeper
  65. Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
  66. Olive Backed Pipit
  67. White Wagtail (Ocularis)
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