Last month I came back from a birding trip to Eastern Sikkim Himalaya and needless to say that the trip was quite fruitful with respect to the sightings happened during that period. The main reason behind this, is the sightings of both the male and female Satyr Tragopan(Tragopan satyra) in the Pangolakha wildlife Sanctuary near Zuluk at about 10,100 ft.
Though I have been traveling enormously in the Himalayas from my high school days but never get a chance to see this rare and near threatened beauty in the wild. Satyr Tragopan’s population has been declined drastically over the years due to excessive hunting, habitat clearance and livestock grazing. There is no data about the exact population but it seems their population in India is decreasing day by day. In Bhutan, this species is quite safe because Buddhist monks believe that hunting of this bird is inauspicious for their religion.
This year the eastern Himalayan region was having late monsoon. It was raining heavily and the weather was full of fog when we spotted the male bird. Later, the weather opened up little bit when we spotted two female birds in that surrounding region but till that time the male beauty had already taken shelter inside the bush. It was not an ideal condition for shoot but who cares when you have such a rare and endangered beauty in front of you. Hopefully I am going made another trip to the Eastern Himalaya soon.