The Ultimate In Birding Tours

Asia (and its islands)

BANGLADESH – Masked Finfoot, White-eared Night Heron, Cachar Bulbul & More

Monday 16th February – Wednesday 25th February 2026

Leaders: Birdquest leader to be announced and local guides

10 Days Group Size Limit 8


Birdquest’s Bangladesh birding tour is a special ‘Quest for the Masked Finfoot’ plus the rare White-eared Night Heron and the range-restricted Cachar Bulbul and some other good birds like White-cheeked Partridge, Buffy Fish Owl, Brown-winged Kingfisher and Mangrove Pitta thrown in for good measure.

The Masked Finfoot used to be a fairly widespread species in the eastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, but endless human destruction of its mangrove and riverine habitats has driven the species further and further down the road towards extinction. None of the places where we used to see Masked Finfoot are reliable any longer and the Sundarbans National Forest in Bangladesh now appears to be the last stronghold of the species, which is now ranked as Critically Endangered. It may now be restricted to Bangladesh and possibly Cambodia!

In order to access the remote, forested waterways of the Sundarbans, where Tigers and many other mammals and birds still roam, by far the best solution is to charter a riverboat with sleeping cabins. This is a comfortable option and widely used by non-birding visitors to the Sundarbans. From our riverboat, and by using a smaller boat in the narrow channels, we will patrol the waterways by day and by night, looking of course for Masked Finfoot, White-eared Night Heron, Buffy Fish Owl, Brown-winged and Ruddy Kingfishers, Mangrove Pitta, Mainland Leopard Cat, Asian Small-clawed Otter and the other specialities of the area.

Before our sojourn in the vast combined delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers, we will travel to northeastern Bangladesh. Here our major target is the very range-restricted Cachar Bulbul, shared only with adjacent parts of India (and hard to access there). White-cheeked Partridge is another speciality that is possible here and we are sure to encounter a good number of more widespread species.

We will also enjoy some birding at the broad Padma (or Brahmaputra) River in search of Bengal Bushlark as well as Red-necked Falcon, Locustella warblers including Baikal Bush Warbler (and even a slim chance for Long-billed Bush Warbler), Striated Babbler, White-tailed Stonechat and many others.

Join us for something very different!

This tour can be combined with NORTHWEST INDIA

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels used are of good standard. The riverboat is comfortable with an observation deck, lounge/dining area and cabins for single, double or twin occupancy (but note that the toilets and shower are shared). Road transport is by minibus. Roads are variable in quality.

Walking: The walking effort during our Bangladesh birding tour is easy throughout.

Climate: Typically it will be warm or hot, with a mixture of dry and sunny or overcast weather. Some rain is possible.

Bird & Mammal Photography: Opportunities during our Bangladesh birding tour are good in the Sundarbans and fairly good elsewhere.


  • The quest for one of the rarest birds in Asia, the Critically Endangered Masked Finfoot!
  • Seeking the rare White-eared Night Heron, only recently discovered to winter in the Sundarbans!
  • Watching Buffy Fish Owl and maybe a Dusky Eagle-Owl.
  • Encounters with the huge Brown-winged Kingfisher and the lovely Ruddy Kingfisher.
  • Tracking down a Mangrove Pitta.
  • Wonderful encounters with Asian Small-clawed Otters
  • Looking at night for Mainland Leopard Cat and even rarer felines.
  • Just being in the wild Sundarbans, one of the last wilderness areas in this overpopulated region.
  • Being one of the few to have seen the highly range-restricted Cachar Bulbul
  • Watching flocks of Grey-headed Lapwings.
  • Tracking down Bengal Bushlarks and Baikal Bush Warblers at the Padma River.
  • Visiting Bangladesh, a place few birders ever venture.


  • Day 1: Morning tour start at Dhaka. Drive to Satchari National Park area in northeastern Bangladesh. Overnight at Sree Mangal.
  • Day 2: Satchari National Park. Overnight at Sree Mangal.
  • Day 3: Baikka Beel, then drive to Dhaka region.
  • Day 4: Padma River near Dhaka, then drive to Khulna, board our riverboat and sail for the Sundarbans.
  • Days 5-9: Exploring the Sundarbans National Forest.
  • Day 10: Return to Dhaka for evening tour end.

To see a larger map, click on the square-like ‘enlarge’ icon in the upper right of the map box.

To see (or hide) the ‘map legend’, click on the icon with an arrow in the upper left of the map box.

To change to a satellite view, which is great for seeing the physical terrain (and for seeing really fine details by repetitive use of the + button), click on the square ‘map view’ icon in the lower left corner of the ‘map legend’.


Birdquest Inclusions: Our tour prices include surface transportation, accommodations, meals and entrance fees.

We also include all tipping for local guides, drivers and accommodation/restaurant staff.

Deposit: 20% of the total tour price. Our office will let you know what deposit amount is due, in order to confirm your booking, following receipt of your online booking form.

TO BOOK THIS TOUR: Click here (you will need the tour dates)

2026: provisional £2920, $3750, €3410, AUD5660. Dhaka/Dhaka.

Single Supplement: 2026: £90, $120, €100, AUD180.

The single room supplement applies to the three hotel nights at Sree Mangal and the Padma River. If you would like guaranteed single occupancy of a twin cabin on the riverboat the additional charge is US$600 (or equivalent). Note that the availability of single occupancy cabins is limited.

The single supplement for the hotel nights will not apply if you indicate on booking that you prefer to share a room and there is a room-mate of the same sex available. If you opt to share a cabin on the riverboat you will not have to pay the single cabin supplement even if there is no cabin-mate available.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.


Bangladesh: Day 1  Our tour begins this morning at Dhaka. From the capital city of Bangladesh, we will make our way northeastwards to the vicinity of Satchari National Park for a two nights stay. This afternoon we will commence our exploration of Satchari.

Bangladesh: Day 2  Satchari National Park is situated in the southwestern part of Sylhet District. Unlike most of Bangladesh, Sylhet District is quite hilly and Satchari, which means ‘Seven Streams’ in Bengali, protects an extensive tract of tropical forest.

The bird which has brought us here is the extremely range-restricted Cachar Bulbul, a species only found in northeast Bangladesh and in adjacent India (where it is hard to access for non-Indians). Fortunately, it is usually reasonably straightforward to find at Satchari, although thin on the ground.

Another good bird at Satchari is the White-cheeked Partridge, a species which we have a moderate chance of encountering during our short visit.

The other birds in and around Satchari are more widespread and include Red Junglefowl, Large-tailed Nightjar, Asian Palm and House Swifts, Plaintive Cuckoo, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Oriental Turtle, Eurasian Collared, Red Collared, Spotted and Asian Emerald Doves, Ashy-headed and Yellow-footed Green Pigeons, Grey-headed and Red-wattled Lapwings, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Asian Barred and Spotted Owlets, Collared Scops Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Blue-bearded, Asian Green and Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, Lineated, Blue-throated, Blue-eared and Coppersmith Barbets, Speckled Piculet, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, Fulvous-breasted, Streak-breasted, Grey-headed and Rufous Woodpeckers, Common, Black-rumped and Greater Flamebacks, Common Kestrel, Blossom-headed, Red-breasted and Rose-ringed Parakeets, and Vernal Hanging Parrot.

Likely passerines include Blue-naped Pitta (much more likely to be heard than seen at this dry time of year), Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Large Woodshrike, Ashy Woodswallow, Common Iora, Small and Scarlet Minivets, Large Cuckooshrike, Brown and Long-tailed Shrikes, Black-hooded and Black-naped Orioles, Black, Bronzed, Greater Racket-tailed and Hair-crested Drongos, White-throated Fantail, Black-naped Monarch, Rufous Treepie, House and Eastern Jungle Crows, Cinereous Tit, Bengal Bush Lark, White-throated, Black-headed, Black-crested, Red-whiskered and Red-vented Bulbuls, Barn Swallow, Yellow-browed, Green-crowned, Dusky and Greenish Warblers, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Common Tailorbird, Indian White-eye, Pin-striped Tit-babbler, Puff-throated and Abbott’s Babblers, Jungle Babbler, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Common Hill, Jungle, Common and Bank Mynas, Indian Pied and Chestnut-tailed Starlings, Orange-headed Thrush, Grey-winged Blackbird, Oriental Magpie-Robin, White-rumped Shama, Hill Blue, Blue-throated Blue, Verditer and Taiga Flycatchers, Siberian and White-tailed Robins, Blue-capped Rock Thrush, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Orange-bellied and Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers, Ruby-cheeked, Purple-rumped, Purple and Crimson Sunbirds, Little Spiderhunter, Baya Weaver, Indian Silverbill, White-rumped Munia, White Wagtail and Olive-backed Pipit.

Mammals tend to be few and far between in this part of the world but we should encounter Rhesus Macaque, Capped Langur, Irrawaddy Squirrel and perhaps Northern Treeshrew.

Bangladesh: Day 3  Today we have a backup opportunity in case Cachar Bulbul is proving tricky to see, but if we have succeeded earlier we will make a visit to the Baikka Beel wetland. Waterbirds are numerous here and typically include Asian Openbill, Glossy and Black-headed Ibises, Grey-headed Swamphen, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas and wintering Grey-headed Lapwing.

Among the many other likely new birds are Little and Great Cormorants, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Ferruginous Duck, Littlke Grebe, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank, Great, Medium and Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Brahminy Kite, Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers, Striated Grasbird and Dusky Warbler.

Afterwards, we will head towards Dhaka, skirting the city until we reach the Padma (or Brahmaputra) River where we will spend the night.

Bangladesh: Day 4 This morning we will explore the banks of the broad Padma River. This is a good area for Bengal Bushlark and other targets will include Red-necked Falcon, Grey-throated Martin, Striated Babbler and White-tailed Stonechat. This is a good area for wintering Locustella warblers and we have a good chance of encountering Baikal Bush Warbler. Spotted Bush Warbler and even the rare Long-billed Bush Warbler (or West Himalayan Grasshopper Warbler) have been found here.

Other possibilities include Black-winged Kite, Delicate and Plain Prinias, Zitting Cisticola, Bluethroat, Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Stonechat, Chestnut Munia, Eastern Yellow and Citrine Wagtails, and Paddyfield, Richard’s and even Blyth’s Pipits.

Afterwards, we will head for the city of Khulna. At Khulna, we will board our comfortable riverboat where we will spend the next six nights. Afterwards, we set sail for the Sundarbans!

Bangladesh: Days 5-9  The vast delta of the combined Ganges-Brahmaputra rivers, known as the Sundarbans, is a geographical wonder of the world. Nowhere else on our planet do two of the world’s great rivers enter the sea in the same area!

The ‘grailbird’ of the Sundarbans is the fast-declining and Critically Endangered Masked Finfoot. We used to see this species at various locations in Southeast Asia, but nowadays it has become extinct or very hard to see in all of them. The Sundarbans of Bangladesh appear to be the Masked Finfoot’s last stronghold and here we have a very high chance of one or more encounters.

Other great birds of the area include White-eared Night Heron (only recently found to winter in small numbers in the Sundarbans!), Buffy Fish Owl, the big Brown-winged Kingfisher and the impressive Mangrove Pitta.

Other birds we may well encounter while in the Sundarbans include Greater Coucal, Green-billed Malkoha, Asian Koel, White-breasted Waterhen, Greater Sand Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Little Stint, Brown-headed Gull, Asian Openbill, Little Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Striated Heron, Eastern Cattle, Great and Little Egrets, Western Osprey, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black and Brahminy Kites, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Ruddy, White-throated, Black-capped, Collared and Common Kingfishers.

Ganges River Dolphins and the smaller Irrawaddy Dolphin are regularly encountered and we should also see Rhesus Macaque, Jungle Cat, Asian Small-clawed Otter and Small Indian Mongoose. There is a good chance of Mainland Leopard Cat as well. The Sundarbans still have a good population of Tigers, but our chances of an encounter are low as the Tigers are shy and still persecuted. If we are really lucky we will come across a Fishing Cat.

Bangladesh: Day 10  Today we will return to Khulna and drive to Dhaka airport where our tour ends early this evening.

(If you are not flying out of Dhaka airport this evening we can arrange hotel accommodation on request and you will be dropped at the hotel provided it is in the airport area.)


by Mark Beaman

View Report

Other tours in the surrounding region include: