It is most unlikely that I will not go out for birding while visiting a hill station. Even though the things are unplanned and have limited time at hand. So while visiting Mussoorie recently, I went to a place called Could End Resort which is around 5 KM’s away from the city. This resort along with the famous tourist spot George Everest‘s House and the adjacent Benog wildlife sanctuary make up for a fairly large area for birding. After having a coffee at the resort, I took a walk around the complex and found few beautiful species which made my day. I was tempted to visit the sanctuary but couldn’t find a guide to trek with me.
The most interesting spot for me was a fruit tree where I spent most of my time. The regular visitors to the tree were a pair of Great tit, a Brown-fronted woodpecker, a Chestnut-bellied nuthatch, a Rusty-tailed flycatcher and few Himalayan as well as Black bulbuls. Apart from these there were few guest appearance and one of them was a Rufous-bellied Niltava.
The lifer was a Common Buzzard. I saw her flying over me and then to my surprise she decided to perch on top of a pine tree and within my camera’s reach. Some of the pics are attached below for reference.
How to reach: It is easy to reach Cloud End resort from Library Chowk, Mussoorie. Any local guide can give you directions to this place. Around 200 meters before the Cloud End resort, there is a trail that goes towards the Benog WLS. No permit is required to enter the area. Cars can be parked at the resort. The resort charges Rs. 200/- per head as a cover charge and the same can be redeemed at the restaurant. I went through the guest book and found that almost everyone had great things to say about its food. I decided to have a cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich. It was indeed good. It is hard to find a guide around the area. If you are alone, you might like to take someone along and so its better to hire a guide from Mussoorie town. For a group no guide is required.