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Monday, January 11, 2021

New Destination for Birding Tour in West Papua

Wondama is a new destination for visitors who like birding. I like traveling to the regency because it has got a lot of forest areas which visitors can explore to watch tropical birds. Golden Myna, Yellow-faced Myna, Blyth's Hornbill, Black-capped Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-cheeked Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove Lowland Peltop are some of the many birds that can be found there. Visitors can spend around nine days to two weeks exploring Wondama's forest to watch its tropical birds. I suggest that birding visitors travel in a group of at least four to eight people to share the cost of transportation. 

Binoculars are important wildlife watching gear that every birdwatcher needs to bring. Spotting scope and camera with telephoto lens are also highly recommended devices for visitors who like bird watching.

Blyth's hornbill in tropical forest of West Papua
Blyth's Hornbill

I provide birding tour to this destination for visitors who are interested in traveling to Indonesia and spend their holiday in West Papua.  

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

First, they need to fly from their country to Jakarta and then to Manokwari city. I can meet them at the airport or the hotel where they stay and organize the trip to Wondama. In addition to birding and wildlife watching, they can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling in Wondama too.

Here is email: peace4wp@gmail.com and my whatsapp: +6281332245180. Please, contact me if you are interested in taking the tour. Thank you. Charles Roring.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Birder's Field Guide Book for Birding in West Papua

When I guide visitors on a birding tour across tropical rainforests in West Papua, I always bring field guide book with me. It can be a hard copy of Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce Beehler et al. or a pdf version of the same book stored in my tablet.

field guide book Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt. et al
fieldguide book Birds of New Guinea

Recently I received another field guide book, i.e. Birds of New Guinea including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville by Phil Gregory. The former one is a very good field guide but the latter is a newer publication with wider coverage. I got a lot of new information about new species, more accurate illustrations of birds that are presented in the book. 

Birds of New Guinea including Bismarck archipelago and Bougainville
Birds of New Guinea field guide book by Phil Gregory

In my opinion the former book was better in arranging the index pages. It allows birders to find bird illustrations in the book, match and identify the real bird that they see in nature. 

For birding hotspots, especially in West Papua province, there are more places that I know compared to the ones explained in the above books. Places that are not mentioned in the books include:

  • Klasow valley (Klatomok Village, Malagufuk Village, and Klayeli) in Sorong regency; 
  • Wondiboy nature reserve, Naikere forest of Wondama regency, 
  • Susnguakti forest and Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari regency; 
  • Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley in Tambrauw Mountains; 
  • Trans Waigeo Ring Road in Fish Lagoon area of east Waigeo region.

birding trip to wondama bay
Birding sites in Wondama rehenc
They are good birding sites that may become famous in the future. For Klasow valley, I see that it has rapidly become famous because a lot of tourists have visited it. I introduced Klasow valley especially Malagufuk to the world in late 2014. There was no one in the birding or birdwatching world who knew its existence. I entered the forest and found 2 tents. The local people were about to open the forest to make a new village for them. I and Nico Nauw were lucky to be the first who introduced birding tourism in the the village.

For me, Wondama regency is another important birding hotspot in the near future. As I write more blog posts about birding in the region, it will attract more visitors to the regency. 

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Birding Tour in Wondama's Forest

I did two birding tours to Wondama regency in December 2020. I visited several places in the huge Wondiboy nature reserve. The first one was in the north and the second one in the south of Wondama peninsula. Birds are abundant in numbers especially in the mornings and in the afternoons. Some species that I saw and heard were Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Lowland Peltop, Spangled Drongo, Coconut Lorikeet, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Red Myzomela, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectus Parrot, Willie Wagtail, Red-bellied Pitta, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Grey Crow, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Blyth's Hornbill, and a lot more. 

general birding in rainforest
Birding in Wondama regency of Indonesia

I and some local people did the birding walk along the unpaved road outside of Wondama town. It was a great birding experience. I considered it as easy general birding. We walked through the dense forest but along a clear road. If you are interested, you could book a birding tour with me to the regency. I highly recommend a duration of at least 7 to 9 days. This birding trip can be combined with other destinations in West Papua including Arfak mountains and Raja Ampat. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180. 

For more info about travel information to Wondama regency, please visit wondamatourism.com


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Birding in West Papua During New Normal Era

West Papua is a very important destination for birding visitors because it is the natural habitat of tens of species of birds of paradise. Today, I will explain several new birding sites which haven't been widely known among international birding communities who pay special attention to West Papua.

Manokwari is always in the top list as the most important birding destination in West Papua. Why? Because the higher elevation forest of Arfak range is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds that are endemic only to this region. Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Vogelkop Melidectes, Arfak Astrapia are some of the birds that you can only find there.

endemic birds in Arfak mountains
Birds from rainforest in West Papua

Wondama Regency is a great destination because you can watch birds in lowland and lower montane forest as well as in islands. If your physical condition is very good, you can explore higher elevation forest in Wondiboy Nature Reserve.

Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley in Tambrauw regency is a hidden birding site. I visited these places several times when I organized birding tours for birdwatchers from the France, Czech, and the United States. 

For Raja Ampat archipelago, the eastern region of Waigeo is the place where you can enjoy exclusive general birding. There is a a very long road that was built by local government from Fish lagoon in east Waigeo to villages in northeast and north Waigeo. Visitors can enjoy birding by walking along this road for several days. Don't forget to bring camping gear, enough food, and spare batteries for camera and flashlight. Please, hire local villagers for your birding walk in this island.

Klatomok is a village in Klasow valley of Sorong regency where you can explore to watch tropical birds that live in lowland and lower montane forest.

There are still new birding sites that I haven't presented in this blog. I may discuss them in my later posts.

Government of Indonesia, starting from early 2021, will soon provide vaccines to the Indonesian people for free to enhance the herd immunity. I heard that foreign visitors maybe allowed to travel to this country again. Please, follow the standard health protocol for new normal when you are able to visit Indonesia.

For further info about customized itinerary, and cost of the trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Birding in Wondiboy Forest

I, accompanied by some government employees from Tourism and Culture Service, did an exploratory birding survey in forest areas around Rasiei town - the capital of Teluk Wondama regency. 
We visited Rowi forest, Rasiei Beach, Sewandamuni Harbor, Sobey Beach, Wandamui Hill, Rowor Beach, and Aisandami Village. It was an interesting experience to explore the forest of the regency that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds. Birds that are common in beach area include Little Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pacific Swallow, Willie Wagtail, Whimbrel, Sacred Kingfisher, Olive-backed Sunbird and a lot more.
When we did a short walk in late afternoon to Rowi forest behind the local government office, we recorded some interesting birds including Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Coconut Lorikeet, Black-Sunbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher. We also saw butterflies such as Cruiser Butterfly (Vindula arsinoe), the Silky Owl (Taenaris catops), the Oblong-spotted Birdwing Butterfly (Troides oblongomaculatus) and Swallow-tailed Blue Mountain Butterfly (Papilio ulysses)
Lesser Birds of Paradise

As we explored deeper forest area in Wondiboy Nature Reserve, we could record more birds in the jungle. Some of them were Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Palm Cockatoo, Grey Crow, Lowland Peltop, Red Myzomella, Shining Flycatcher, Oriental Dollarbird, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Red-cheeked Parrot, Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, and a lot more. 

Besides taking rainforest tour to see beautiful birds, we also enjoyed snorkeling and freediving in Teluk Wondama's coral reef sites. It was a fascinating experience because we could see a lot of species of fish and marine creatures such as anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, giant clam Tridacna gigas, Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata), sea urchin, and a lot more. 

If you are interested in taking a nature tour to Teluk Wondama regency to see the biodiversity of avifauna and other wild animals in its forest and marine life, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.