Friday, November 29, 2019

Tropical Birding Tours in West Papua

Birding sites in Arfak mountains
Arfak mountains in Manokwari
There are several sites in the rainforest of West Papua which I recommend for tourists who are interested in taking tropical birding tours. Some of them are listed below:

  • Susnguakti Forest - This lower montane area of Arfak mountains is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Hooded Pitta, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher, Hooked Bill Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Black-capped Lory, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Northern Variable Pitohui, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Superb-Fruit Dove, Great-cuckoo Dove, and etc.
  • Mbenti Forest - This higher elevation forest of Arfak range is the usual site for watching Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black Sicklebill, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, and Long-tailed Paradigalla. There are also a lot of other birds such as Vogelkop Melidectes, Hooded Pitohui, Ornate Melidectes, Black-breasted Boatbill, Mottled Berryhunter, Fan-tailed Berryhunter, Garnett Robin, Varied Sittella, Friendly Fantail, Papuan Flycatcher, Pygmy Drongo, Cinnamon Ground Dove, and a lot more. Most of the trails are steep. Visitors who want to go to this forest have to be physically fit. However, there are places where birding is easy. These places are unpaved roads that connect Mbenti and other villages around the area. Birding along the sides of these roads will open more chances for birders to see Plum-faced Lorikeet, Mountain Mouse Warbler, Vogelkop Whistler, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, Mountain Fruit Dove and Papua Mountain Pigeon. 
  • Ases Valley - This is  a remote but one of the best forests in Tambrauw mountains and a very nice place to watch birds that usually live in lower montane forest of West Papua. Some of them include New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Little-pied Cormorant, Hooded Butcherbird, Spangled Drongo, Black-browed Triller, Papua Mountain Pigeon, Golden Monarch, Dollarbird, Grey Wagtail, Blyth's Hornbill, various species of paradise birds, and etc. Ases valley, located in the middle of Tambrauw mountains, is also a highly recommended site for watching wild animals such as Cuscus Possum, deer, wildboar, tree kangaroo, snake, soa-soa lizard, and even cassowary.
  • Syugrar Forest - This is another rainforest of Tambrauw that is very good for birding. Grey Crow, Moluccan King Parrot, King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red-cheeked Parrot, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Rusty Pitohui, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Black Sunbird, Masked Bowerbird.
  • Sorong regency - There are a lot of birding sites in Sorong. A lot of lowland birds can be seen here including Blue-black Kingfisher, King Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Shovel-billed Kingfisher, Lowland Peltop and a lot more.
  • Sarembon Forest - This forest is located in north-east region of Waigeo island. It is a nice place to watch Papuan Black Myzomela, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Amboyna Cuckoo Dove, Shining Flycatcher. The coastal area is the place for watching Olive-backed Sunbird, Coconut Lorikeet, Beach-stone Curlew, Striated Heron, Wimbrel, Beach Kingfisher, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Bridled Tern, Lesser-crested Tern, Lesser Frigate Bird, Eastern Osprey, Radjah Shelduck and a lot more. 
  • Raja Ampat has got a lot of birding sites too including Saporkren, Warduwer beach, Kabui bay and Gam karst. There, we could see Great-billed Parrot, White-breasted Woodswallow, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, White- bellied Sea Eagle, Red-bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Eastern Reef Egret, Pacific Swallow, Stephans Emerald Dove, Moustached Treeswift, Sooty Tern, Mimic Meliphaga, Puff-back Meliphaga, and Dusky Scrubfowl.
Because I spend most of my guiding works in Raja Ampat and Sorong, I can guide tourists to these regencies. If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and Sorong for birding, and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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