Sunday, September 6, 2020

Tanah Papua A Paradise for Birds

Tanah Papua is the Malay words for Papua Land or New Guinea island. It is the natural habitat of a lot of species of paradise birds as well as other tropical birds. As a tourist guide, I have run a lot of birding tours in West Papua for the last 10 years.
Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornatus)
Vogelkop Bowerbird

A male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest
Places that I go with my clients include Kwau village in Mokwam region, Susnguakti forest, Dopi river, Mesirrokow forest, Aiwatar hill, Ayapokiar village, Mount Sakofsiah and Ases valley, Fef, Sausapor, Syuan and Syugrar rivers; Klawos forest, Klatomok village, Malagufuk village in Klasow valley, Kabui bay, Misool, and Waigeo islands.
French tourists were camping and birding in Tambrauw's forest
Most often the places where we go are located deep in the jungle. Hotels or guesthouses are not available. So, we stay in dome tents by a river.
King Bird of Paradise
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
During the day and night, we explore the forest. In Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, we could see Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Golden Cuckooshrike, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta and a lot more.
It is not only birds that attract the attention of visitors. Wild flowers such as orchids, vine flowers are also beautiful. In open area, a long the roadsides and riversides, we may see passion flowersblue trumpet vine. In lowland the size of the flower is smaller than the one in highland.
Vine flower in the forest
Passion flower
Traveling to higher montane forest of Vogelkop region, we will be able to watch such birds as Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia that dances like a ballerina, Black Sicklebill, Vogelkop Super Bird of Paradise, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black-eared Catbird, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Vogelkop Melidectes, Feline Owlet Nightjar, Spectacled Long Bill, Mottled Berryhunter, Golden Face, Wattled Brush Turkey, Masked Bowerbird, Mountain Peltop and a lot more.
Birding in Arfak mountains
Magnificent Bird of Paradise
In Mokwam regions, blinds for watching birds are provided by local people for tourists who want to watch birds. There is a simple bench in each blind that can accommodate 4 to 5 people.
The land mass in higher montane forest is less than in lowland. The population and spread of certain species of birds are very limited. The Long-tailed Paradigala and Black Sicklebill are two examples of rare birds that we may see in higher montane forest of Arfak range if we visit it to watch birds.
Birdwatching in lowland forest of Manokwari
French tourists were watching birds in Manokwari
In lowland forest of Sorong regency, we could find Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Blue Black Kingfisher, Black Lory, Western-crowned Pigeon, Yellow-bellied Longbill, Lowland Peltop.
We could continue our adventure to Raja Ampat islands where we will be able to see a great varieties of sea birds from Wimbrel to Beach Thick Knee and from White-bellied Sea Eagle to Eastern Osprey. Walking in the forest, we will be able to see birds that are the same as the ones in mainland New Guinea, but we will also have the opportunity to watch Raja Ampat's Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise.
The above places that I mention are some of the many interesting birding sites which tourists can go to if they want to watch beautiful tropical birds of Tanah Papua. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking a bird watching trip to this beautiful tropical island. This has been written by Charles Roring.
Also read: Tropical Birding Tours in West Papua

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