Thursday, October 29, 2020

Watching Birds of Paradise in West Papua

Every year thousands of visitors travel to Indonesia to watch tropical birds. One of their destinations is West Papua that is located in the eastern region of the country. There, they can explore the rainforest to find birds of paradise. Several birding sites in West Papua that I recommend are described below:

Tropical Birds in Manokwari

  • Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains - This is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Azure Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pymy Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Eclectus Parrot, Rusty Pitohui, Hooded Butcherbird, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta, Papuan Frogmouth, Marbled Frogmouth, Golden Cuckooshrike, Superb Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Frilled Monarch, Black Sunbird, and etc. A simple base camp by a small river has been prepared by local villagers for visitors who want to stay for a few days. In addition to birds, visitors can also find other animals such as Papuan Forest Dragon, cuscus possum, and bandicoot. Birding and wildlife watching is carried out in the mornings, in the afternoons, and at nights. Susnguakti forest has got a lot of kinds of insects from grasshopper to butterflies and moths. 
Soyti Forest is located in the high elevation area of Arfak mountains and is the habitat of Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Long-tailed Paradigala, and a lot of other birds that live in cloud forest. There are guesthouses for visitors who want to stay for a few days. Big butterflies such as Ornithoptera tithonus and Morphotaenaris schoenbergi schoenbergi can also be seen in the flower garden around the guesthouse. Both Susnguakti forest and Mount Soyti can be reached from Manokwari city. There are regular flights between Manokwari and major cities such as Jakarta, Makassar, Manado, Ambon and Jayapura in Indonesia served by Batik Air, Sriwijaya, Lion/Wings Air. 

Klasow valley is located in Sorong regency. There are tens of villages in the valley. Two villages which birdwatchers like to visit are Klatomok and Malagufuk. For elderly people or those who cannot endure long walks, Klatomok village will be the recommended choice. There, they can watch Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Red-cheeked Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Moluccan Parrot, Magnificent Riflebird, Blyth's Hornbill, Western-crowned Pigeon and etc. The entrance gate is Sorong city. Major airlines in Indonesia have got flights to this destination.

Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley of Tambrauw regency are very important destinations in Tambrauw regency. Birds and wild animals such as boars, sugar glider, deer, snakes, cuscus possum, frogs, and insects can be found there. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Rainbow Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Black-browed Triller, Long-tailed Buzzard, are some of the many birds that we can see in the forest. 
Raja Ampat islands are important destination for birding visitors because they can watch rainforest as well as sea birds. In general, birding visitors put Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise at the top of their target list. However, there are also interesting birds such as Great-billed Parrot, Violet-necked Lory and Spice Imperial Pigeon and Beach Kingfisher that are also interesting. The White-bellied Sea Eagle and Eastern Osprey are some of the big birds that I often see in tall trees in karst inside Kabui.

The average duration for covering these places are around 3 weeks. Visitors need to travel in a group of at least 3 to 4 people to share the cost of transportation, accommodation and food.
For further info, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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