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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.