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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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