Friday, July 28, 2017

Birding Tour in Manokwari Lowland Forest

Riverwalk tour with French tourist
Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
West Papua has been considered as a world class destination for birding. There are a lot of places in this region where birdwatchers can visit to see colorful birds including several species of birds of paradise. One of the birding sites that I know is the lowland forest of Manokwari. It is located in the western area of the city and can be reached by car. The birding ground itself is located deep in the forest. Visitors have to walk through the jungle, and cross rivers to reach it.
The lowland forest is the natural habitat of such birds as Papuan Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Golden Myna (Mino anais), Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), Glossy Manucode (Manucodia ater), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and a lot more.
The Birding Tour
Large-tailed Nightjar in lowland forest of Manokwari
Large-tailed Nightjar
Visitors stay for 3 to 5 days in the forest and do hiking a long the sides of the river to see birds. There are no hotels or resorts in the area, visitors stay in tents which they need to bring for the trip.
Day 1
We will start the tour by going to the market to buy food supplies. After that we will charter a car that will bring us to the entrance point of the lowland forest. We will continue our trip on foot. After one hour walking, we will arrive at Campsite 1. We will install our tents and put our bags in them. While our local guides prepare our lunch or evening food, we can start birding immediately.  Birds such as Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro), Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) and Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) are some of the target birds that we will try to find in the surrounding area.
Overnight stay in Campsite 1 near the river
Day 2
Birdwatching in Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
The next morning, we will have tea and coffee before dismantling our tents and walk deeper into the jungle. Usually between 05.30 to 07.00 we could see a lot of bird activities where Sulphur Crested Cockatoes go out of their nests and Blyth's hornbill birds begin to fly over the sky to find fruits. In the middle of the day, we will rebuild out tents in Campsite 2.
There are also Yellow-faced Myna, Moustached Treeswift, Dollarbird and Pinon Imperial Pigeon that like to have sunbathing under the morning sun before flying away to any corners of the forest. We could do night walk to find Papuan Frogmouth or Fruit Bat and other birds that sleep in lower branches of the trees at night but difficult to be seen during the day. Overnight Stay in Campsite 2
Day 3
Birding and nature walk tour in West Papua
Birding Walk
We expect more bird activity in the forest and hopefully, we could find birds such as Spangled Drongo, Golden Myna, Magnificent Riflebird, Hooded Butcherbird, Pink-spotted Fruitdove. We will walk around to find Western-Crowned Pigeon, Variable Goshawk, Helmetted Friarbird, Large Fig Parrot.
Overnight stay in Campsite 2.
Day 4
We will walk back to main road. It takes approximately several hours to reach it. During the riverwalk, we will be able to see more birds and wild animals.
We will return to Manokwari city again by car.

What to bring:
Visitors who want to do birdwatching in this area need to bring binoculars, spotting scope, field guide book Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler, and flashlight.
What we provide:
As tour guide, I provide sleeping bags, tents, eating utensil and cooking equipment.
Also read:
Birding in Raja Ampat
Watching the Courtship Dance of Red Bird of Paradise

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