Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Birding in West Papua

Here is the picture of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo that I saw while I was guiding Gauri, a lady from India on a 2-week nature tour, snorkeling, and birding trip in Raja Ampat, Sorong regency, and the Arfak mountains. We visited remote uninhabited islands, villages and walked through empty road in the jungle to find tropical birds, butterflies, cuscus possum and wild flowers. We also enjoyed swimming and snorkeling at secluded white sandy beaches of Raja Ampat to see its coral reef and colorful fish.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in Waigeo island
While in Raja Ampat, we did not go to places that had been frequently visited by tourists such as southern area of Waigeo, Kri, Gam, Mansuar and Arborek islands. Instead, we went to eastern region of Waigeo. We went to Sopen village and explored its nearby islands, i.e. Waim and Mamiaef. We also did rainforest tour through a river in the north of the village and then continued our trip southward to Yen-Papir Karst. Here, went hiking to the top of one of the islets to see its beautiful scenery. Standing on the top of the rock island inside the karst formation, we felt as if we were looking over a huge lake.
Sightseeing tour to Yenpapir karst
Yenpapir Karst in Raja Ampat

Olive-backed Sunbird in Waigeo island
Sahul Sunbird
I brought several sets of snorkeling equipments (masks, snorkels, lifejackets) and birding devices (binoculars, spotting scope and bridge camera Fujifilm HS50EXR) during the tour.
During our birding tour in eastern region of Waigeo, we also Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Red Bird of Paradise, Palm Cockatoo, Beach Kingfisher, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Lesser-crested Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, Pacific Swallow, White-breasted Wood Swallow.
In Sorong, we saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, Northern Cassowary, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit Dove, and a lot of other birds during the tour.
In Arfak range, we saw Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Western Parotia, and Vogelkop Bowerbird.
Also read:
Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Birding Tour to Raja Ampat

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