Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Recommended Birding sites in West Papua

French tourists were enjoying birding, wildlife watching and riverwalk tour in Manokwari of West Papua.
French birdwatchers in lowland forest
 of Manokwari
I have been guiding international birdwatchers on various birding trips in West Papua for years now. During those trips I saw various species of birds that are endemic to New Guinea island. There are several birding sites I highly recommend to visitors:

Lowland Forest of Manokwari

There is a river in northwest region of Manokwari. Its name is Mesirrokow. It is covered by tropical rainforest that has become the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds such as eclectus parrot, sulphut crested cockatoo, palm cockatoo, blyth's hornbill, coconut lorikeet, yellow capped pygmy parrot, pink spotted fruit dove and many others.

Susnguakti Forest of Arfak Range

Hiking, birding, camping and wildlife tour in Arfak range of Indonesia
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest
Arfak range of Manokwari
There are paradise birds in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. Some of them include: Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, and Magnificent Riflebird. Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Blyth's Hornbill, Hooded Butcherbird can also be seen in the forest. As a matter of fact, birds are not the only animals visitors can watch in the forest. There are also cuscus possum, Papuan dragon lizard, snakes, Large Ground Skink, bandicoot, and colorful butterflies, fireflies that could be watched in this lower montane forest of Arfak range. Tourists who want to go to this forest have to be physically fit.

Tambrauw Mountains

It is located between the regencies of Manokwari and Sorong. Most of the mountains are covered by pristine rainforest that is the natural habitat of a lot of species of tropical birds such as paradise birds, parrots, fruit doves, kingfishers, pigeons.  The regency of Tambrauw can be reached through Manokwari city and Sorong city.
Because the cost of traveling to Tambrauw mountains is expensive, I highly recommend that tourists come to this region in a group of at least 3, 4 or more people to share the cost.

Birding and Wildlife Watching Equipment

There are some equipment that visitors can bring in order to enhance their birding and wildlife watching experience. In general, birders bring binoculars. From my personal view, a pair of Swarovski EL 8.5×40 or Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB binoculars produces sharp and crisp images of birds, wild animals and unique wild flowers that we see through them. There are also Nikon Monarch 5 10×42, and the very affordable Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars. Sometimes I see birders bring spotting scopes. I used to try a Swarovski ATX 30-70×95. It was a very powerful birding gear. However, it is also expensive.

How to get to birding sites in Manokwari and Tambrauw Mountains?

To reach this hill, read the following instructions:
  • First, fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of the Republic of Indonesia.
  • Second, take a domestic flight served by Sriwijaya Air, Garuda, NAM Air, Lion Air or Batik Air to Manokwari city or Sorong city. After that local guides could help organize your birding trips to the forest.
If you still need detailed information about rainforest tours and birdwatching trips in Tambrauw, you can still contact me at e-mail address. I am sure that you will have a great adventure in this beautiful West Papua's rainforest.
This was written by Charles Roring

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