Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Birdwatching in Lower Montane Forest of Arfak Range

Lower Montane Forest of
Arfak Mountains
in Warmarway village
Arfak range has been famous as birdwatching destination in West Papua. Most visitors go there to watch birds of paradise. There is a village called Warmarway in the eastern region of Arfak. It is a recommended area for visitors who want to watch such birds as King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Papuan Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, and a lot of other birds which I cannot mention one by one.
Local villager Yunus Sayori could guide visitors in the jungle and stay in a camp for several days to watch birds and other wild animals.
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
He has got special skill in immitating the sound of female cuscus possum to attract the male possum during night walk. When he calls, all torches have to be off. When the cuscus possum has come, he will tell every visitor to turn on the light and take pictures of the possum.

Day 1
Arrive in Manokwari city
Getting Surat Jalan from local police station
Buying food, bottled water and other goods needed for the trip in traditional market and supermarket.
Transfer to Warmarway village at the foot of Arfak mountains
Walking up steep slopes into the jungle.
Setting up tents
Birding and wildlife watching around the campsite area
Overnight stay in the tent in the jungle

Cuscus Possum
Day 2
Wake up early in the morning at 05.00, have some tea or coffee.
We will leave for the display tree of Lesser Birds of Paradise
We will watch the birds until around 09.00 and then return to basecsmp.
After breakfast will walk up the slopes to explore the forest for its insects, birds, reptiles and other wild animals.

Day 3
We may build tents in higher elevation forest to explore the jungle. We can do night walk to find Papuan frogmouth.

Day 4
We can walk down to our first camp again to take arest before going back to the village to explore its lowland forest. There are orchids, unique glowing mushroom as well as colorful insects.

Day 5
Walking down the jungle and explore the lowland forest. Built tent near the river. Birding and wildlife watching.

Day 6
Walking back to the main road and return to the city.

For price, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Birding with Two British Birdwatchers in Sorong regency of West Papua

From the sea of Raja Ampat to the jungle of Sorong
From 2 to 4 October 2016 I guided two British tourists in the jungle of Sorong regency. They were Brian and Claire. Previously, they spent several days snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat. After that they crossed the sea between Waisai harbor and Sorong town by fast passenger ferry Marine Express. I met them in the afternoon at Pelabuhan Rakyat and transferred them to the rainforest of Klasow valley. We went there by a 4WD car and arrived at the edge of the forest at 19.00 local time. It was dark. It was raining when we began walking into the jungle to reach a village that was located near Klabolo stream. I carried two bags loaded with food, clothes, and birding devices, other local guides also helped me. Together with the British tourists, we walked along muddy path to the village. It took around one and a half hour to reach it.
Watching Paradise Birds
We had simple food that night. Our meals were rice, noodle and sardine. Because we were so tired, we slept early. The next morning, we woke up early at around 04.30. It was still dark when we left the village. We were guided by two young men from the village. They were Daniel and Yulianus. We turned on our torches and began walking up steep slopes in the south of the village. We reached the display trees of the paradise birds at around 06.15. When we stopped under one of the trees, we saw two males of Lesser Birds of Paradise and several female birds. Brian and Claire took their binoculars and watched the birds. They also took their digital camera and video recording device. I saw Brian recorded the sounds of the birds using a special recording device with a microphone that looks like a long stick.
Because I had seen the birds during my previous trips, I decided to sit on the ground. It was good to keep the birds in the trees. The male birds of paradise were dancing from one branch to another and showing their beautiful feather in order to attract their female counterparts. It was a competition among the male birds. Sometimes they were fighting.
Birding Walk
After watching the morning performance of the paradise birds, we walked back to the village. We still did the birdwatching along the way. We saw brown cuckooshrike, rainbow lorikeet, palm cockatoo, spangled drongo, pinon imperial pigeon, and a lot of other birds both at the bank of the Klasow river and under the canopy of the forest. Claire said that she saw a King Bird of Paradise. She also said she saw a female Magnificent Riflebird flying across the river. Our local guide Yulianus confirmed that he saw King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) dancing on the branch of a tall tree. At the hill near the village, we saw a wompoo fruit dove, and beautiful fruit dove.
In addition to birds, we also saw colorful butterflies such as Ornitopthera priamus and Taenaris catops in the jungle. After having brunch, they weather suddenly changed and rained for around 1 hour. But we saw glossy swift, moustached treeswift and a forest kingfisher in the clearing area of the village. Brian told me that the forest kingfisher was a migrant bird coming from Australia and is usually found in southern New Guinea. It's good to see it here in the northwest region of the island.
The Biggest and the Smallest Birds of the Day
In the afternoon in the final day of our birding trip in Sorong, we saw cassowary, yellow billed kingfisher, black lory, eclectus parrot. While we were sitting on a log at the bank of a river in the north of the village, we successfully spotted a Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher. It was amazing to see the biggest (Cassowary) and the smallest bird (Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher on the same day.
I could not take pictures of all the birds because my camera was not equipped with super telephoto lens. So, I was satisfied enough with some pictures of wildflower, butterfly, and paradise bird. As of today, I still cannot identify the species name of the red flower that is shown above.
Want me to be your private guide?
As a tour guide, I offer birding, snorkeling, camping and sightseeing tours for visitors who want to visit West Papua region especially in areas like Raja Ampat, Sorong and Manokwari, Triton bay, and Numfor island. If you are interested, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by cell phone/ whatsapp +6281332245180.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Trekking and Watching Birds in Imubri Forest of Arfak Range

Arfak range is a very popular birdwatching site in the world. Thousands of tourists have visited it since tens of years ago. There is a new wildlife/ birdwatching site in Arfak range that I am now introducing to all rainforest lovers or birdwatchers. Its name is Imubri. It is located in the south of Manokwari around one hour ride from the city. Most of the birdwatching activities are conducted along steep slopes of the mountains from lower to middle elevation montane forest. A few days ago, I guided two tourists from the UK and Portugal. We went there to watch birds, butterflies and see various species of unique trees, creeping plants and shrubs.
During the trip, we were able to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Moluccan King Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis), Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Grey Crow (Corvus tristis), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). There are also other birds that we could not identify because they were too far from us and I did not use binoculars to magnify their images. We heard the sound of Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus). Unfortunately, we were not able to find the bird.
In addition to birds, the jungle of Imubri is also the natural habitat of tree kangaroo, and cuscus possum.
The rainforest of Imubri is now open to tourists who are interested in rainforest, wild animals of New Guinea and birds. Those who want to go there have to be physically fit. The forest consists of very steep slopes and deep ravines.  Visitors need to wear durable trekking shoes. We often walk along the ridge of the mountains, and climb steep slopes of the mountains with elevation up to 75 or even 80 degrees. In this case, visitors are highly advised to walk slowly and carefully.

What you need to bring
  • Portable folding/ dome tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito net
  • Biscuits, water and other kind of ready prepared food
  • Binoculars
  • Camera with superzoom lens such as Nikon Coolpix P900 or other D-SLR camera with telephoto lens
  • Insect repellent lotion
If you are interested in trekking in Imumbri forest of Arfak range of Manokwari, and need me as your guide, please, contact me by cell phone/ whatsapp to +6281332245180 or email to: peace4wp@gmail.com



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