Friday, December 12, 2014

Birding in Sorong regency of West Papua

Two most recommended birding sites in West Papua are Mount Soyti and Mount Susnguakti in Manokwari. There is also a famous site in Sorong. I visited it two weeks ago. The valley is located in the east of Sorong city and can be reached by 4WD Pick up truck. I have organized and guided birdwatchers from various countries in this valley. We stayed for several nights in a jungle village located in the middle of the valley. There was a simple wooden house that was built by the villagers for tourists.
Northern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Northern Cassowary in Klasow valley
During my birding trip in Sorong regency, I was able to hear and watch Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Moustached Treeswift, Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus rotatus), Blyth's hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Goliath Cockatoo, Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata), Spangled Drongo, Golden Myna (Mino anais) and large fruit eating bats.
The Western Crown Pigeon may be seen when we walk silently through small river. The bird likes to eat small shrimp or fish. 
It was a nice trip and I highly recommend it for anybody who is interested in birdwatching, Papuan wildlife and rainforest ecosystem.
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
in Klasow valley
Other Activities in the forest
In addition to watching birds, visitors who explore the jungle of Klasow valley will be able to experience:
  • Night walk in the jungle to find wallaby (this animal is similar to kangaroo but has got smaller body)
  • A visit to a place where women were processing sago flour from grating the pith to squeezing the sago juice to extract its flour
  • A day walk to see medicinal herbs, plants that contain water, plants that are used as materials for constructing the traditional houses, plants that are used to make hunting gear, traps.
  • Large Fig Parrot in the jungle of Klasow valley
  • Javelin throwing practice tragetting a distant tree (in the past men from Moi tribe did this as a competition to win a girl if they love the same girl).
Some visitors combine the trekking and birding trip in Klasow valley with snorkeling, island tour, camping and fishing in Raja Ampat islands. I could organize tours to the archipelago for duration of 3 to 5 days. Visitors will be able to watch birds and see coral reef or enjoy fishing and eating fresh grilled fish that has just been caught from the sea by our local guides.

Other Alternative Destinations
In addition to rainforest of Klasow valley, there are several tour destinations that can be arranged from Sorong city.
Visitors can extend their tour to this destination.
  • Rainforest of Sausapor - This is a lowland forest that is similar to Klasow. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and wildlife tour in the jungle along the banks of the rivers. As of today, there is no guesthouse in the forest. As a tour organizer, we provide dome tents for visitors who want to take a jungle tour to this area.
  • Rainforest of Ases valley - This forest is located in the highland of Tambrauw mountains. There are no villages in the jungle so the wildlife is abundant. Because of its remote location, the minimum duration of rainforest tour in Ases valley is 6 days. We need to go by car from Sorong city to Fef.
  • Rainforest of Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. The birding site is located in the northeast region of the island especially along Warebar river. Visitors will be able to watch birds along the banks of Warebar river. To increase the chance to see more birds, tents will be set up in the jungle where birdwatchers could stay for several days to see birds, butterflies and other wild animals of the island.
Rainforest Tour in Sorong regency
Rainforest of Klasow valley
Grey-headed Goshawk in Malagufuk village of Sorong
Grey-headed Goshawk in the jungle of Klasow valley
  • Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
  • Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
  • Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca)
  • King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
  • Lowland Peltops (Peltop blainvilii)
  • Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto)
  • Frilled Monarch (Arses telescophthalmus)
  • Helmetted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)
  • White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis)
  • Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta)
  • Moustached Tree-swift (Hemiprocne mustacea)
  • Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)
  • Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
  • Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
  • Rufous-bellied Kookabara (Dacelo gaudichaud)
  • Rainbow Bee-eater
  • Forest Kingfisher (Halcyon macleayii)
  • Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx lepidus)
  • Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon torotoro)
  • Black Lory (Chalcopsitta atra)
  • Eclectus parrot (Eclectus rotatus)
  • Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
  • Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi)
  • Western Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory)
  • Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii)
  • Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon)
  • Pink-spotted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus)
  • Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus)
  • Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)
  • Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata)
  • Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
  • Grey-headed Goshawk (Accipiter poliocephalus)
  • Dwarf Cassowary (Casuarius bennetti)
  • Northern Cassowary
  • Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida)
  • and etc.
If you are interested in birdwatching and exploring the rich tropical rainforest ecosystem of Sorong regency and its surrounding areas, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to or send text/ whatsapp message to my cell phone: +6281332245180

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Lesser Birds of Paradise in Mating Season
Paradise Birds