Thursday, February 22, 2018

Camping and Birding in Manokwari Montane Forest

Birdwatching in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari
Birdwatching tour with Charles Roring in West Papua
a European visitor was watching paradise bird
I have organized numerous camping and wildlife watching tours for foreign visitors who want to see tropical rainforest, paradise birds and wild animals in lower montane forest of Manokwari. The destination is Susnguakti forest located in the eastern region of Arfak mountains. Usually visitors spend 3 to 4 days in the jungle with local guides. The main target avifauna that visitors are interested in watching are Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebirds, King Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird and Common Paradise Kingfisher.
Watching Lesser Birds Paradise are Usually Conducted in the mornings from 06.00 to 09.00 and in the afternoons from 15.00 to 17.00. A good pair of binoculars is highly recommended. Blinds (birdwatching huts) have been built by local villagers for tourists).

King Bird of Paradise
Birding tour with Charles Roring in Manokwari
King Bird of Paradise
For King Bird of Paradise, their active time is different. After watching Lesser BOP, visitors can continue their trip to watch King BOP whose display tree is located in higher slope. Here, visitors can sit on logs that have been arranged by local villagers for visitors. A powerful spotting scope will greatly enhanced the birdwatching experience. The King BOP do not gather in big group. Usually, there is only one male bird in a tree calling his female counterpart. If there is one female King BOP coming, he will display his beautiful feather and dance, first up and down a vine and then expanding his red and white feather when he is closed to his female partner. If she is impressed with his courtship performance, they will mate.

During the rainforest tour in lower montane forest of Arfak range, I often organize  nightwalk for visitors. The purpose is to watch cuscus possum. Local gude will immitate the sound of female cuscus possum to attract male ones. In addtion to cuscus, visitors can also see mushroom that glows in the dark. We also install white screen in near our basecamp and shoot it with light. This can attract insects to come and land on the screen. It is interesting for visitors who want to know more about rainforest insects.

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