Sunday, February 3, 2019

Birdwatching in Montane Forest of Manokwari

I offer birdwatching tour in montane forest of Manokwari. The main target birds for lower montane area are Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea). For higher elevation area, we will focus on watching Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Dyphillodes magnificus), Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), and Black Sicklebill (Epimachus fastosus). The duration of the tour is 1 week. We will spend around 3 days in Susnguakti forest and 3 days in Mount Soyti. Both birdwatching sites are located in Arfak mountains.
Visitors who want to take this tour need to bring their own binoculars and camera with telephoto lens. Bird of New Guinea (written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler) is our field guide.
birding in Arfak mountains of Manokwari
Birdwatching in Manokwari

Higher Montane Forest

Day 1
Arriving in Manokwari city, you will be transferred by a 4wd car directly from the airport to a guesthouse in higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains. After drinking some tea or coffee, we will go to the birding ground of Vogelkop Bowerbird. At night, we could visit a nearby river to find frog.
Guesthouse of Birdwatchers in Mount Soyti
Beds in the guesthouse of Mount Soyti
Day 2
Early in the morning, we will walk to the birding ground of Magnificent Bird of Paradise. We will watch it until 09.00. Most often, other birds also come to the same site such as the Green-backed Robin, Black-eared Catbird and Black Fantail. When we walk back to the guesthouse, we may see other birds such as Western Smoky Honeyeater, Goldenface or Hooden Pitohui and Black-winged Monarch.
In the afternoon, we could go hiking to watch Western Parotia whose male one dances like a ballerina. After that we can walk back to the guesthouse. In the trees on both side of the road, there are birds that we can watch such as Modest Tiger Parrot, Mountain Fruit Dove, or Vogelkop Melidectes.

Day 3
We will wake up early in the morning to have tea or coffee. At around 05.00, we will walk up steep slope of Mount Soyti to the birding ground of Black Sicklebill. Sometimes other birds such as Superb Bird of Paradise and female Western Parotia also comes to the same birding ground.

Lower Montane Forest

In general, the typical program of the birdwatching tour can be described as follows:
Day 4
Transfer by car to Susnguakti forest. It takes around 1.5 hours by car to the foot of the mountain range. After that we will continue our trip by hiking to our basecamp. After eating some biscuits and hot tea or coffee, we could walk to the birding site of Lesser Birds of Paradise. We will watch them for around 2 hours. We will return to the basecamp to take a rest. There is no toilet in the forest. Participants of the tour could use the nearby river. After dinner, we could do night walk to find cuscus possum. There are also fire flies, mushrooms that glow in the dark.
There is no guesthouse in this lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. We only have simple basecamp. We provide dome tents, mattrasses, solar powered lights, cooking and eating utensils in the forest. We will use them as our supporting tools and devices during our stay in the forest.
Dome tent with mattrasses and pillows
our basecamp for tourists in the forest of Manokwari
Day 5
Early in the morning, we will go to the birding site of Magnificent Riflebird which is only around 10 minutes walk from basecamp. After watching the bird, we could continue our trip to the birdwatching site of King Bird of Paradise. It is a small bird with red wings, and white underparts. In the surrounding forest birds such as Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and Common Paradise Kingfisher can also be seen.
At night we could do another tour in the forest to find Papua Dragon lizard, ground skink, or frog.

Day 6
We could do a review of paradise birds that we haven't seen well such as the Lesser Bird of Paradise or the King Bird of Paradise. After lunch, we will walk down the steep slopes of Arfak range to the main road and then return to Manokwari city by car.

Day 7
A hiking trip to Mansinam island or to Table Mountain can be organized.

How to go there?
Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia). After that, take a domestic flight from Jakarta to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Garuda, Batik Air and Sriwijaya Air provide regular flights to Manokwari.
Batik air flight route Jakarta to Manokwari
Flight route to Manokwari by Batik Air
This birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains can be combined with trips to other areas in West Papua such as Tambrauw Mountains for finding New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Mountain Peltop, Wompoo Fruit Dove; and Raja Ampat for watching Palm Cockatoo, Beach Kingfisher, Red Bird of Paradise, and Wilson's Bird of Paradise.
Hotels in Manokwari
There are a number of hotels which you could choose to stay after finishing your bird tour such as Mansinam Beach Hotel, Swiss Belhotel, Hotel Triton, Hotel Valdoz, Hotel Oriestom, Hotel Oriestom Bay, and etc.

If you are interested in taking the birding tour, please, contact me by email to: or whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.