Monday, January 10, 2022

Bird Watching in West Papua During Pandemic

There have been small number of tourists who travel to West Papua during pandemic. They enjoy birdwatching in the forest and snorkeling at sea. Arfak mountains are important birding destination in Indonesia because their forest is the natural habitat of a lot of endemic avifauna including Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala and Vogelkop Superbird of Paradise. 
Endemic birds from Arfak mountains, photo by Charles Roring
Endemic Birds of West Papua

Other birding sites that are also worth visiting including Teluk Wondama regency, Fef Town in Tambrauw regency, Klatomok village in Sorong regency and Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. 
Visitors who enjoy birding activities in West Papua often have to endure long walk in dense forest, hiking up steep slopes or walking along muddy path whose surrounding bush is infested with mosquitoes, and leeches. That's why I suggest that visitor bring insect repellent lotion and wear clothing that can protect their exposed skin from mosquito and leech bites. Because of long walk in the jungle, visitors may experience muscle stress in legs and backs. From my personal experience, I apply oil and give massage to sooth and relieve tension in the muscles. Taking a shower or splash bath with hot water will also help relieve the muscle stress. 
Drinking ion water, and eating salty instant noodle soup can resupply our body with liquid, minerals, and nutrients after a long hiking trip in the forest.
European visitors were taking rainforest tour in Manokwari
Birdwatchers need to bring their own devicee such as binoculars, spotting scope on a tripods (optional) and cameras, torch or flashlight.
Regular daily flight services between Manokwari (the capital of West Papua province) and major cities in Indonesia are provided by Lion Air, Batik Air, and Sriwijaya Air. 
International visitors who want to travel to Indonesia need to read the entry procedure from the official website of Indonesian immigration office at this address: Visitors must also follow strict health protocol during their trip to Indonesia. Because most of the birdwatching trip is conducted in remote forest, visitors will not interact with crowded people such as public areas in cities. 
After spending time in the forest to watch birds and other wild animals, visitors could enjoy swimming at the beach. There are a lot of coral reef sites in West Papua. Important marine protected areas include islands in Teluk Wondama Bay, and Raja Ampat. 
Swimming at the beach is considered as a good way to neutralize the itches on the skin of visitors caused by insect bites. 
Visitors need to bring their own mask, snorkel and swim fins. 
marine tour in Waigeo island
Some European visitors were enjoying snorkeling
These snorkeling device will allow them to see beautiful marine life at the beach.  This was written by Charles Roring.

I have created a number of drawings that readers can buy, in the form of t-shirts, mugs, cell phone cases, stickers, etc. to support this blog. Please, click the following pictures to visit the merchandise store and choose the products that you are interested in. Thank you for supporting this blog.
Birds of Paradise drawing in colored pencils
Colored pencil drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Lesser Birds of Parase (Paradisaea minor)
Vector illustration of Lesser Birds of Paradise

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