Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Birding at the Outskirts of Sorong City and Raja Ampat

Sorong city in Southwest Papua Province of Indonesia has been the destination for visitors who want to spend their holiday in Raja Ampat. As a matter of fact, Sorong itself has got a number of tourist attractions both inside and outside of the city. 

For nature lovers, walking tour, sightseeing, birdwatching and butterfywatching are good tourism attractions that can be done at the outskirt of Sorong city. There are a number of forest areas that are good for walking tour and wildlife watching. Some of them are listed below:

Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
Blyth's Hornbill

  • Sorong's Ridge Forest is approximately 1-hour drive from the city. It is the habitat of such birds as Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Hooded Butcherbird, Lesser Black Coucal, Greater Black (Ivory-billed) Coucal, Pacific Baza, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Mimic Meliphaga, and etc. Some times, Lesser Birds of Paradise fly over the road where the birdwatchers walk through. The best time to enjoy birding at this place is early in the mornings. 
  • Another natural place that is good for walking, sightseeing and birding is Love Hill. The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism built a long boardwalk for visitors to enjoy sightseeing in this forest. Visitors could enjoy walking tour in this forest and at the same time watch birds and butterflies. Birds that can be watched include Yellow-faced Myna, Black Sunbird, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Golden Myna, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Helmeted Friarbird, Brown Oriole, White-throated Needletail, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Metalic Starlling and etc.
Beautiful Fruit Dove
Beautiful Fruit Dove
  • Mangrove forest is located closer to Sorong city. It is a good place for visitors who only have little time for birding. There visitors could watch White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Helmeted Friarbird, Shining Flycatcher, Sahul Sunbird, Sacred Kingfisher, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove and Rainbow Bee-eater, Brown Oriole, White-breasted Woodswallow, Orange-breasted Fig Parrot and etc. Visitors need to apply insect repellent lotion on their skin before walking inside the mangrove forest of Sorong city.
sightseeing and birdwatching
Sorong city tour
The Buddhist temple in Sorong city is also worth visiting. It is located on a hill that allows visitors to see the coastal land and seascape of Sorong. The trees in the surrounding area of the temple is the habitat of Yellow-vented Bulbul, Willie Wagtail, Eurasian Treesparrow, Torresian Crow, Olive-backed Sunbird and etc. Another attraction is the The Cathedral Church of Christ the King whose design follows the  bower of the Vogelkop Bowerbird. 
Other tourist attractions at the outskirts of Sorong city. For visitors who want to see farmland areas, Aimas should be in the list of places to visit. Farmers in Aimas grow corn, rice, vegetables and fruits. 

More birds could be watched in Waigeo island. Along the coastal forest, visitors could watch Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Blyth's Hornbill, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Moustached Treeswift, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Brown Oriole, Helmeted Friarbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
More interesting birds could be found in deeper forest such as Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Brown-headed Crow and Papuan Pitta. 
If you need a guide to accompany you to explore the natural places of Sorong city to enjoy walking tour, sightseeing, birdwatching and butterfly watching, please, contact me Charles Roring by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 


Minahasa is a regency in North Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. Its highland is a good destination for visitors who love birdwatching. Visitors can explore the forest, agricultural land and paddy fields on foot.

Mountain White-eye Zosterops japonica
Warbling White-eye

Birding Walk in Subdistrict Sonder of Minahasa Highland

Subdistrict town of Sonder in Minahasa highland has got a number of birding sites that are suitable for visitors. While walking to enjoy the natural beauty of Subdistrict Sonder, visitors could watch various species of birds such as Sooty-headed Bulbul, Sahul Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Gray-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove, Slender-billed Crow, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Sulawesi Myzomela, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Warbling White-eye, Black-crowned White-eye, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Crimson Sunbird, Black-faced Munia, Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, White-faced Cuckoo Dove, Barred Rail, White-browed Crake, Collared Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Zebra Dove, Black-naped Oriole, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Finch-billed Myna, and etc.

Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (Cyiornis omissus)
Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher

Birdwatchers usually bring their own binoculars and a camera with telephoto lens. Bringing a spotting scope on a tripod will enhance the birding experience but it is not a must. Birdwatchers can enjoy easy birding while walking along the roadsides of Subdistrict Sonder. 

Sooty headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster
Sooty-headed Bulbul

Farmland Tour

Birding walk through the roads in farmland areas will allow visitors to watch birds and see various kinds of agricultural crops which local farmers grow. There are rice, corn, peanut, banana, spinach, cabbage, tomato, chilli, kangkung, aubergine, vanilla, coconut, clove and nutmet. The farmers also run poultry, pig and fish farming. They sell their produce to towns and cities in North Sulawesi and in Central and Eastern Indonesia such as Tomohon, Tondano, Kawangkoan, Langowan, Bitung, Manado, Ternate, Ambon, Sorong, Manokwari, Biak and Jayapura. 

birds in rice field of Minahasa
Birds in paddy field of Minahasa: Barred Rail, Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Minahasa highland has got beautiful landscape, visitors who travel to the region can see the magnificent view of Mount Mahawu, Lake Linow, Pine Forest of Lahendong, the agricultural land of Sonder, flowers and waterfall in Tincep. These places are also good for walking and birding tours. For instance, in Lake Linow, we could see Cattle Egret, Barn Swallow, and Sunda Teal and in the Pine Forest, we could watch the Gray-rumped Treeswift, Collared Kingfisher and Purple Needletail. 

flight route to Manado city
Flight route to Manado city

land route Manado Tomohon and Sonder in Minahasa
Land route from Manado city to Tomohon and Sonder in Minahasa Highland

It is easy to reach Minahasa. The main gate to Minahasa highland is Manado city. Visitors need to fly to one of the major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, and Makassar. After that, they can continue their trip to Manado by plane served by Indonesian airlines such as Garuda, Citilink, Lion Air, Batik Air, and  TransNusa.

International visitors can fly from Singapore to Manado by Scoot Air, and from Guangzhou to Manado city by China Southern Airlines.

The trip to Minahasa highland can be done by car with destinations: Tomohon town and Subdistrict town of Sonder.

For accommodation, there are hotels, guesthouses and homestays in Tomohon.

If you want a guide to organize your tour in Minahasa highland, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

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