Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Birdwatching Tour in Lowland Forest of Manokwari

Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Watching Tropical Birds of New Guinea
I have just returned from lowland forest in northwest region of Manokwari where I organized a 4-day/ 3-night birdwatching tour for a French tourist. We walked along the banks of a river to watch tropical birds such as Papuan Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta), Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae). Little-ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius).
Camping at the Riverbank
Our Camping Tents in Manokwari Forest
The land along the river area is mostly flat so, it is very suitable for birdwatchers who want to enjoy easy birding walk, swimming, and camping. Lowland forest of Manokwari as tourist destination for birdwatching is relatively new compared to Arfak mountains. However, tourists who go there and spend a few days in the forest say that they enjoy the birding and camping activities very much.
Swimming and Sunbathing or Fishing
During the day, bird activity decreases. Visitors can enjoy swimming, and sunbathing or do some nature walk inside the jungle. There are also fish in the river. Local guides like to catch fish and fry them for lunch or dinner. They catch fish by using hook and line, by using spear or gun, or by spreading net.
The lowland forest of Manokwari is also the natural habitat of a lot of species of butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, grasshoppers/ katydids. So, it is a nice place for visitors who are interested in watching insect too.
Interested in Birding in Manokwari
Papuan Hornbill in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
If you are interested in birding and camping in lowland forest of Manokwari, you need to bring several things:
  • Water shoes and flipflop - you do not need hiking boots. You need water-shoes or footwear that are resistant water.
  • Mosquito/ insect repellent  and sunblock lotion
  • Flashlight/ torch - we do birdwatching during the day and to certain extent at night. We do nigt walk to find cuscus possum, Papuan Frogmouth and Nightjar.
  • Binoculars - having a good pair of binoculars will enhance your birding experience especially if you want to see the details of eyes, wings or colors of birds that sit on the branches of distant trees or that fly in the sky. You could also bring your spotting scope if you have it.
  • Fieldguide book "Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler.
  • Camera - I personally use Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR. It has got telephoto lens. I highly recommend that visitors bring D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. If it is too expensive, a bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900, Canon Powershot SX60 HS can be a good choice for taking pictures of birds.
Camping Gear
Birding Site in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
You do not have to bring tents, cooking and eating utensils. As a tour guide, I can provide them for you.

How to get there?
It is easy to go to Manokwari. First, you need to fly to Jakarta or other major cities in Indonesia. Second, find a domestic flight that will bring you to Manokwari city. I will be happy to meet you at the airport or hotel in town and organize your birdwatching trip to lowland forest of Manokwari.
Here is my (Charles Roring) email address: peace4wp@gmail.com and whatsapp: +6281332245180 if you are interested in visiting Manokwari and enjoy birding and camping with me.