Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Birdwatching in Lowland Forest of Sorong

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Paradise Birds of Klasow Valley
Sorong is a city in West Papua province of Indonesia that has become the main gate to Raja Ampat. There is a huge valley in the east of Sorong that is famous among birdwatchers as the most recommended site for watching Paradise Birds. Its name is Klasow Valley. Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) and Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus) live in tropical rainforest of the valley and can be watched together with hundreds of species other of birds.
Visitors who go to Klasow valley usually spend at least 4 days/ 3 nights in the jungle to watch birds, and other wild animals, as well as wild flowers and unique tropical plants of the rainforest. There is a small village in the middle of the forest. There are also two jungle huts that have been prepared for visitors. The huts are equipped with mattrasses, mosquito nets and toilets.
The birdwatching site for Lesser Birds of Paradise is approximately a 1.5-hour-walk from the village. Visitors who want to watch the paradise birds need to wake up early in the morning at 04.00 to have tea or coffee and to make preparation until 04.30. After that they have to start walking. Because it is still dark, head torch will be needed for the morning jungle walk. There is another birdwatching site for Lesser Birds of Paradise approximately 30 minutes walk from the village. But the tree where the birds dance is quite high. Each visitor who wants to watch birds at this site needs to bring a good pair of binoculars. Usually, the activity of Lesser BOP at their display trees decreases after 09.00.  Birdwatchers can walk back to the village to take a rest and have lunch.
Northern Cassowary
Northern Cassowary in lowland forest of Sorong regency
There is also Northern Cassowary that regularly visits the village to ask banana fruits and sugar cane from villagers. It is a very big bird and dangerous. I used to guide a group of visitors from Rockjumper. We spent 2 days/ 1 night in the valley to watch birds. We were quite lucky to be welcomed by this Northern Cassowary. But we have to keep safe distance from the bird. During our tour in Klasow valley, we were able to watch King Bird of Paradise, Northern Cassowary, Yellow-faced Myna, Helmetted Friarbird, Black Lory, Boyer's Cuckooshrike, Red-cheeked Parrot, Glossy Swiftlet, Pinon Imperial Pigeon.
Birds are not the only animals that live in this lowland forest of Sorong, there are butterfly and beetles, cuscus possum, wallaby, fish and frogs in the river, snake, wild pigs, soa-soa lizard, dear and even crocodile in big river.
Want to visit Klasow valley?
Fly from your country to Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) or Manado city (by Silk Air from Singapore).  There are regular flights from these cities to Sorong city. I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to Klasow valley.

Booking
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour in West Papua and needs me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.