Irian-Jaya (West Papua) Birding Trip Report, July 15th to August 8, 2002

By. Jim McAllister and Kris Tindige



Places of birding included in our Itinerary are:

1. Sorong (Intimpura Road, Batanta and Salawati Islands): July 15th - July 19th, 2002.

2. Timika (stop over) and Biak: July 20th and July 29th, 2002.

3. Manokwari (Warkapi and Arfak Mountain): July 21st - July 28th, 2002.

4. Jayapura (Nimbokrang): July 30th - August 2rd, 2002.

5. Wamena (Lake Habbema): August 4th - August 8th, 2002.

West New Guinea (Irian Jaya), today called West Papua, can be reached either by flying to Jakarta or via Manado (North Celebes) with Garuda Indonesia or Singapore Airline (SilkAir). An over night stay is needed before reaching the region.

Our tour group consisted of two birders from Ontario (my wife and I), two birders from California (one of them was Dana Gardner, the illustrator of The Birds of Wallacea book) and one from Malaysia, all of whom have birded together before. We took the Papua Bird Club birding trip with Kris Tindige himself as the tour leader. It was Dana who made the arrangement with Kris before we undertook the trip.

Papua Bird Club (PBC) is now the only organization in Indonesia that offers customized trips for birders to West Papua. PBC has been undertaking similar trips for the past 10 years with Kris’ expertise. Kris has organized and led tours for various worldwide television networks, among whom was the BBC television crew with Sir David Attenborough to film "Attenbororugh in Paradise".

The tour for us began with a flight from Toronto to New York on the 12th. We then flew to Anchorage, Alaska, Taipei and then Jakarta. We all met at the Jakarta Airport Quality Inn and flew early the next morning, with Pelita Air Service. After one stop in Sulawesi, we arrived at Sorong airport which is on a small island about a half hour's boat ride from the mainland. We were met by Kris and transferred to the Grand Pacific Hotel. After settling in and having a brief rest, we set out in mid afternoon to bird the Intimpura Logging Road about 20kms south of town. We birded this road again on the 20th before we flew to Biak.

Birds seen:

English name Latin name

Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos

Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris

Darter Anhinga melanogaster

Cattle Egret Egretta ibis

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia

Eastern Reef Egret Egretta sacra

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

Crested Hawk Aviceda subcristata

Grey Goshawk Accipiter novahollandiae

Long-tailed Buzzard Henicopernislongicauda

Great Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena reinwardtii

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus iozonus

Pinon Imperial Pigeon Ducula pinon

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi

Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita

Malay Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Dacelo gaudichaud

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus

Blyth's Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus

Uniform Swiftlet Collacolia vanikorensis

Papuan Spine-tailed Swift Mearnsia novaeguniae

Brown Oriole Oriolus szalayi

Black Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaena

Black-browed triller Lalage antrovirens

Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys

Frilled Monarch (Kris saw it) Arses telescophthalmus

Shining Flycatcher Myagra alecto

Papuan Flowerpecker Dicaeum pectorale

Black Sunbird Nectarina aspasia

Plain Honeyeater Pycnopygius ixoides

Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides

Yellow faced myna Mino dumontii

Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus

Hooded Butcherbird Cracticus cassicus

Black Butcherbird Cracticus quoyi

July 16th

After breakfast, we boarded the Papuan Bird Club longboat for a 3 hour ride to Batanta Island over the open sea which was quite rough. We passed by Salawati and Batanta islands where we would be birding for the next four days, noticing that they appeared quite hilly with little coastal plain. The whole village was out to greet us when we landed at one of the few areas with any flat land. We stayed at Kepala Desa’s house (Village chief) which was rather rustic. Unfortunately, there were no other choices on the island but tenting by the shore would have been preferable to the hut where we did stay. Our target bird for the afternoon was Red Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea rubra (Red BOP). We had good looks at two as they displayed above the trail but there were more.

July 17th

We were up at 3:30 am to begin our quest for the Wilson's BOP, Cicinnurus respublica. After a long and difficult climb with flash lights, we arrived at the lek at first light behind a few sticks and leaves that passed for a blind. At 8:00AM the male began singing and then flew down to the display area totally oblivious to us. He was soon joined by three females that provided me, at least, one of the most spectacular birding sights imaginable. When the male who flew to a nearby branch was followed by a female, they quickly mated. It was all over in less than twenty minutes as the birds melted back into the forest. Kris said this full display was the best he has observed in the past 4 years since his last filming trip with another BBC series in 1999. In the pm, we searched for and found the Blue-breasted Pitta, Pitta erythrogaster macklotii, as well as the Glossy-mantled Manucode, Manucodia atra (Black BOP) at the south of the settlement. The pitta cooperated nicely by sitting on a log for a couple of minutes but the Glossy-mantled Manucode stopped only briefly in a tree in the local garden.

July 18th

Today after an early start and a 15-20 minute boat ride, we began our search for the specialties of Salawati. We had to cross rivers or walk along river beds so rubber boots or Teva sandals are suggested (flip flops are not appropriate). I recommend rubber boots with long pants tucked in and a long sleeve shirt. I brushed against some plant that stung for three days. Salawati was not too productive and although we saw traces of Northern Cassowary, Cassuarius unappendiculatus and heard the Western Crowned Pigeon, Goura cristata, only fleeting glimpses by two of our group was all we could manage.

The Western Crowned Pigeons and the Pheasant Pigeon which we saw later in cages are truly gorgeous birds but because of hunting pressure are very hard to find in the wild. The King BOP, Cicinnurus regius was found however but this denizen of the canopy is devilishly hard to spot except straight up (Later we saw him well in Nimbokrang). In the PM, we poked along the shoreline looking for Great-billed Heron but were unsuccessful.

July 19th

This AM we birded the shores of Salawati early then set off for Sorong stopping at Senapang Island for lunch. Birds seen on Batanta, Salawati and Senapang Islands:

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos

Gray and White phase Egret Egretta sacra

Great Egret Egretta alba

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Cattle Egret Egretta ibis

Pied Heron Egretta picata

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel

Crested Tern Sterna bergii

Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus

White-headed Shelduck Tadorna radjah

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

Long-tailed Buzzard Henicopernis longichauda

Crested Hawk Aviceda subcristata

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leuchogaster

Gurney's Eagle Aquila gurneyi

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Western Crowned Pigeon Goura cristata

Bronze Ground-Dove Gallicolumba rufigula

Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus perlatus

Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus aurantiifrons

Spice Imperial Pigeon Ducula Myristicivora

Wampoo Fruit Dove Ptilinopus magnificus

Pinon Imperial Pigeon Ducula pinon

Western Black-capped Lory Lorius lory

Black Lory Chalopsitta satra

Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae

Fan-tailed Cuckoo Caromantis flabelliformis

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita

Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus

Palm Cockatoo Probosciger atterimus

Sacred Kingfisher Halcyon sancta

Collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris

Common Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Dacelo gaudichaud

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Blyth's Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus

Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis (H)

Large-tailed Nightjar Carprimulgus macrurus (H)

Papuan Spine-tailed Swift Mearnsia novaeguineae

Uniform Swiftlet Collacaliavanikorensis

Moustached Tree-swift Hemiprocne mystacea

White-breasted Wood Swallow Artamus leucorhynchus

Blue-breasted Pitta Pitta erythrogaster macklotii

Cicada Bird Coracina tenuirostris

Brown Oriole Oriolus szalayi

Black-browed Triller Lalage atrovirens

Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris

Willy Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys

Frilled Monarch Arses telescophthalmus

Little Shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha

Varied Honeyeater Lichenostomus versicolor

Yellow-bellied Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis

Mimic Meliphaga Meliphaga analoga

Puff-backed Meliphaga Meliphaga aruensis

Yellow-faced Myna Myna dumontii

Red Bird of Paradise Paradisaea rubra

Wilson's Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus respublica

King Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus regius

Glossy-mantled Manucode Manucodia atra

Torresian Crow Corvus orru

Grey Crow Corvus tristis

Hooded Butcherbird Cracticus cassicus

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

July 20th

We birded Intimpura road in the morning and flew to Biak via Timika in the afternoon staying at the Hotel Arumbae. Birds seen during a 20 minutes transit at Timika Airport:

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia

Pied Heron Egretta picata

Swamp Harrier Circus approximans

Australian Pratincole Stiltia isabela

July 21st

After a 5:00 AM start, we birded a logging road about a half hour's drive away. When we flew into Biak, it appeared that there was lots of undisturbed habitat but we never found any either today or on our return on the 29th. We had a short flight to Manokwari in the afternoon on which we were limited to 10 kilos for our trip into the Arfak Mountains.

Birds seen on Biak:

Elegant Imperial Pigeon Ducula concinnaa

(Kris’ 2nd record for the island)

Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus solomonensis

Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus viridis

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galareita

Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

Moluccan Red Lory Eos squamata

Biak Red Lory Eos cyanogenia

Geelvink Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta geelvinkkiana

Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus

Biak Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea riedelii

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus

Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus

Biak Black Flycatcher Myagra atra

Biak Monarch Monarcha brehmii

Golden Monarch Monarcga chrysomela

Long-tailed Starling Aplonis magna

Singing Starling Aplonis cantoroides

Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica

Yellow-bellied Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis

Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentuttus

Hooded Butcherbird Cracticus cassicus

While Kris was arranging our trip into the Arfak mts, we spent the afternoon birding north of town. The habitat was very limited, hence few birds. The following morning we visited a village south of town but the habitat was equally poor. We were treated to both coconut milk and palm wine which we saw the locals collect. In the afternoon, we toured the beach area and went to town to send emails.

Birds seen - Manokwari:

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita

Wompoo Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus magnificus

Pinon Imperial Pigeon Ducula pinon

Crested Tern Sterna bergii

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica

Northern fantail Rhipidura rufiventris

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

July 23rd to 28th

We left very early in a fourwheel drive vehicle for the Arfak mts. And drove to the end of the road where we met our porters. We spent a couple of hours birding the trail into our camp site, which was at 1500 meters. During our time here, we walked many of the trails around our camp and up the mountain to a height of about 2200 meters. On the 28th, we began our trek back down the mountain.

Birds seen- Arfak mts:

New Guinea Harpy Eagle Harpyopsis novaeguniae

Papuan Mountain Pigeon Gymnophaps albertisii

White-throated Pigeon Columba vitiensis

Rufescent Imperial Pigeon Ducula chalconata

Brown Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia mackinlayi

Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia nigrirotsis

White-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus rivali

Bronze Ground-Dove (h) Gallicolumba beccarii

Blue-collared Parrot Geoffroyus simplex

Vulturine Parrot Psittrichas fulgidus

Rainbow Lorikeeet Trichoglossus haematodus

Yellow-billed Lorikeet Neopsittacus musschenbroekenii Papuan Lorikeet Carmosyna papou

Brehm's Tiger-Parrot Psittacella brehmii

Dusky Lory Pseudeos fuscata

Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta keiensis

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo Cocamantris castaneiventris

Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea

Blyth's Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus

Papuan Boobook (H) Ninox theomacha

Feline Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles insignis

Uniform Swiftlet Collacalia vanikorensis

Lesser Melampitta Malampitta lugubris

Grey Gerygone Gerygone cinerea

Large-billed Gerygone Gerygone magnirostris

Brown-breasted Gerygone Gerygone ruficollis

Rusty Mouse-Warbler Crateroscelis murina

Mountain Mouse-Warbler Crateroscelis robusta

Island Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus

Lesser Ground-Robin Amalocichla incerta

White-shouldered Fairy-wren Malurus alboscapulatus

Perplexing Scrub-wren Sericornis virgatus

Large Scrub-wren Sericorni nouhuysi

Friendly Fantail Rhipidura albolimbata

Black Fantail Rhipidura atra

Dimorphic Fantail Rhipidura brachyrhyncha

Mountain Peltops Peltops montanus

Blue-grey Robin Peneothello cyanus

Ashy Robin Poechilodryas albispecularis

Garnet Robin Eugerygone rubra

Canary Flycatcher Mycroeca papuana

Black-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus nigripectus

Yellow-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer

Dwarf Whistler Pachycare flavogrisea

Lorentz's Whistler Pachycephala lorentzi

Sclater's Whistler Pachycephala soror

Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufinucha

Vogelkop Whistler Pachycephala meyeri

Black Pitohui Pitohui nigrescens

Tit Berrypecker Oreocharis arfaki

Western Mountain White-eye Zosterops fuscicapillus

Papuan Flowerpecker Dicaeum pectorale

Mountain Red-headed Myzomela Myzomela adolphinae

Red-collared Myzomela Myzomela rosenbergii

Dwarf Honeyeater Oedistoma iliolophus

Cinnamon-browed Melidectes Melidectes acromelas

Ornate Melidectes Melidectes torquatus

Western Smoky Honeyeater Melipotes gymnops

Rufous-sided Honeyeater Ptiloprora erythropleura

Long-billed Honeyeater Melilestes megarhynchus

Marbled Honeyeater Pycnopygius cinereus

Mountain Meliphaga Meliphaga orentalis

Papuan Parrot-Finch Erythrura papuana

Spotted Catbird Ailuroedus melanotis

Flame Bowerbird Sericulus aureus

Vogelkop Bowerbird Amblyornis subalaris

Lesser Bird of Paradise Paradisaea minor

Superb Bird of Paradise Lophorina superba

Magnificent Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus magnificus

Black Sicklebill Epimachus fastuosus

Long-tailed Paradigalla Paradigalla carunculata

Western Parotia Parotia sefilata

Afak Astrapia Astrapia nigra

Buff-tailed Sicklebill Epimachus albertisi

Trumpet Manucode Manucodia keraudrenii

Streaked-headed Mannikin Lonchura tristissima

(According to Kris, this species is new record for Arfak Mountain area)

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

July 29th

We returned to Biak from Manokwari in the early morning. The birding in the afternoon was disappointing as we only saw birds we had seen earlier.

July 30th

We left early for Jayapura and stayed in Sentani. The Ratna Hotel was very disappointing while the Hotel Sentani Indah where we stayed on our return from Nimbokrang was luxurious by comparison. At least the Ratna had air conditioning. Sentani Lake is quite large requiring most of the day to drive around it. There is little forest cover and we were usually too far from the lake to check for waders and other aquatic birds. There is a wonderful restaurant that is built right on the lake where we had lunch and tried sago which, I'm sure is an acquired taste.

Birds seen around Sentani Lake area

Great Egret Egretta alba

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus iozonus

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Dacelo gaudichaud

Tree Martin Hirundo nigricans

Large-billed Gerygone Gerygone magnirostris

Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides

July 31st to August 3rd

We drove to Nimbokrang which is on a logging road (Jalan Korea) picking up our guide Jamil who was formerly a bird poacher, along the way. Kris has been working with Jamil and Dance, our other guide, for many years and both proved to be a very effective. In my reading, someone described Nimbokrang as the hottest place on earth; they would get no argument from me. Despite the heat, the nights were tolerable.

Birds seen- Nimbokrang

Brown-collared Brush-turkey Talegalla jobiensis

(our local guides saw it)

King Quail Coturnix chinencis

Rufous Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus

Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis

Spotted Whistling Duck Dendrocygna guttata

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

Doria's Hawk Megatriorchis doriae

Crested Hawk Aviceda subcristata

Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae

Gurney's Eagle Aquila gurneyi

Bush Hen Amaurornis olivaceus

Victoria Crowned Pigeon Goura victoria

Brown Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia mackinlayi

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus iozonus

Beautiful Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus pulchellus

Coroneted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus coronulatus

Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopu perlatus

Zoe Imperial Pigeon Ducula zoeae

Pinon Imperial Pigeon Ducula pinon

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

Red-flanked Lorikeet Charmosyna placentis

Dusky Lory Pseudeos fuscata

Brown Lory Chalcopsitta duivenbodei

Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi

Eclectus Parrot Electus roratus

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot Cypclopsitta diophthalma

Salvadori's Fig-Parrot Psittaculirostris salvadorii

Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta pusio

Western Black-capped Lory Lorius lory

Palm Cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus

Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus

Dwarf Koel (h) Microdynamis parva

Lesser Black Coucal Centropus bernsteini

Greater Black Coucal Centropus menbeki

Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Dacelo gaudichaud

Blue-black Kingfisher Halcyon nigrocyanea

Azure Kingfisher Alcedo azurea

Hook-billed Kingfisher Melidora macrorrhina

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Blyth's Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus

Papuan Nightjar Eurostopadus papuensis

Uniform Swiftlet Collacalia vanikorensis

Papuan Spine-tailed Swift Mearnsia novaguiniae

White-bellied Cuckoo shrike Coracina papuensis

Golden Cuckoo-shrike Campochaera sloetii

Black Cuckoo Shrike Coracina melaena

Boyer's Cuckoo Shrike Coracina boyeri

Grey-headed Cuckoo Shrike Coracina schisticeps

Black-browed Triller Lalage atrovirens

Emperor Fairy-wren Malurus cyanocephalus

White-shouldered Fairy-wren Malurus alboscapulatus

Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis

White-bellied Thicket-Fantail Rhipidura leucothorax

Frilled Monarch Arses telescophtalmus

Spot-winged Monarch Monarcha guttula

Lowland Peltops Peltops blainvillii

Pied Chat Saxicola caprata

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster

Rusty Pitohui Pitohui ferrugineus

Marbled Honeyeate r Pycnopygius cinereus

Plain Honeyeater Pycnopygius ixoides

Long-billed Honeyeater Melilestes megarhynchus

Mimic Melaphaga Meliphaga analoga

Black Sunbird Nectarinia aspasia

Yellow-bellied Longbill Toxorhamphus novaeguinea

Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides

Meyer's Friarbird Philemon meyeri

Streak-headed Mannikin Lonchura tristissima

Golden Myna Mino anais

Yellow-faced Myna Mino dumontii

Rufous Babbler Pomatostomus isidorei

Twelve Bird of Paradise Seleucidis melanoleuca

King Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus regius

Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus

Pale-billed Sicklebill Epimachus bruijnii

Metallic Starling Aplonis metalicca

Glossy-mantled Manucode Manucodia atra

Jobi Manucode Manucodia jobiensis

Grey Crow Corvus tristis

Black Butcherbird Cracticus quoyi

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

August 4th to 8th-Lake Habbema

The flight to Wamena on a small plane, with a limit of ten kilos each, flew over trackless rainforest. We spent most of the day at the market and other shops while Kris made the arrangements for our trip to Lake Habbema in the Snow Mountains.

We left at 6:00 AM on the 5th in a four-wheel drive vehicle with ten passengers plus driver birding along the way. Our hut above Lake Habbema at 3200 meters was about one kilometer from the road at Kilometer 42. We were poorly prepared for the cold nights (even though Kris had warned us earlier) and wore all the clothes we had. A good sleeping bag would have been most welcome. We birded along the lake shore and in the pockets of forest away from the lake. The ground is full of tussocks and very wet. Rubber boots are required. We started down the mountain to another more primitive camp at Kilometer 38 on the seventh and walked down to Kilometer 20 on the 8th where our taxi met us.

Birds seen- Snow Mountains:

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Salvadori's Teal Anas waigiuensis

Great Egret Egretta alba

Spotted Marsh-Harrier Circus spilonotus

Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides

Snow Mountain Quail Anurophasis monorthonyx

Orange-billed Lorikeet Neosittacus pullicauda

Plum-faced Lorikeet Orepsittacus arfaki

Madarasz's Tiger-Parrot Psittacella madaraszi

Brehm's Tiger-Parrot Psittacella brehmii

Modest Tiger-Parrot Psittacella modesta

Painted Tiger-Parrot Psittacella picta

Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot Micropsitta bruijnii

Mountain Swiftlet Collacolia vanikorensis

Glossy Swiftlet Collacolia esculenta

Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caeruleogrisea

Hooded Cuckoo-shrike Coracina longicauda

Great Wood-swallow Artamus maximus

Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus

New Guinea Thornbill Acanthiza murina

Grey-green Scrub-wren Sericornis arfakianus

Papuan Scrub-wren Sericornis papuensis

Buff-faced Scrub-wren Sericornis perpicilattus

Friendly Fantail Rhipidura albolimbata

Mountain Robin Petroica bivittata

White-winged Robin Peneothello sigillatus

Black-throated Robin Poecilodryas albonotata

Pied Chat Saxicola caprata

Alpine Pipit Anthus gutturalis

Lorentz's Whistler Pachycephala lorentzii

Tit Berrypecker Oreocharis arfaki

Crested Berrypecker Paramythia montium

Mid-mountain Berrypecker Melanocharis longicauda

Black Sittella Daphoenositta miranda

Papuan Treecreeper Cormobates placens

Common Smoky Honeyeater Melipotes fumigatus

Orange-cheeked Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysogenys

Black-throated Honeyeater Lichenostomu subfrenatus

Grey-streaked Honeyeater Ptiloprora perstriata

Sooty Melidectes Melidectes fuscus

Belford's Melidectes Melidectes belfordi

Short-bearded Melidectes Melidectes nouhuysi

Western Alpine Mannikin Lonchura montana

Splendid Astrapia Astrapia spendidissima

McGregor's Bird of Paradise Macgregoria pulchra

This trip was one of my most unforgettable experiences and one I would highly recommend. One can see more birds in other locales, like Peru, but for uniqueness and sheer beauty, it would be hard to match those of New Guinea. As well, a visit here gives one an opportunity to live with near stone age people whom we found to be unfailingly helpful, good humoured and friendly. Kris Tindige is to be commended for attempting to teach the Papuans how to be naturalists and bird guides in order to provide employment and give them a reason to protect the environment. The Indonesian government, unfortunately, has plans to log the vast forests as its answer to the high rate of unemployment so every visit by outsiders gives tourism a boost.

We ate well, thanks to our able cooks and Kris looked after all the details.

Surprisingly, our transportation was quite punctual.

Because of the nature of the terrain, a person should be in good physical shape in order to do this trip. If you are, by all means do it.


First of all we would highly thanks the good arrangement and professional bird guide, Kris Tindige himself of the Papua Bird Club to our entire trip. Second to Dana Gardner and Michael Chinn, who spent many hours in communication with Kris for our arrangement and details. Dana’s experiences working in Indonesia, during the process of the writing of the Birds of Wallacea Book, was essential to keep a good discussion between him and Kris. Also to Claire McAllister for her contribution to our report and being the only lady in our group. To Dr. Guna Segeran, as the first ASEAN birders to West Papua for his tape recording and bird list contribution. Last but not least is our sincere thanks to people of Wailebed-Batanta, Mokwam Village of the Arfak Mountain, to Jamil and Dance at Nimbokrang-Jayapura and to Kris’ team in Lake Habema (Wamena highland) of which our trip almost impossible due to security reason.