Trip Report

Beautiful Fruit-Dove, SOrong, Papua Lesser Bird-of-Paradise, Klasow Valley, Papua Moustached Treeswift, Papua River, Klasow Valley, Papua Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Waigeo Island, Raja Ampat Silky Owl Butterfly, Klasow Valley, Papua
  • Beautiful Fruit-Dove, SOrong, Papua
  • Lesser Bird-of-Paradise, Klasow Valley, Papua
  • Moustached Treeswift, Papua
  • River, Klasow Valley, Papua
  • Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Waigeo Island, Raja Ampat
  • Silky Owl Butterfly, Klasow Valley, Papua


Ventures Birding to Western Papua: July 18-26, 2018



We all arrived safely in Manokwari, Papua that morning, met up with our local guide Charles, and headed up towards the distant looming Arfak Mountains. A local Indonesian guide Khaleb, was also along to help us out on our Papuan adventure.


After a longish drive up some steep inclines we arrived at the Papua Lorikeet Lodge, a locally owned ecotourist facility and met up with our local, local guides. We birded around the lodge for the rest of the day.


The next morning set the pattern for the rest of the trip – we split up into groups of threes or fours and went off down or up some steep trails to wait patiently in some palm-leaf blinds. We were up by 4:00 or 4:30 or 5:00 depending on the blind and birds we were allotted for the day. In the afternoon we birded around the lodge or along the nearby trails with the local guides.


The longest and toughest hike was too the Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise lek and it never failed to provide – All of us saw one amazing male and up to three attendant females. We usually stayed in the comfortable hide for 3 hours.


The shorter hikes were to the Vogelkop Bowerbird hide and the Western Parotia hide. Again, both did not disappoint. The male bowerbird calls to attract a mate were among the most incredible vocalizations any of us had ever heard. It is an amazing mimic – something we didn’t expect. Once the female arrived the male bowerbird would disappear into its huge bower, calling continuously and left the female to inspect its ornaments – mostly different colored bottle tops.


The Western Parotia lek site was quite different, most of the time it was frequented by females and adolescent males, attracted by a stick of fruit. Several times an adolescent male initiated a very limited dance and only occasionally did a male turn up but it was not observed dancing. The fruit however attracted a female Black Sicklebill early each morning and a female recently split Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise.
Several of us made the hike for the Arfak Astrapia lek but failed to find either a male of female but on the long hike up the mountain we did get at a hide a fleeting look at a displaying male Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise and another female Black Sicklebill.


On the last morning, our local, local guides went out and located a Feline Owlet-nightjar – excellent views for all of us.


After four nights we left Manokwari for Sorong and the Klasow Valley. However, our flight the next morning was cancelled and we were booked on the flight the next day. So we spent two nights in Manokwari but a short bird trip did yield a Sacred Kingfisher.


Once in Sorong we headed to the Klasow Valley. Arriving at the trail site we were met by another set of local guides to walk down a 3-mile muddy trail to their village. The village had been built to stop the valley from being logged for the creation of yet another oil palm plantation. Although the trail did not yield much, the village clearing was great for birding. We immediately got Dollarbird and several parrot and lory species including the rare Black Lory. We then set about dinner and established the upcoming birding itinerary.


Early the next morning, groups left for the Lesser Bird-of-Paradise lek, and the combined Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird leks. By the end of the day we had seen all four BOPs and a Glossy Manucode to boot. That evening we also got Papuan Nightjar flying around the village clearing. The amazing bonus we all got that day was two Northern Cassowaries – one adult and a juvenile male up close and personal. The birds come to the village between February and October each and every day and are fed by the villagers and also allow to search for food in the village clearing. Wow – they were so cool.


The next morning, we rotated the group destinations and all got their respective BOPs – the only disappointment was that we only saw female Twelve-wired BOP. Among the other highlights of our time in the village were Papuan, Uniform and Glossy Swiftlets, both cockatoos, both Paradise-Kingfishers although only the Common was seen, three Moustached Treeswifts, Thick-billed Pigeon, both Beautiful and Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove. We also got a Yellow-billed Kingfisher on the walk out on the 26th. All told we saw some 134 bird species, ten BOPs, a Cassowary, and a bowerbird – a great trip was had by all.


Mark Welford

Birds and Mammals seen on our Brazil trip (Underlined indicates species endemic to Brazil)


Northern Cassowary
Red-billed Brushturkey
Lesser Frigatebird
Cinnamon Bittern
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Javan Pond-Heron
New Guinea Eagle
Pygmy Eagle
Gurney's Eagle
Variable Goshawk
Brahminy Kite
Barred Rail
New Guinea Woodcock
Australian Pratincole
Rock Pigeon
Metallic Pigeon
Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove
Asian Emerald Dove
New Guinea Bronzewing
Bronze Ground-Dove
Beautiful Fruit-Dove
White-breasted Fruit-Dove
Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove
Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove
Pinon's Imperial-Pigeon
Zoe Imperial-Pigeon
Papuan Mountain-Pigeon
Lesser Black Coucal
Pacific Koel
Channel-billed Cuckoo
White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo
Sooty Owl
Papuan Boobook
Papuan Frogmouth
Papuan Nightjar
Large-tailed Nightjar
Feline Owlet-nightjar
Papuan Spinetailed Swift
White-throated Needletail
Glossy Swiftlet
Mountain Swiftlet
Uniform Swiftlet
Mossy-nest Swiftlet
House Swift
Barred Cuckooshrike
Black-faced Cuckooshrike

Moustached Treeswift
Blyth's Hornbill
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
Common Paradise-Kingfisher
Red-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eater
Palm Cockatoo
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot
Red-breasted Pygmy-Parrot
Eclectus Parrot
Red-cheeked Parrot
Large Fig-Parrot
Pygmy Lorikeet
Fairy Lorikeet
Papuan Lorikeet
Black Lory
Black-capped Lory
Rainbow Lorikeet
Hooded Pitta
Arfak Catbird
Vogelkop Bowerbird
Papuan Treecreeper
Marbled Honeyeater
Puff-backed Honeyeater
Mimic Honeyeater
Ornate Melidectes
Vogelkop Melidectes
Arfak Honeyeate
Red-collared Myzomela
Tawny-breasted Honeyeater
Spotted Honeyeater
Helmeted Friarbird
Mountain Mouse-Warbler
Vogelkop Scrubwren
Gray-green Scrubwren
Gray Thornbill
Brown-breasted Gerygone
Papuan Babbler
Mid-mountain Berrypecker
Yellow-bellied Longbill
Pygmy Longbill
Spotted Jewel-babbler
Black-breasted Boatbill
Hooded Butcherbird


White-bellied Cuckooshrike
Black-browed Triller
Papuan Cicadabird
Gray-headed Cicadabird
Rusty Pitohui
Little Shrikethrush
Black Pitohui
Vogelkop Whistler
Sclater's Whistler
Rufous-naped Bellbird
Long-tailed Shrike
Hooded Pitohui
Spangled Drongo
Pygmy Drongo-Fantail
Black Fantail
Black Thicket-Fantail
Friendly Fantail
Fantailed Monarch
Frilled Monarch
Shining Flycatcher
Gray Crow
Trumpet Manucode
Glossy-mantled Manucode
Western Parotia
Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise
Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise
Magnificent Riflebird
Black Sicklebill
King Bird-of-Paradise
Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise
Lesser Bird-of-Paradise
Greater Melampitta
Blue-gray Robin
Ashy Robin
Green-backed Robin
Pacific Swallow
Island Leaf Warbler
Capped White-eye
Metallic Starling
Singing Starling
Yellow-faced Myna
Golden Myna
Asian Pied Starling
Olive-crowned Flowerpecker
Olive-backed Sunbird
House Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Javan Munia