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West Papua Bird Watching Tour

West Papua Bird Watching Tour
When: Wed 25 Oct - Tue 14 Nov 2023
Leaders: Chris Doughty and Shita Prativi
West Papua Bird Watching Tour
Sorong to Biak Island (21 Days) $14,900
Single Room Supplement $750
West Papua Bird Watching Tour
When, in the mid 19th century, Alfred Russell Wallace first approached the shores of western New Guinea, he wrote 'I could barely contain my excitement, knowing that those dark forests produced the most extraordinary and the most beautiful of the feathered inhabitants of the earth'. Vast areas of the interior remained terra incognito, until the middle of the 20th century. Most of the tribes, particularly those in the highlands, were first contacted by outsiders as recently as the 1930s or even later, and some are still unknown to westerners. New Guinea possesses the world's richest island avifauna, with over seven hundred and fifty species having been recorded. Even without the Birds-of-paradise, there is so much else to excite and attract the birdwatcher. Huge cassowaries, magnificent eagles, megapodes, a beautiful array of pigeons and doves and superbly plumaged parrots and lories, are just some of a multitude of birds we will see during this exciting tour to the ancient and unspoiled land of West Papua. On this unique birding expedition, the accommodation is a mixture of hotels and community-owned guesthouses. We begin our adventure birding close to Sorong, situated on the westernmost tip of New Guinea's Bird's Head, or Vogelkop Peninsula. Just two of the many species we will be searching for here, include a man-sized cassowary and the stunningly beautiful Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher. We then visit two islands in the fabled Raja Ampat archipelago, off Sorong. We will spend a couple of days birding on the little visited Kofiau Island, in search of two island endemics, the stunningly attractive Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher and the impressive Kofiau Monarch. The following four days will be spent sampling the avian delights of Waigeo Island; in search of a species of megapode, the world's largest species of pigeon, a profusion of parrots, three dazzling forest kingfishers and the endemic Wilson? and Red Birds-of-paradise, at their display grounds in the forest. We then venture to the isolated and rugged Arfak Mountains near Manokwari, on the opposite side of the Bird's Head Peninsula. We will stay in a community guesthouse for four nights, where we will enjoy a myriad of colourful tropical birds; including, a dozen species of Birds-of-paradise and fourteen species of birds which are endemic to the Vogelkop Peninsula. Three of the most spectacular birds we hope to see, include the exquisite Crescent-capped Lophorina, the beautiful and seldom-seen Western Parotia, and the stunning Masked Bowerbird, which is without doubt, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Our final destination is the island of Biak, situated in West Papua's Geelvink Bay. During our four-day stay, we have an excellent chance of finding all 19 Geelvink endemics, which are present on the island. Come with us and enjoy this fabulous West Papaua Bird Watching Tour.     
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