New Guinea's biggest yet most difficult owl to find, the Rufous Owl Ninox rufa, could be one of the highlights around our secluded Muaib jungle camp near Sentani. Copyright © Myron Tay flickr.com/photos/avianphotography
Birding break (7 days/6 nights)
We begin our West Papuan birding adventure with a relaxed day's birding in open country around Lake Sentani, near the town of the same name and in the shadow of the imposing Cyclops Mountains. Here we foremost hope to find the generally uncommon and localized Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Grand Munia and Hooded Munia. Early next morning then, we set out to our secluded Muaib jungle camp in pristine alluvial lowland forest for a five days' exploration of its rich and colorful lowland forest avifauna. A man-sized cassowary, two megapodes, seven dazzling forest kingfishers, a profusion of parrots, the world's largest pigeon, and a whopping eight species of bird-of-paradise await the intrepid and careful observer here. This is New Guinea lowland birding at its best!
Possible year-round, but most certainly best from June to November.
Please enquire for details on our upcoming departures.
Reasonable physical fitness and good agility are required for this tour which plies some challenging terrain.
Day 1 > Sentani and Lake Sentani.
Day 2 > Sentani and northern lowlands.
Day 3-5 > Northern lowlands.
Day 6 > Northern lowlands and Sentani.
Day 7 > Sentani.
Day 1 > Sentani and Lake Sentani Morning arrival at Jayapura's Sentani Airport on overnight domestic flight from Jakarta or alternative gateway. We will be there to welcome you at the airport, and we shall soon set out together on the 20 minutes' drive by chartered vehicle to an area of grasslands, patchy woodlands and sago-groves on the shores of Lake Sentani. Here we foremost hope to come to grips with three throughout their entire New Guinea ranges generally uncommon and localized open country birds: Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and Grand and Hooded Munia. Other noteworthy species present in the scenic open country against the backdrop of the imposing Cyclops Mountains here include Spotted Whistling Duck, Brown and King Quail, Black Bittern, Osprey, Long-tailed Honey Buzzard, Pygmy Eagle, Variable Goshawk, Whistling and Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Buff-banded Rail, Dusky Moorhen, Australasian Swamphen, Pale-vented Bush-hen, Comb-crested Jacana, Orange-fronted and Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Pinon's and Zoe's Imperial Pigeon, Lesser Black and Pheasant Coucal, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Coconut Lorikeet, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, White-shouldered Fairywren, Long-billed and Streak-headed Honeyeater, Meyer's and New Guinea Friarbird, Tawny-breasted and Mimic Honeyeater, Large-billed Gerygone, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Spangled Drongo, Willie Wagtail, Shining Flycatcher, Grey Crow, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Lesser Bird-of-paradise, Papuan Grassbird, Golden-headed Cisticola, Pied Bush Chat, Crimson Finch, and Chestnut-breasted Munia. We shall enjoy lunch in town and continue our search for some of these more elusive species throughout the afternoon. Finally, an optional nocturnal foray here could produce Large-tailed Nightjar and Papuan Frogmouth. Dinner and overnight in our partnering Sentani hotel.
Day 2 > Sentani and northern lowlands We shall enjoy a nocturnal breakfast in our Sentani hotel and set out on the one hour's drive by chartered vehicle to our drop-off point west of the Cyclops Mountains. After arrival here around dawn, we shall bird all day along a forest trail toward our secluded Muaib jungle camp at c. 5 m elevation in pristine alluvial primary forest, enjoying a packed lunch en route. Along the walk wacko Blyth's Hornbills, majestic Palm and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and noisy Eclectus and Red-cheeked Parrots, Black-capped, Dusky and Brown Lories and Coconut Lorikeets may fly overhead as we familiarize ourselves with some of the common or more conspicuous forest birds here: Variable Goshawk, Sultan's and Great Cuckoo-Dove, Stephan's Emerald Dove, Wompoo, Pink-spotted, Superb, Beautiful and Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Pinon's and Zoe's Imperial Pigeon, Brush Cuckoo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, New Guinea Friarbird, Tawny-breasted, Puff-backed and Mimic Honeyeater, Yellow-bellied and Fairy Gerygone, Lowland Peltops, Black Butcherbird, Grey-headed Cicadabird, Black-browed Triller, Grey Whistler, Mamberamo Shrikethrush, Northern Variable Pitohui, Brown Oriole, Spangled Drongo, Northern Fantail, Spot-winged, Golden and Ochre-collared Monarch, Shining Flycatcher, Grey Crow, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Metallic Starling, Yellow-faced Myna, and Red-capped Flowerpecker. Scarcer or unobtrusive species we may encounter en route include Long-tailed Honey Buzzard, Collared Sparrowhawk, Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon, Dwarf Koel, Little Bronze Cuckoo, White-crowned Cuckoo, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Orange-fronted Hanging Parrot, Emperor Fairywren, Green-backed, Long-billed, Plain and Streak-headed Honeyeater, Rusty Mouse-warbler, Large-billed Gerygone, Papuan Babbler, Black Berrypecker, Spectacled, Pygmy and Yellow-bellied Longbill, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Black Cicadabird, Rusty Pitohui, Hooded Monarch, Black-sided Robin, and Lemon-bellied Flyrobin. After dinner at camp, a nocturnal foray in the vicinity could produce both Papuan Hawk-Owl and Boobook, Rufous Owl, Papuan Nightjar, Marbled and Papuan Frogmouth, and Barred Owlet-nightjar. Overnight in tented camp.
I enjoyed our trip so much, not just because of Iwein's great birding skills and the way that he always made sure that I was going to get up that awful trail or over that even worse bridge, and Like's great cooking and organizational skills, but also because you are just such very pleasant people to be with. — Elaine Allison, USA
Day 3 > Northern lowlands Wake up to a true day's birding in paradise as we shall be spending this morning at known display sites of consecutively the Twelve-wired, Lesser and King Bird-of-paradise, soliciting sightings of the more mobile Pale-billed Sicklebill in between. Moreover, while sitting quietly in the forest, admiring the full array of display postures of these most magnificent of feathered life forms, we also stand an excellent chance of seeing other hot stuff like Northern Cassowary, Collared Brushturkey, New Guinea Megapode, Thick-billed Ground Pigeon, Cinnamon Ground Dove, or Victoria Crowned Pigeon casually walking by. After lunch at camp, we shall bird all afternoon in the vicinity in search of more goodies like Grey-headed Goshawk, New Guinea Bronzewing, Coroneted Fruit Dove, Collared Imperial Pigeon, Greater Black Coucal, Long-billed Cuckoo, Hook-billed and Blue-black Kingfisher, Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher, Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Salvadori's and Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Papuan and Hooded Pitta, Tan-capped Catbird, Tawny Straightbill, Meyer's Friarbird, Yellow-gaped Honeyeater, Pale-billed Scrubwren, Blue Jewel-babbler, Boyer's and Golden Cuckooshrike, Sooty and White-bellied Thicket Fantail, Rufous-backed Fantail, Rufous Monarch, Brown-headed Crow, Jobi Manucode, Magnificent Riflebird, Magnificent Bird-of-paradise, Olive Flyrobin, and Golden Myna. Moreover, as we roam more widely in these dark forests, it should not take long before we feast our eyes on a party of Victoria Crowned Pigeons, or surprise a pair of Collared Brushturkey feeding on the forest floor. Late afternoon shall see us gathered at an open spot in riverine forest in anticipation of Moustached Treeswift and Papuan Spine-tailed Swift among often abundant Glossy and Uniform Swiftlets, besides at times spectacular evening flights of pigeons, hornbills and parrots. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in tented camp.
Day 4 > Northern lowlands Today we could have a resit at the bird-of-paradise display sites or simply bird in pursuit of some of the more elusive species already mentioned above. We could monitor known incubation mounds of the Collared Brushturkey from the comfort of a palm-frond hide, spend time near suitable fruit-dropping trees to seek prolonged views of Northern Cassowary, work stretches of small forest streams for the rare Forest Bittern, or just sit quietly at the edge of sago-swamp in the dire hope of coming to grips with the secretive New Guinea Flightless Rail. Other sought-after birds that have been recorded here include the rare New Guinea Eagle, Shovel-billed Kookaburra, and Pesquet's Parrot. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in tented camp.
Day 5 > Northern lowlands We have an entire day to capitalize on the most elusive northern lowlands specialties. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in tented camp.
Day 6 > Northern lowlands and Sentani After breakfast we have a final morning to bird in the vicinity of camp. Following an earlier than usual lunch at camp, we shall then slowly bird back to our pick-up point, where vehicles stand by to transport us to Sentani. Dinner and overnight in Sentani hotel.
Day 7 > Sentani Following a pre-dawn breakfast in our Sentani hotel, there shall be a final opportunity to spend some potentially rewarding time around Lake Sentani before transferring you to Sentani Airport to check you in for the first morning flight to Jakarta or alternative destination.
❯Read on about the birdlife of the northern lowlands of New Guinea.
❯Read on about our birding walk in the northern lowlands of New Guinea.
❯Browse our terms and conditions.
❯Browse our checklist of the birds of West Papua
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