Tuesday, 20 September 2022

West Papua, Arfak Mountains

A magical few days in the Arfak Mountains. Updated Ebird trip report HERE. We stayed in the mountain village of Syoubri (around 1500m) and stayed one night at the German camp at around 2000m. 

It was my 50th birthday on the 18th, I slept outside 'under the stars' and woke up at 2000m in mountain rainforest at the German Camp and we spent the day watching high mountain birds, had some birthday cake that we lugged up there and opened a birthday card from Jacob. Birthday bird was a brief Arfak Astrapia. It was a two hour walk/climb up to the high camp and was certainly exhilarating. A great way to spend my 50th.  

The Arfak Mountains have to be one of the most stunning and unspoilt untouched mountain forests on the planet with some incredible birds. We are now on 15 species of Birds of Paradise and 186 species for the trip so far (232 including Java). A few photo highlights below:

Mountain Owlet-nightjar (above) and Feline Owlet-nightjar (below). Absolute stunners! 

Female Black Sicklebill
Male Western Parotia
Male Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise showing it's lime coloured mouth
Immature male Black-billed Sicklebill (it was more or less still dark when we saw this bird) 
Female Arfak Lophorina (formely Superb Bird-of-Paradise). We also saw a male semi-displaying at fruit. 
Female Western Parotia 
Arfak Catbird 
Slender -billed Cuckoo-dove
Green-backed Robin
Masked Bowerbird
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
Blyth's Hornbill
Vogelkop Bowerbird bower- mind blowing! 
We ran a moth trap most nights while at Seth's homestay. Certainly the most sensational moth trapping ever (will post separately on that). 
The German Camp
Seth's Homestay
The 'cotton-candy/ candy-floss' lichen covered rainforest was simply magic

and Mountain Owlet-nightjar again just because


Gareth said...

Happy 50th, you cant beat West Papua for a birthday treat or 15!
Cheers, Gareth

Peter Alfrey said...

Thanks Gareth!