Birdwatching has been one of the main interests for tourists when visiting Papua and West Papua. Both provinces are still dominated by nature, with many bird species and other unique creatures of this earth. If you think that birdwatching is boring, then you need to give this a try. Believe it, once you do it, you will get addicted.
So, what are the birdwatching tips? First-timers, check these tips out before you decide to roam around the area:
Prepare a decent binocular. (Two, if you must.)
What is a birdwatching without a proper binocular? That is the number one weapon you must not forget. If you must, prepare two instead, just in case you need some sort of a night-vision feature. Some birds may not show themselves in broad daylight and hide in the shades instead.
Follow these tips (and other tips on birdwatching you can find.)
No, you are not obsessed if you choose to follow some tips before birdwatching. Just like other activities that you may do for the first time, it is a wise idea to follow some tips. You can either follow these tips or listen to other people with more birdwatching experiences.
Learn the location first before you get there.
Every birdwatching location is different, so it is best that you keep yourself informed before visiting. For example: you would like to go birdwatching in Manokwari Lowlands. Although it is possible to go there for a year-round, check out the ideal time to visit. From June to November, it is considered the best timeline, due to weather and the possibilities of seeing more types of birds easily.
Another benefit of learning the birding location before you get there is to help you to prepare the right outfit.
Connect with other birdwatchers, especially the more professional ones.
It is not wise to go birdwatching on your own if this is your first-time, especially in West Papua. The weather might not be ideal (too much rain), the birds may be in hiding, or worse…you may get lost in the woods. You may also not know where to start.
Other birdwatchers, especially the more experienced ones, are usually happy to share what they know to help you. Not only that, they can give you their own tips on how to spot the unique birds on the location.
Be mindful with other birdwatchers, the animals, and nature.
This is basically just the same as visiting other places for the first time. Respect other fellow birdwatchers, since this is not a competition. Do not make any noise in order not to scare off the birds. Last but not least, keep the environment clean by not littering or hurting the animals and plants.
Wear appropriate clothes. (Hiking gear, for example.)
Going birdwatching is not the same as strolling long the beach or a walk in the park. Depending on the location (including the terrain you might be in), you must wear appropriate clothes. That way, you will not only feel more comfortable during the activity, but you also keep yourself safe. Knowing that birdwatching may take hours, avoid wearing shoes that may cause you an accident or injury after that.
For example: if you go birdwatching in the Arfak Mountains, wear proper hiking gear, like hiking boots, cargo trousers or shorts, and some warm clothes. Yes, you may be sweating from all the long walks and standing for hours. However, check the weather forecast too, since birdwatching on the highlands also means dealing with chilly or cold weather.
The long walks and hours of birdwatching may tire you out too. Prepare some protein bars for snacks and a tumbler of water. Last but not least, avoid carrying too heavy stuff fo your own good. You do not want to kill your own joy.
For starters, rely on local guides to help you.
The last part is non-negotiable. Yes, hiring them requires more budget, but your safety matters if you are not a professional yet. Each location for birdwatching may require different itineraries and strategies. Just because you have visited one area for birdwatching more than once, it does not mean you are ready to venture in other spots on your own.
Prepare yourself to get in shape.
Physicalities matter. The long walks, the challenging terrains, and long hours of standing and watching require some serious fitness. Work out regularly and eat healthy foods.
Where Can You Do Birdwatching While You Are In West Papua?
Besides snorkeling and diving in West Papua, birdwatching is also a favourite activity here. Many people still would like to see birds of paradise and cassowary birds as close as possible. It is a rare chance that not many can get.
Where can you do birdwatching? Here are some of the recommendations for first timers:
- Manokwari Lowlands.
- Northern Lowlands.
- Sentani Basin.
- Sorong Lowlands.
So, here are some birdwatching tips in West Papua. What other tips do you hear when it comes to this fun activity?
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