West Papua
Biak; Nimbokrang; Baliem; Arfak; Batanta; Salawati


 

- Pre-departure planning
- Communication
- Money
- Things to take
- Imporant notice
- Itinerary
- Biak
- Nimbokrang
- Baliem
- Arfak
- Batanta





 

New Guinea!! The last true wilderness. At last! The second largest tract of tropical rainforest on the planet and hardly affected by deforestation. Home of the most spectacular avifauna of the planet. This island must definitely be highest on the list of wanted places to visit for any international birder. It felt almost unreal to finally go there after decades of longing.
With almost all the species of birds of paradise and the paradise kingfishers it always seemed like paradise to me. Having seen "Attenborough in paradise" and read Alfred Wallace's excitement when he was the first westerner to watch birds there and seen all the other rainforest areas on the globe it was about time to have a peek into this mighty jungle.

Tourism is just about to grow fast here and knowing that it is probably the most physically demanding of all trips I thought it best to not save this until age starts to take its toll.

I started preparing for this more than a year ago. Bought one of the last copies of the old "Birds of New Guinea" in a small bookstore in America. Drove to Belgium to a friend to hear him out as he has been there before twice.

But the most important key to the success of this trip was to get mobile phone numbers and names of local people to contact to be able to get to the very right locations. This information I was most grateful to receive from Papuan Bird Club. And a success it was! Highlights included no less than 22 species of Bird of Paradise seen. Two Paradise Kingfishers, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Victoria and Western Crowned Pigeons, Pheasant Pigeon, 9 species of Fruitdoves, Pesquet's Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, all 4 species of Tiger Parrots, Hookbilled, Shovel Billed and Blue black Kingfishers, Northern Cassowary; Feline and Mountain Owlet Nightjars at full daylight. Spotted and Blue Jewelbabblers and Biak Monarch.

I think until now papua has been rather unspoiled because of the complicated territorial claims making it difficult to access. Landownership is difficult to deal with and it is strictly interpreted by the owners who do not allow people to pass on their land without permission. This is a cultural thing that is deeply embedded in thoughts by the local people. This could be one of the causes that it is not as heavily exploited by the big logging companies as other countries in South East Asia. A few accessible parts are now being used as tourist attractions. But even this kind of sustainable exploitation was not always easy to establish due to the same complications. If we want sustainable exploitation to increase we have to make sure that the owners of the land benefit well from the sustainable use of their land. This means we should pay for it. If we don't then WE will be cutting it down, since we indirectly (and perhaps unwillingly) pay the logging companies.

When I decided to go, there were two friends who decided to join me: Ronald Jansen and George Wagner who I met in the Philippines in 2007.

 

Pre-departure Planning

Plan this trip well ahead!! Start a year before going by trying to roughly plan the itinerary. West Papua is booming as a birding destination and there are a few guides that can make your trip a lot more successful but since they are alone (or nearly so) at these sites you have to be very lucky to use their services when you just turn up at the height of the season (june-august).

Before booking international flights and in particular local flights make sure you do not overlap with the tour companies that use the essential local bird guides: Zeth Wonggor and Jamil as guides. These are the guides at two sites were local knowledge really pays off: Arfak Mts and Nimbokrang. Check the internet for the following tourcompanies to not have overlap with your planning at these sites: Birdquest; "Papua Expeditions" and ask Papuan Bird Club (PBC) when they are going at these sites. Papuan Birdclub I personally think of these three is the best if you are considering responsible, sustainable tourism and don't want to go through the trouble to organise things all by yourself. They have been recommended by others and seem to be the most popular choice.

http://www.papuabirdclub.com/index.htm

e-mail: info@papuabirdclub.com
or: papuabirdclub@hotmail.com

The contact person there is Mrs. Shita Prativi.

Please take some time to contact them since they have only two staff members and are on track a lot of time. If you are not able to get enough help from Papuan Birdclub you can contact me at: mdeboer{at}var.nl.

A good preparation goes together with the largest collection of birdsounds that you can find. Thanks to a wonderful and long awaited iniative one can now find a fast growing database of sounds to be downloaded at:

http://www.xeno-canto.org/asia/browse.php

We took some sound recordings that can be found on this database. The ones that we added ourselves through recordings during this trip are linked at the "birds seen" sections at the various sites.

West Papua has no international airport where regular flight companies fly to, which have flights bookable from Europe. We booked a return flight to Jakarta and contacted a local agency for the local flights to, from and within West Papua:

http://www.travelindo.com/index.php

We found Travelindo reliable, flexible, very prompt in answering e-mails (this used to be different in the past so I've read on the internet) and cheap. When we paid for a local flight which could not be booked they refunded the part of the money.

Travelindo will give you the flighttimes and if you pay by paypal you will fairly soon receive e-tickets (Garuda); vouchers (Merpati) and a mobile phone number of the local contact to get your tickets if they are not yet issued and have no system with vouchers (like Trigana Air that flies from Sentani to Wamena and back).

Travelindo arranged another local agent Mr. Gantang in Sentani to deliver us the Tickets of the local flights that did not have e-tickets. Maybe due to a temporary craze of the oilprize, flights could not be booked well in advance. But we had no problem with all the flights that we booked. There was one flight that we did not manage to book in advance (from Manokwari to Sorong) but this we managed fairly easy at Merpati Office in Manokwari. Also in the Manokwari office we received our ticket from Sorong to Jakarta when we showed them a copy of the voucher that we received by mail from Travelindo. There seemed to be two Merpati Offices in Manokwari away from the airport. We used the one with GPS: S 0 51.772; E 134 04.448. It is probably possible to book all the flights in country (arrive at Biak and book flight to Sentani, arrive in Sentani and book flight to Wamena etc.) but we found that at least in some places one can not book tickets at the airport and needs to get to an office in town which costs valuable time. So I would still recommend booking all your local flights in advance. Even the ones that do not have e-tickets. Changing ticket dates later is possible. Merpati does not even charge for it. Travelindo can arrange for someone to bring them to Sentani and you can reach Sentani with e-tickets (Garuda).
Biak is a good gateway to West Papua. When we left we were told it is the best place to arrange the travelpermit "Surat Jalan" for all the sites. At Biak police station we were told to report to the police at all the sites but this system is slowly coming to an end. We had no checks for our Surat Jalan and at Manokwari and we were told it is not necessary anymore. So in Manokwari and Sorong we did not bother to go to the police to get a stamp. The village chief on Batanta asked for our Surat Jalan and we showed him that it had Sorong on it. The Baliem valley still has a reputation that police may sometimes not permit trekking into it. We found no problems there so things seem to ease down. We did however pay one million to Harry Wenda which was supposed to be for "the Army". We saw a Wenda member handing over something on the way to Lake Habbema at a checkpoint. But prices that Harry Wenda were charging us were at least questionable. We think we paid too much for the track: 16 million (Harry wanted 20) but have met people who paid more than this.

The planned itinerary proved to be quite good. The only problem we had was a change of our international flight of Malaysia Airlines which made us realise we would miss the connection to Biak and had to spend the night in Jakarta. Then Travelindo changed the Jakarta - Biak flight to one day later. The Jakarta - Biak flights only left in the evening. We planned a short visit to Maura Anke near Jakarta to try for some birds instead of wasting time in the dreadful city.

This gave us three good birds: Javan Coucal; Black Bittern and Black-winged Starling and perhaps worth mentioning: Ruddy breasted Crake. But alas no sign of the Javan Plover. It seemed that the city is expanding and we thought that some mudflats nearby that were reported by others are replaced by buildings. This we are not sure of, since it was the first time for us to visit this site, but we did not see suitable habitat for this bird.



27-7-2008

jakarta

14-8-2008

baliem

28-7-2008

jakarta-biak

15-8-2008

wamena-sentani

29-7-2008

biak

16-8-2008

sentani-manokwari

30-7-2008

biak

17-8-2008

Arfak

31-7-2008

biak-sentani-nimbokrang

18-8-2008

Arfak

1-8-2008

nimbokrang

19-8-2008

Arfak

2-8-2008

nimbokrang

20-8-2008

Arfak

3-8-2008

nimbokrang

21-8-2008

Arfak

4-8-2008

nimbokrang

22-8-2008

Arfak

5-8-2008

nimbokrang

23-8-2008

Arfak

6-8-2008

nimbokrang

24-8-2008

manokwari-sorong

7-8-2008

sentani-wamena

25-8-2008

Batanta

8-8-2008

baliem

26-8-2008

Batanta

9-8-2008

baliem

27-8-2008

Salawati

10-8-2008

baliem

28-8-2008

Batanta

11-8-2008

baliem

29-8-2008

sorong-jakarta

12-8-2008

baliem

30-8-2008

jakarta -home

13-8-2008

baliem

 

One needs a lot of time at Baliem, Arfak and Nimbokrang. This is less so for Batanta Salawati and Biak.

For more information to plan your itinerary have a look at:

http://www.travellingbirder.com/birdwatching/birding_Indonesia.php

The book: Birding Indonesia, Periplus, Paul Jepson has useful information on all of the sites we visited.

The Birds of New Guinea field guide (Beehler) is out of print. The release of a second edition has been postponed several times now. If you see an expected release date, don't count on it.

West Papua is a place that has rain all year round and a lot of it. If there is a "dry" season it certainly is not very obvious.

Have a look at average rainfall at various sites. The below website is set on Sorong for an idea of the Batanta "rainy season" but you can type different towns in the input field of the page: Biak; Jayapura for Nimbokrang; Wamena for Baliem Valley; Manokwari for Arfak, and then click "more averages" in the middle, right section of the page:

http://weatherreports.com/Indonesia/Sorong/averages.html

The best time to go there is reputedly June - October (display time of Birds of Paradise) but outside of this period it increases your chances to be there when no other groups are so it may be worth considering this, after checking the various rainfall averages.

We found that for the Western Parotia we were already too late in the season for a good display and we but also others who were there about the same time did not see a full display and the birds did hardly come down to the display sites. June or July is much better for this bird. Also we did not see a display of the Wilsons BOP although males were very active cleaning the display area's. It seemed however a good time for the Magnificent BOP, King BOP, Lesser BOP, Red BOP, Superb BOP, King of Saxony BOP. Also a season may be more wet than usual because of La Nina (reverse El Nino) or more dry than usual due to El Nino. To get an idea of the severeness and rough prediction of months to come of of these weather phenomena you can have a look here:

http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/

The very last graph on the above webpage puts an index figure of all the effects into perspective with the more serious El Nino/La Nina's of history.

To see the effect on the average rainfall:

http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/ENSO/Compare/

(check the rainfall box and click the button for the map of the effects)

 

Communication

Communication is an issue when travelling to remote parts of Indonesia unless you speak Bahasa Indonesia. However I do not agree with some people saying that you can not go there independently if you are not speaking the local language. We only spoke a few words and numbers but we still managed independently.

Some of the local people do speak enough English to avoid complications that will influence your trip considerably. We did not lose a day because of communication problems but we considered ourselves lucky to meet the right people everywhere soon after arrival. We have to thank Papuan Birdclub (PBC) for providing some contact details in return we paid a donation to their good work for the local communities making them realise that on the long term they are better off keeping accessible forest near their villages in good state. Please donate generously for making use of their information. You must understand that PBC took a lot of time to set up a structure which birders can use now.

It is a good idea to try to contact the local guides in advance:

PBC has contact details for:

- Yonas Wenda (Baliem area)

- Jamil (Nimbokrang area)

- Asser Wonggor (brother of Zeth Wonggor; Arfak area)

- Benny Lesomar (local guide for Biak)

At Batanta one can not contact people in advance but just go there (see site specifics).

For contact details you should contact Shita from Papuan Bird Club:

info@papuabirdclub.com or:
papuabirdclub@hotmail.com

Please get back to me in case you do not get details from them after trying for some time. They have only two staff there and are going on track most of the time between June and October. So you may not get an answer straight away. In fact we asked them to arrange this trip at least half a year in advance but found they were already booked for this whole period.

It is a good idea to contact people with text-message (SMS) well in advance. So send a message before you leave and tell them that you will contact them later on a local number (better to buy a local SIMM-card see below). Keep it in simple English or preferably Indonesian if you can, telling them how many people are coming in which period. Sending messages from abroad can be a real rip-off and you don't want the local people or yourself to be ripped off so it is best to buy a local SIMM card on arrival in Indonesia.

I got two replies back in Holland when I sent messages: from Jamil and Asser Wonggor. But I found out that Yonas also received my message and arrangements were made to make our trip to his area (Baliem) possible. In Jakarta one can buy a local Simm-card to keep in touch with the local people. The provider that has the best coverage was Telkomsel. Things might change with these providers. Before you go have a look which one has the best coverage:

http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml

Buy yourself some extra phone-time. The cards start from 10.000 Rp. so I bought an extension but I found 20.000 Rp. for all the calls and text-messages just one phone-call too short to deal with for this 5 week trip.

Things to take

Tent.
A must since most places have no accommodation you will have to camp almost everywhere.

Rubber boots:
I have seen this recommended for other places. Never believed they would be more comfortable than Goretex boots. But this is probably the muddiest place on earth. Well worth the extra weight to bring these. I didn't bring them but bought them in Wamena and used them frequently after that.

Mosquito net.
Useful but not essential when sleeping at Biak, Batanta and Siyoubri. In other places we slept in tents so no net necessary. I actually use the net as a pillow when sleeping in the tent so it was handy several times.

Warm Sleeping bag:
It really freezes (ice on your tent!) at Lake Habbema at night so you need a fairly good one. We also found Arfak (although much lower down) still cold enough for a good sleeping bag.

Insect repellant
Bring lots of this. I've never used so much on a trip. 50% DEET seems to work also against the chiggers. Spray your socks and maybe lower parts of your pants with loads at Nimbokrang. The chiggers there are the worst I've ever encountered.

Anti-malarials!
This is probably among the areas with the highest risk of getting this disease of any part in the world. There are reports of people who even got it although they took Lariam and kept to the prescription to take it 4 weeks after return. I did take Lariam and George took doxycicline and Ronald took Malarone. We were all cautious and used a net or a tent at night and used repellant particularly in the evening and very early mornings and did not contract this dangerous disease.

ATM-card AND Visa Credit Card:
Sometimes we did not get enough money with ATM cards and had to use Visa to get money (see money section).

Mobile Phone
To contact local people 900/1800 MHz is the frequency so check if your phone deals with it and is SIMM-lock free. Buy the SIMM-card locally (provider Telkomsel).

Headtorch:
You would probably bring this anyway but since there is a lot of camping and predawn starts this is particularly useful here.

Recording equipment:
I'd recommend taking either Olympus Voice recorder or Edirol recorder or Zoom recorder in case of the last one it is better to bring an additional mp3 player with the soundrecords that you managed to collect beforehand. In any case bring something with replaceable batteries. Do not bring an iPod unless you know it will withstand a lot of moisture and have extra power sources to charge it with. Zoom recorder has a too long time to boot up. It takes 6 seconds with an empty 2 Gb card to boot up but an annoying 25 seconds when the card is nearly full (over 200 WAV recordings of several hours). I've actually measured this with a stopwatch. And 25 seconds will certainly make you missing some calls. Olympus Voice recorder has a much faster boot-up time. Don't know about the Edirol with a nearly full card but certainly a bit shorter than the Zoom.

Batteries:
You can charge these at: Biak; Sentani; Nimbokrang (but not all the time and the charging does not seem very strong here); Wamena; Manokwari; Sorong. There was no electricity at Siyoubri village in the Arfak Mts, Baliem valley and Batanta (except for a generator that is directly wired (not even a switch!) to the few lightbulbs and is only briefly on in the evening). So you will bird for a week at most sites when there is only very short time in between the tracks to charge batteries. The European two-pin plug is most common.

Money

West Papua is fairly pricey, certainly for Indonesian standards. We did not find a hotel below 250.000 Rp. for a room.

All together (including, visa, international and local airline tickets and all the costs of food, accomodation, taxis, donations and tips) I spend a little over 3500 Euro on this 5 week trip. This included 1319 euro for the ticket to Jakarta and roughly 800 euro for the flights to, from and within West Papua. This made it the most expensive trip I have done ever, but also the most rewarding in terms of top priority birds.

If you deal with Travelindo to book your flights in country in advance you can pay them by moneytransfer through the paypal system.

In country we managed with ATM and Visa cards only but often needed several cards to get enough money for a week for the three of us. The limits at the ATM's vary from 1 million to 2,5 million but one can repeat the transaction to get about 3 to 5 million as a daylimit. The record of a daylimit maybe kept by your own bank in a different time-zone or it maybe a strict 24 hr basis regardless of the time you try to get your second daylimit so be warned: If you get a daylimit in the evening you may find yourself blocked from getting another daylimit in the morning still. This maybe a problem when you arrive in the afternoon by air and want to leave the next morning away from civilisation.

So whenever there is a possibility one should try to get the maximum amount of money. There seemed no heavy charges per transaction for the ATM transactions by the local or dutch banks surprisingly neither with Visa Card or by regular ATM and hardly any difference in the cost of transaction. Visa allowed me a higher daily limit and higher amount per transaction and to my second surprise offered a better rate than the Mastercard/Cirrus Bank ATM's so it could be a good idea to use your Visa card. If you fly via Jakarta it may be a good idea to draw the limit out of the wall there also.

If you need to cut down on costs: By far the most expensive leg of the trip is the Baliem track. To see the current exchange rates:

http://www.xe.com/ucc/full/

To check for locations of Mastercard ATM machines:

http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/cardholderservices/atmlocations/index.html

The rates will be changing by the time you read this. During our trip the rate against the Euro was 13200 Rp.

Important notice

When travelling in West Papua you should know that when you go hiking with local people you should buy quite a bit more food then you should expect to use for the whole team. Especially in Baliem Valley. When you are trekking local people will see this and may come to visit your team and should be able to eat. It is very inappropriate to eat a nice meal when there are local people close to you that are hungry. As I am writing this down I realise what a strange culture we have in the West to not think this is as logical thing. We sort of expected this but forgot this at Batanta. We were lucky to get local help when buying the food for the tracks at Baliem and Arfak. When you are lucky enough to get help please ask them if it is enough and ask this several times. At Nimbokrang we did not bring food but since Jamil knew we were coming he probably took care of this and we ate mostly at his house or in the middle of the jungle. Also don't be surprised that they want more people to join than you think is necessary. Remember that the local people are poor and need to benefit well from your visit.

Itinerary

27-7-2008

jakarta

Travelday

28-7-2008

jakarta-biak

Muara Anke (Java)

29-7-2008

biak

warafri

30-7-2008

biak

warafri

31-7-2008

biak-sentani-nimbokrang

Travelday

1-8-2008

nimbokrang

Jalan Korea

2-8-2008

nimbokrang

Jalan Korea

3-8-2008

nimbokrang

Track to Cassowary site

4-8-2008

nimbokrang

Cassowary site

5-8-2008

nimbokrang

Track back to Jalan Korea

6-8-2008

nimbokrang

Jalan Korea

7-8-2008

sentani-wamena

Travelday - preparing for Baliem track

8-8-2008

baliem

Road to Lake Habbema

9-8-2008

baliem

Lake Habbema; Pondok 3 area

10-8-2008

baliem

Track down to Yabohema

11-8-2008

baliem

Yabohema

12-8-2008

baliem

Yabohema

13-8-2008

baliem

Yabohema to Milipaga

14-8-2008

baliem

Milipaga to Wamena

15-8-2008

wamena-sentani

Travelday Afternoon Lake Sentani

16-8-2008

sentani-manokwari

Travelday - Road to Siyoubri

17-8-2008

Arfak

Siyoubri

18-8-2008

Arfak

Siyoubri - Garden House

19-8-2008

Arfak

Garden House- Japanese Camp

20-8-2008

Arfak

Garden House- Japanese Camp

21-8-2008

Arfak

Garden House - Siyoubri

22-8-2008

Arfak

Siyoubri - Ciraubri

23-8-2008

Arfak

Ciraubri - Siyoubri

24-8-2008

manokwari-sorong

Travelday Siyoubri - Sorong; preparing for Batanta

25-8-2008

Batanta

Sorong - Wailebed

26-8-2008

Batanta

Wailebed - Wilsons Hides

27-8-2008

Salawati

Salawati - Wailebed

28-8-2008

Batanta

Wailebed - Wilsons Hides

29-8-2008

sorong-jakarta

Batanta - Salawati - Sorong - Jakarta

30-8-2008

jakarta -home

Detailed Site information and birds (names follow Clements 9926 species edition):

Some birds were not confirmed by all three of us, mainly because we split up or because a bird disappeared before others could confirm it. Those are marked with asterisks. MB=Michiel de Boer; RJ=Ronald Jansen; GW=George Wagner.

Biak

At this place it is not complicated to get to the best site. You need a taxi to bring you to Warafri and mainly bird along the main road. There is not much traffic there so it is probably best to keep the taxi for the day. We paid 500.000 Rp. for a day. We met local guide Benny Lesobar
info@discoverpapua.com at the airport by coincidence as he had to pick up other passengers. Benny charged 150.000 Rp. for a day. PBC can provide you with a mobile phonenumber. We asked him to arrange a taxi and driver for the afternoon to go to the site near Warafri. It is mainly roadside birding. There are a few trails which we tried for a few hundred meters. We first went to the police station to get our Surat Jalan for all the main sites. Biak, Sentani, Wamena, Manokwari and Sorong.

(sat. images 2002-2006)


Detailed map of sightings at Warafri (end of track on map above):


Birds seen:

Hooded Butcherbird; Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove; Black Sunbird; Moustached Treeswift; Emperor Fairywren; Olive-backed Sunbird; Biak Paradise-Kingfisher; Black-browed Triller; Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove; Long-tailed Buzzard; Rainbow Bee-eater; Rainbow Lorikeet; Biak Flycatcher; Biak Gerygone; Black-winged Lory; Spice Imperial-Pigeon; Red-capped Flowerpecker; Biak White-eye*; Dollarbird; Spangled Drongo; Long-tailed Starling; Eclectus Parrot; Sacred Kingfisher; Hooded Pitta; Biak Gerygone; Biak Flycatcher; Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove; Glossy Swiftlet; Cicadabird; Geelvink Pygmy-Parrot ; Great Cuckoo-Dove; Biak Coucal**; Large-tailed Nightjar; Golden Monarch; Gray Goshawk; Biak Monarch; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

*MB
**GW

Nimbokrang

We met the contact from Gantang travel service which was arranged through Travelindo at Sentani airport after a local phone call +628124802972. When he arrived he gave us the tickets for the stretch to and from Wamena and told us the ticket to Manokwari was not issued yet and we asked him to arrange a driver to drive us Nimbokrang with a stop to police station for a stamp on the Surat Jalan. Taxi ride was 500.000 Rp after brief bargaining.

The driver and the guy from Gantang travel service seemed to know Jamil. Jamil is a very good guide and good company and he does not overcharge. We paid 5.4 million Rp. for 6 days guiding for Jamil and helpers (including the guiding to the Cassowary site), ojeks and food which is a good price considering that more people are benefiting as should be the case.

In Nimbokrang you can camp in the garden of Jamil. Jamil will arrange for "ojeks" (=motorcycle taxi) to transport you to Jalan Korea which is about 20-30 minute drive from the village.

Jamil will arrange the permit if you give him a copy of the Surat Jalan.

You can camp in the garden of his house. If it is very wet you may consider camping in the front part of his house.

(sat. images 2002-2007)


Detailed map of sightings at Jalan Korea:

Birds seen near village of Nimbokrang

Papuan Frogmouth; Red-capped Flowerpecker; Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot; Eclectus Parrot; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Helmeted Friarbird; New Guinea Babbler.

Jalan Korea birds seen two days:

Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise; Northern Fantail; Black-sided Robin*; King Bird-of-paradise; Mimic Honeyeater; Boyer's Cuckoo-shrike; Dollarbird; Golden Monarch; Red-capped Flowerpecker; Rufous-bellied Kookaburra; Shovel-billed Kookaburra; Purple-tailed Imperial-Pigeon; Yellow-bellied Gerygone; Yellow-billed Kingfisher; Grey-headed Cuckooshrike; Pesquet's Parrot**; Channel-billed Cuckoo; Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove; Sacred Kingfisher; Lowland Peltops; Long-tailed Buzzard; Blyth's Hornbill; Rufous Shrike-Thrush; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Papuan Needletail; Blue-black Kingfisher; Lesser Bird-of-paradise; Golden Cuckoo-shrike; Black-capped Lory; Rainbow Lorikeet; White-bellied Thicket-Fantail; Spangled Drongo; Beautiful Fruit-Dove; White-eared Catbird; Large-billed Gerygone; Black-browed Triller; Grey Crow; Brown-headed Crow; Zoe Imperial-Pigeon; Pale-billed Sicklebill; Meyer's Friarbird; Yellow-faced Myna; Glossy-mantled Manucode; Emperor Fairywren; Streak-headed Honeyeater; Shining Flycatcher; Northern Fantail; Mimic Honeyeater; Long-billed Honeyeater; Brahminy Kite; Black Sunbird; Olive-backed Sunbird. Heard only: Greater Black Coucal
*GW
**MB and RJ

 

Cassowary site

This is a 7 hour walk (when birding) from Jalan Korea. Porters and guides needed and there are no facilities so one needs to bring a tent. The walk is quite muddy as is most of the area near Jalan Korea.

We paid 1.5 million for this 3-day track (porters, ojeks (Indonesian motorcycle taxis), food, fees for the stay) excluding guide fees.

The site is fairly far from Jalan Korea which means fewer people that hunt. Victoria Crowned Pigeon and Cassowary are preferred by hunters which is why one will not find these close to Jalan Korea.

If you go with Jamil (much recommended) you don't need to know the details he will guide you there.

Dante who is assisting Jamil is a good guide for finding Cassowary. He knows to whistle like a juvenile bird. This really paid out because we met a male with 2 chicks. As they first ran away before we saw glimpses, I thought no chance of seeing them. But after Dantes whistles we got amazing views of the shy male walking towards us.

Track to Cassowary site birds seen (3rd august):

Streak-headed Munia; Brown Oriole; Brown Quail; Shining Flycatcher; Rufous-collared Monarch; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Rufous-bellied Kookaburra; Coroneted Fruit-Dove; Blue Jewelbabbler; Sacred Kingfisher; Northern Fantail; Sooty Thicket-Fantail; White-bellied Thicket-Fantail; Metallic Starling; Pinon Imperial-Pigeon; Dollarbird; Blyth's Hornbill; Spangled Drongo; Black-browed Triller.

Cassowary site birds seen (4th august):

Wompoo Fruitdove; Lesser Bird-of-paradise; Variable Kingfisher; Blyth's Hornbill; Pink-spotted Fruitdove; Eclectus Parrot; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Yellow-faced Myna; Salvadori's Fig-Parrot; King Bird-of-paradise; Rufous-bellied Kookaburra; Brown-headed Crow; Hooded Pitta; New Guinea Bronzewing; Northern Cassowary; Brown Lory; Victoria Crowned-Pigeon; Papuan Frogmouth.

Track back to Jalan Korea birds seen (5th august):

Blyth's Hornbill; Collared Imperial-Pigeon; Victoria Crowned-Pigeon; Pale-billed Scrubwren*; Common Paradise-Kingfisher*; Willie-wagtail; Northern Fantail; Gray Crow; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Hook-billed Kingfisher*.
*GW

Jalan Korea birds seen (6th august):

Emperor Fairywren; Large-billed Gerygone; New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike; King Bird-of-paradise; Brahminy Kite; Shining Flycatcher; Black-browed Triller; Zoe Imperial-Pigeon; Eclectus Parrot; New Guinea Babbler; Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove; Rainbow Bee-eater; Red-capped Flowerpecker; Northern Fantail; Olive-backed Sunbird; Blyth's Hornbill; Pacific Baza; Long-billed Honeyeater; Palm Cockatoo*; Red-throated Myzomela*; Sacred Kingfisher; Lowland Peltops; Pacific Swallow; Jobi Manucode**; Black Sunbird; Brown-headed Crow; Streak-headed Honeyeater; Tawny-breasted Honeyeater*; Red-cheeked Parrot; Glossy Swiftlet; Long-billed Honeyeater; Rainbow Lorikeet; Gray Crow; Dollarbird; Rufous-collared Monarch; Helmeted Friarbird; Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove; White-bellied Thicket-Fantail; Hook-billed Kingfisher; Rufous-tailed Bush-hen; Uniform Swiftlet.
*GW
**MB

Baliem

Yonas Wenda was not available as he was already on track with others. We met Harry Wenda at the airport. They where expecting us because we sent a text-message by mobile phone. Harry provided the needed assistance to arrange a team, paperwork, food and transport.
Though we are hesitant to recommend him. The trouble is there are probably few alternatives if you are short in time (as usual). You could also try to contact "Scorpio" who is a ground agent used by others. mobile: +681344385059.

Harry wanted 20 million which we calculated to be far too much. He charged 150.000 per porter per day which is reasonable but initially wanted 500.000 Rp. for a guide per day. But there was no guiding at all. The guides don't know anything about birds and this is far more than a top guide (like Zeth and Jamil) charges. We eventually paid 16 million for the whole deal which we considered too much still. He wanted to charge 1.5 million for the ride from the end of the trail to Wamena but it turned out there was regular local transport there that did it for 260.000 Rp.
Food which was included was supposed to be 1 million. Which seems a lot but this included paying for plates, cups, pans etc. Probably since Yonas was already using their usual gear on his track. Also you need more food then for just the whole team since local people will come to the camp and should be able to share your meal
For the three of us the team consisted of cook; guide and six porters. Six porters do seem too much but this is the way they like to do it. The more people the more they benefit.
We found the team was lead by the cook. Our guide had nothing to say and did not know any sites for birds. He was also not in the way as we birded from the camps on our own as the paths are fairly obvious to follow. The only place where the path is not clear is the start of the trail but even that one we managed to find because we knew it to be close to Pondok Tiga where we camped. We took a GPS coordinate for the start of the trail (see map).

The price included 1 million fee for "the Army". And village fees, food. Transport (included) from Wamena to lake Habbema comes to about 3 million for a 2 cabin heavy duty 4WD pickup truck. This fits in just about 3 people with all the food and the whole team in the back. With four people they might try to get you all into two pickup trucks and you pay double the amount we heard from others but it seems still possible to get everything into one pickup with four people if you are on a tight budget.

We spend two nights at Pondok Tiga (camp 3) which is very close to the start of the trail. It is about two hours walking to the shore of lake Habbema from here but the valley and the lake itself can be viewed well from the road about half an hours walk from the camp. You need to wak down to the lake for some birds (Snowy Mountain Quail; Salvadori's Teal).

Road to Lake Habbema birds seen:

Black-capped White-eye; Smoky Honeyeater; Mountain (Red-headed) Myzomela; Brown Sicklebill; Mountain Firetail; Island Leaf-Warbler; Tit Berrypecker; Splendid Astrapia; Alpine Robin.

This road seems very good birdwatching. One should spend a day or more just walking this road. The few birds mentioned here are a result of 3 or 4 short stops. RJ saw a Superb BOP here and we had a glimpse of what might well have been a Papuan Whipbird.

(sat. image 2008!)


Detailed map of sightings between lake Habbema; Pondok 3 and Yabohema:

Area around Pondok 3 and Lake Habbema birds seen:

Orange-cheeked Honeyeater; Salvadori's Teal; Red-collared Myzomela; Eurasian Coot; Little Pied Cormorant; Short-bearded Melidectes; Island Thrush; Crested Berrypecker; Black-backed Honeyeater; Snow Mountain Quail; Glossy Swiftlet; Alpine Pipit; Belford's Melidectes; Tawny Grassbird (Papuan Grassbird); Golden Whistler; Mountain Mouse-Warbler; Dimorphic Fantail; Dusky (New Guinea?) Woodcock; Black-throated Honeyeater; Macgregor's Bird-of-paradise; Glossy Swiftlet; Island Thrush; Friendly Fantail; Plum-faced Lorikeet; Lorentz's Whistler; Mountain Swiftlet; Papuan Lorikeet (black morph here); White-winged Robin; Snow Mountain Munia; Orange-billed Lorikeet; Yellow-billed Lorikeet; Splendid Astrapia; Papuan Thornbill; Fan-tailed Cuckoo; Brown-breasted Gerygone; Eastern Marsh (Papuan?) -Harrier; Smoky Honeyeater.

Track down Pondok 3 to Yabohema birds seen:

Island Thrush; Alpine Pipit; Short-bearded Melidectes; Belford's Melidectes; Black-backed Honeyeater; Crested Berrypecker; Orange-cheeked Honeyeater; Smoky Honeyeater; Red-collared Myzomela; Sooty Melidectes; Glossy Swiftlet; Friendly Fantail; Macgregor's Bird-of-paradise; Papuan Scrubwren; Hooded Cuckoo-shrike; Painted Tiger-Parrot*; Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike*; Lorentz's Whistler; Dimorphic Fantail; Papuan Lorikeet; Black-breasted Boatbill; Plum-faced Lorikeet; Canary Flycatcher; Splendid Astrapia

Yabohema birds seen:

Archbold's Nightjar; Red-collared Myzomela; Papuan Treecreeper; Canary Flycatcher; Black-backed Honeyeater; Friendly Fantail; Black-breasted Boatbill; Papuan Lorikeet; King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise; Olive-streaked Honeyeater; Orange-billed Lorikeet; Crested Berrypecker; Plum-faced Lorikeet; Goldie's Lorikeet; Brown Sicklebill; Splendid Astrapia; Buff-faced Scrubwren; Black Fantail; Fan-tailed Berrypecker; Black Sittella; Belford's Melidectes; Smoky Honeyeater; Lorentz's Whistler; Chestnut Forest-Rail; Belford's Melidectes; Lesser Ground-Robin; Fan-tailed Berrypecker; Friendly Fantail; Red-collared Myzomela; Canary Flycatcher; Orange-crowned Fairywren**; Mountain Peltops; Papuan Mountain-Pigeon; Modest Tiger-Parrot*; Blue-capped Ifrita*; Archbold's Bowerbird; Rufous-throated Bronze-Cuckoo; Dimorphic Fantail; Orange-billed Lorikeet.
*MB only
**RJ and GW

Yabohema to Milipaga birds seen:

Papuan Frogmouth; Friendly Fantail; Canary Flycatcher; Large Scrubwren; Belford's Melidectes; Smoky Honeyeater; Lorentz's Whistler; Fan-tailed Berrypecker; Splendid Astrapia; Black-throated Robin; Golden Whistler; Goldie's Lorikeet; Great Woodswallow; Mountain Swiftlet; White-shouldered Fairywren; Black-breasted Munia; Pied Bushchat; Island Leaf-Warbler; Madarasz's Tiger-Parrot.

Milipaga to Wamena birds seen:

Pied Bushchat; Short-tailed Paradigalla; Ornate Melidectes; Rufous-naped Whistler; Red-collared Myzomela; Black-mantled Goshawk; Great Woodswallow; Papuan Treecreeper; Friendly Fantail; Island Leaf-Warbler; Smoky Honeyeater; Blue-gray Robin; Buff-faced Scrubwren; Sclater's Whistler; Black-breasted Boatbill; Modest Tiger-Parrot; Papuan Lorikeet; Large Scrubwren; Belford's Melidectes; White-shouldered Fairywren; Superb Bird-of-paradise; Golden Whistler; Black Fantail; Brown Falcon; Capped White-eye; Eastern Marsh-Harrier; Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove.

 

Unfortunately the flights of Wamena to Sentani and from Sentani to Manokwari did not connect. They both are in the morning. We lost one day because of this. We decided to hire a taxi for a late afternoon after arriving in Sentani to drive around the lake. It produced nothing special though the views were nice.

Birds:

Shining Flycatcher; Little Egret; Great Egret; Helmeted Friarbird; Olive-backed Sunbird; Little Grebe; Little Pied Cormorant; Darter; Channel-billed Cuckoo; Brown-headed Crow.

 

Arfak Mountains

Contact Asser Wonggor (brother of Zeth Wonggor) in advance. He speaks little English so better not phone him directly but send simple text message to his mobile (get the details through Papuan Birdclub).
Asser Wonggor lives very near the Samping Gereja Elim Wosi Gayabaru Church in Manokwari. Asser can help you to arrange a vehicle and food for your trip in the Arfak Mts. Please do not forget to pay generously for his services.

We left two sets of sound-kits (mp3 player loaded with Papuan Birdsounds and external speaker) at Asser's house as presents. One for Zeth Wonggor (even though he does not need one it can help to have his sons learn the skills) and one for Papuan Bird Club who is based in Manokwari but were on track when we were there.

We arrived in the morning in Manokwari but still managed to arrange vehicle, food, ticket to Sorong and drive to Siyoubri the same day.

Your base to the Arfak Mts. is the small village of Siyoubri near Mokwam village. The 4WD two-cabin pickup passed a few streams and some very steep stretches which were not passable with a normal vehicle. Price for the ride is 1.2 million if you stop at many sites it may be a bit more. Zeth Wonggor has an extra house for visitors which is at the start of the trails up to Garden House, Camp Attenborough and Japanese Camp. There is some food at Siyoubri (vegetables, fruit) but you need to bring most of it from Manokwari.

Zeth Wonggor is among the best local birding guides I have met in any part of the world. He knows all the calls of all the birds and knows to find all the good birds in the area. His English is very good for Indonesian standards and he is still learning more which helps to get others in the area to go into guiding. Getting him as a guide will certainly make a difference to your list. Zeth does not overcharge at all and gives you a reasonable price at the end, so no need to bargain beforehand. Zeth knows good sites for Flame Bowerbird along the road to Manokwari, good sites for a lot of birds around Siyoubri, including Black-billed Sicklebill and can guide you also to some lowland rainforest sites in a different valley. You should spend some time at Ciraubri also. This site is a 6 hours walk from Siyoubri with a very steep climb at the end! Good for Flame Bowerbird, Magnificent Riflebird; and a few other good birds that you will miss if not going there. It should be good for: White Rumped Robin (heard it); Northern Scrubrobin; Chestnut-backed Jewelbabbler (heard it); Wallaces Owlet Nightjar (old stakeout were most birders have seen it some time ago, tree partly collapsed) but we dipped since we did not spend more than a rainy morning there because of lack of time.

For Black Sicklebill and Arfak Astrapia you need to go up from the Garden House to the area between Camp Attenborough and Japanese Camp. The camps are not far from eachother. Siyoubri- Garden House - Camp Attenborough - Japanese Camp are all about 1,5 hours continuous walking from stage to stage. Steep up from Garden House but flattening out between the camps above it. As the forest has a lot of good birds you will find yourself taking a lot of time on these stretches.

Afternoon drive to Siyoubri a few short stops few birds seen:

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; White-shouldered Fairywren; Variable Pitohui (grey hooded race); Blyth's Hornbill.

(sat.image 2004)


Detailed map of sightings around Siyourbi, Garden House, Camp Attenborough and Japanese Camp:

Around Siyoubri birds seen:

Magnificent Bird-of-paradise; Black Fantail; Mountain Meliphaga; White-shouldered Fairywren; Black-breasted Boatbill; Dwarf Whistler; Sclater's Whistler; Mottled Whistler; Varied (Papuan?) Sitella; Black Monarch; Arfak Honeyeater; Gray Goshawk; Capped White-eye; Northern Fantail; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Bronze Ground-Dove; Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove; Blue-gray Robin; Long-tailed Paradigalla; Brown-breasted Gerygone; Green Backed Robin.

From Siyoubri to Garden House birds seen:

Green-backed Robin; Black Fantail; Western Parotia; Northern Fantail; Rufous-naped Whistler; Capped White-eye; Spotted Jewel-babbler; Tit Berrypecker; Papuan Mountain-Pigeon; Lemon-breasted Berrypecker*; Garnet Robin; Island Leaf-Warbler; Dimorphic Fantail; Black-breasted Boatbill; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Mountain Gerygone; Long-tailed Honey-buzzard; Gray-headed Robin; Feline Owlet-Nightjar; Black Monarch**.
*GW
** MB RJ

Garden House - Camp Attenborough - Japanese Camp, birds seen:

Regent Whistler; Black Sicklebill; Rufous-sided Honeyeater; Smoky Robin; Rufescent Imperial Pigeon*; Yellow-billed Lorikeet; Tit Berrypecker; Island Leaf-Warbler; White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo; Vogelkop Melidectes; Arfak Honeyeater; Dimorphic Fantail; Arfak Honeyeater; Red-collared Myzomela; Rufous-sided Honeyeater; Friendly Fantail; New Guinea Eagle; Brehm's Tiger-Parrot;Arfak Astrapia; Black Pitohui; Papuan Lorikeet; Spotted Jewel-babbler; Lesser Melampitta; Papuan Treecreeper; Gray-headed Robin; Lesser Ground-Robin; Northern Logrunner; Vogelkop Bowerbird; Cinnamon-browed Melidectes; Mountain Owlet-Nightjar; Garnet Robin.
*MB

Garden House - Siyoubri birds seen:

Black Fantail; New Guinea Eagle; Vogelkop Bowerbird; Vogelkop Melidectes; Vogelkop Scrubwren; Long-tailed Paradigalla; Arfak Honeyeater; White-breasted Fruit-Dove; Yellow-billed Lorikeet; Mottled Whistler; Mountain Gerygone; Brown-breasted Gerygone; Regent Whistler; Western Parotia; Friendly Fantail; Rusty Mouse-Warbler; Garnet Robin; Capped White-eye; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Long-tailed Buzzard.

Siyoubri - Ciraubri - Siyoubri birds seen:

Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Red-collared Myzomela; Red Myzomela; Hooded Pitohui; Rusty Mouse-Warbler; Mountain Meliphaga; Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo; Brush Cuckoo; Double-eyed Fig-Parrot; Mountain Peltops; Capped White-eye; Arfak Honeyeater; Gray-headed Whistler; Ornate Fruit-Dove; Black-fronted White-eye; Tawny-breasted Honeyeater; Trumpet Manucode; Papuan Cuckoo-shrike; Dwarf Whistler; Dwarf Koel; Yellow-breasted Boatbill; Chestnut-bellied Fantail; Frilled Monarch; Gray Crow; Fairy Gerygone; Magnificent Riflebird; Lesser Bird-of-paradise; Rufous-backed Fantail; Rufous Shrike-Thrush; New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike; White-faced Robin; White-breasted Fruit-Dove; White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo; Little Eagle; Black-fronted White-eye; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Arfak Honeyeater; Wallace's Fairywren*; Gray-headed Whistler; Flame Bowerbird; Torrent-lark***; Mountain Swiftlet; Northern Fantail; New Guinea Eagle*; Glossy Swiftlet.

Last morning hunt for Black billed sicklebill near Siyoubri birds seen:

Black-billed Sicklebill*; White-breasted Fruit-Dove; Blue-gray Robin; New Guinea Eagle**; Little Eagle.

* MB and RJ
** GW
***MB and GW

 

Batanta and Salawati Island

We were told that for Batanta there is no prior arrangement necessary and also there is no reception for a mobile phone so it is not possible to contact local people. Just go there and ask for Abel or Kepala Desa (chief of the village). Abel has a second house which is empty and can be used for you to stay. There is only one bed in it though. So it is probably best to go there first and dump all the food and backpacks and wait for Abel or Kepala Desa to turn up for arrangements of guides. You need only one guide of course but they rather want you to take three. We took two guides and there were two people cooking for us.

The thing to do is in Sorong ask around where the boats leave to Pulau Dom (Doom Island according to Lonely Planet, trying to create a myth here for bored backpackers?). Dom Island is nothing more than a small satellite island for local people for setting out to sea or other islands. To go to Dom Island is only 6000 Rp a person, boat leaves when full. We didn't wait for more than a few minutes and so was duration of the boat ride. Then ask around for a boat to the village of Wailebed on Pulau Batanta. We took some time negotiating with the communication problems but the price seems to be 1 million a day for a decent boat. A decent boat is a two engine boat. Make sure there are two engines, you don't want to float around for long when one of the engines fail and also it will take twice the time to get there. Our boat was about 20 m long and 1,5 m wide with a roof and transparent side flaps in case the sea is a bit rough and you don't want to get wet.

Our chief boatsman was called: Alimagri Lombok Sahara and the boat was called Sahara.
Batanta is about 65 km by boat (3 hours by speedboat) which requires a lot of fuel. The boatsmen rather want to stay on the island for 5 days then going back and return to pick you up. It takes two people to operate a boat. This means that you have to buy food for yourself and two extra people for the time that you spend on the island. On the island it is possible to get some eggs, some fish, a little fruit (mainly Papaya) but hardly anything else. So buy everything in Sorong in the supermarket. There are huge supermarkets in Sorong (one is named Johan) but we took the first big one we saw. We were there on a Sunday and needed to buy our food in the evening and that caused no problem since even on Sunday it was open until 22.00 hrs. To get an idea of the cost of food for 5 days for 5 people you should buy food for the equivalent of 500.000 Rp. (rate 13200 Rp/euro). We expected some food to be there (vegetables) which we missed a little. Still the local people did a good job cooking the food.

The Kepala Desa village chief will appoint guides and at your last day show you a list with fixed prices, which you are supposed to pay. It is not cheap (like the rest of papua) but this is a top location with no alternatives besides Waigeo Island which is probably harder to visit.

Salawati is just a 10 minute boat ride across from Batanta and since your boatmen will be around and you pay them per day they can bring you to Salawati and back. Interestingly the locals at Salawati don't care for tourists. When we decided that we would like to spend a day there. We found that no food could be provided. So after a morning visit we went back to Batanta.

It took quite some effort finding the Western Crowned Pigeon but we eventually found two with help of a good guide that we met near his house a little east of the lakes.

(sat. image 2008)

Batanta birds seen:

Lesser Frigatebird; Olive-backed Sunbird; Blyth's Hornbill; Eclectus Parrot; Yellow-faced Myna; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Palm Cockatoo; Wompoo Fruit-Dove; Red Bird-of-paradise; Frilled Monarch; Dollarbird; Rainbow Lorikeet; White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; Hooded Butcherbird; New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike; Glossy-mantled Manucode; Torresian Crow; Brahminy Kite; Wilson's Bird-of-paradise; Common Paradise Kingfisher Pacific Baza; Moustached Treeswift; Rufous Bellied Kookaburra; Shining Flycatcher; Black-capped Lory; Black Thicket-Fantail; Puffbacked Honeyeater*

Spangled Drongo; Hooded Butcherbird; Yellow-gaped Honeyeater**; Pinon Imperial-Pigeon; Rusty Mousewarbler*; Pheasant Pigeon*; Helmeted Friarbird; Yellow-bellied Longbill**; Red-bellied Pitta; Hooded Pitta; Variable Pitohui**; Tawny-breasted Honeyeater**; Glossy Swiftlet; Great-billed Heron.
* MB and RJ
** GW

We saw a green-backed mostly grey Imperial Pigeon with no knob on the bill on Batanta Island which had an outstanding clear white eyering. I initially noted this as Grey Imperial Pigeon or Island Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pistrinaria) and coming back I see that others have recorded it there as well (among them Mark van Beirs of Birdquest). But checking the distribution, this does not seem to fit. This bird should occur to the more eastern Islands of New Guinea according to Beehler and also according to HBW.
There is one other possibility:
White-eyed (or Spectacled) Imperial Pigeon (Ducula perspicilata) which occurs on the nearby Island of Kofiau. Judging from the way the white-eyering stands out more with the White-eyed Imperial I am now considering this bird as a more likely. David Bishop who is very familiar with the region and these birds confirms this is a very likely possibility.

Salawati birds seen:

Eurasian Tree Sparrow; Little Egret; Great-billed Heron; Azure Kingfisher; Lesser Black Coucal; Gray Crow; Blyth's Hornbill; Palm Cockatoo; Lesser Frigatebird; Frilled Monarch; Spot-winged Monarch; Yellow-bellied Longbill; Rusty Pitohui; Radjah Shelduck; King Bird-of-paradise; Northern Fantail; Willie-wagtail.

Last morning visit near the lakes of Salawati and the site for the Western Crowned Pigeon, birds seen:

Little Pied Cormorant; Intermediate Egret; Spotted Whistling-Duck; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Common Sandpiper; Rufous Night-Heron; White-bellied Sea-Eagle; Gray Crow; Western Crowned-Pigeon; Lesser Frigatebird; Great-billed Heron; Brahminy Kite.