Saturday, August 12, 2017

Watching Red Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat

Birding Trip to Raja Ampat
I visited Raja Ampat last week. I went there crossing thea sea from Sorong city to Waigeo island by fast passenger boat to do some birding and sightseeing trip in the southern region of Waigeo island particularly near Kabui bay. I was a n unforgetable journey because I was able to watch Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus), and a lot of other birds that live in lower montane forest of Waigeo island.
I stayed at a wooden house built on the water. The scenery of the surrounding waters was very beautiful.
Paradisaea rubra
Watching Red Bird of Paradise
To watch Red Bird of Paradise, I had to wake up early in the morning at 05.00. After drinking some water and wash my face, I and my friend walked up the slopes of Waigeo to reach the birding ground of the paradise birds. It took around 40 minutes to reach it. Arriving at that place, we climbed an observation platform whose height was approximately 5 meters above the ground.
Some male Red Bird of Paradise were already sitting on the branches of the tree. They were waiting for their female counterparts. It did not take long for us to watch their dance performance. After a 15 - 20 minute-waiting, we began to hear the sounds of their calls. These were followed by the courtship dance performance of two male birds of paradise. They did this to attract the attention of female bird of paradise for mating.
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Shooting the Paradise Birds
I turned on my digital camera. It was a Fujifilm HS50EXR and then slowly moved to an open space on the platform where I could see the birds clearly. When I saw that one of the male birds was dancing with his whole body on the upside down pose, I quickly aimed my camera and shot him several times. It was a nice shot but the early morning light was not bright enough.
The pictures of the birds of paradise were good enough.
As a tour guide, I offer birding and snorkeling trip to Raja Ampat for anybody who wants to see tropical birds, coral reef and fish of this wonderful archipelago.
Kabui bay in Raja Ampat archipelago
I can guide solo traveling visitor and be a birding and snorkeling buddy. I can also organize a multiple day birding and snorkeling tour for a group of 2 to 8 visitors or even more who wants to watch birds in Arfak mountains, Sorong regency and Raja Ampat.
Swimming and Snorkeling
As the epicenter of marine biodiversity, the sea of Raja Ampat  is the natural habitat of thousands of species of marine animals including anemonefish, surgeonfish, lionfish, damselfish, grouper, manta, turtles, and a lot more.
Please, bring your own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, fins. You can also bring an underwater camera if you want to enjoy snorkeling in the waters of Raja Ampat.
Booking
For more info on customized itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or text message to my whatsapp number: +6281332245180

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) lives in Australia, New Guina and a lot of small islands in the Pacific region. I often see the birds when I guide tourists on a hiking, camping and birding trip in lowland forest of Manokwari. They make nosy screeching sounds in the forest if they play together in a tree.
Cockatoes create nests by making holes in large trees high above the ground.
To watch these birds, we need to bring binoculars such as the 10x42 or 12x50 mm and a good spotting scope.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in lowland forest of Manokwari
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo eats tropical fruits including papaya, banana, and other fruits in the jungle. They play great roles in spreading the seeds of fruits which they eat to all parts of the forest.
Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
I have organized a lot of birding tours for European, American and Australian visitors to the forest of Manokwari where visitors could watch various species of birds including Yellow Faced Myna, Golden Myna, and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Eclectus parrot, Little-ringed Plover, and Little Egret, Brahminy Kite and Variable Goshawk, and Palm Cockatoo, Moustached Treeswift.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
A hiking, camping, birding and wildlife watching tour usually lasts for 3 to 5 days. Since there is no guesthouse in the forest, tourists will stay in tents by the river. As a tourist guide, I can provide tents, matrasses, sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils so that visitors do not have to carry heavy things from their country.
However, I highly suggest that visitors bring flashlight/ torch, a good pair of binoculars and birding guide book Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler. Don't forget to put your electronics inside ziploc bags or plastic containers when you go with me to the river area.
If you are interested in taking a birding tour in lowland forest of Manokwari, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp/ text message to: +6281332245180

Friday, July 7, 2017

Birding and Wildlife Watching in Lowland Forest of Manokwari

I often receive request from tourists who are interested in birding in Manokwari. There are several places in the regency that are good for birdwatching and wildlife watching. I highly recommend 2 places, the Lowland Forest of Manokwari and the Lower Montane Forest of Arfak mountains.

Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot (Micropsitta keiensis)
There is a forest area in north-west region of Manokwari. Its name is Mesirrokow. It is a good site for visitors who want to watch such birds as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, (Cacatua galerita), Moluccan King Parrot,  Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Pequet (Vulturine) Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), Yellow Faced Myna, Rainbow Bee-eater, Dollarbird, Little-ringed Plover, Willie Wagtail, Large tail Nightjar, Brahminy Kite, Variable Goshawk, and a lot more.
The river is also the natural habitat of a lot of species of butterflies, beetles, lizards, cuscus possum, deer, wildpigs and wallaby. The Mesirrokow forest is devided by a large river that flows to north coast of Manokwari. Various kinds of flowers can be seen growing on both sides of the river.
Since the birding site is located in the middle of the jungle, there is no guesthouse or homestay that are available at the moment. Visitors who go there will have to stay in tents. As a tourist guide, I can provide tents for visitors who want to take birding tour in this lowland forest of Manokwari.

Arfak Mountains
Lesser Birds of Paradise
The slopes and ravines of Arfak mountains have been famous as birding and wildlife watching destination since long time ago. As a tour guide, I often organize hiking and birding tours to Mount Mabowi in Arfak mountains for people who are interested in watching cuscus possum, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Dwarf Cassowary, Papuan Frogmouth, and etc.
In addition to watching birds, visitors who go hiking in Mount Mabowi will be able to watch cuscus possum, soa-soa dragon lizard, birdwing butterflies, and fireflies. The rich ecosystem of tropical rainforest in the region is a nice site for those who want to experience hiking, camping, and wildlife watching in Arfak mountains.

Lowland Forest of Manokwari
What you need to bring
There are no guesthousee in the forest that I mention above. Tourists who want to take the tour will stay in tents that have been prepared by I and the local villagers for tourists. However, there are things which visitors need to bring:
  • Water shoes and flip-flop
  • Flashlight/ torch
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellent lotion
  • Sun-block lotion
  • Field guide book "Birds of New Guinea" written by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce Beehler and etc.
Common Paradise Kingfisher
How to go there?
  • You could fly from your country to Denpasar city in Bali island.
  • I could meet you in Bali to do some birding in the forest of the island before continuing our flight to 
  • Take a domestic flight to Manokwari city for birding and wildlife watching trip in lowland forest and Arfak mountains. 
For further info, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Birdwatching Tour in Lowland Forest of Manokwari

Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Watching Tropical Birds of New Guinea
I have just returned from lowland forest in northwest region of Manokwari where I organized a 4-day/ 3-night birdwatching tour for a French tourist. We walked along the banks of a river to watch tropical birds such as Papuan Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta), Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae). Little-ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius).
Camping at the Riverbank
Our Camping Tents in Manokwari Forest
The land along the river area is mostly flat so, it is very suitable for birdwatchers who want to enjoy easy birding walk, swimming, and camping. Lowland forest of Manokwari as tourist destination for birdwatching is relatively new compared to Arfak mountains. However, tourists who go there and spend a few days in the forest say that they enjoy the birding and camping activities very much.
Swimming and Sunbathing or Fishing
During the day, bird activity decreases. Visitors can enjoy swimming, and sunbathing or do some nature walk inside the jungle. There are also fish in the river. Local guides like to catch fish and fry them for lunch or dinner. They catch fish by using hook and line, by using spear or gun, or by spreading net.
The lowland forest of Manokwari is also the natural habitat of a lot of species of butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, grasshoppers/ katydids. So, it is a nice place for visitors who are interested in watching insect too.
Interested in Birding in Manokwari
Papuan Hornbill in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
If you are interested in birding and camping in lowland forest of Manokwari, you need to bring several things:
  • Water shoes and flipflop - you do not need hiking boots. You need water-shoes or footwear that are resistant water.
  • Mosquito/ insect repellent  and sunblock lotion
  • Flashlight/ torch - we do birdwatching during the day and to certain extent at night. We do nigt walk to find cuscus possum, Papuan Frogmouth and Nightjar.
  • Binoculars - having a good pair of binoculars will enhance your birding experience especially if you want to see the details of eyes, wings or colors of birds that sit on the branches of distant trees or that fly in the sky. You could also bring your spotting scope if you have it.
  • Fieldguide book "Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler.
  • Camera - I personally use Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR. It has got telephoto lens. I highly recommend that visitors bring D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. If it is too expensive, a bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900, Canon Powershot SX60 HS can be a good choice for taking pictures of birds.
Camping Gear
Birding Site in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
You do not have to bring tents, cooking and eating utensils. As a tour guide, I can provide them for you.

How to get there?
It is easy to go to Manokwari. First, you need to fly to Jakarta or other major cities in Indonesia. Second, find a domestic flight that will bring you to Manokwari city. I will be happy to meet you at the airport or hotel in town and organize your birdwatching trip to lowland forest of Manokwari.
Here is my (Charles Roring) email address: peace4wp@gmail.com and whatsapp: +6281332245180 if you are interested in visiting Manokwari and enjoy birding and camping with me.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

I have guided hundreds of tourists on various birding tours in tropical rainforest of West Papua. One of the main target which they want to see is bird of paradise.
There are tens of species of paradise birds. The famous one is the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). These birds live in lowland to lower montane forest and are usually active in the mornings and in the afternoons. To watch them, visitors need to wear a good pair of binoculars such as the 10x42 mm.
If you haven't seen the birds in their natural habitat, here is a photo print link from my zazzle store which you could click to buy. It will be a good decoration for your room.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Rainforest Tour Manokwari Lowland Forest

I opened a new rainforest tour destination in Manokwari this year. It is located in the north-west region of Manokwari. Its name is Mesirrokow river forest. The forest is the natural habitat of various species of birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Papuan Hornbill, Willie Wagtail, Little Plover and Brahminy Kite. There are also other animals such as soa-soa lizard, wild pigs, and deers.
Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, sunbathing and camping at the bank of the river. As a tour guide, I have organized several riverwalk and camping tours in the Mesirrokow forest for visitors who come from The United Kingdom, Switzerland, France and etc. 
They enjoyed their trip because they could swim in the river as much as they like and watch birds in the nearby forest. 
This fores is suitable for nature lover who want to experience jungle tour in Manokwari. 
Camping and Birding
Most of the activities will be carried out along the Mesirrokow river-forest. Tents will be installed at the bank of the river. Because of the open space in the river is very wide, we could easily watch birds that fly or sit on the branches of the trees in both sides of the river. To enhance birding experience, a spotting scope with tripod and a good pair of binoculars will be provided.
Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Papuan Hornbill can easily be seen in the mornings and in the afternoons. For watching Willie Wagtail, we need to walk along the river and have a look at fallen trees that are drifted during the floods and stuck in the middle of the river. The birds like to sit on the log or branches of he desd trees that extend over the river. Little-ringed Plover like to walk along the sandbank. A good pair of 10x42 mm binoculars is a perfect device for birding in this area.
Visitors are recommended to bring flashlight/ torch, insect repellent lotion and sunblock lotion, a good pair of binoculars, and clothings that are suitable for jungle tour and swimming. For camping in the jungle, we will provide tents as well as cooking and eating utensils. 
If you are interested, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or sent text/ whatsapp message to my cell phone +6281332245180

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

North East Raja Ampat Tour

Yenandau beach of Raja Ampat
I often receive emails from visitors who want to go to Raja Ampat but do not want to visit places that are considered as more touristic. They want to see the islands that are outside of the main-stream marine tourism routes.
To cater for these requests, I offer a new route located in the north east of the archipelago. Its name is the jungle or Warebar river and a group of karst islets called Dolphins Lagoon.

Raja Ampat is a famous destination for marine lovers. Most visitors go to Mansuar, Kri, Gam, Arborek, Kabui bay and Pianemo.
North East of Raja Ampat
As a tourist guide, I want to promote the northeast region of Raja Ampat that is also beautiful. Visitors can go trekking through Warebar river to watch birds and other wild animals, or swim at the white sandy beach of Yenandau, and enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef of Mamiaef island and the sand banks of the sea.
Dolphins Lagoon of Raja Ampat
The Dolphins Lagoon
I don't know why local people called it Dolphins' Lagoon. Perhaps, it was a feeding ground for Dolphins. But it really has got beautiful landscape (or seascape). In addition to swimming, and snorkeling, visitors can see beautiful scenery of Dolphins' blue lagoon and swim over its coral reef to see various colorful reef and a lot tropical fish that live in the tropical waters of Raja Ampat. Make sure that you bring a good camera for take pictures of underwater and above-water marine environment. Colorful parrotfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and groupers thrive in the area. However, since we go there to watch marine animals in natural place, I cannot give 100 % guarantee that you will see dolphins.

Warebar river of Yenbekaki village
Typical Itinerary
Day 1
Arriving in Sorong city
Taking a rest in one of the hotels in the city
Buying food and other supplies in traditional market and supermarket.

Day 2
Leaving Sorong for North East region of Raja Ampat, we will pass by Urbinasopen village and its Imbikwan island and sea sandbanks. We will continue our trip to the north east where we will enter a big bay and land on the beach. We will take a rest in a villager's house after the long boat trip. After that we will explore the village (known as Yenbekaki) and swim at its beach. In the afternoon, we can go hiking in the hills behind the village.  At night, we can do night walk in search of turtles that land on the beach to lay eggs.

Day 3
This time we will explore the tropical rainforest of Waigeo island by going through Warebar river to see its wildlife. Cuscus possum, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Papuan hornbills and soa-soa lizard are some of the animals that live in the jungle. We could spend one night in tents in the jungle.

Day 4
We will leave the river to Yenandau beach. We will enjoy swimming and snorkeling over its coral reef. After that, we will continue our trip to Mamiaef island where we will swim over its coral reef. We will explore the coral reef in the sand bank areas, and walk along the beach of the mainland. Overnight stay in Mamiaef island.

Day 5
We will continue our trip to Yensner to see its blue lagoon. Crystal clear water of the lagoon is home to a lot of species of reef fish. We could walk up the slope of one of the islands in the lagoon to take beautiful pictures of the scenery.  We will spend one night in Yensner.

Day 6 
We will say good bye to Raja Ampat and leave the archipelago for Sorong city

Day 7
Transfer to airport

Participants: This tour is suitable for those who like nature (hiking in the jungle and watching wild animals as well as swimming and snorkeling over coral reef to see marine animals). I suggest that the number of participants should be at least 4 people to share the cost.

Booking:
If you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com for more customized itinerary and cost calculation.