Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Watching Magnificent Bird of Paradise in Tambrauw Mountains

Magnificent Bird of Paradise in Tambrauw Mountains
I went to Tambrauw regency last week. I spent most of my time exploring its interior region. During my 5-days/ 4-nights trip, I saw a lot of species of birds, butterflies, and colorful wild rainforest flowers.
In Andaer forest, I saw male and female Lesser Birds of Paradise in the mornings and in the afternoons. There were several birding sites for this species of paradise bird along the road-side. Some other species of paradise birds that lived in the same forest were Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird and King Bird of Paradise. There was a spot where the lek of Lesser BOP and Magnificent BOP occured in very close distance - seperated only around 30 meters.
I had the chance to see them both on my final morning walk in the forest. My friend Niko who tried to take pictures of the Magnificent BOP for 2 days was not so successful. So, I asked him to focus on the Lesser BOP. And I would wait for the Magnificent BOP. One day earlier, I had seen and taken picture of the Lesser BOP. A villager named Amo accompanied me. I taught him the technique to attract the bird not by calling or placing fruit but by cleaning the ground from fallen leaves and twigs. When the playing ground of Magnificent BOP was spotlesspy clean, it would attract the female to stay longer. So, I and Amo cleaned the ground of the bird.
Nudibranch Flower
After fifteen minutes of removing dirts from the playing ground of the Magnificent BOP, we returned to our hiding place. While waiting for the birds to come, I showed picturee of birds that I made while traveling in various parts of West Papua and other places in Indonesia.
Thirty minutes later, we heard the sounds of the birds of paradise. I raised my head and looked at the playing ground of them. They had not landed. To increase the chance of shooting the birds, Amo moved to the other birding hut which is only 5 meters away from the one that I stayed in.
Several minutes later, the female bird landed. But she flew away again. A male landed and began to jump from one vine or twig to another. He started calling the female Magnificent BOP intensively. When the female came, the show began. And that's the moment when I pressed the shutter button of my camera. I was happy because the birds looked so beautiful in the photographs that I made.
There was a flower in the forest that was similar to nudibranch. Its colors were red, pink and yellow. It looked so beautiful. I walked closer to the flower plant that was at the edge of a cliff. I took out my pocket camera, a Fujifilm XQ2 and shot the flower several times.
If you are interested in taking a hiking and birding tour in Andaer forest of Tambrauw mountains and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Related Posts:
Adventure Trip to Tambrauw
Birding Tour to Aibogiar village of Tambrauw
Snorkeling and Birding in Tambrauw
Snorkeling and Freediving in Tambrauw regency

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Watching New Guinea Vulturine Parrot

Vulturine Parrot
This is the picture of New Guinea Vulturine Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) that I saw in Sakofsiah mountain range of West Papua. There were three of them that stayed in the fig tree for quite long. They ate the fruits and took a rest for several hours there. Because of continuous hunting, road construction and conversion of rainforest into monoculture palm oil and cacao plantations, the population of the bird decreases rapidly. IUCN has put the bird into the Status of Vulnerable. A different approach has to be done to preserve the natural habitat of this parrot, other tropical birds and wild animals.
Andaer ridge forest in Vogelkop region of West Papua
Ecotourism is one of the solutions to protect them. Local villagers could work as guides, cooks, and porters when tourists come to their village to watch Vulturine Parrot and other birds.
To watch tropical birds in the forest, visitors need to make some preparation and bring suitable birding devices. A good pair of 10×42 or 12×50 binoculars is needed to see birds and animals. For taking pictures, I highly recommend a bridge camera such as the Nikon P900 or Nikon P1000. Users of D-SLR camera can buy telephoto lens Sigma 150-600 mm or Tamron 150-600mm G2.
Visitors need to fly to Manokwari or Sorong city if they want to go hiking and birdwatching in the forest of Mount Sakofsiah. I suggest that visitors travel in a group of 4 people so that they can share the cost. Birds that can also be seen in the region are Wompoo Fruit Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Mountain Peltop, Long-tailed Buzzard, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-faced Myna, Oriental Dollarbird, Blyth's hornbill, and at lot more.
The duration of the tour to Andaer ridge forest should be at least 4 days. If the trip to Mount Sakofsiah is included, we need at least 6 days in total to accomplish the tour.
Bringing raincoat, sleeping bag, and plastic bags to cover camera and other electronic devices in case of raining is highly recommended. When visitors participate in this tour, they have to be physically fit because the trip may involve long walk along mountain ridge and camping in the forest to see more wildlife and birds.
If you are interested in watching Vulturine Parrot, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Durian Fruit Season

Durian fruits
A few days ago, I enjoyed a short sightseeing tour around the suburban area of my town. I visited the northern region of Table mountains. It was afternoon time and the weather was quite hot. The road behind this mountain looked almost empty. Very few motorized vehicles passed through. At the roadside, there was a man unloading some durian fruits which he had just taken from the nearby fruit garden and put them onto a table.
We was selling durians. They were tropical fruits. Most people from the Western Countries whom I used to guide do not like durians. They said the fruits have got bad or strong smell. But there are some who like this tropical fruit. However, a lot of people in tropical countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philipines and Thailand like durians very much. 
Road near Table Mountain
Every fruiting season, a lot of people go to the markets or to roadsides where durians are offered by vendors. I asked the man who was arranging his durings how much they were. He said, 100,000 rupiahs per 3 fruits. Well, the fruiting season was in its early stage. For the next two to three months, more durians will fill the markets and roadsides. They will be cheaper, perhaps 15 or 20 thousand rupiahs per fruit.
Durian has got sweet taste. That's why a lot of people like it. Most often the fruits are packaged in watertight and smell proof containers and sent to othwr towns. 
I remember an Italian lady who used to send me email that she would come to my town if there were durians. Well, I might send her an email with an attached photograph of these newly arrived durings from the jungle.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Camping and Watching Wild Animals in Arfak mountains

Our Camping tent for visitors
Arfak range is a popular place for visitors who want to watch wild animals in their natural habitat. There is a forest in the mountains which is a nice site for camping, hiking and birding. Its name is Susnguakti forest. I have organized tours to this forest for several years for nature lovers who want to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, and Magnificent Riflebird.
Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the evening. They can be watched near the campsite. Visitors who want to watch them have to wake up early in the morning at 05.00. The walk to the birding site is around 10 minutes to the Lesser Birds of Paradise and 30 minutes to the King Bird of Paradise. Visitors need to bring a good pair of binoculars. Camera with telephoto lens such as D-SLR cameras with 400, 500 and even 600 mm lens are useful for taking pictures of birds and other wild animals in the forest.
Cuscus Possum
From my previous trips that I organized in this forest, I saw most of the birds including Spangled Drongo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeet, Hooded Butcherbird, and Blyth's Hornbill.
I also organize night walks in the forest to allow visitors to watch ground skink, Papuan tree dragon lizard, ikaheka snake (which is a very poisonous snake), and cuscus possum.
Local villagers have got the expertise to immitate the sounds of female cuscus possums. To attract the possums, we have to do night walks. Visitors must turn off their flashlight before the calling can be started.
Sometimes bandicoot also comes to the same site and we wait for the cuscus possum.
If you want to watch cuscus possum, you need to fly to Manokwari city. I can meet you in this city and organize your tour to the forest and stay there for 3 to 4 days to watch the wild animals of Arfak mountains.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp to +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking the jungle tour.