Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Yellow Billed Kingfisher in Sorong

I had a 5-day hiking and birding tour with 3 foreign visitors in Klasow valley of Sorong regency last month. We went there to watch Yellow-Billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), and Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus). As a matter of fact we also saw a lot of other birds during the trip in the lowland forest of the regency.
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
I think October was the mating season for the Yellow-billed Kingfisher because I saw male and female were calling each other. I and a Chinese lady, who was one of the tour participants, were walking along the clearing area of the forest in the village in search of Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise when we heard the sounds of the Yellow-billed Kingfisher. We immediately turned our attention to the birds. We were very lucky, we could take a lot of pictures of the birds.
Eclectus Parrot over the sea of Raja Ampat
After birding for several days in Klasow valley, we continued our trip to Raja Ampat to see Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. It turned out to be a successful trip. We saw both of them. We also saw Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Pacific Swallow, Torresian Crow, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Blyth's Hornbill. Raja Ampat was really a paradise for nature lovers.
Tomorrow, I will go to the valley again and I hope that I can see birds that I haven't seen before.
Also read:
Birding Tour in Sorong regency of West Papua
Birding Tour in Sorong Lowland Forest

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Birding in Waisai town of Raja Ampat

Beach Kingfisher near Waisai harbor of Raja Ampat
I had a short birding experience near Waisai harbor of Raja Ampat. There was a cape overlooking the bay of Waisai harbor that I visited yesterday morning. It was a nice place for watching birds such as Beach Kingfisher, Moustached Treeswift, Willie Wagtail, and even Rainbow Lorikeet.
It was approximately 09.00 local morning time when I visited the cape. The first birds that I saw were Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys). Two males were chasing a female where ever she flew. Far at sea, on top of navigation light post for ships, were a group of singing starling. They were sitting on top of the metal tower to enjoy morning sunlight.
There were also several Moustached Treeswifts that were flying low and fast, perhaps, to catch insects. They chose some naked branches of tall trees on a hill behind the cape as their seats.
While I was trying to locate where the sounds of Beach Kingfisher came from, I saw a Rainbow Lorikeet walking on the branch of a tree just in front of me. He was quite close to me. I carefully lifted my camera and aimed it at the bird. I succcessfully made some pictures of this colorful bird. Actually there were a lot of Rainbow Lorikeet that were eating flowers from the nearby barringtonia or cattapa trees. However, the leaves and branches blocked me from seeing them.

The sounds of the Beach Kingfisher kept attracting my attention. Finally, after one hour of searching and waiting, I was able to spot him on the dead branches of a tree just over the sea water. I quickly shot him with my Fujifilm HS50EXR. This camera has been with me for quite long. It fell many times, was exposed to rain many times. I am not sure if it can survive any longer. Fortunately, it was still working this time. The bird flew to the tree, sat there, calling his female counterpart for several minutes to no avail and then flew away. It was a short but a very pleasant birding experience. I was able to take some nice pictures of the bird. October is mating season for a lot of species of birds both in Raja Ampat islands and the mainland of New Guinea.
Personally, I am not very familiar with all the names of the bird species of Raja Ampat. But I was very happy at that time. After having lunch, I left Waisai town for Sorong city.
Seascape view near Waisai harbor of Raja Ampat
As a tourist guide, I have visited Raja Ampat many times escorting visitors on numerous snorkeling, island hopping and birding trips. Still this archipelago has got more places to explore and see. I hope that I will return to this archipelago again in the near future.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.co or whatsapp: +6281332245180 if you want to enjoy snorkeling and birding with me in Raja Ampat and other places in West Papua.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Raja Ampat Snorkeling and Birding Tour

Adventure in Raja Ampat
I offer private tour to visitor who wants to visit Raja Ampat islands for snorkeling and birdwatching. There are a lot of sites in the region which we can explore to see coral reef and tropical fish as well as colorful birds that live in the rainforest. For trips longer than 5 days, I highly recommend Mamdifu forest, Isanak beach, Fish Lagoon in East Waigeo as the most recommended destination. For 3 days/ 2 nights snorkeling and birding tour, southern area of Waigeo is the site that I choose. However, your itinerary in Raja Ampat can be customized according to your interest. There are visitor who prefers to come alone and requests a private tour and there are also tourists who travel as a group so that they can share the cost of transportation and accommodation. A visitor who takes private tours will have a more flexible itinerary. The route of the tour can be customized to island or guesthouse that is more comfortable or affordable. A guesthouse that is located near white sandy beach with crystal clear water  and coral reef environment is a the most likely place that visitor chooses.
During the snorkeling trip, visitor can see anemonefish, striped surgeonfish, sweetlips, boxfish, trevally, grouper, and a lot of other marine creatures.
Upon special request, the tour can be extended to mainland New Guinea where visitors can go hiking in the forest to watch birds of paradise and a lot of species of plants in the jungle.
Visitor needs to bring his or her own snorkeling device such as mask and fins. A good underwater camera is also recommended for taking pictures of fish, coral reef and other marine creatures. To enhance birding experience, a good pair of binoculars plus a digital camera with telephoto lens are highly needed.

Island Hopping
This is a kind of tour that I usually organize for a group of visitors who want to see uninhabited islands, remote villages and rainforest areas that are less visited by main stream tourists. In other words, the tour that I offer is to places that are located in remote region.
Booking: 
If you are interested in taking the tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180
Tourist guide (Charles Roring) with two local villagers at an uninhabited island in Raja Ampat