Saturday, October 28, 2017

King Bird of Paradise in Arfak Mountains

Arfak mountains are famous destination for birding. There is a good site for watching King Bird of Paradise, its name is Mount Mabowi. Its lower montane forest is a good site for watching King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). While I was guiding some Australian and Chinese tourists in that forest, I saw a male King B.O.P. while he was calling his female counterpart for mating. The male and female King Bird of Paradise were sexually dimorphic. Male had red upperparts and white belly. The female one had plain brown wings feather with white underparts covered with dark brown stripes.
King Bird of Paradise in Arfak mountains
Taking pictures of the bird was quite difficult, The bird was quite small. He sat in the vines or twigs of a tall tree. I had to immitate his calls to attract his attention. When he jumped or flew to another twig, I was able to spot him and quickly aimed my camera at the bird. During the birding trip in Arfak mountains, I also saw other birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia amboinensis) in the forest of Mount Mabowi.
Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove
There are several birding sites in Manokwari that visitors can go to. I recommend Arfak range (both lower montane and higher montane forests), Lowland Forest of Manokwari in Mesirrokow river-forest and Mansinam islands.
Please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180 if you want to watch King Bird of Paradise in Mount Mabowu of Arfak range - Manokwari
For taking pictures of birds, I recommend a powerful bridge camera with telephoto lens which you could buy at this link: Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera 16MP 83x Optical Zoom 1080/60p Video Built-In Wi-Fi

Watching Willie Wagtail in Manokwari

Here is the picture of Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) that I saw while I was guiding visitors on a 3-day tour in Manokwari. The bird has got black upperparts and white underparts. The birds like to seat on the branches of trees or shrubs that extend over a river. At first, I thought it was feeding on small fresh water fish. But the article in Wikipedia says that the bird eats insects. I often see the bird when I travel along the coastal area of Manokwari, Numfor island and Waigeo island of Raja Ampat.

Birding in Raja Ampat
Recently when I visited Waisai town of Raja Ampat, I saw some Willie Wagtails when I was standing at a cape near the harbor of the regency. Some male birds were chasing a female bird for mating. Therefore, I conclude that the mating season of Willie Wagtail is in October. In addition to Willie Wagtail, I also saw Beach Kingfisher, Coconut Lorikeet, Moustached Treeswift and Singing Starling. It was a short birding experience but I really enjoyed it very much.
Willie Wagtail in Waisai town of Raja Ampat
Coconut Lorikeet
For the Coconut Lorikeet, it was feeding on the nectar of flowers of a tree in front of me. I heard his sound and immediately aimed my camera at him. He was walking down a branch and looked at me. It was only a fleeting moment but I got a few nice shots of him. Seconds later, he flew away.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Watching River Birds in Manokwari

Little Egret
Manokwari regency as a tourist destination has got several sites for birding, i.e. Island and coastal area, Lowland area, Lower Montane forest, Higher Montane Forest and Lakes in Higher Elevation area. Because many birds live in lowland and lower montane forest, these areas have become an important destination for birders.
There is a forest in Manokwari lowland region that I highly recommend for birders. Its name is Mesirrokow river forest. Here, visitors can watch birds that like to live near or along the banks of the river. Some of them include Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Little-ringed Plover, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Yellow-faced Myna and Blyth's Hornbill.
Beautiful Fruit Dove
A birding expedition to this river-forest area needs at least 3 to 5 days. Visitors will need to stay in tents and enjoy birding along the banks of the river. As a tourist guide, I offer private birding trip for anyone who is interested in taking a birding tour into this lowland forest of Manokwari.
I have organized numerous hiking, camping and birding tours to this area since seven or eight years ago in cooperation with local villagers. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing or having tea or coffee at the banks of the river. The scenery of the river environment is very beautiful. So, I highly recommend this place as your next birding destination.
If you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com or send me whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.
Little-ringed Plover

Riverwalk Birding Expedition in Manokwari

Manokwari is considered by a lot of birdwatchers as an important destination for birdwatching. There are several birding sites in the regency which tourists can visit to watch birds such as the lower and higher montane forest of Arfak range and lowland forest of Manokwari.
For birding in lowland forest of Manokwari, I highly recommend Mesirrokow forest. To go birding in the area, visitors need to do riverwalk trip. Much of the forest area in Mesirrokow have not been explored by foreign visitors.
As a tourist guide, I offer 3 days/ 2 nights - 4 days/ 3 nights riverwalk birding expedition for visitors who want to see Blyth's Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Little-ringed Plover, Oriental Dollarbird, Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Willie Wagtail, Little Egret, Brahminy Kite and a lot more.
Birds usually fly over the river or sit on the branches of trees along both sides of the river. To watch them, we could use binoculars and spotting scope. Night walks can also be done to watch nightjar, Papuan frogmouth or fruit bats.
Birdwatchers who want to participate in this Riverwalk Birding Expedition need to bring water shoes. A good pair of binoculars, camera with super zoom or telephoto lenses and field guide book Birds of New Guinea, torch are important things which visitors should bring.
Because there is no guesthouse in the forest, we will stay in tents that are built at the side of the river. As a tourist guide, I can provide dome tents, cooking and eating utensils as well as sleeping bags for participants.
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com  or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Camping near the river


Monday, October 23, 2017

Birding in Manokwari Lowland Forest

Willie Wagtail
There is a huge birding site in the lowland forest of Manokwari which tourists can visit to watch such birds as Yellow-Capped Pygmy Parrot, Willie Wagtail, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Yellow Faced Myna, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Large-tailed Nightjar, Eclectus Parrot and a lot more.
I have organized a lot of birding and camping tours for visitors who want to enjoy birdwatching in this forest for several days. We build tents at the sides of the river and enjoy riverwalk in the mornings and afternoons.
Brahminy Kite in Manokwari Forest
In addition to birding, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing or even fishing in the river.
The duration of the tour is usually 3 days/ 2 nights to 5 days/ 4 nights. This riverwalk camping tour in the lowland forest of Manokwari is suitable for nature lovers who want to see not only birds but also wild flowers, unique trees and shrub plants as well as insects, mammals, reptiles and marsupial animals of New Guinea.
It is not difficult to reach this place. Just fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) and then continue your trip by taking a domestic flight to Manokwari city. I will meet you at the airport and organize your birding trip to this forest.
To enhance your birding experience, you need to buy field guide book Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt, and Bruce Beehler. It is available on Amazon. Bringing a camera with DSLR camera with telephoto lens or bridge camera such as the Canon SX60 or Nikon P900 will increase your chance of taking pictures of birds that sit in distant branches of tall trees. For binoculars, I recommend the following device:
AliExpress.com Product - Top Quality Visionking Binoculos Profissionais Militar Waterproof Binoculars 8x56 ED Hunting Prismaticos Bak4 Fogproof Telescope
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watching Lesser and King Birds of Paradise in Arfak Mountains

Arfak mountains have been considered as an important tourist destination for watching birds of paradise. One of the birding sites in Arfak range that is often visited by birdwatchers is Mount Mabowi. It is located in the eastern region of the range, approximately one and a half hour ride from Manokwari city.
I and local villagers have built tents for visitors who want to stay for several days in the jungle to watch such paradise birds as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) and King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). There are also other birds that we could watch including the Papuan Frogmouth, Common Paradise Kingfisher and Hooded Butcherbird. In addition to watching birds, visitors who do night walk guided by local villagers may also see other animals such as cuscus possum, soa-soa Lizard, bandicoot and snake.
Itinerary
Cuscus Possum
2 days/ 1 night hiking, birding and wildlife watching trip in Mount Mabowi
Day 1 
We can go to Mount Mabowi by taking public transportation from bus terminal at Pasar Wosi. We will find a minibus that goes to Warmarway village. Before going, we need to buy some food materials that we need for tue trip such as canned fish, instant noodles, eggs, tempe (fermented soybean) and some bottled water. It takes 1 hour to reach the village. We will pick up some local villagers who will work for us in carrying our food, and bags as well as photographic equipment. The car will take us to the foot of Mount Mabowi. We will continue our trip by walking up steep slopes for 1 hour to reach the basecamp that is located in the middle of the jungle. The basecamp is ready to be used. Cooking and eating utensils such as knives, cooking pans, boiling pans, spoons, forks and glasses are available in the forest. After having lunch, we can go hiking in the afternoon at 15.00 local time to find Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). Before dark, we can return to the village. After having dinner, we can continue our jungle tour by doing night walk. Local guide will bring us to certain places in the forest where he will call male Cuscus Possum by immitating tue call of female cuscus possum.  Sometimes, we may also find Soa-soa Dragon Lizard during the night walk. At approximately 22.00, we will return to our basecamp to sleep.

Soa-soa Dragon Lizard

Day 2
We will wake up early in the morning at 05.00 and do short walk again to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise. This is a second attempt. At approximately 08.00, we can continue our birding walk to find King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). After the morning bird trip, we can return to our basecamp to have brunch (combined breakfast and lunch). Usually there are various species of butterflies that like to fly around our basecamp. We can take pictures of them while drinking coffee or tea after the long morning walk.
In the afternoon, we will walk down the slopes and catch a public minibus that will transport us back to the city again.
As a tourist guide, I offer hiking and camping tour to this lower montane forest for tourists who want to explore the natural bio-diversity of Arfak range and see birds and animals that I mention above. The average duration of the tour is 2 days/ 1 night to 3 days/ 2 nights.
Visitors who want to go hiking and watching paradise birds have to be physically fit. The path from main road to the basecamp is steep. It takes approximately one hour of walking up steep slopes from main road to the basecamp. The basecamp is large enough to accommodate 4 to 6 visitors.
Don't forget to bring torch, a good pair of binoculars, and camera with telephoto lens if you want to take pictures of birds, butterflies, and other wild animals in the forest. We will provide cooking and eating utensils for visitors.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp number: +6281332245180 to book your trip.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Birds of Paradise Watching Trip

King Bird of Paradise in Arfak Mountains
I have just completed a 2-week birding tour in West Papua province of Indonesia. It started in Arfak range of Manokwari and finished in Raja Ampat islands. Three visitors from China, Australia were the participants of the tour. We spent 4 days in higher montane forest, 2 days in lower montane forest of Arfak range, 5 days in Klasow valley and finally 3 days in Waigeo island.
When hiking and birding in higher montane forest, we watched Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). We also saw a Superb Bird of Paradise for a few minutes when he was eating fruits in Besuei tree. Other birds that we saw in the mountains including Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata), Green-backed Robin, Blue-grey Robin, Vogelkop Melidectes, Feline Owlett Nightjar and Mountain Owlett Nightjar, Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia amboinensis).
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Sorong Lowland
We spent one night camping in the forest of Mount Mabowi to find Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), and King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) We were able to see them both but were not lucky enough to see Cuscus Possum during a night walk near our basecamp. 
The next trip after Arfak range was lowland rainforest of Sorong regency. There we spent 5 days in a jungle village located near Klabolo creek. Klabolo means Naked Water in local language of Mooi tribe. Again, we saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, and King Bird of Paradise. We were very lucky to also watch the Male Magnificent Riflebird for approximately 15 minutes in a branch of a tall tree near our jungle hut. While in the lowland forest of Sorong, we made several attempts to see Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca). Unfortunately, we could only hear its sounds in the mornings and in the afternoons. 
Red Birds of Paradise in Raja Ampat
However, we saw a lot of other birds in lowland forest of Sorong regency. Some of them include Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Golden Myna, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Helmetted Friarbird, Lowland Peltop, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Large Fig Parrot, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Yellow Faced Myna.
Wilson's Bird of Paradise
At the conclusion of our Birds of Paradise Watching Trip in West Papua, we watched Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat. We saw them in the afternoon and early in the morning. It was an unforgetful experience for the participants of the tour. In addition to hiking, and birding, we enjoyed swimming, snorkeling and seeing the beautiful scenery of Raja Ampat islands at the end of our trip. 
If you want to take a private tour with me as your guide to watch Birds of Paradise and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in Raja Ampat, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

A Guesthouse in Raja Ampat for Birding, Snorkeling and Relaxing

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hornbill

I used to receive email from someone who wants to watch hornbill. Although it is an easy request, most often, the place where visitors go to watch that big bird is wrong. Watching birds under the canopy of dense forest is very difficult. I know a forest area in Manokwari where watching hornbill is easy. It is a lowland forest with huge open space. This is a very nice birding site for visitors who want to watch hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo, and other tropical birds.


Here, the chance to see hornbill as well as other tropical birds is higher due to the existence of wide open space for birding in the forest.
Please, contact my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180 to book your birding trip in West Papua.

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