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

Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat with Ausralian and Chinese ladies.
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.
Landscape view of FISH LAGOON in Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia.
Landscape in Raja Ampat
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.
Snorkeling photo from Raja Ampat coral reef

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, for itinerary and cost, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180
Snorkeling, island hoping and jungle adventure tour in Raja Ampat
Tourist guide (Charles Roring) with two local villagers at an uninhabited island in Raja Ampat

Snorkeling and Watching Birds of Paradise in Raja Ampat

Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Raja Ampat islands are important destination in Southeast Asia for marine tourism. Visitors who go there usually like to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in a lot of coral reef areas of the archipelago. Raja Ampat is also an important site for birding particularly for those who want to watch Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and a lot of other birds such as Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pacific Swallow, Hook-billed Kingfisher or Radjah Shelduck.
Red Bird of Paradise
As a tourist guide, I offer private tours for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat. There are several sites that tourists can visit depending on how many days they want to stay in Raja Ampat. In general, visitors stay for 3 to 5 days. To join the trip, visitors need to bring their own masks, and fins for snorkeling, binoculars and camera for watching paradise birds.
The trip in Raja Ampat can be extended to the mainland of West Papua, if visitors want to watch more birds in the forest such as the Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise.
For birding in Raja Ampat and mainland New Guinea, I highly recommend that visitors bring field guide book: Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler whereas for identifying fish after snorkeling, I recommend a book entitled: Reef Fish Identification-  TROPICAL PACIFIC by Gerald Allen, Roger Steene, Paul Humann and Ned Deloach.
To book your trip in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp number: +6281332245180.
Scenery of Raja Ampat


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wilson's Bird of Paradise

Wilson's Bird of Paradise from Raja Ampat
I went to Raja Ampat early this week. I guided two Australian and 1 Chinese tourists on a 3-day/ 2 night hiking birding and snorkeling tour in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. Our main targets were Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). Fortunately, we were able to see Wilson after waiting for him for one full day. We woke up at 04.00, had some coffee and tea and left for the birding site by a small boat. We still had to walk up steep slopes for 45 minutes in order to reach the ground where Wilson's B.O.P. usually lands. When we arrived, heavy rain began to pour from the sky. We rushed into the birding hut and waited until the rain stopped. Unfortunately, the paradise bird did not land that morning. We decided to wait longer. I asked local villagers to return to the guesthouse to pick up our lunch. With the food coming to our hut, we could survive until around 15.00 when the Wilson's Bird of Paradise landed on the ground. It was a long wait but an exiting moment when we saw him coming. We pressed the shutter buttons of our cameras continuously during the time when the paradise bird was within our sight. Feeling exhausted we walked happily down the slopes and returned to our guesthouse before dark. My clients - the Chinese and the Australian tourists enjoyed the sunset time swimming and snorkeling in the front waters of the guesthouse where we stayed.
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
The next morning, we still had to wake up early in the morning and went hiking to the trees where Red Bird of Paradise perform their courtship dance. When we got there, it was still dark. We chose the best point where we could take pictures of the birds. At approximately 06.00, the paradise birds started to call their friends. Minutes after the female birds landed on the branches of the trees, the male Red B.O.P. began to compete one another to show their best dance performances. It was a magical moment for all of us who watched the birds of paradise that morning.
We were very satisfied with this birding and snorkeling trip in Waigeo island. We also saw a lot of other birds and tropical fish while staying in Raja Ampat. If you want me to be your guide for your private tour in Raja Ampat or other places in West Papua, please, send me (Charles Roring) an email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180

White Sandy Beach in Raja Ampat