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: or whatsapp: +6281332245180 if you want to enjoy snorkeling and birding with me in Raja Ampat and other places in West Papua.

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