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: or text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180

White Sandy Beach in Raja Ampat

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