Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ornithoptera tithonus

Birdwing Butterfly Ornithoptera tithonus
Birds are not the only animals that attract my attention. When I guide tourists in the forest or at the beach, I like to take pictures of everything from beautiful lanscape to paradise birds and butterflies. Last week, I guided 3 French visitors in Arfak range. I saw several species of birdwing butterflies that were eating the nectar of flowers. Here is the picture of Ornithoptera tithonus that was feeding on the nectar of New Guinea impatient flowers. His wings were mostly decorated with black, green and yellow colours. For the female butterflies, their wings have got black, white and yellow colours. The best time to observe butterflies is during dry season, such as in September, October and November.
Snake in the forest of Arfak range
In addition to butterflies and birds, visitors may see other animals such as snakes, and cuscus possum, soa-soa lizards during their trip in Arfak range. I personally saw a snake two months ago when I went camping in lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. I did not know whether it was a venomous one or not. So, when I took a picture of the reptile, I kept a safe distance from it.
Arfak range has been a famous destination in Manokwari for birding and wildlife watching.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Watching Paradise Birds with Some American Photographers

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
Early this month I organized a hiking and birding tour in Klasow valley for some American photographers. They were led by a lady - Adriana. We spent 2 nights exploring the rainforest of the valley to find Lesser Birds of Paradise and a lot of other species of birds that live in the tropical jungle of Sorong regency.
During the hiking and birding tour, we were able to see Magnificent Riflebird, Yellow Faced Myna, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Golden Myna, Helmetted Friarbird, Blyth's hornbill. In the last day of our trip, we trip to spot a King Bird of Paradise but we were not so successful in finding the bird.
To watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, we had to wake up early in the morning at 04.30. After making preparations, we had to walk for 1 hour to reach the birding ground. It was a great experience. We were able to watch paradise birds for several hours. I was able to take pictures of the birds too. After the wonderful adventure in the jungle, we return to Sorong city again by two 4wd-pickup cars.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Birding Tour in Manokwari Highland and Lowland Forest

Magnificent Bird of Paradise
I have just completed a 1-week birding tour with Bruno, Michelle and Chantal. They were 3 birders who came from France. We visited higher montane forest of Arfak range for 3 days and 3 nights and lowland forest of Manokwari for 3 days/ 2 nights.
During the first leg of our tour in higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains, we watched several species of birds of paradise including Magnificent Birds of Paradise, Western Parotia. For me, I was so happy because I could see Magnificent Birds of Paradise again.
In the second leg of our birding trip, we enjoyed hiking, camping, swimming and birdwatching along a river in Manokwari.
Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
There are tropical birds that we watched including Little Egret, Brahminy Kite, Grey Crow, Great-billed Heron, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Lowland Peltop, Pacific Baza and Palm Cockatoo. The tropical rainforest in lowland area of Manokwari is relatively a new birding destination. We haven't built guesthoses in the forest for visitors. So, we use tents if we want to stay for several days.
The birding tour in lowland forest of Manokwari was a more adventurous trip. We spent most of our time, walking along the bank of a river or wading through its knee-depth water to find such birds as Little Ringed Plover, Grey Wagtail and Variable Goshawk.
Our birding experience was greatly enhanced with a Swarovski HD spotting scope brought by one of the tour participants. It was a nice birding adventure and I hope to be back into the jungle again soon.

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