Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

I had a nice scuba diving experience in Mioskon island yesterday morning. I have guided 2 American visitors, Bruce and Paige Harvey to Raja Ampat for several days now. We went diving with some dive guides from Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADR).. They were very helpful in explaining the dive plan, the reef and the current condition.
Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

Coral reef in Mioskon
We went down into the reef at approximately 08.30. The visibility was very good. I did not feel any current at all. A lot of fish could be seen from small fuselier to big trevally, parrotfish, batfish, and leopard grouper. We really enjoyed the dive and I highly recommend it for any scuba divers who want to explore the coral reef of Raja Ampat.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Raja Ampat Birding

Red Birds of Paradise in Waigeo
Red Bird of Paradise
I have just returned from an early morning birding walk in the forest of Waigeo island. I guided two American tourists Paige and Bruce. We left Raja Ampat Dive Resort at 04.50 for a coast in the southern area of Waigeo by a small motorized boat. After that we continued our trip on foot to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). It was still dark and we were walking under the trees of Raja Ampat's rainforest. We used some flashlights. A long the path, we saw millipede and toad. It took around 1 hour 30 minutes for us to reach our birding ground. The sun began to appear in the east providing more light for us.
Courtship dance of paradise bird
Male Red Bird of Paradise was performing courtship dance
We heard the sounds of thunders above us. Soon the rain started to fall. Because we were determined to watch the paradise birds, we decided to stay at the birding platform. After waiting for around 30 minutes we could see the male birds of paradise jumped to the dry branches and danced up and down the near vertical branches of a tree in front of us. Sometimes they only sat on the horizontal branches or flew to palm trees in the surrounding area.
The rain fell again for another 30 minutes and the birds stopped dancing. Because they did not leave their tree, we did not leave our benches either. Soon after the rain stopped, two female Red Bird of Paradise showed up. The male ones jumped to their "poles" and began performing their courtship dance again. The cloudy weather made it dificult for me to capture this important moment by camera. I was able to take some pictures of the paradise birds. Some were quite sharp but the rest were blurry.
Palm Cockatoo
After watching birds of paradise, we walked down the slope again to the beach. We saw Moluccan King Parrot, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Mimic Meliphaga, Hooded Butcherbird, and Blyth's Hornbill. We heard the sounds of Common Paradise Kingfisher but we did not see the birds.
When we set our foot again on the beach of Raja Ampat Dive Resort, we saw some leftovers of catappa fruits falling on to the ground in front of us. When we looked up, there was a Goliath Palm Cockatoo in the tree. He walked on the branch of the tree trying to find delicious fruits for his breakfast.
If you are interested in taking a birding tour in Raja Ampat, and Sorong regency of West Papua, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to:
 -written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Birds in Raja Ampat
Birdwatching in Raja Ampat Karst

Friday, July 5, 2019

Raja Ampat is Snokelers' Paradise

Abundant Reef-fish in the waters of
Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat has got the highest marine biodiversity in the world. It is definitely a paradise for snorkelers. There are a lot of coral reef sites that are suitable for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling. Some of them are described below:
Warduwer Beach - This beach is located in the southern region of Waigeo island. Its reef flat are is quite wide and suitable for anyone who wants to enjoy snorkeling for the first time. Here visitors can see various kinds of damselfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, yellow-tailed blue devil (Chrysiptera cynea). More experienced snorkelers can go to drop off reef of the beach. It is a nice place because the reef slope is a great site to see parrotfish, barracuda, batfish, trevally, tasselled wobbegong, scorpionfish, anemonefish and a lot more.
Yenbuba Strait - This the place where sea current is sometimes strong. Visitors need to make sure that they are accompanied by experienced snorkeling guide. A lot of species of big and small fish can be seen here.
There are still a lot of other snorkeling sites that I want to describe in this post but I will do it later when I update this post.
What to bring?
In general, snorkelers need to bring their own equipment such as mask, snorkel, fins, weights, snorkeling suit, camera, and sunblock lotion and medicines.