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Monday, April 4, 2016

Birding Tour in Manokwari

Birding Destination
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Manokwari regency has been famous as the most important birdwatching destination in New Guinea island. As the largest tropical island in the world, New Guinea is divided into 2 territory. The eastern region is the independent state of Papua New Guinea and the western one is the territory of Indonesia called West Papua. There are 2 provinces in West Papua, i.e. Papua (with the capital of Jayapura) and Papua Barat (with Manokwari as its capital).
As a birding tour destination, Manokwari has got several areas that are suitable for birdwatching:
The Lowland Forest
This is the forest area which is the natural habitat of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, Western Crowned Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Pesquet Parrot (which is very difficult to find), Friarbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove and the famous Lesser Birds of Paradise. Azure Kingfisher, King Birds of Paradise, Paradise Riflebird, Spangled Drongo, Eclectus Parrot and a lot more.

Arfak Mountains
Higher Montane Forest of Arfak Mountains has become a world class birding destination. Here, visitors are able to watch Western Parotia, Magnificent Birds of Paradise, Vogelkop Bowerbird and Cinnamon Ground Dove.
Cinnamon Ground Dove

The Lower Montane Forest of the mountains has got birds whose species are similar to the ones in low flat land area.
As a tourist guide, I could arrange a trekking tour in the jungle of Manokwari regency. During the tour, visitors will be able to stay in the jungle for several days to watch not only birds but also other wild animals such as cuscus possum and colorful butterflies.
Birding Gear
Most birdwatchers need a pair of binoculars to see birds. To enhance birding experience, I will also bring a spotting scope and a field guide entitled Birds of New Guinea written by Bruce Beehler and his friends. A D-SLR camera with telephoto lens will be a useful device particularly for taking pictures of birds in distant branch of a tree. Today, Nikon has manufactured a bridge camera with the highest optical zoom 83x. Its type is Nikon Coolpix P900. Because the birding activity will be done in tropical jungle, I will bring dome tents.

Snorkeling Tour
In addition to jungle tour, I can also organize a snorkeling tour for you if you want to see coral reef and tropical fish that live in Manokwari waters. Based on my personal observation, there are a lot of of species of fish that can be seen. Some of them are striped surgeon fish, trevally, damselfish, moorish idol, parrotfish, grouper, and anemonefish.
How to get there?

  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Fly from Jakarta to Manokwari by domestic airlines such as Garuda, Express Air, Sriwijaya Air 
  • I could meet you in Manokwari city and organize your birding trip in the jungle.

Contact:
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in trekking and birdwatching in Manokwari.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Birding Tour in Sorong regency of New Guinea

I have just completed a rainforest birding tour with 2 British tourists in Klasow valley of Sorong regency of West Papua. This territory is located in the western region of New Guina island. West Papua has been a famous birdwatching destination in the world because it is the natural habitat of birds of paradise.
During the 2 days/ 2 nights hiking and birding tour in the jungle of Klasow valley, we watched a number of birds including Lesser Birds of Paradise, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Moustached Tree Swift, Large Fig Parrot, Spangled Drongo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, and Yellow-billed Kingfisher, and Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Eclectus Parrot.
In the last day of our birding tour, we saw a Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud) in close distance. We could take a good picture of the bird. The bird was perching on a small branch of a tree approximately 10 meters away from us. I aimed my Fujifilm HS50EXR at the bird and made several pictures of the bird.
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra in the jungle of Klasow valley - Sorong regency of West Papua
There are other animals that we saw in the tropical jungle of Klasow valley such as wallabies, giant fruit bats, butterflies, beetles and colorful crickets.
How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • After that, take a domestic flight (served by such airlines as Garuda, Express, Sriwijaya and Nam Air) to Sorong city.
  • I will meet you at the city to arrange your trip to Klasow valley.  
Aerial roots of Pandanus Tree with a British tourist as human scale
The usual duration of the rainforest birding and wildlife watching tour is between 3 to 6 days. If you are interested in taking a birding tour in this jungle, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Birding in Klasow valley of Sorong regency

I have just completed a 3-day/ 2-night birding and wildlife watching tour in the jungle of Klasow valley with 2 British tourists. As biologists, they showed great interest in the ecosystem of tropical rainforest. They had spent several days diving in Raja Ampat islands before continuing their trip with me to the rainforest of Sorong regency.
Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon)
During the birdwatching trip, we were able to see a lot of birds including Blyth's hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Large Fig-Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii), Red-cheeked Parrot, Black Lory, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Lesser Black Coucal (Centropus bernsteini), Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Hacyon torotoro).
Two Birdwatchers from the United Kingdom
My British guests, Niall and Rachel were very fit and were able to explore the forest during the day, night and early morning time. It was not only birds that attract their attention but also trees, insects, vines, reptiles and anything that could be seen in the forest.
When taking a night walk, we were able to see several wallabies that were feeding on green leaves. We also saw glowing mushroom and venomous ground spider. I had a great time with them discussing a lot of issues related to the preservation of rainforest and empowerment of local people through ecotourism.
In the last day of the trip, they looked so happy because they were able to see both male and female Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus rotatus) on the way back to the main road before leaving the forest.
Eclectus Parrot in tropical jungle of Sorong regency - West Papua
As a matter of fact it was not the last bird that we saw. When our car was speeding up a steep mountain on the way back to Sorong city, we spotted a Lesser Black Coucal (Centropus bernsteini). This black bird with his long tail was walking on the ground, perhaps, trying to cross the road. Suddenly he saw our car was approaching in fast speed, in less than a few seconds he moved back into the bush.
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching trip with me in the jungle of West Papua province of Indonesia, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Monday, March 28, 2016

White-headed Shelduck

Last month I guided 4 Czech tourist on a snorkeling and sightseeing tour in Raja Ampat. We visited numerous islands including Mansuar, Kri, Kabui bay and Fam islands. We saw a lot of frigate birds, shearwater and tern.
White-headed Shelduck in Raja Ampat
In our final day in Kri island, I saw a couple of big white ducks walking at the beach. It was close enough to me. So, I aimed my camera and shot them. At that time I did not know what species they were. When I returned home I opened my fieldguide book and was able to identify the birds. They were White-headed Shelduck (Tadorna radjah).
Raja Ampat regency is also the natural habitat of Red and Wilson's birds of paradise particularly in Waigeo and Gam islands.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you want to do birdwatching in Raja Ampat.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Large Fig Parrot from Klasow Valley

There are a lot of species of tropical birds that live in Klasow valley. One with beautiful colors is called Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii).

I am surprized to see that it is only a small bird. I don't know why ornitologists add the word "Large" on its name.
I used to guide 4 French tourists in January 2016. In the afternoon before sunset time, we went birding around the forest clearing in Klasow valley. Suddenly some Large Fig Parrot flew to a tree in front of us and played there for around several minutes. It was a nice birding experience to see them. We used a spotting scope to watch them.
I hope that I will be able to see them again in my next birding trip to the valley.
If you are interested in taking a birding trip in Sorong regency of West Papua, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Pinon Imperial Pigeon

Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) live in almost all lowland areas of New Guinea. It eats fruits from the forest. The indigenous Papuan people call it Kumkum.
Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) in the forest of Klasow valley, Sorong regency - West Papua
This bird is often hunted as the source of protein by the indigenous Papuan people. In recent years the population of kumkum has been decreasing rapidly particularly near cities and towns due to sport hunting activities by city dwellers who use air gun. Such practice has to be stopped by local authorities if they are really serious in preserving tropical rainforest environment.
Watching birds in the jungle is often very difficult because birds are hidden behind branches and leaves of trees. So, the best spots to see birds are along the banks of rivers or forest clearings near a village that are created by local people as their vegetable or fruit gardens. To enhance birding experience in West Papua, birders need a good pair of binoculars, spotting scope and a field guide entitled "Birds of New Guinea."


If you are interested in taking a birding tour with me as your guide/ birding companion, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Golden Myna from the Forest of Sorong Regency

Here are the pictures of Golden Myna (Mino anais) that I saw in the lowland forest of Klasow valley. It is located approximately 60 kilometers in the east of Sorong city. The best time to find this bird is between 16.00 up to 18.30 local time in the clearing areas that are made by local villagers for their vegetable garden and housings.
Golden Myna in the forest of Klasow valley, Sorong regency - West Papua
Three Golden Myna in the forest of Klasow valley
A couple of Golden Myna look very romantic while waiting for sunset because they often kiss each other.
As a tour guide, I offer birding trips to Klasow valley and other parts in West Papua for birdwatchers who want to see birds of New Guinea. A customized trip can be prepared upon request with places such as Klasow valley, Tambrauw mountains, Numfor island, Manokwari and Raja Ampat will become the vocal points of the trip. There are a lot of other birds which visitors can see during the birding tour, some of them include Lesser Birds of Paradise, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove or Frigate birds and Blyth's hornbill.
For further info, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com