Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Birding in Raja Ampat and Sorong Regency of Indonesia

A trip report by Charles Roring for Vacation Indonesia Tours

Palm Cockatoo
Probosciger aterrimus


From 7 to 12 November 2023, I had the opportunity to guide four Finnish visitors on a birding trip in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat and Klasow valley of Sorong regency. Both areas are part of Papua Barat Daya Province of Indonesia. The Finnish birdwatchers were Lauri Mikkola, Marjo Mikkola, Hannele Heino and Raija Teider.

Their trip to Sorong city was organized by Mr. Darwin Sumang from Vacation Indonesia Tours (VIT Tours). Our main target was to see birds of paradise such as Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, as well as other tropical birds of New Guinea including Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Golden Myna, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Shining Flycatcher, and a lot more. 

Pied Imperial Pigeon
Ducula bicolor

7 November 2023

I met them in Sorong city. They took a night flight of Batik Air ID 7797 from Jakarta that landed at Domine Eduard Osok (DEO) Airport at around 06:10 morning time. Two airport taxis brought us to ferry harbor where we continued our next trip by fast passenger ferry to Waisai harbor of Raja Ampat. We started our birding activity when we had reached Waigeo island. I informed the driver who took us to Raja Ampat Dive Resort to stop along the way whenever we saw birds. We had to stop several times to see Brahminy Kite and Moustached Treeswift. We checked into the resort at around 13:00. Some Willie Wagtail were playing around the shrub plants and on the boardwalk at the frontyard of the resort. That's already a lunch time. First a walked to a tree where there was Papuan Frogmouth. After having lunch, we walked along the boardwalk of the resort to find Papuan Frogmouths that liked to sleep in trees of the resort. We found one. After that we took a rest. At around 16:00 we continued our birding activity again. We did not go out of the complex area of the resort. We walked to the jetty and watched birds using binoculars and spotting scope. We saw Common Sandpiper, Great-crested Tern, Australasian Osprey, Lesser Frigatebird, Beach Kingfisher, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and Brown Oriole. After dinner, we slept early. 

Beach Kingfisher
Todiramphus saurophagus

8 November 2023

We had breakfast at 07:00. After that we walked around, still at the frontyard of the resort, to look for birds such as Helmetted Friarbird, Mimic Meliphaga, Brown Oriole, and Shining Flycatcher. Our tour participants also like butterflies, we saw some of them including a female Priamus Birdwing Butterfly. We continued our birding walked by walking up wooden stairs to the road behind the resort. There, we saw several interesting species including Glossy-mantled Manucode, Coconut Lorikeet, and Eclectus Parrot and Red-cheeked Parrot. When the weather was getting hotter, we returned to the resort and continued our activity watching butterflies. 

Eclectus Parrot
Eclectus roratus

At around 16:00, we continued birding again. This time, we watched birds from the jetty near dive center of Raja Ampat Dive Resort. We saw Pied Imperial Pigeon, Metallic Starling, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Common Sandpiper and Helmetted Friarbird. 

When the surrounding temperature had been cooler, we walked to the road behind the resort to watch more birds. There, we saw Eclectus Parrot, Shining Flycatcher, Hooded Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Olive-backed Sunbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Coconut Lorikeet, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Helmetted Friarbird, and Red-cheeked Parrot. At around 18:00, the temperature had been cooler. We could see more Eclectus Parrot flying low around us. 

We returned to the resort when our surroundings were getting darker.

Red-cheeked Parrot
Geoffroyus geoffroyi

9 November 2023

We woke up early at 04:00 to have early morning breakfast. At 04:30, we left our resort by a 4WD pick-up truck for birding site deep in the forest of Waigeo island. Our car slowly climbed steep slopes of souther  Waigeo island. It took around 30 minutes to reach the birding site. We still had to continue our adventure that morning by hiking up the steep slopes of the rainforest to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise. We watched the birds for around 30 minutes and then walked down the steep slopes again to the main road. We continued our morning activity to the site of Wilson's Bird of Paradise. At first hide, the bird did not land on his playing ground although we could hear him calling his female mating partner for the whole morning. We moved to another site of the Wilson's Bird of Paradise. This time, we were lucky. The paradise bird landed on his display ground. Everybody was happy to see him. 

Red Bird of Paradise
Paradisaea rubra

Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Diphyllodes respublica

When we left the hide, we tried to find Common Paradise Kingfisher. I played his calls from the sound recordings stored in my cell phone. He kept on sitting inside dense branches. So, we left him. Back to the resort, we had lunch and relaxed at the beach. Some of the tour participants enjoyed swimming. In the afternoon at 15:00, we had a birding tour by the 4WD pick-up truck again. This time we went to the forest in the southern area of Waisai's airport. First, we checked the nearby water channel. There, we saw two Little Egret. Because the temperature was still high, we stayed under the shadow of trees to watch birds that were flying over the hills. We saw some including Brahminy Kite, Gurney's Eagle, and Eclectus Parrot. We moved to hill areas to look for Radjah Shelduck at a stream. We did not find one. So, we had a tour around the hill and then down to the coastal area to the bridge at the southern end of the airport's runway. There we saw Red-cheeked Parrot, Shining Flycatcher and Great-billed Parrot. Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel were seen walking on the big stones at the riverside and the beach. Pacific Swallow and Glossy Swiftlet flew around us. We returned to our resort again at around 06:30. On the way, we stopped for a while to watch Rufous-bellied Kookaburra that was sitting on electrical line.

10 November 2023

After breakfast, we left our resort by speedboat. The coastal scenery of Waigeo island looked so beautiful. We crossed the sea by fast passenger ferry to Sorong city again. We had lunch at Solaria resto in Ramayana Mall. After a short stop at Mega Mall to buy fruits, we continued our trip by 4WD car to Klasow valley. We arrived at around 15:00 local time. We walked to Malagufuk village for around two hours because we stopped several times to watch Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove and Golden Myna. 

We heard the calls of King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird but we could not see them. Suddenly it started to rain. We reached the village at around 17:00. We were able to see Blyth's Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and Black Lory flying in the air. Our dinner was stir-fried vegetables, fried chicken in black sweet soy sauce, green vegetables, mango, watermelon and papaya.

Lesser Birds of Paradise
Paradisaea minor

11 November 2023

We woke up early in the morning at 04:30, had tea, coffee and some biscuits as well as fried noodle. We walked to the birding site of Magnificent Riflebird at 05:00 and reached the place in thirty minutes. We watched the bird for around 1 hour and then continued our trip to the site of Lesser Birds of Paradise. When we reached the lek, we did not see them. We walked around to find one. A local guide who accompanied us saw one bird sitting at high branch. It was quite difficult for mw to aim my binoculars and tripod at the paradise bird. The tour participants could see them. In less then two minutes, the Lesser Bird of Paradise hopped to another branch with densed twigs and leaves. We could not watch him properly. We were hopeless. We walked to the other side of the tree. Before we left for the site of King Bird of Paradise, I played the sound record of the Lesser Birds of Paradise to attrack him. Fortunately, he came and landed on the vine that was hanging down the ficus tree in front of us. He was around fifteen meters above us but in open area. All of us could see him well. Everyone took some pictures of the paradise bird. 

birding in sorong of west papua
King Bird of Paradise

We walked for around twenty five minutes to the site of King Bird of Paradise. There we watched the paradise bird from a watching tower built by local villagers. We spent around one hour in the area and then returned to the village to have lunch. 

At 13:00, we walked slowly back to main road. There were butterflies that were flying around. We stopped to take pictures of them.  Some of them were Silky Owl Butterfly and New Guinea Clipper butterfly. 

We returned to Sorong city by 4wd pick-up truck. At around 17:00 we reached Swissbel Hotel. We enjoyed dinner at 19:00 and then took an early rest.

12 November 2023

I organized the transfer of our tour participants at 08:30. The Domine Eduard Osok (DEO) Airport of Sorong city was quite busy in the morning. Arriving at the airport, I said goodbye to our Finnish guests hoping that they would have a nice flight to Jakarta and then back to their home country in Findland. End of the Tour

If you are interested in traveling to Sorong and Raja Ampat or even Tambrauw regency and need to guide to organize your trip and guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or email to: peace4wp@gmail.com. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Private Birding Tour in Sorong and Tambrauw with a Tourist from India

I have just completed a private birding tour for a visitor from India. He arrived in Sorong by Citilink's plane. I met him at the airport and organized his transfer to Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort in Sausapor town of Tambrauw regency. It took around 3 hours to reach the destination. 

sorong and tambrauw regency
Birding in Tambrauw and Sorong

We stayed at the wooden bungalows of the resort. The front, side and backyard areas of the resort are filled by various kind of trees, and flower plants. These plants attract insects and sometimes birds. 

Meadow Argus butterfly (Junonia villida)
Meadow Argus Butterfly
taenaris butterfly in West Papua
Taenaris butterfly
The beach faced Pacific Ocean. There was huge coral reef area which was the habitat of a lot of species of marine creatures. Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort was a great place for snorkeling and insect or butterfly watching. There were cruiser, common green birdwing, silky owl, great eggfly and ulysses butterflies. Visitors needed at least three to four days to watch butterflies and to enjoy snorkeling. 
Palm Cockatoo

After checking into the resort, we took a rest for around two hours and then began our birding tour to a forest a little outside Sausapor town. We spent around three and a half hours there. We saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Coconut Lorikeet, Hooded Butcherbird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and etc. 

Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher
Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher

We continued our trip to Klabili village where we saw King Bird of Paradise, Palm Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher and Yellow-billed Kingfisher. 

While we were about to do birding walk that morning at the village, a fish vendor came by a motorcycle with a basket attached on his back seat. There were various kinds of reef fish that he offers. Unfortunately, we were on a trip to the forest. We could not buy the fish. However, the villagers asked us to take some photos with the fish and the vender. Well, we were happy to do what they had requested. Here is the fish photo. 

fish vendor
A pose with villagers, a fish vendor and his fish as well as some photos from the tour

During the last morning of the tour, we went birding in Mangrove area of Sorong city. We saw Orange-fronted Fruit Dove and Brown-backed Honeyeater, Sahul Sunbird, Nankeen Night Heron, Striated Heron, Common Sandpiper and etc. 

If you are interested in taking a private butterfly watching, or snorkeling tour in West Papua, and want me to organize your trip and guide you, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Wildlife Watching Trip in Tambrauw Regency

In the past few months I have been guiding tourists on wildlife watching tours in Sorong, Tambrauw and Arfak mountains as well as other parts of Indonesia such as Sumatra, Bali and Java. Our experience in Tambrauw was unique because tour participants could see both marine and rainforest environment. 

One of the destinations which we visited was Weyos beach. It was located in north-east region of Tambrauw. In early August 2023, I organized a trip for 8 French visitors. We went to Sausapor by 4WD car. It took around 3 hours to reach the town. 

cuscus, paradose birds and baby turtles
Wildlife in Tambrauw forest


We stayed at Sansapore Pacific Park which was a great place to enjoy sightseeing, sunset watching, swimming and snorkeling, recreational fishing, butterflywatching and birdwatching. The rainforest at the outskirt of Tambrauw regency was a good place for birding.

private snorkeling tour in Indonesia
Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort

It was a beautiful beach accommodation. However we did not stay long at the beach resort. The next morning, we continued our trip to Weyos beach by 3 small motor boats. It took approximately 3 hours to reach the beach.  Arriving at the beach, we put our belongings in a shelter. There were dome tents, mattrasses and pillows that I had prepared for the guests. For the next 3 days of our adventure at Weyos beach, we went swimming and snorkeling, watched birds along the sides of Wenyef river and visited that nesting site of leatherback turtles at night. There we saw baby turtles (hatchlings) coming out of the sand and crawling into the sea. 

turtle watching
Weyos beach in Tambrauw regency

Local villagers went to the sea to catch fish. So, everyday, we could eat grilled fish. 

The lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise was located on the slope of a hill around 20 minutes walk from our shelter. To watch the birds, we woke up at 05:00 and then made some preparations. At 05:30, we started walking to the site of the paradise birds. Most of the tour participants watched the paradise birds of the first time. It was a magical experience for them. They felt so happy after watching the courtship dance performance of the paradise birds. In the last day of our tour at Weyos beach, we posed for some photographs with local villagers. After saying goodbye to them, we left the beach by motorized boat to Sausapor town and then to Sorong city in the afternoon by 4wd cars again. All the tour participants were very happy with the trip. 

birding in tambrauw regency
Birdwatching in Tambrauw

I hope that in the near future, more tourists will be interested in visiting Tambrauw regency.

If you are interested in traveling to Tambrauw regency to enjoy your holiday, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Birdwatching and Snorkeling in Tambrauw

Sansapore Pacific Park is a beach resort in Sausapor town of Tambrauw regency. It can be reached by 4WD car from Sorong city. The house reef of the resort is the natural habitat of a lot of species of marine creatures including tropical reef-fish (parrotfish, wrasse, butterflyfish, moorish idol, anemonefish and etc.), sea cucumber, sea star, Christmas Tree Worm and beautiful corals. Visitors who are interested in snorkeling to see the beauty of this marine life have to bring their snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel and swim fins. 

The best time to enjoy snorkeling at the beach of Sansapore Pacific Park is from April to October. 

snorkeling photos tropical reef fish
Marine life at the beach near Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort

A good underwater camera such as the Nikon W300 or Olympus TG-6 will enable snorkelers to take pictures and videos of the marine life of Sausapor beach. 

tambrauw snorkeling
Marine Life in Sausapor beach

birdwatching and wildlife watching
Hiking in Tambrauw's forest

The hills around Sausapor town is the habitat of Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Western-crowned Pigeon, Helmatted Friarbird, Black Butcherbird, Hooded Butcherbird, and a lot more. Visitors need to bring their own binoculars. For taking photographs, visitors need to bring D-SLR camera with 159-600 mm lens. Another althernative can be a point and shoot camera such as Nikon Coolpix P1000 or Canon Powershot SX70. 

To identify birds, birdwatchers can use e-bird or merlin. 

palm cockatoo
Probosciger aterrimus

Visitors who like butterfly can also watch butterfly in the front and backyard of the resort. Cruiser butterfly, Ulysses and Common Green Birdwing Butterfly can be seen in the area.

butterfly watching tour
Butterflies in Indonesia

Where to stay

For accommodation, visitors can stay at Sansapor Pacific Park. There are wooden bungalows that provide affordable accommodation for visitors. 

beach resort
Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort

How to get there?

First, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta or Bali of Indonesia. After that you could take a domestic flight by such airlines as Lion Air, Batik Air or Garuda to Sorong city. Your trip to Sansapore Pacific Park beach resort can be organized by a 4WD car. 

Tambrauw regency of Indonesia
Tambrauw regency is located between Sorong and Manokwari

If you are interested in taking a trip to West Papua region of Indonesia, and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Tourist Attractions in Sorong City

Sorong city which is the main gate for visitors who want to travel to Raja Ampat has got a number of interesting attractions: Usually they spend one or two days in Sorong city before continuing their trip to Waisai town or flying back to their country. Here are some of the attractions. 

Birdwatching in Sorong
Sahul Sunbird

  • Rainforests in Sorong are located along the coastal area and in the hills behind the city. The forest that can be visited easily by birdwatchers is the mangrove forest. It has got boardwalk that allows visitors to watch birds, butterflies, beetles, lizards, fish, crabs, and see mangrove trees. 
  • Traditional Market is the place for visitors who want to see goods and services that city dwellers buy and sell. Various kinds of fruits, vegetables, meat, kitchen equipment, electrical appliances, clothing and etc. 
  • Islands - There are several interesting islands around Sorong regency. Visitors can go to the islands to the villagers or watch birds and other wildlife. 
Wildlife watching outside Sorong city
Sorong city has got supermarkets, department stores, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, massage service, car rental, boat rental, traditional market, fast food restaurants, souvenir shops, and etc.
If you are interested in exploring the natural and cultural attractions around Sorong city and want me to organize your tour and guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to +6281332245180. 


Please, support this blog by buying art drawings and illustrations of wild animals and plants in the form of prints on various products as follows:

Watercolour Sketch of Bird

Watercolour Sketch of Bird
Fruit Dove from Tropical Rainforest

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape
Swimming with Whaleshark

Vector art illustration in Inkscape

Vector art illustration in Inkscape
Baby leatherback turtle was reaching for the sea

Drawing of Paradise Bird

Drawing of Paradise Bird
Lesser Birds of Paradise art print on classic T-shirt

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise