Sunday, December 24, 2017

Coastal Birds of Raja Ampat

Eastern Osprey at the beach of Waigeo island
When I go birding in Sorong, Manokwari and Tambrauw regencies, most of the birds that I see are the ones that live in tropical rainforest. The case is different if I do birding walk along the beach of Waigeo, Kri and Mansuar islands of Raja Ampat archipelago.
There I see sea birds. Some of them include Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah), Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus), Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica), Eatern Osprey (Pandion cristatus), Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii).
Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes)
When visiting Raja Ampat, I like to enjoy snorkeling too. There are a lot of beautiful corals and tropical reef fish that I can see such as butterflyfish, moorish idol, anemonefish, surgeonfish, and even black-tip reefshark.
As a matter of fact, birds and fish are not the only animals that we can see in Raja Ampat. There are also butterflies, beetles, lizards and sometimes snakes that we can find among the coastal vegetation.
Piaynemo islets in Raja Ampat
The coral reef of Raja Ampat is very rich of marine life. It is the natural habitat of thousands of species of creatures such as fish, urchin, sea star, mollusc, and mammals. That's why it is not surprising to see that there are a lot of seabirds living in these islands.
If you plan to go birding in Raja Ampat, besides putting your super zoom camera, binoculars and spotting scope into your bag, don't forget to also put  mask, snorkel, and fins into it.
Also read:
Kofiau Monarch
Birding in North-east region of Waigeo island
Birding in Raja Ampat
Birding in Raja Ampat of West Papua
Rainforest Tours in Raja Ampat
Birdwatching and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Snorkeling and Birding in Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

a pair of Rufous-bellied Kookaburra in Waigeo island
I cannot count how many times I have visited Raja Ampat. But every trip that I did to these tropical islands was wonderful and unique. My last tour was in the southern region of Waigeo island where I enjoyed snorkeling/ freediving and birding at Paradisea beach. I spent 2 days there exploring the coastal forest of Waigeo and the coral reef of the beach.
Paradisea beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
As usual, I brought my Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR, Visionking 10x42 binoculars, and a Kinglux 20-60×60 spotting scope.
Snorkeling and Freediving
For snorkeling, I only brought a mask and a snorkel. The marine life in the coral reef of Paradisea beach was abundant. During a short snorkeling session, I saw various species of surgeonfish, anemonefish,  damselfish, needlefish, grouper, sweetlips, wrasse, lionfish, and goatfish.
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat has been considered as the best destination for tourists who want to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and free-diving. With 1,427 species of reef fishes, 553 corals and 42 mantis shrimps, Raja Ampat is the richest in the world for its marine biodiversity.
Visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling or freediving at this beach must do a complete buoyancy control so that they will not destroy the coral reef. They could ony stand on the sand by swimming closer to the beach.
During the short birding walk, I saw Yellow-faced Myna, Lowland Peltop, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Moluccan Starling, Willie Wagtail, Spangled Drongo, Beach Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Red Bird of Paradise, Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Blyth's Hornbill, Frigatebird, Common Greenshank, and Crested Tern.
Also read:
Birdwatching and Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour in Raja Ampat
Birding and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat