Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Clownfish and Anemone

Everytime I go snorkeling and freediving in the waters of Raja Ampat, Tambrauw or Manokwari, I often see clownfish or anemonefish. Usually there are one, two or three clownfish in a small anemone colony. They can be found in coral reef areas up to 15 meters below sea level. There are several species of them such as Clown Anemonefish, False Clownfish, Spinecheek Anemonefish, Tomato Anemonefish, Pink Anemonefish, Orange Anemonefish, Clark's Anemonefish, Scientifically, they are grouped into Damselfish.
Some of them were very territorial. When I dived to take pictures of them, they gave different responses. There were clownfish that chased me when I approach their "house" but there were anemonefish that hid inside the anemone or hole in a nearby rock.
I tried drawing a couple of clownfish today using my usual tool, i.e. Autodesk Sketchbook in Samsung Tab A with S-pen. It took several hours for me to make a sketch and then colored it. The surface of the tablet was small and there were some cracks on its glass surface. My tablet used to fall on the floor several times.
I hope you like the drawing and become interested in buying some products such as pillow, mug, laptop skin or iPhone case.
Coral reef is the source of food for local people. They also give significant economic contribution especially from tourism sector. Therefore, we must protect this important marine environment.

Well, if you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour to Manokwari, Tambrauw and Raja Ampat islands, as well as hiking, birding and wildlife watching tour to Tambrauw mountains with me as your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Watching Magnificent Riflebird in Susnguakti Forest

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) is a species of birds of paradise that live in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea. The male one has got black feather all over its body that is decorated with triangular blue breast. There is a narrow yellow line feather below the blue breast. Because of these physical characteristics I like to call him Blue-breasted Paradise Bird. The birds are active in the mornings, and in the afternoons at his display or dancing site - usually a big hanging vine or a clean branch. He likes to perform courtship dance to attract his female bird.
Magnificent Riflebird makes calling sounds throughout the day. We can hear the sounds of this bird almost every where in the forest but it is very difficult to find him. Fortunately, I have seen the birds in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari.
Simple but comfortable tent
Early this month, I organized a birding tour for an Austrian couple who spent several days birding and wildlife watching with me.
We stayed in a basecamp in the middle of the jungle. There is no toilet. We used a small river near our basecamp to wash and clean our body. I prepared dome tents, mattrasses, towels, and pillows for them so that they could sleep comfortably in the forest. There were cooking and eating utensils that I and local villagers provided in the forest. All that my clients needed to bring were some dark clothing, anti-insect lotion, food, binoculars, and camera.
At night, we did some night walk to find cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard as well as birds that were sleeping on lower branches of trees. We saw Lesser Birds of Paradise and King Bird of Paradise during the day. Susnguakti forest of Manokwari is the natural habitat of butterflies, beetles, wild flowers, and a lot of unique plants.
I provide tours to Susnguakti forest for visitors who want to watch birds and wild animals. The duration in the forest is usually 3 days/ 2 nights. This rainforest tour can be combined with snorkeling tour at the beach of Manokwari.
Here is how to get here:
  • Find an international flight that will bring you from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • After that buy plane ticket that will bring you to Manokwari city (the capital of West Papua province of Indonesia)
  • I will meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and bring you to the forest.
If you want me to guide you traveling to Manokwari to watch birds, wild animals and also see coral reef environment, please, contact (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to: +6281332245180.

I am now trying to raise money so that I could buy binoculars which I could donate to villagers who will guide tourists in the forest. You could support this effort by clicking and buying the following illustration printed on various products such as t-shirt, cell phone case, tote bags, spiral notebook, and etc.
Vector Art created by Charles Roring

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Birding in Aibogiar forest of Tambrauw Mountains

Tambrauw Mountains
I went to Tambrauw mountains last week to enjoy birding with Ashley - a lady from the United States in Aibogiar forest for 3 days. We went there by a small plane from Manokwari to Kebar and then continued our trip by a 4WD car to Aibogiar. It was a unique experience for me because I could watch Lesser Birds of Paradise and Magnificent Bird of Paradise in the same birding site. Tropical rainforest that covers the range is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds such as Magnificent Riflebird, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot (which is an endangered species), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Mountain Peltop, Moustached Tree Swift, Red-billed Brushturkey, Long-tailed Buzzard, Rainbow Bee-eater, and a lot more.
Birding in Aibogiar forest
To watch these birds, I brought two pairs of 10×42mm binoculars, and 20-60×60 spotting scope. I also brought with me a small wireless loudspeaker for calling birds. I had tens of sound records of New Guinea birds in my Android tablet. However, I did not often use this calling device.
Birding in Aibogiar was very easy. We mostly spent our time birding along the mainroad that connects the village with other nearby villages and towns in bird's head region of West Papua. Birds were very active in the mornings and in the evenings.
If we walk deeper into the forest, we will find a drinking site of animals. It was a small salt pond that was located around 4 hours walk from Aibogiar village. To increase the chance of seeing big animals in that area, visitors need to camp near that pond for at least 2 nights.
Aibogiar village is a great destination for tourists who are nature lovers. There is a guesthouse in the village which can accommodate tens of visitors. Because the trip to Aibogiar is quite long, I suggest that visitors go there with some friends to share the cost.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
How to get there:
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta
  • Continue your trip to Manokwari by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, or Nam Air.
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Aibogiar either by 4wd car or by plane.
Please, note that if visitors go by a small airplane, there is a limit on the maximum weight of luggage which a passenger can carry. Every passenger is allowed to carry free luggage of 10 kg. Going by 4wd car to Aibogiar village takes longer time - approximately 7 hours. But visitors could bring more logistical supplies such as photographic equipment and food.
What to bring
Visitors who want to go birding in Aibogiar need to bring a good pair of binoculars, spotting scope, some clothes, torch/ flashlight, anti-insect lotion, field guide book: Birds of New Guinea. Coffee, tea, sugar and biscuits are also necessary as contact materials with local villagers.
If you are interested in taking a rainforest birding and wildlife watching tour in Aibogiar, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com. I could also be contacted by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Related Post:
Birding in Lower Montane Forest of Tambrauw range
Birding Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hiking and Camping in Susnguakti Forest of Arfak Mountains

Dutch students camping in Susnguakti forest
Guest Post by Eline
We went with Charles to the Manokwari jungle hills in the summer of 2018. All in all it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to any nature lover. In the end of the afternoon we left from Manokwari. Charles, who is fluent in English and Indonesian, took us to a local market first to buy our food for in the jungle. Afterwards, we spent about 1 hour in the car on a road along the coastline. In the middle of nowhere you get out and take off. Don't expect a grant-maintained path, signs or other people. From the coastal road you just have a 1-hour, steep climb up straight into the jungle hills. This climb often involves pulling yourself up by your hands and can be a bit thrilling. Not to the locals though, they guide you barefoot effortlessly. When we arrived at the base camp in the midst of the jungle, some wooden platforms with tents awaited us. No shower, toilet or beds. Instead a little stream, some tarantula's and the most beautiful sound of hundreds of animals. Together with some locals, Charles prepares a nice meal on a camp-fire.
Afterwards, a night-hike is scheduled. After holding our breath and sitting in the dark for 20 minutes three times, our patience was rewarded. One of the local guides had lured a Koeskoes Oppossum (Australian marsupial) straight to our location. Furthermore we saw lizards, birds, many big spiders, frogs and many more animals. Be prepared to get very dirty and walk through many spider webs. Part of the experience! In the morning we went to look for the famous Birds of Paradise, which was an amazing experience. The local guides know how to get you really close to the birds and have an amazing eye for spotting them. After a good lunch we went back to civilization. Seeing the jungle in sunlight was amazing and the trip resulted in many beautiful pictures and even more unforgettable memories. A must-do for anyone who is not scared to go back to basic and Charles become one of the best friends we made in West-Papua

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Birding Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Palm Cockatoo
Palm Cockatoo in Tambrauw mountains
As a tourist guide, I offer tours for tourists who are interested in watching tropical birds and other wild animals that live in the forest of Tambrauw mountains. The duration of the tour is at least 4 days to 1 week. During the tour, visitors can watch such birds as Singing Starling, Pacific Swallow, Sunbird, and Frigatebird in the coastal area to Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, and Mimic Meliphaga in the montane forest of the regency.
Tambrauw mountains are the natural habitat of deer, cuscus possum, cassowary bird, wild pigs, snakes, and a lot of butterflies.
I suggest that visitors bring a good pair of 10×42 mm binoculars, spotting scope, and laser pointer, sound player for bird sounds and field guide book: Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler.

The trails in Tambrauw are clean and suitable for young as well as elderly tourists. To visit the forest, tourists need to go by 4wd car from Sorong city. The carrying capacity of the car is 4 people.

I have organized numerous trips to Tambrauw for solo travelers and visitors traveling in a group of 3 to 8 participants. We explored both the coastal and the mountaineous region of Tambrauw. Sometimes, we go to remote places where there are no guesthouses for tourists. To handle this type of tours, I have to bring tents, mattrasses, pillows, cooking and eating utensils, and rechargeable lights.

This adventure birding trip to Tambrauw can be combined with tours to coastal area of the regency where visitors could enjoy swimming, snorkeling and fishing at the beach. The coral reef of Tambrauw is the natural habitat of humphead wrasse, striped surgeonfish, moorish idol, anemonefish, butterflyfish, boxfish, and a lot of marine creatures. Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling devices, and underwater camera if they want to see the marine life of Tambrauw.
If you are interested in traveling to Tambrauw range, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Please, also support our works in the preservation of rainforest and marine environment as well as empowerment of local people by buying some of our merchandise (t-shirt, mugs, spiral note book, iPhone case/ skin) at the following link: Frigatebird Flying Free