Saturday, December 21, 2019

Bird Art

In my spare time I sometimes make drawings of birds that I saw in the forest while I was guiding tourists. Usually, I make sketches of birds using pencil on paper.
  After that, I add some colours using Derwent Watercolour pencils. When they are finished, I still redraw the artwork digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook. My device is Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S-pen. Some of the birds that I draw can be seen in the following collage picture.
drawings and paintings of birds
Bird Art by Charles Rorong
There are Northern Cassowary, Black-capped Lory, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pale Blue Monarch, Lesser Frigate Birds, Red Bird of Paradise. 
The artworks that look good are then uploaded into redbubble and zazzle so that they can be bought by readers. Now the bird art is available as prints on various products such as t-shirts, mugs, bed cover, clock, tote bags, iPhone cases, water bottlles and etc. Please, have a look at them at these links: Redbubble Birds, Zazzle Birds. I hope that you are interested in buying some of them. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Magnificent Riflebird from Tropical Rainforest

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) lives in lowland and lower montane forest of West Papua. The chest and the breast shield are iridescent blue. There are several places which tourists can go to watch the bird of paradise, i.e. Asbaken village of Sorong regency, Weyos beach and Fef town Tambrauw Regency, and Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. This bird is an important target in a list of birds that visitors want to see while exploring the tropical rainforest of West Papua.

Birding in Sorong regency
Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
Male Magnificent Riflebird performs courtship dance that looks like cheerleader dance to attract his female counterpart.
Paradise bird of Tropical Rainforest of West Papua
A Male Magnificent Riflebird was waiting for his female counterpart
Birds of Paradise eat fruits and spread their seeds to all corners of the forest. They play important role in growing the forest. The followings are some animals which visitors can watch in lowland tropical rainforest.

Lesser Birds of Paradise

King Bird of Paradise

Common Paradise Kingfisher

Cuscus Possum

Forest Dragon


Anyone who is interested in tropical birding in West Papua especially in Sorong regency, Tambrauw Mountains and Raja Ampat can contact me by email to: by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Some Photographs of Birds from Warduwer Beach

I went to Warduwer beach again yesterday (1 December 2019). I went there by a motorcycle. A friend of mine who works at a furniture workshop rode the motorbike. I sat at the beak seat holding my camera trying to find any birds along the way to the beach. I wanted to check the progress of the construction of Raja Ampat Flower Resort. Along the road between Waisai town and Warduwer beach, I saw Brahminy Kite, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, White-breasted Woodswallow, Pacific Swallow, and Pinon Imperial Pigeon. 
Birding in Raja Ampat with Charles Roring
Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)
While I was there, I did some birding. It was not difficult to find birds at the beach. I saw a big Palm Cockcatoo on a tree not far from me. I aimed my camera at the bird and shot it. There was also a Beach Kingfisher that was calling from a tree near the basecamp of the construction workers. He flew to a branch of a tree closer to me. It was a fleeting moment. He was on the branch for less than one minute and then flew again. 
Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus)
Beach Kingfisher
I also saw a group of Lesser Frigatebirds high in the sky. Some Pied Imperial Pigeons were busy having breakfast. I made some photographs of them too. It was a nice morning. Some Crested Tern were sitting on the wooden posts at the shallow water of the beach. I carefully approached them and took some pictures. They were not afraid when I was shooting them with my camera.
Birding with Charles Roring in Raja Ampat islands

In the afternoon, I did some birdwatching near Waisai harbor. There were mangrove trees near the harbor and birds such as Willie Wagtail, Olive-backed Sunbird can be seen in the trees. I saw a big group of Singing Starling.
Singing Starling
The Singing Starling was the last bird that I shot that day. 
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching trip to Waigeo island of Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:
Birds in Raja Ampat
Coastal Birds in Raja Ampat
Birding in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Birding Trips to Raja Ampat and Tambrauw Mountains

Friday, November 29, 2019

Tropical Birding Tours in West Papua

Birding sites in Arfak mountains
Arfak mountains in Manokwari
There are several sites in the rainforest of West Papua which I recommend for tourists who are interested in taking tropical birding tours. Some of them are listed below:
  • Susnguakti Forest - This lower montane area of Arfak mountains is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Hooded Pitta, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher, Hooked Bill Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Black-capped Lory, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Northern Variable Pitohui, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Superb-Fruit Dove, Great-cuckoo Dove, and etc.
  • Mbenti Forest - This higher elevation forest of Arfak range is the usual site for watching Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black Sicklebill, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, and Long-tailed Paradigalla. There are also a lot of other birds such as Vogelkop Melidectes, Hooded Pitohui, Ornate Melidectes, Black-breasted Boatbill, Mottled Berryhunter, Fan-tailed Berryhunter, Garnett Robin, Varied Sittella, Friendly Fantail, Papuan Flycatcher, Pygmy Drongo, Cinnamon Ground Dove, and a lot more. Most of the trails are steep. Visitors who want to go to this forest have to be physically fit. However, there are places where birding is easy. These places are unpaved roads that connect Mbenti and other villages around the area. Birding along the sides of these roads will open more chances for birders to see Plum-faced Lorikeet, Mountain Mouse Warbler, Vogelkop Whistler, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, Mountain Fruit Dove and Papua Mountain Pigeon. 
  • Ases Valley - This is  a remote but one of the best forests in Tambrauw mountains and a very nice place to watch birds that usually live in lower montane forest of West Papua. Some of them include New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Little-pied Cormorant, Hooded Butcherbird, Spangled Drongo, Black-browed Triller, Papua Mountain Pigeon, Golden Monarch, Dollarbird, Grey Wagtail, Blyth's Hornbill, various species of paradise birds, and etc. Ases valley, located in the middle of Tambrauw mountains, is also a highly recommended site for watching wild animals such as Cuscus Possum, deer, wildboar, tree kangaroo, snake, soa-soa lizard, and even cassowary.
  • Syugrar Forest - This is another rainforest of Tambrauw that is very good for birding. Grey Crow, Moluccan King Parrot, King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red-cheeked Parrot, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Rusty Pitohui, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Black Sunbird, Masked Bowerbird.
  • Sorong regency - There are a lot of birding sites in Sorong. A lot of lowland birds can be seen here including Blue-black Kingfisher, King Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Shovel-billed Kingfisher, Lowland Peltop and a lot more.
  • Sarembon Forest - This forest is located in north-east region of Waigeo island. It is a nice place to watch Papuan Black Myzomela, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Amboyna Cuckoo Dove, Shining Flycatcher. The coastal area is the place for watching Olive-backed Sunbird, Coconut Lorikeet, Beach-stone Curlew, Striated Heron, Wimbrel, Beach Kingfisher, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Bridled Tern, Lesser-crested Tern, Lesser Frigate Bird, Eastern Osprey, Radjah Shelduck and a lot more. 
  • Southern Waigeo has got a lot of birding sites too including Saporkren, Warduwer beach, Kabui bay and Gam karst. There, we could see Great-billed Parrot, White-breasted Woodswallow, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, White- bellied Sea Eagle, Red-bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Eastern Reef Egret, Pacific Swallow, Stephans Emerald Dove, Moustached Treeswift, Sooty Tern, Mimic Meliphaga, Puff-back Meliphaga, and Dusky Scrubfowl.
Because I spend most of my guiding works in Raja Ampat and Sorong, I can guide tourists to these regencies. If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and Sorong for birding, and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also read:

Monday, November 25, 2019

Beautiful Fruit Dove

The first time I saw Beautiful Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus) was in lowland forest of Manokwari in 2011. I was guiding 2 Dutch tourists - Thomas (father) and Sandra (daughter) at that time. A trap set-up by local hunters caught the bird. I asked them to release the bird after taking some pictures of the bird and checking its species name in field guide book Birds of New Guinea. 
Beautiful Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)
My first picture of Beautiful Fruit Dove

Birdwatching trip to Indonesia
Beautiful Fruit Dove in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Since then I have seen the bird in a lot of my birding trips from Manokwari to Tambrauw, Sorong and Raja Ampat. It is a small but very beautiful dove that likes to eat berry fruits. The first picture was taken from very close range using Nikon Coolpix P500 and the second one was made in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat using Canon 200D and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. The dove was in a branch of a tree several meters above my head.
Although point and shoot camera such as the Nikon P500 has got much smaller sensor, its zoom lens often can easily reach birds in distant branch of a tree. For a D-SLR cameras, they need expensive lens to reach the target bird. D-SLR cameras produce high quality photographs but if they cannot reach birds or other wild animals that are far from the photographers, they can be considered as useless.
The newest products of the super zoom camera at the moment are Nikon Coolpix P900, P1000 and Canon SX70HS. These are the types of cameras that are used by birdwatchers who do not want to carry heavy photographic devices.
Also read:

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Birding in Susnguakti Forest with 2 French Tourists

I have just returned from Susnguakti forest this afternoon. I and some local villagers guided two French tourists on a 4 day/ 3 night hiking, camping, bird and wildlife tour. They were Geoffrey and Jessica. Susnguakti forest is a lower montane forest in the south of Manokwari city. We went hiking in the mornings and in the afternoons to find birds of paradise. They were able to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, and Magnificent Riflebird.
Hiking, camping in Manokwari
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tropical Birding Tours in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat islands are important destinations for tourists who like birdwatching. There are a lot of species of rainforest and sea birds that birdwatchers can see in the regency. From the most popular Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird Paradise to the beautiful singer Hooded Butcherbird, visitors can watch them when they travel across the big and small islands of Raja Ampat.
Wilson's Bird of Paradise

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Mambruk Bird

Burung Mambruk is the common name of bird that people in West Papua use to refer to Crowned-Pigeon. In field guide book Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler, there are 3 species of them, i.e. Western-crowned Pigeon, Victoria-crowned Pigeon and Southern-crowned Pigeon.
Bird tour in West Papua with Charles Roring
Western-crowned Pigeon shot by a friend of mine Kostan Magablo

Friday, November 1, 2019

Birding in Sonder of Minahasa

Sonder is a highland district in Minahasa regency of Indonesia. It has got tens of sites that are suitable for birdwatching. In the rice field, river banks, and ponds, we can see such birds as Little Egret, White-browed Crake, Cattle Egret, Sulawesi Crow, Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Black-faced Munia, White-breasted Woodswallow, and Collared Kingfisher. 
Olive-backed Sunbird in Tounelet village of Kecamatan Sonder, Minahasa
Sahul Sunbird in Tounelet Slope of Kecamatan Sonder of Minahasa Highland
If we walk through the alleyways of the small town that have got trees on both of their sides, we could see Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster), Sahul Sunbird (Cynniris frenatus), Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon (Ducula radiata), Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon (Treron Griseicauda), White-eyed Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus leucops), Sulawesi Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus montanus), Crimson Sunbird and Grey-sided Flowerpecker, and Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons).
Birdwatching, sightseeing, cultural tour in Minahasa regency of North Sulawesi
Birdwatching in Kecamatan Sonder of Minahasa regency the Province of North Sulawesi

Sunday, October 27, 2019

My Birding Cameras

Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus)
Magnificent Bird of Paradise taken using
Nikon Coolpix P500
Camera is a very important device for a birding guide like me. I have used several diferent types of cameras since 2010 both the D-SLR and bridge ones.
When I guided tourists for the first time on a birding trip to Numfor island, I only used a pocket camera Sony Cybershot DSC-W30.
In 2010, I started to use A Sony  Dslr camera with Sigma lens 70 - 300 mm. After that I used Nikon P500 which was only a bridge camera but quite powerful for distant subjects.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Morning Bird Tour in South Waigeo of Raja Ampat

Red Bird of Paradise in Waigeo island
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Waigeo island is a nice destination for avid birdwatchers who want to see tropical rainforest and coastal birds. One day I was guiding three tourists in the southern region of Waigeo island. Two were from Australia and one was from China. We woke up early in the morning at around 04.30 to have coffee/ tea and some biscuits. After making sure that we had all the equipment needed for early morning walk in the jungle, we left for the lek of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra).

Friday, October 25, 2019

Birding on the Way to Anggi Lakes in Arfak mountains

I visited Anggi lakes a few days ago. These lakes were located in Arfak mountains at elevations of around 2,000 meters above sea level. I went there by a 4WD car. I was with some friends of mine who were also interested in seeing the lakes and meeting the head of the local government of Arfak mountains regency. Our car left Manokwari city in the morning at 05.00. We moved fast towards District Oransbari and then to Ransiki town. After that we turned right at the street junction. The sounds of birds could be heard in the morning as our car climbed the slopes of Arfak mountains. Some Blyth's hornbill flew high. Minutes later, the slopes became very steep and zig-zag.
Lake Anggi Giji as seen from Kobrey peak
Lake Anggi Giji

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is a species of bird that is native to New Guinea and its surrounding islands. The male is green and the female is red. Local people in West Papua call them kakaktua hijau and kakaktua merah. 
The bird can be watched in lowland rainforest of Waigeo island in Raja Ampat, Klasow valley of Sorong regency. The followings are pictures of Eclectus Parrot that I took this morning in the forest of Manokwari. This parrot is a prolific seed dispersers, so, it also plays important role in maintaining the growth of rainforest.
Birding in Manokwari's lowland forest
A Couple of Eclectus Parrot

Long-tailed Paradigala

This is the picture of Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigalla carunculata) which I saw in Arfak range several months ago. This bird of paradise landed on the red pandanus fruit that had been placed by villagers in front of a blind to attract such birds as Western Parotia, Superb Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill and Magnificent Bird of Paradise.
The birding site itself was called Mount Soyti located above the Lorikeet Guesthouse. It was in the territory of Kwau village in Mokwam region. 
Long-tailed Paradigalla (Paradigalla carunculata)
Long-tailed Paradigalla

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Birding in North Waigeo of Raja Ampat

I had an opportunity of visiting north-east region of Waigeo island two weeks ago. I went there with 2 Dutch volunteers, Wally and Coby from The Protestant Church of The Netherlands who went to the village to help local villagers build clean water facility for their turtle conservation initiative. When we arrived at the village, we were welcomed by children and youth who performed traditional dance.
Welcome Dance in Waigeo island
Traditional Welcome Dance

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Birding in Malagufuk Village of Klasow Valley

by Charles Roring
Birding in Malagufuk village with 2 Australian tourists Peter Lansley and Daniel
Malagufuk village in the middle of Klasow valley
I have just completed a birding tour with 2 Australian tourists, Peter Lansley and Daniel, in Malagufuk village of Klasow valley. We spent four days exploring this lowland forest of Sorong regency to watch various species of tropical birds.
We went there by a chartered 4WD car from Sorong city. It took around one and a half hours to reach the valley. The axis path that led us into the village was very muddy but rich in avifauna. We had to wear gum-boots. While walking into the village, we saw Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and Wompoo Fruit Dove. It took around three hours of walking to reach the village. The average walking duration was actually 2 hours. Because we enjoyed birding, we spent longer time along the path.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Kofiau Monarch

I spent several days in Kofiau islands early this week. My main goal was to watch Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera ellioti) and Kofiau Monarch (Symposiachrus julianae) as well as a lot of other birds. Actually, I visited the islands to give some trainings to local villagers on how to organize birding trips. The training was conducted in the field office of TNC (The Nature Conservancy). Willie Wagtail and Eastern Yellow Wagtail were everywhere at the beach especially at the parking lot of the harbor terminal.
Deer village in Kofiau islands

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Birding in Arfak mountains with 5 British Tourists

Last week, I guided 5 British tourists on a 6-day/ 5-night hiking and birding tour in Arfak mountains. They were Trev, Ken, Chris, Zod and Mark. The tour was organized by Samuel and Taty from Tangkoko of North Sulawesi. Because they were not familiar with birds of Arfak mountains, they asked me to guide their clients. I said, yes. So I guided them.
During the trip, we watched such birds as Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Superb Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Crinkle-collared Manucode, and Masked Bowerbird. They were important targets for birding tourists who went there.
The Fantastic Masked Bowerbird
On the third day of our birding trip, we had to split the group into 3 smaller ones because the blinds for Superb BOP, Magnificent BOP, and Masked Bowerbird were small. I and Ken got the blind for the Masked Bowerbird. We had a rare experience. We were already in the blind at 05.30. The male Masked Bowerbird landed at 08.25. After checking his bower for around 3 minutes, he left again. Thirty minutes later, he came again. This time he was with the female Masked Bowerbird. She inspected the bower and then sat in the middle of the bower that looked like a gate. Seeing his female counterpart occupying his bower, the male Masked Bowerbird began to perform his courtship dance which lasted for around 1 hour. He flapped his wings, bowed down in front of his female bird while presenting a blue article that was a cap from a big bottle of mineral water, and a dried brown leaf that looked like a small carpet. He flew to horizontal branches of a shrub plant in front of his bower and jumped up and down the horizontal branches of the plant. After that he danced at the back of the female bird checking her tail. Soon after that he mounted on her back and then mated with her. The mating was less than 4 seconds.
He continued dancing again and the female bird kept on sitting between the bower. The courtship dance performance lasted for another 1 hour. They were mating again at the end of the dance show.
In total, I and Ken enjoyed a 2-hour non-stop courtship dance performance, and 2 mating sessions of the Masked Bowerbird. It was fantastic!
Birding in Arfak range of West Papua
A Fruit Dove in Arfak mountains

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Birdwatching near Sorong city and its surrounding forest

Malagufuk is one of the villages that is located in Klasow valley of Sorong regency. I and my friend Nico introduced it for the first time to the internet as a birdwatching destination in late 2014. At that time no other birding guides knew about its existence. The village was new, only two weeks old at that time. There were only 2 tents whose roofs were from big blue plastic sheets which we called terpal.
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Manokwari
My Sketch of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) that I saw in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

The courtship dance of Lesser Birds of Paradise
My sketch of the same bird in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
I have guided hundreds of tourists to this forest since then. We watched Lesser Birds of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Black-Lory, Red-cheeked Parrot, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and etc.
There are also other villages in Klasow valley that is suitable for birdwatching such as Klayeli, and Klatomok, and etc.
I also guided my guests to hill forest of Sorong city to watch Yellow-faced Myna, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Moluccan King Parrot, Black-browed Triller, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, and a lot more.
The coastal area of Sorong city is also nice for birdwatching. The tours to mangrove areas will allow us to see Little Egret, Willie Wagtail, Orange Fruit Dove, Olive-backed Sunbird, and a lot more.
The rainforest birding tour to Sorong forest is usually taken by tourists before their trip to Raja Ampat. Becaue I organize tours to these regencies, I offer trips to both Raja Ampat and Sorong with combined activities such as hiking, birdwatching, swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing by boat. If you are interested, please, contact me by email to: or by cell phone's text message whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sketch of Red Bird of Paradise

Here are sketches of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) that I saw while I was guiding tourists in Raja Ampat. The paradise birds like to gather in the top branches of a tree, usually in the mornings between 06.00 and 09.00 and in the afternoons between 15.00 and 17.30. Male ones will perform courtship dances to attract the female birds for mating. The following sketch is now available as prints on various Redbubble products such as t-shirt, sticker, mug, pillow, iPhone case, and a lot more. You could see and order them at this page: A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise
Male and Female Red Bird of Paradise
Each tour participant needs to bring a good pair of binoculars such as Nikon, Swarovski or Leica or any brands that manufacture 10×42 mm, or 12× 50 mm. For taking pictures, a bridge camera such as the Fujifilm HS50 EXR with its 1,000 mm lens will produce significant results. D-SLR cameras with Tamron G2 or Sigma sport 150-600 mm lenses can make quality photos. Point and shoot cameras such as Canon SX60HS, Nikon P900 and Nikon P1000 can also produce good photos if the photographer leans on a wooden post, tree trunk or uses tripod.
Raja Ampat's paradise bird
Male Red Bird of Paradise
I frequently make sketches of things that I see when guiding tourists on hiking, bird and wildlife watching as well as sightseeing by boat and snorkeling tours. The subjects of my sketches can be birds, butterflies, flowers, electrical or optical devices that I frequently use. I also make drawings of human figures that I post in my other blogs.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat islands for watching these paradise birds and other tropical birds, and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by text to: +6281332245180 (whatsapp message can also be sent to this number)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Watching Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is one of the most beautiful bird species in the world. The male one has got yellow, brown, green and black color. This paradise bird lives in tropical rainforest of New Guinea and has been the most wanted target of watching among visitors who go to West Papua. There is a forest area in Manokwari regency which tourists can go to watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise. Its name is Susnguakti forest.
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
A Couple of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise Bird in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest

Lesser Birds of Paradise Birds (Paradisaea minor)
Courtship Dance of Paradise Birds
As a tourist guide, I have organized numerous trips for tourists to this forest. We usually spend 3 days/ 2 nights in the forest. We go hiking in the mornings, in the afternoons to find King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, and Magnificent Riflebird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, as well as other tropical birds that live in the forest. 
Susnguakti forest is one of the best locations for photographers who want to take pictures of the Lesser Birds of Paradise. I attach some pictures that I made yesterday when I was guiding two tourists, Geoffroy and Clementine (from Belgium and France). They were very happy to see the birds. At nights, they were guided in the forest to see cuscus possum. 
If you are interested in traveling to Manokwari city to watch and take pictures of Lesser Birds of Paradise, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also read:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Birding in Kabui of Raja Ampat

Kabui is the name of a bay in Raja Ampat islands. It is one of my favorite birding sites. Every time I organize a birding tour in Waigeo, I always try to include a trip by motorized boat to the bay so that visitors could see the beauty of its karst formations and watch such birds as Beach Kingfisher, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Stephan's Emerald Dove, Great-billed Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Brahminy Kite, Eastern Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Wimbrel, Sooty Tern, Lesser-crested Tern and a lot more.
Travel Raja Ampat
Birding by boat in Kabui bay of Raja Ampat
There are hundreds of karst islets in the bay. The waters inside the islets are very calm even during wave season. In my previous trips with an American tourists I saw Little-pied Cormorant, Striated Heron, Eastern Reef Egret, Rainbow Bee Eater, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Olive-backed Sunbird, Blyth's Hornbill.
Field guide book is needed for identifying birds that we see. Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce Beehleer and their friends is the one that I often use. There is also Birds of New Guinea: including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville by Phil Gregory. These books could be ordered online from Amazon. 
Birding devices such as binoculars, spotting scopes, flash lights that will be used during the trip to this regency can be bought from Amazon.

Boat is not a stable platform for birding especially in the waters that are not calm. I ask boat driver to stop the boat or lower its speed. Most often we have to land at a beach to enjoy birding.
I usually bring a spotting scope and tripod and put it on a beach so that tour participants can watch birds that sit on the branches of tall trees in remote islands. Moustached Tree Swift, Eclectus Parrot, Singing Starling, and Violet-necked Lory are some of the birds that we can watch in Kabui bay.
In my last birding trip to the bay with American tourists, we included snorkeling activity. It was a very nice adventure.
If you want to travel to Raja Ampat and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Beach Kingfisher

I still guided the Singaporean tourists yesterday. Nurlin Juni from Malia Tours organized their trip. We went into the forest early in the morning to find Papuan Boobook, Western-crowned Pigeon and Red-bellied Pitta. We watched Red Bird of Paradise until 09.00 and continued our birding walk until 13.00. The activity of birds was much reduced during mid-day time. So, we returned to Putras Resort for having lunch.
Beach Kingfisher
I had lunch with Nurlin, Melkhi, and the drivers at the beach. Facing the blue sea, I saw a Beach Kingfisher sitting and calling from a hanging branch at the left cliff of some 50 meters from us. I immediately stood and walked to my camera. I grabbed it and walked to the beach. I carefully approached the bird and positition myself behind wave barrier of the resort. After that I aimed my camera at the bird. With several shots, I got the pictures of the Beach Kingfisher. The above photograph is one of them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Watching Birds with Singaporean Tourists in Waigeo Island

Today I guided six Singaporean tourists on a birdwatching trip in southern region of Waigeo island. We visited the rainforest of South Waigeo, the ring-road area of Marinda airport and the Warduwer beach. We watched Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, and Frilled Monarch in the forest. Because the vegetation in the forest was dense, it was not easy to see birds.
Singaporean tourists in Waigeo island
Singaporean birdwatchers at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
After watching birds in the forest, we continued our trip to Warduwer beach. Here, more birds could easily be seen including the Torresian Crow, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Willie Wagtail, Lesser Frigatebird, and Eclectus Parrot and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Claret-breasted Fruit Dive and Hooded Butcherbird. Before lunch time, we still had a short birding trip a long the road in the east and north of Marinda airport where we saw Grey-headed Goshawk, Rainbow Bee-eater, Oriental Dollarbird, Wimbrel, and Eastern Great Egret.
The Singaporean birdwatchers brought binoculars, Swarovski and Kowa spotting scopes. They also brought D-SLR and Nikon P900 bridge cameras for taking pictures of birds. These equipment significantly enhanced their birding experience.
During lunch time at Putras resort, we saw Beach Kingfisher, and Yellow-faced Myna. We took a rest until 15.00 and continued our birding trip to a road in the west of the airpot. There we saw Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Eclectus Parrot, Helmetted Friarbird.
Watching Birds in Waigeo island
At 17.00, we returned to Warduwer beach to enjoy birdwatching until 18.30. Here, we saw more birds including Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, a male Red Bird of Paradise (male), Glossy-mantled Manucode, Rainbow Lorikeet, and a lot of other birds that we saw in the morning.
Warduwer beach is a great place for birdwatching. A resort is being constructed at the beach. It will be an ideal place to stay for birding visitors who plan to take their holiday in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. It also has got beautiful house reef. Visitors who like swimming and snorkeling can stay at the resort too.
Thick clouds were gathering in the sky. We decided to return to the resort again. Tomorrow, we will go to the forest to see Red Bird of Paradise.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Watching Birds in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat

Early this month I guided two tourists from the United States. We went birding in the southern region of Waigeo island and also by boat to the karst islets inside Kabui bay. We spent for days walking along the coast and roadside as well as the forest edges to watch tropical birds of Raja Ampat. 
Eclectus Parrot
My guests, Bruce and Paige Harvey brought a very nice Celesteon ED lens spotting scope that could help us see birds in distant trees. With this birding device and binoculars, we were able to watch Blyth's Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Spangled Drongo, White-breasted Woodswallow, Pacific Swallow, Glossy Swiftlet, Dusky Scrubfowl, Torresian Crow, Rainbow Bee-eater, Moustached Treeswift, Singing Starling, Little-pied Cormorant, Red Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Black Butcherbird, Mimic Meliphaga, Lesser crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Eastern Osprey, Long-tailed Buzzard, and a lot more. 
Lesser frigatebirds hovering the sea to catch fish
Lesser Frigate Birds
I brought Canon 200D that was powered by Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens. It was quite good for taking pictures of birds that were flying or sitting in tall trees. 
Waigeo island or Raja Ampat, in general, is a good destination for birding visitors. They can watch sea birds that live in coastal area such as Eastern Reef Egret, Striated Heron or tropical rainforest ones such as the Common Paradise Kingfisher. 
In addition to birding, I also accompanied my guests on scuba diving and snorkeling excursion. While in the water, we could see a lot of species of fish including anemonefish, trevally, sweetlips, parrotfish, grouper, and a lot more. After spending 4 days in Raja Ampat, we continued our trip to Sorong and Manokwari.
Eastern Osprey
Eastern Osprey
If you are interested in birding and snorkeling in Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Paradise Bird that Dances Like a Ballerina

Male Western Parotia was performing his ballet dance
Last week I visited Kwau village in Mokwam region of Arfak range. I guided two birding visitors from the United States at that time. Our targets were Western Parotia, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, and Superb Bird of Paradise. During our 5 days of tour in Arfak mountains, we were able to watch them. For us, watching the dance of Western Parotia was in our list of target. To watch the bird, we had to wake up early in the morning at 04.30 to make preparations such as wearing hiking boots or sport shoes, putting all our birdwatching equipment. After drinking tea/ coffee and eating some biscuits, we left our guesthouse in Mount Soyti. We used flashlight because it was still dark. First we walked along the unpaved road for five minutes and then did hiking up steep slopes for fifteen to twenty minutes. When we arrived at the birding ground, we still had to enter a birding hut that had been constructed from corrugated metal roofs for birdwatchers by villagers. To increase our chance of watching the bird, villager put red pandanus fruit on a wooden frame around 5 feet above the ground. 
In less than 2 minutes after sitting inside the observation hut, we saw a bird landed on the red fruit. It was a female Superb Bird of Paradise. She began to eat the grains of the red fruit as we turned on our digital cameras and aimed them at the bird. Sunglight had appeared in the sky but had not fully reach the forest floor. In such low light condition, I carefully adjusted my camera and pressed its shutter button several times to shoot the bird. Later, more birds came. They were female Western Parotias. They also ate the fruits. 
Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)

A dark bird showed up in higher branch of a tree in front of us and started to make calls. It was a male Western Parotia.
Most of his body, tail, and head were covered by black feather. His breast was covered by metalic breast shield. Forehead was triangular white. He had crystal blue eyes and six wire head antennas. Three on each side. He was a beautiful paradise bird.
He hopped to lower branches and hanging vines and then to the ground. He picked up fallen leaves and twigs. While clearing his dancing stage, he did some rehearsals. Suddenly he flew towards the red fruit. The female parotias jumped to nearby by branches. The male parotia ate some grains of the fruits and then returned to his dancing ground again. He picked up some more dry leaves and started to perform his ballet dance. When doing his performance, he expanded his feather to look like skirt. He walked, shaked his head, and did a little jump. In the avian world he is considered as the best ballet dancer.
Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)
Male Western Parotia
I made tens of photographs of the paradise bird when he was in the tree, or on the dancing ground. I was amazed by the beautiful dance performance of the male Western Parotia. However, the female Western Parotias that were watching him from higher branches were not so impressed with the performance. They returned to the red fruit, ate its grain and then flew away leaving the male Western Parotia in despair. He called them to come back but they did not. He flew to the fruit, had his breakfast and then disappeared into the thick forest of Arfak mountains. There were still other birds that landed on the same fruit such as the female Black Sicklebill (mother and daughter). Later the female Western Parotias returned to the red fruit, they were chased by a young male Western Parotia and by an adult one. 
Our watch indicated that it was 09.10. We decided to wait a little longer with hope that we could watch another dancing show. The male Western Parotia landed on his dancing ground again but he only did some clearing works. We were satisfied with the performance and were happy to leave the birding hut that morning. It had been a fantastic show. - written by Charles Roring

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Red Hibiscus and White Passion Flowers

Red Hibiscus
Red Hibiscus Flower
I spent approximately 12 days in the forest of West Papua early this week with two tourists from the United States. We explored the islands of Raja Ampat, the lowland and hill forest of Sorong, and the tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains in search of flowers, birds and other interesting animals. The early part of the trip was quite challenging because we experienced strong wind and waves in Raja Ampat. The rainforest tours in Vogelkop region went well. We were able to see a lot of flowering trees, shrubs and vines.
There was one red hibiscus shrub plant near our birding ground in Sorong regency. We stopped in front of it to take pictures. Its petals look different from the Red Hibiscus that I saw in coastal area of Tambrauw regency and in Arfak range. Because I do not have field guide book of tropical flowers, I could not identify the scientific names of the flowers that I saw.
Pygmy Passion Flower
We also saw small beautiful passion flowers at the sides of the road. Its petals were white. The inner part of its corona filaments was pink. It was smaller than the red hibiscus. We also saw other flowers such as Crepe Ginger and Terrestrial Orchid in the same area.
While traveling in Arfak range, we saw Rhododendron shrub plants. They were Rhododendron konori. The flowers were emitting soft fragrant smell.
New Guinea has got a lot of flowers that grow in the coastal, forest edge and in the middle of densed tropical jungle. They are beautiful and are often used as decorative plants in cities and towns. Flowers that emit fragrant smell have not been developed as raw material for essential oil.
Well, when I travel again into forest area, I will take more pictures of flowers and upload them into this blog.