Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Watching Birds and Snorkeling in Manokwari

Last week, I guided two German tourists to Arfak range. They were Peter and Claudia. We spent 4 days/ 3 nights hiking, birdwatching, butterflywatching and sightseeing. The weather was sunny in the mornings but mostly rainy in the afternoons.
Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis)
Feline Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles insignis)

The site for watching Magnificent Bird of Paradise was around 1 hour walk from the Lorikeet Guesthouse where we stayed. I organized a trip for Peter to watched that beautiful bird. He had to wake up at 04.40 to make some preparations and to have breakfast before leaving for the birding ground at 05.00. Claudia, his wife joined the morning walk but she had to return to the guesthouse because the trails were steep and quite tough for her. So, she only watched birds at the garden of the Lorikeet Guesthouse. There were colorful flowers such as Rhododendron zoelleri, Rhododendron konori, Pink Hibiscus, New Guinea Impatiens, orchids,and a lot of other flowers which I do not know their names.
Rhododendron zoelleri flowers
Rhododendron zoelleri
On the third day, we did a short walk to a small river where we watched a Feline Owlet-nightjar sleeping on the branch of a tree. The bird was sitting still. We approached him carefully and slowly. When we were around 3 meters below him, we turned on our cameras and shoot him. It was quite difficult to find the bird. But we were lucky. 
In addition to Feline Owlet-Nightjar, we also saw Vogelkop Bowerbird, Female Black Sicklebill, Western Parotia (juvenile) at a place on the way to the top of the mountain. Near the guesthouse, I saw several species of small birds such as Island Leaf Warbler, Spectacled Longbill, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Green-backed Robin, Blue Gray Robin, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Glossy Swiftlet. 
When the sun was shining brightly in the mornings, I saw butterflies hopping among the flowers to eat its nectar. One of them was Ornithoptera tithonus. Alot of rain still fell on Arfak mountains, and it was cold especially at nights. The weather was only nice in mornings and in afternoons. It was not in favorable season for traveling in January but we really enjoyed our trip. 
Snorkeling Trip in Manokwari
In addition to guiding tourists to Arfak mountains, I also offer snorkeling tours to coral reef areas near Manokwari city. Visitors who join this tour could enjoy swimming over coral reef to see hundreds of species of tropical fish such as Striped Surgeonfish, Butterflyfish, Anemonefish, Lionfish, snapper, Dascyllus, Grouper, and Moorish Idol. There are a number of coral reef sites in Manokwari which we can explore to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
Coral Reef in Manokwari
Coral reef and tropical fish in Mansinam island
Marine Life in Manokwari

Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
Blue Sea Star
I have got some snorkeling masks, and snorkel which I could lend to tour participants. I highly recommend that visitors bring a waterproof camera such as Nikon W300 or a small action camera such as Go Pro. Taking pictures of fish and other marine animals can be fascinating because underwater environment is colorful and very beautiful.

How to get to Manokwari city
As the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia, Manokwari city is connected with Jakarta by regular daily flights provided by Garuda, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, and Nam Air. Tickets can be bought from online store such as traveloka.com. 
Flying route to Manokwari city
Flying route from Jakarta to Manokwari
If you are interested in taking a trip to Manokwari and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your trip, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.