Friday, April 12, 2019

Birds in Raja Ampat

I often go to Raja Ampat islands to watch tropical birds with tourists whom I guide. The island which has been my favorite destination is Waigeo. There are Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica).  These birds of paradise are the most popular targets of watching among visitors who go to Raja Ampat.

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of other birds that have got beautiful colors and sounds. Some of them include Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Great-billed Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Western-crowned Pigeon, and Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Puff-backed Meliphaga, and a lot more. Birdwatching activities in Raja Ampat can be done all year round.

Birds are very active in the mornings and in the afternoons. Birds also like to come out of their hiding places in good sunny days after heavy rains. To watch them a good pair of binoculars is needed. I recommend Leica, Swarovski, or Nikon Monarch 10×42, 12×50 roof prism binoculars. There is a good place in Raja Ampat where visitors can enjoy birdwatching easily. Its name is Warduwer beach.
When I guide tourists at this beach, I usually bring my Kinglux 20-60×60 mm spotting scope. It is a good device for watching birds that sit on the branch of tall trees.
Beach Kingfisher
Birdwatching Sites
There are a lot of places which tourists can visit to enjoy birdwatching. One that I highly recommend is Warduwer beach. There is a beach resort being built at this place. Its name is Raja Ampat Paradise Resort. In the mornings a lot of birds like to sit on the branches of trees in the area such as Eastern Osprey, White-breasted Wood Swallow, Torresian Crow, Spangled Drongo, and Singing Starling. In my recent visits to Warduwer beach, Sandpiper, Lesser Crested Tern and Dusky Scrubfowl.
Snorkeling and Freediving
Usually, after enjoying birdwatching, I do some snorkeling and freediving. The coral reef of this beach is very beautiful. Pink Anemonefish, Three-spots Dascyllus, Butterflyfish, Moorish Idol, Parrotfish, Striped Surgeonfish and Grouper are some of the many fish live in this water.
Coral Reef and Fish in Raja Ampat
I also do excursions by boat to various small islands near Waigeo to watch Spice Imperial Pigeon, Lesser Frigate Bird, Beach Kingfisher, Lemon-bellied White Eye, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and Stephan's Emerald Dove. This birdwatching tour is usually combined with sightseeing and snorkeling tour.
If you plan to visit Raja Ampat and wants me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Night Walk Tour in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari

Night Walk Tour in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
We were watching a King Bird of Paradise that was sleeping on a low branch of a tree
The tropical rainforest of Susnguakti is a nice destination for tourists who are interested in watching paradise birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird and Common Paradise Kingfisher. However, it is also a great site to see cuscus possum, Papua dragon lizard, bandicoot and glowing mushroom. The cuscus, dragon lizard usually can be seen at night. That's why when I organize tours to this forest, I offer night walk tours.
A King Bird of Paradise was sleeping on a lower branch of a tree.
In my last trip with two French tourists and one Japanese, we saw a King Bird of Paradise sleeping on a small branch of a tree that is around 4 meters above us. We were surprized to see the bird. One the second night, we saw cuscus possum. In the first night, we did not see cuscus. It was a full moon period and we felt that our chance was little. However, we decided to do the night walk again and finally saw the marsupial animal. On the third night, we saw Papuan Dragon Lizard.
Glowing Mushroom
Susnguakti forest was not completely dark at night. There were fireflies, and glowing mushrooms. Sometimes we could see light from the moon or stars.
Cuscus in Susnguakti forest
There were moths, and beetles in the forest. They sat on wooden posts and beams or flew around the battery powered lights that were hanging on our basecamps.
It was a great trip because we saw animals that had been our targets. We stopped at a villager's house to see how a Papuan man made a traditional match to make fire.
If you are interested in a taking tour in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, please, contact me by email to: or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Birdwatching Tour in Lowland and Lower Montane Forest of Manokwari

Manokwari has been famous as an important destination for birdwatching. Most people go to higher elevation forest of Arfak. As a matter of fact, the lowland and lower montane forests of Manokwari are also interesting. Visitors can watch various species of parrots, fruit doves, kingfishers, and water birds in lowland. For lower montane region, they can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird which are the main target for avid birders.
Moluccan King Parrot
Moluccan King Parrot in Manokwari Forest

Lowland Forest
Because the birding activity is conducted in the middle of the lowland forest, the best way to enjoy birding in this area is by camping and hiking for several days. There are Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Black Butcherbird, Moluccan King Parrot, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Black-capped Lory, Blyth's Hornbill, Brahminy Kite, Glossy Manucode, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, and Little-ringed Plover, Large-tailed Nightjar, Western-crowned Pigeon and a lot more.
Beautiful Fruit Dove
Beautiful Fruit Dove

Lower Montane Forest
As I already mentioned above, the lower montane forest of Manokwari, especially the Susnguakti forest, is the natural habitat of various species of paradise birds. Some of them include Lesser BOP, King BOP, Magnificent Riflebird, and Common Paradise Kingfisher. Visitors who go to this place can also see Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Fairy Lorikeet, Spangled Drongo, Great Cuckoo Dove, etc. 
Visitors can also do night walk to see cuscus possum, ground brown skink, and glowing mushroom. Basecamp for tourists are available. 
Hooded Butcherbird

Duration of the tour
In general, the number of days tourists spend in lowland forest of Manokwari is 3 days. For lower montane forest, they take between 3 to 4 days. My recommendation will be: 3 days lowland, 1 day rest in Manokwari city, 3-4 days lower montane forest.
Cendrawasih (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

Birding Equipment
Most birdwatchers know what to bring. However, there are also ordinary tourists who are interested in visiting these forest to watch tropical birds, unique plants and wild flowers as well as the beautiful nature. A pair of binoculars is a standard birdwatching device that visitors need if they want to watch birds and other wild animals. I recommend a 10×42 mm or 12×50 mm roof prism binoculars made by Nikon, Swarovski, Leica or Canon. Super zoom camera such as Canon SX70HS or Nikon Coolpix P1000 is the latest birding camera that birdwatchers like to bring.
I usually bring my spotting scope Kinglux 20-60×60 mm. It is not the best in the market but it can enhance the birdwatching experience of tour participants.

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapl to: +6281332245180.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Watching Cuscus Possum in Manokwari

Cuscus possum is a marsupial animal that lives in the forest of New Guinea island. The animal lives in trees and eats leaves to survives. There are several species that live in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. I like to guide tourists to this forest for watching birds during the day and watching cuscus possum at nights.

We usually our night walk at around 21.00. Cuscus comes out of their hiding places to find food and mate. To see the animal, we have to turn off pur lights. Local guides will immitate the sounds of female cuscus to attract the attention of the male one. When the male comes down to meet the "female cuscus," we will turn on the lights and take pictures of the nocturnal animal. In addition to watching cuscus, during the night walk, we may encounter other animals such as dragon lizard, brown grown skink, or bandicoot. There are also mushrooms that glow at night.
If you plan to visit Manokwari city and are interested in hiking to watch cuscus possum, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.