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).
It was still dark so we used flash light. The sounds of insect could be heard from the surrounding trees. The slopes were quite steep. Slowly we walked up the slopes through the forest. It took around 1 hour walk for us to reach it.
Birding in Saporkren forest of Waigeo island
Helmetted Friarbird
When we arrived at the birding ground, we could see some light in the sky. There was a birdwatching platform made of wood that had been built by local villagers. It looked like a stage and was around 2 meters above the ground. We climbed the ladder and sat on the bench. I sat on the floor. Slowly the sunlight became brighter waking up the birds and other animals in the forest. Male Red Birds of Paradise flew to the branches of trees in front of us. They landed on the bare branches around 15 meters above our heads. Shortly after landing, they started to call their female counterparts. In the beginning there were only 2 male birds. Later, they were joined by several other Red BOP both males and females. 
Birding in Waigeo island
Willie Wagtail
The males began to perform their courtship dance like pole dancers who moved up and down metal poles in night clubs. In this case, the paradise birds were dancing up and down the naked branches of the tree with their bodies sometimes in upside down positions. The noisy sounds which they made attracted other birds as well including Papuan Hornbill, and Helmetted Friarbird. They flew to nearby tree and sat there for a few minutes. I took the opportunity to shoot them using my old camera Fujifilm HS50EXR. Finally, a male Red Bird of Paradise was able to seduce and tame a female Red Bird of Paradise. They mated on the top branch watched by their friends. Shortly after that the dance performance came to an end. 
Birding in waigeo
Great Cuckoo Dove
We walked slowly down the path of the forest trying to find other birds. We were quite lucky. There was a fruiting trees standing next to the path. We sat there quietly. Soon enough, we saw Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Papuan Hornbill, Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectus Parrot, and Moluccan King Parrot. When we continued our walk, we saw a Hook-billed Kingfisher. 
Around 10,00 morning time, we arrived at the guesthouse. Some Willie Wagtails were playing at the jetty and wooden poles near the guesthouse. I also saw Great Cuckoo Dove sitting on a small branch of a tree just around 1 meter abouve the sea water. It was eating fruits. 
Birds were quite active in the morning. Palm Cockatoos had cattapa fruits as their breakfast while Striated Heron was flying low over the sea. We really enjoyed the morning bird walk. 
Book your birding tour
If you are interesting in taking bird walk in Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.


Please, support this blog by buying art drawings and illustrations of wild animals and plants in the form of prints on various products as follows:

Watercolour Sketch of Bird

Watercolour Sketch of Bird
Fruit Dove from Tropical Rainforest

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape
Swimming with Whaleshark

Vector art illustration in Inkscape

Vector art illustration in Inkscape
Baby leatherback turtle was reaching for the sea

Drawing of Paradise Bird

Drawing of Paradise Bird
Lesser Birds of Paradise art print on classic T-shirt

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise