Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Birding in West Papua During New Normal Era

West Papua is a very important destination for birding visitors because it is the natural habitat of tens of species of birds of paradise. Today, I will explain several new birding sites which haven't been widely known among international birding communities who pay special attention to West Papua.

Manokwari is always in the top list as the most important birding destination in West Papua. Why? Because the higher elevation forest of Arfak range is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds that are endemic only to this region. Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Vogelkop Melidectes, Arfak Astrapia are some of the birds that you can only find there.

endemic birds in Arfak mountains
Birds from rainforest in West Papua

Wondama Regency is a great destination because you can watch birds in lowland and lower montane forest as well as in islands. If your physical condition is very good, you can explore higher elevation forest in Wondiboy Nature Reserve.

Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley in Tambrauw regency is a hidden birding site. I visited these places several times when I organized birding tours for birdwatchers from the France, Czech, and the United States. 

For Raja Ampat archipelago, the eastern region of Waigeo is the place where you can enjoy exclusive general birding. There is a a very long road that was built by local government from Fish lagoon in east Waigeo to villages in northeast and north Waigeo. Visitors can enjoy birding by walking along this road for several days. Don't forget to bring camping gear, enough food, and spare batteries for camera and flashlight. Please, hire local villagers for your birding walk in this island.

Klatomok is a village in Klasow valley of Sorong regency where you can explore to watch tropical birds that live in lowland and lower montane forest.

There are still new birding sites that I haven't presented in this blog. I may discuss them in my later posts.

Government of Indonesia, starting from early 2021, will soon provide vaccines to the Indonesian people for free to enhance the herd immunity. I heard that foreign visitors maybe allowed to travel to this country again. Please, follow the standard health protocol for new normal when you are able to visit Indonesia.

For further info about customized itinerary, and cost of the trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Birding in Wondiboy Forest

I, accompanied by some government employees from Tourism and Culture Service, did an exploratory birding survey in forest areas around Rasiei town - the capital of Teluk Wondama regency. 
We visited Rowi forest, Rasiei Beach, Sewandamuni Harbor, Sobey Beach, Wandamui Hill, Rowor Beach, and Aisandami Village. It was an interesting experience to explore the forest of the regency that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds. Birds that are common in beach area include Little Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pacific Swallow, Willie Wagtail, Whimbrel, Sacred Kingfisher, Olive-backed Sunbird and a lot more.
When we did a short walk in late afternoon to Rowi forest behind the local government office, we recorded some interesting birds including Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Coconut Lorikeet, Black-Sunbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher. We also saw butterflies such as Cruiser Butterfly (Vindula arsinoe), the Silky Owl (Taenaris catops), the Oblong-spotted Birdwing Butterfly (Troides oblongomaculatus) and Swallow-tailed Blue Mountain Butterfly (Papilio ulysses)
Lesser Birds of Paradise

As we explored deeper forest area in Wondiboy Nature Reserve, we could record more birds in the jungle. Some of them were Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Palm Cockatoo, Grey Crow, Lowland Peltop, Red Myzomella, Shining Flycatcher, Oriental Dollarbird, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Red-cheeked Parrot, Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, and a lot more. 

Besides taking rainforest tour to see beautiful birds, we also enjoyed snorkeling and freediving in Teluk Wondama's coral reef sites. It was a fascinating experience because we could see a lot of species of fish and marine creatures such as anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, giant clam Tridacna gigas, Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata), sea urchin, and a lot more. 

If you are interested in taking a nature tour to Teluk Wondama regency to see the biodiversity of avifauna and other wild animals in its forest and marine life, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

  • Watching Birds of Paradise in West Papua
  • Birdwatching in West Papua

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Birding in North Sulawesi

Last year I guided a Dutch lady on a birding, wildlife watching, and sightseeing tour in North Sulawesi. This is a province in Indonesia. We spent around two weeks exploring the rainforest of the region. The first place that we visited was a waterfall in the suburban area of Manado city. We walked on the concrete path that was quite slippery to the waterfall and admired its beauty. After that we walked slowly back to the main road while watching birds. Blue-tailed Bee-eater was the one that we saw flying around the open space near the cliff of  the waterfall. 
birding in North Sulawesi
Birding in North Sulawesi

As we walk along the roadside, we began to see more interesting birds such as Oriental Dollardbird, Green Imperial Pigeon, and Black-naped Fuit Dove. We also saw Sulawesi Spangled Drongo, Sulawesi Crow, Collared-Kingfisher, Little Egret, and Cattle Egret. There were a small group of crake that were walking up a slope across from us. They were quite far. I could not see in details about their feather. They could be Buff-banded Rail or Slaty-legged Crake. The Dutch lady wanted to visit Bunaken. So, I organized a trip to the island. 
Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca)
Black-faced Munia
Returning to Manado city, we continued our trip to Doloduo by public bus where we stayed in Tante Mien's homestay. It was far from Manado and took a few hours to reach it.
We walked along the roadsides, around the rice field and saw a lot of Domestic Pigeon, Red-collared Dove, Sahul Sunbird, Chestnut/ Black-headed Munia, Pacific Swallow near a water dam. There were some Black-faced Munia moving inside the branches of a shrub plant. I carefully aimed my camera at those birds and shot one of them. 
We continued our trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve and spent a few days watching birds in the region. I was able to take pictures of Sulawesi Hornbill, Ashy Woodpecker, Ruddy Kingfisher, Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Finch-billed Myna, White-eyed Spangled Drongo, Spotted Dove, White-rumped Triller, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Knobbed Hornbill and a lot more. In Tangkoko's forest, we saw mammals such as Celebes Crested Macaque and Spectral Tarsier. The trip to Tangkoko is a prolific birding experience.
The highland of Minahasa was in our list of places to visit. By another public bus, we went to Tomohon and stayed in a hotel for a few nights. We went hiking to the crater of Mount Mahawu, enjoyed tea and watching birds in Lake Linow of Tomohon and visited extreme traditional market near the bus station. People sell and buy dogs, snake, fruit bats, mouse as meat. 
At the last leg of the tour, we visited Pal beach in North Minahasa regency. The scenery was beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not bring my snorkeling mask, and fins. So, I could not explore its coral reef.
Pal Beach in North Sulawesi
A White Sandy Beach in North Sulawesi

I still had a separate birding walk in District Sonder where I saw Sulawesi Scops Owl (Otus manadensis), Turquoise Warbling-flycatcher (Eumyas panayensis), Sooty-headed Bulbul, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Malkoha, Black-naped Oriole, Black-crowned White-eye, Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus), female Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), Sulawesi Hanging Parrot (Loriculus stigmatus), and a lot more.
At the airport, before flying back to her country, she and I saw Sulawesi Cuckoo Dove. 
Flight Route to Manado City
There are daily flights from major city in Indonesia to Manado city served by such airlines as Garuda, Citilink, Batik Air and Lion Air. There is direct flight between Singapore and Manado city served by Scoot Air. 
airlines to Manado city
Flight route to Manado city

If you are interested in visiting the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, and want me to organize your trip and guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: -6281332245180.

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Watching Birds of Paradise in West Papua

Every year thousands of visitors travel to Indonesia to watch tropical birds. One of their destinations is West Papua that is located in the eastern region of the country. There, they can explore the rainforest to find birds of paradise. Several birding sites in West Papua that I recommend are described below:

Tropical Birds in Manokwari

  • Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains - This is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Azure Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pymy Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Eclectus Parrot, Rusty Pitohui, Hooded Butcherbird, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta, Papuan Frogmouth, Marbled Frogmouth, Golden Cuckooshrike, Superb Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Frilled Monarch, Black Sunbird, and etc. A simple base camp by a small river has been prepared by local villagers for visitors who want to stay for a few days. In addition to birds, visitors can also find other animals such as Papuan Forest Dragon, cuscus possum, and bandicoot. Birding and wildlife watching is carried out in the mornings, in the afternoons, and at nights. Susnguakti forest has got a lot of kinds of insects from grasshopper to butterflies and moths. 
Soyti Forest is located in the high elevation area of Arfak mountains and is the habitat of Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Long-tailed Paradigala, and a lot of other birds that live in cloud forest. There are guesthouses for visitors who want to stay for a few days. Big butterflies such as Ornithoptera tithonus and Morphotaenaris schoenbergi schoenbergi can also be seen in the flower garden around the guesthouse. Both Susnguakti forest and Mount Soyti can be reached from Manokwari city. There are regular flights between Manokwari and major cities such as Jakarta, Makassar, Manado, Ambon and Jayapura in Indonesia served by Batik Air, Sriwijaya, Lion/Wings Air. 

Klasow valley is located in Sorong regency. There are tens of villages in the valley. Two villages which birdwatchers like to visit are Klatomok and Malagufuk. For elderly people or those who cannot endure long walks, Klatomok village will be the recommended choice. There, they can watch Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Red-cheeked Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Moluccan Parrot, Magnificent Riflebird, Blyth's Hornbill, Western-crowned Pigeon and etc. The entrance gate is Sorong city. Major airlines in Indonesia have got flights to this destination.

Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley of Tambrauw regency are very important destinations in Tambrauw regency. Birds and wild animals such as boars, sugar glider, deer, snakes, cuscus possum, frogs, and insects can be found there. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Rainbow Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Black-browed Triller, Long-tailed Buzzard, are some of the many birds that we can see in the forest. 
Raja Ampat islands are important destination for birding visitors because they can watch rainforest as well as sea birds. In general, birding visitors put Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise at the top of their target list. However, there are also interesting birds such as Great-billed Parrot, Violet-necked Lory and Spice Imperial Pigeon and Beach Kingfisher that are also interesting. The White-bellied Sea Eagle and Eastern Osprey are some of the big birds that I often see in tall trees in karst inside Kabui.

The average duration for covering these places are around 3 weeks. Visitors need to travel in a group of at least 3 to 4 people to share the cost of transportation, accommodation and food.
For further info, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Old Birding Cameras

There are some birding cameras from old models that are still good for anyone to buy in affordable prices. The one that I used was Fujifilm HS50EXR. It has got 42× zoom lenses that were equal to 1,000 mm lenses in 35 mm format. Because its image sensor was 1/2 inches, it could focus on birds faster than the average point and shoot cameras whose CMOS image sensors were 1/2.3 inches. 

I also used to have Nikon Coolpix P500 and Nikon Coolpix P600. Both were good for taking pictures in distant trees where the light condition is good. The cameras cannot easily focus on birds in lowlight condition.

pinon imperial pigeon
Pinon Imperial Pigeon shot by using Nikon Coolpix P500

On the internet, there are articles from birdwatchers about Canon SX50. They said that the SX 50HS produced bird pictures that are better that its successor the SX60HS. This opinion could be true. Sor, if there are online stores that sell Fujifilm HS50EXR or Canon SX50HS in very good condition. They are buying.

Bridge birding camera cannot be compared with D-SLR camera. The size of image sensor in bridge camera is much smaller than the full frame.

I used to take picture of bird using a binocular and a pocket camera. The result was not sharp and bright but was good enough for identification.

Today, universal adapter has allowed people with cell phone spotting scope or binocular to take pictures of birds. So, anyone who cannot buy a birding camera can still enjoy birding photography with his or her cellphone that is embedded to spotting scope or binoculars using universal camera adapter. 

I like to stand on a slope near a tree where a bird sits on to get near eye-level position. Sometimes, I stand on hill looking down at trees and take pictures of birds. 

To enhance the quality or sharpness of the photograph that I take, I usually lean on a tree while holding the camera. Sometimes I use tripod. To eliminate shakes or vibration when I press the shutter button, I apply a 3-second self-timer. The camera will take picture 3 seconds later after I press the shutter button. This was written by Charles Roring

Also read: Birding Cameras

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Birdwatching in West Papua

West Papua is an important birdwatching destination in the world. Wondiwoi Mountains in Wondama Bay regency; Nimbokrang in Jayapura,  Susnguakti forest and Arfak mountains in Manokwari; Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley in Tambrauw; Klatomok village and Malagufuk village in Sorong; Waigeo island in Raja Ampat are the natural habitat of hundreds of species of avifauna including birds of paradise.
The main targets are Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Lesser Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise, Long-tailed Paradigala, and a lot more. 

A good pair of binoculars is needed by bird watchers especially when they want to watch birds in distant or tall trees. Famous brands such as Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Nikon, Vortex have got binoculars that are offered in a price range from around 200 US dollars to more than 1,000 US dollars.
I use Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600mm G2 telefoto lenses as by birding camera. Well, it is not the best birding camera on the market. There are Nikon 500D, Fujifilm X-T30, and Canon EOS 7D Mark II that are much better than mine. In the past I used Nikon Coolpix P500, Nikon P600 and Fujifilm HS50EXR. Bridge camera are good devices for taking pictures of birds in distant trees and with brighter sunlight. However, these point and shoot cameras have got small sensors. So, in certain cases such as in lowlight condition or when there are some twigs or leaves in front of the birds, the cameras cannot easily focus on the birds. Sony RX10 IV is a bridge camera that is equipped with 1 inch sensor. With 600 mm lens, it can produce high quality photographs and other wild animals. 
Wondiwoi Nature Reserve is located in the south of Wondama Bay regency and is the natural habitat of such birds as Grey Crow, Olive-backed Sunbird, Red-cheeked Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Spangled Drongo, Coconut Lorikeet, Red Myzomela, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Willie Wagtail, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Whimbrel, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and a lot more. 

Susnguakti Forest - This is a hidden birding and wildlife watching site in lower montane forest of Arfak range. Cuscus possum, forest dragon lizard, toad, snakes, bandicoot, and various kinds of insects can be seen here. For birds, the ones that I see in this forest include Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Azure Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Shining Flycatcher, Rainbow Lorikeet, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Black-capped Lory, Hooded Butcherbird. 
Arfak Mountains are located in the south of Manokwari city. Its higher montane forest is a very popular destination for visitors who want to watch various species of birds that are endemic to New Guinea (particularly to West Papua) such as Brehm's Tiger Parrot, Vogelkop Melidectes, Mottled Berryhunter, Papuan Flycatcher, Black-breasted Boatbill, Golden Face, Spectacled Longbill, Tit Berrypecker, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Feline Owlet Nightjar, and etc. 
Around the guesthouse where I usually stay, there is flower garden. Red Hibiscus, Rhododendrons, New Guinea Impatience, Orchids plants are planted to decorate the landscapes. They attract small birds to eat their nectar and flower or to just sit inside their tiny twigs.

West Papua is a popular birding destination especially among avid birdwatchers who want to watch paradise birds as well as other tropical birds. 
As a tourist guide, I have accompanied a lot of visitors on various birdwatching and wildlife watching tours from lowland to lower and higher montane forests. Here are the birding sites that I have visited with my clients:
Klasow valley in Sorong regency. There are tens of villages in this valley. 
Klatomok Village is located at the road side. Homestays in affordable cost are available in this village. It is the most recommended place for visitors who want to enjoy easy birding. Some of the birds which birdwatchers can see here include Oriental Dollar Bird, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Magnificent Riflebird, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Blue Black Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Helmetted Friarbird, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, 
Western-crowned Pigeon,  Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Lowland Peltop, and etc.
Malagufuk have got homestays which visitors can choose to stay for a few days. Birds that can be watched are similar to the ones that I mention above with such extra birding target as Northern Cassowary, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, and etc. 
In addition to birds, visitors can also see flowers such as hibiscus, zinnia elegans and other wild flowers in rainforest. Flower season usually occurs at the end of dry season, i.e. in November and early December. When there are a lot of flowers, butterflies will come to collect their nectar. 
Fef Valley - This is a valley that has now become the capital of Tambrauw regency. It is surrounded by lower montane forest. Because it is in the interior area of Vogelkop region of West Papua, visitors who go there will be able to watch Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Lesser Bird of Paradise, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, New Guine Harpy Eagle, Long-tailed Buzzard, Sacred Kingfisher, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta, 
Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley - Located deeper in the interior region of Tambrauw Mountains, they are very important birding sites in West Papua province.  Birds that can be watched in this forest are similar to the ones in Fef but in Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley, more wildlife can be seen. In addition a lot of birds, visitors who go to there can see mammals, reptiles, insects and a lot of tropical plants of New Guinea.
To explore the places that I mention above, we need to go by 4WD car. The most popular vehicle here is Toyota Hilux. Before going to those remote forests, we have to buy food and other logistical materials in Manokwari city.
This year, government of Indonesia have closed access for foreign tourists to enter West Papua due to Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that next year (2021), foreign tourists will be allowed to enter West Papua again. This is written by Charles Roring
Kabui Bay of Raja Ampat - I like traveling to this beautiful archipelago because I can enjoy birding and snorkeling. Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise can be seen there. Other interesting species such as Spice Imperial Pigeon, White-breasted Woodswallow, Wimbrel, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Palm Cockatoo, Beach Kingfisher, Moluccan King Parrot, and etc. can be watched there. 
The beaches in Warduwer, Saporkren, Urai and a lot of other small islands in the bay are covered by coral reefs. They are also considered as the tropical rainforest of the sea. Butterfly fish, Boxfish, Anemonefish, Moorish Idol, and a lot of other species of marine animals can be seen in the sea water.
Bring snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins and underwater camera) if you want to enjoy snorkeling in Raja Ampat.
Actually, it is not only Raja Ampat where you can go to enjoy snorkeling. There are other places in West Papua that have got coral reef. Some of them include Manokwari, Tambrauw, Sorong, Kaimana, Fakfak, Wondama Bay, and South Manokwari. 
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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Tanah Papua A Paradise for Birds

Tanah Papua is the Malay words for Papua Land or New Guinea island. It is the natural habitat of a lot of species of paradise birds as well as other tropical birds. As a tourist guide, I have run birding tours in West Papua since 2010. Before that I guided visitors on snorkeling, culture and art tour.
Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornatus)
Vogelkop Bowerbird

A male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest
Places that I go with my clients to watch birds include Kwau village in Mokwam region, Susnguakti forest, Dopi river, Mesirrokow forest, Aiwatar hill, Ayapokiar village, Mount Sakofsiah and Ases valley, Fef, Sausapor, Syuan and Syugrar rivers; Klawos forest, Klatomok village, Malagufuk village in Klasow valley, Kabui bay, Misool, and Waigeo islands.
birds of paradise watching tour in Indonesia
French tourists were camping and birding in Tambrauw's forest
Most often the places where we go are located deep in the jungle. Hotels or guesthouses are not available. So, we stay in dome tents by a river.
King Bird of Paradise
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
During the day and night, we explore the forest. In Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, we could see Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Golden Cuckooshrike, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta and a lot more.
It is not only birds that attract the attention of visitors. Wild flowers such as orchids, vine flowers are also beautiful. In open area, a long the roadsides and riversides, we may see passion flowers, blue trumpet vine. In lowland the size of the flower is smaller than the one in highland.
Vine flower in the forest
Passion flower
Traveling to higher montane forest of Vogelkop region, we will be able to watch such birds as Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia that dances like a ballerina, Black Sicklebill, Vogelkop Super Bird of Paradise, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black-eared Catbird, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Vogelkop Melidectes, Feline Owlet Nightjar, Spectacled Long Bill, Mottled Berryhunter, Golden Face, Wattled Brush Turkey, Masked Bowerbird, Mountain Peltop and a lot more.
Birding in Arfak mountains
Magnificent Bird of Paradise
In Mokwam regions, blinds for watching birds are provided by local people for tourists who want to watch birds. There is a simple bench in each blind that can accommodate 4 to 5 people.
The land mass in higher montane forest is less than in lowland. The population and spread of certain species of birds are very limited. The Long-tailed Paradigala and Black Sicklebill are two examples of rare birds that we may see in higher montane forest of Arfak range if we visit it to watch birds.
Birdwatching in lowland forest of Manokwari
French tourists were watching birds in Manokwari
In lowland forest of Sorong regency, we could find Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Blue Black Kingfisher, Black Lory, Western-crowned Pigeon, Yellow-bellied Longbill, Lowland Peltop.
We could continue our adventure to Raja Ampat islands where we will be able to see a great varieties of sea birds from Wimbrel to Beach Thick Knee and from White-bellied Sea Eagle to Eastern Osprey. Walking in the forest, we will be able to see birds that are the same as the ones in mainland New Guinea, but we will also have the opportunity to watch Raja Ampat's Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise.
The above places that I mention are some of the many interesting birding sites which tourists can go to if they want to watch beautiful tropical birds of Tanah Papua. 
Most birdwatchers bring binoculars but there are some who carry spotting scope which is a versatile tool for watching birds and any wild animals in distant branches of trees. They also use bridge camera that has super-zoom lens such as Nikon P900 or even P1000. Those who are physically fit can carry D-SLR camera with super-telephoto lens such as Tamron or Sigma 150-600 mm.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking a bird watching trip to this beautiful tropical island. This has been written by Charles Roring.
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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Birding in Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley

Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley are two important birding sites in Vogelkop region of West Papua. They are located next to Fef - the capital of Tambrauw regency. I used to go there several times to enjoy birdwatching and wildlife watching. The last time I went there was when I guided a couple of American tourists. We spent around 4 days in the forest to watch parrots, kingfishers, fruit doves and a lot of other tropical birds of West Papua. One of the most important species that could be seen in the area was the New Guinea Vulturine Parrot.
New Guinea Vulturine Parrot
New Guinea Vulturine Parrot in Ases Valley
The bird has been widely extirpated by local people who hunt them to get its bright red feather. They use the feather for making traditional costumes which they use during traditional ceremonies.
In Tambrauw regency the New Guinea Vulturine Parrot is protected. The local government of Tambrauw has declared their territory as the regency of conservation.
American tourists in Mount Sakofsiah of Tambrauw mountains
American Tourists in Mount Sakofsiah
Logging of trees for commercial purposes, the conversion of forest into mono-culture plantation and the hunting of wild animals are strictly prohibited.
Tourism has been promoted as an important income generation scheme for local people.
Birdwatching and wildlife watching have become popular activities among visitors who go to Tambrauw especially to Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley. We enjoyed swimming in the river, did night walks, and went hiking in the mountains during our stay in Mount Sakofsiah and Ases valley.
When I and the American tourists as well as the local villagers explore the forest, we saw a lot of birds including Magnificent Riflebird, Lesser Bird of Paradise, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Blyth's Hornbill, Black-browed Triller, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, cassowary, Golden Cuckooshrike, Oriental Dollarbird, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Long-tailed Buzzard, New Guinea Harpy Eagle and a lot more.
Czech tourists were enjoying riverwalk and wildlife photography tour in Ases river of Tambrauw mountains
Czech tourists in Ases river of Tambrauw regency
Deer, wallaby, cuscus possum, sugar glider, tree kangaroo, wild boar, snake also make the forest of Mount Sakofsiah and Ases valley as their natural habitat.
The landscape view of Mount Sakofsiah is very beautiful. I highly recommend this place as the most important destination for everyone who wants to see pristine rainforest ecosystem of West Papua.
I suggest that visitors go in a group of at least 2 to 4 people in order to share the cost of the tour.
The Covid-19 pandemic still occur throughout the world. This has forced Indonesian government stop the trips of all foreign tourists into the country. Government may allow foreign travellers again in next year in 2021.
If you are interested in traveling to Tambrauw mountains and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Malagufuk's Birds

Malagufuk, a small jungle village in Klasow valley of Sorong regency is a nice place for visitors who like birding. I introduced it for the first time to the outer world as a new destination for ecotourism activities in late 2014. At that time nobody in birding tourism industry knew its existance.

The Tropical Birds

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise
Visitors who travel to Malagufuk will be able to watch a lot of tropical rainforest birds. Some of them are listed below:
Beautiful Fruit Dove, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Ornate Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Great-cuckoo Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Western-crowned Pigeon, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Rainbow Bee-eater, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna,
Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo,
Palm Cockatoo, Black Lory, Black-capped Lory, Large Fig Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet Lorikeet,
Greater Black Coucal, Lesser Black Coucal, Blue-black Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher,
Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Lowland Peltop, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Boyer's Cuckooshrike, Red-bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Shining Flycatcher, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Variable Goshawk, Grey-headed Goshawk, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Spangled Drongo, Black Sunbird, Sahul Sunbird, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Hooded Butcherbird, Oriental Dollarbird, Glossy Swiftlet, Moustached Treeswift, Metallic Starling, Rufous Owl, Papuan Nightjar, Northern Cassowary, Emperor Fairywren, Blyth's Hornbill, Nankeen Night Herron, Torresian Crow, Papuan Babbler, Little Shrikethrush, Helmetted Friarbird, Yellow-bellied Longbill, Spot-winged Monarch, Frilled Monarch, Rusty Pitohui, Black-browed Triller, Black-sided Robin, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Oriental Cuckoo, Forest Bittern, and a lot more.
Some birders who went to Malagufuk said that they also saw rare species such as Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon, Blue Jewel Babbler, and Thick-billed Ground Pigeon.
Bird list for Malagufuk

Western-crowned Pigeon. Photo by Kostan Magablo

My Photographic and Birding Devices

Every time I go to the jungle village, I will bring my camera to take pictures of birds, wild animals and unique plants. In the past, I brought Nikon Coolpix P600. After that I used a Fujifilm HS50EXR which I used for several years. In recent years, I bring Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.
For watching birds, my devices are quite modest, a pair of Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars and a Kinglux 20-60×60mm spotting scope.
Malagufuk is located quite deep into the lowland forest of Klasow valley.  There is a 3.3 kilometers wooden boardwalk that connects Malagufuk and the main road. In the past, the path from mainroad to the village was muddy and the plants on both sides of the it were infested with mosquitoes and leeches.

Alternative Birding and Wildlife Watching Sites

They may not be suitable for tourists who could not walk for several hours. There is some good alternative places for birdwatching. My recommendation will be Sansapore Pacific Park in Sausapor town; Klabili village and Klatomok that are located in the same valley. 
For birdwatchers and nature lovers who are willing to travel further in the region to watch more different and endemic avifauna can combine their trips to Sonder town in Minahasa highland of North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. There is regular daily flights that connect Sorong city with Manado city.
Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea)
Common Paradise Kingfisher

 by Charles Roring.

Minahasa highland is a region in the Province of North Sulawesi of Indonesia that is highly recommended for birdwatching visitors. 
some birds in Sonder forest
Some birds in Minahasa Highland

A lot of unique tropical birds could be watched there including: 
  • Pale Blue Monarch
  • Sulawesi Cuckoo Dove
  • White-faced Cuckoo Dove
  • Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon
  • Black-naped Oriole
  • Black-faced Munia
  • Chestnut Munia
  • Scaly-breasted Munia,
  • Black-crowned White-eye
  • Mountain (Warbling) White-eye
  • Sahul Sunbird
  • Crimson Sunbird
  • Sulawesi Myzomela
  • Grey-sided Flowerpecker
  • Yellow-sided Flowerpecker
  • Hair-crested (White-eyed Drongo)
  • Sulawesi Drongo
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Scaly-breasted Kingfisher
  • and a lot more. 
Birdwatching activities can be carried out from Manado city to Tomohon and Sonder in Minahasa highland. There are a lot of birding sites around these small towns. 

Book your birding tour now.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking the birdwatching tour.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Birding Tour in West Papua

West Papua a great destination for birding visitors. This is the name of the western half region of New Guinea (the largest tropical island in the world). West Papua has got two provinces at the moment, Papua Barat and Papua.
Tropical rainforests that cover the mainland and the satellite islands of West Papua are the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds that are attractive to be watched.

As a tourist guide, I often accompany birdwatchers on various trips along the coastal and mountainous areas to watch birds and other wildlife. There are a lot of places that are suitable for birdwatching and wildlife watching. Some of them are listed below:
Wondama Bay
This is a regency in West Papua province of Indonesia that is very important for tourists who like to watch birds in rainforest, along the coast and in the islands. Most of the territory of the regency is inside the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay. The regency of Teluk Wondama is a highly recommended site for birdwatchers. Visitors need to fly to Manokwari city and continue their trip by fast ferry boat or by a small turboprop aircraft if they want to enjoy birdwatching in that region.
Mesirrokow - The Lowland Forest of Manokwari
This forest is located in the northwest area of Manokwari regency. It is a good place to watch Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Brahminy Kite,V Goshawk, Little-ringed Plover, Large-tailed Nightjar, Eclectus Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Little Egret, and Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Lowland Peltop, and etc.

Susnguakti - The Lower Montane Forest of Manokwari
There is a forest in lower montane are of Arfak mountains. Its name is Susnguakti. A lot of tourists have visited it to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta, Frilled Monarch, Hooded Butcherbird, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, and etc.
Higher Montane Forest of Arfak mountains
This is the vocal point of all birding sites in West Papua. A lot of highland birds can be seen in Mokwam region especially in Mount Soyti - in the territory of Kwau village including Vogelkop Bowerbird, Vogelkop Melidectes, Western-smoky Honeyeater, Long-tailed Paradigala, Western Parotia, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black-siklebill, Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise, Masked Bowerbird,  Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin,  Papuan Flycatcher, Spectacled Longbill, Plum-faced Lorikeet, Feline Owlet Nightjar, a lot more.
Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley
This is another important birding site in West Papua located deep in Tambrauw Mountains. New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Golden Myna, Dwarf Cassowary, Papua Flycatcher, Long-tailed Buzzard, Black-browed Triller, Golden Cuckooshrike, Oriental Dollarbird, Coconut Lorikeet, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Little-pied Cormorant can be found here. Much of the forest in Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley haven't been explored. They are important destination for wildlife watching too. When I guided 2 American tourists last year to this area, we saw deer, sugar glider, soa-soa monitor lizard, big frogs, fresh water fish, and a lot more.
Weyos Beach and Rainforest
This is a coastal area of Tambrauw regency that can only be accessed by motorized boat. Coastal birds such as Lesser Frigatebird, Willy Wagtail, Sacred Kingfisher, as well as Lesser Birds of Paradise, and Magnificent Riflebird can be seen here. Actually, Weyos is the most recommended site for nature lovers who are interested in wildlife watching. There is coral reef, nesting site for sea turtles, and various species of mammals in Weyos. Its isolated location is the ideal condition for wildlife to thrive without disturbances from human activities.
Malagufuk Village
This is important birding site in West Papua  especially for lowland birds. I and Nico Nauw were the first local guides to explore the forest of Malagufuk in 2014. Malagufuk and the nearby Klatomok village are places for watching Western-crowned Pigeon, Yellow-faced Myna, Black Lory, Northern Cassowary, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Blue Black Kingfisher, Black-capped Lory.
Although the forest in around this village has got a lot of leeches, it is still considered as an attractive destination for tourists who are very fond of birding.
Klatomok Village
This also another birding site in Klasow valley that is very nice for watching birds. This village is the natural habitat of Magnificent Riflebird, Large Fig Parrot, Golden Myna, Coconut Lorikeet, Oriental Dollarbird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Lowland Peltop, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove and etc. Klatomok village is also located in Klasow valley and is very suitable for elderly tourists or anyone who cannot walk long distances. Birdwatching activity can be carried out along the roadside and also along the paths into the forest. There are homestays in Klatomok for visitors who want to spend a few days birding in the village.
Raja Ampat
I often go to Raja Ampat to guide tourists on various birding and snorkeling trips. There are 2 important sites for birding. One in the south which is the forest around Kabui bay and one in the north which is the forest along Warebar beach. Birdwatchers who go to Raja Ampat put Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise in the list of targets that they want to see. Actually, Raja Ampat offers other important birds as well including Beach Kingfisher, Eastern Osprey, Eclectus Parrot, Purple-naped Lory, Spice Imperial Pigeon, White-breasted Woods- Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Mimic Melidectes, Olive-backed Sunbird, Lowland Peltop, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and a lot more.

Birding Optics

In general, birders need to bring binoculars, field guide book Birds of New Guinea, super zoom camera, and spotting scope (optional).
On the average, it takes around 4 weeks to cover most of the above birding sites. Some tourists spend around 2 weeks to explore some of them.
As a birding guide, I offer tours to these sites. If you are interested in taking a birdwatching and wildlife watching tour to West Papua and want me to organise your trips, please, contact me, Charles Roring, by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Birding in Tambrauw

The mountain range of Tambrauw is located between Manokwari and Sorong. It is covered by pristine tropical rainforest.
Moluccan King Parrot in lowland forest near Sausapor town
Moluccan King Parrot
It is a great destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers who want to watch a lot of beautiful tropical birds.

Some of them include: Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Western-crowned Pigeon, Long-tailed Buzzard, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, and a lot more. 
Yellow-faced Myna in the forest near Klabili village of Klasow valley
Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii)

New Guinea Vulturine Parrot or also called Pesquet's Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) in Ases valley of Tambrauw mountains
New Guinea Vulturine Parrot
As a tourist guide, I have organized numerous birding tours to the region since 2010. Places that I like to visit with my clients include Kebar and Senopi,  District capital of Miyah, Mount Sakofsiah and Ases valley,  and coastal villages along the north coast of Tambrauw regency.
Birding tour in tropical jungle of Tambrauw

Best birding experience can be felt deep in the forest where there are no villages, lodges, or hotels. Dome and makeshif tents with air mattresses are used as our accommodation. I also bring cooking and eating utensils to serve tour participants during our birding trips in the jungle
Usually I bring my Canon 200D with 150-600 mm telephoto lens and laser pointer as well as records . I watch birds using a 20-60×60 mm spotting scope and identify them using field guide book Birds of New Guinea (written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler).
Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley as Vocal Points
During the tour, we will walk along the sides of river, roads or through the walking paths in the jungle to find birds. Places like Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley are very important destinations because New Guinea Harpy Eagle, and Dwarf Cassowary, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Red-flanked Lorikeet, and Mountain Peltop live there. When I guided some American tourists on several night walks in the forest, we saw sugar glider (perhaps the Petaurus breviceps papuanus), deer, monitor lizards and fresh water fish and big frogs too.
Mount Sakofsiah and Asses valley are important birding sites in West Papua for tropical birds
American tourists were watching birds in
Tambrauw regency of West Papua

How to get there?
  • First, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia).
  • Second, you need to continue your trip by flying to Manokwari city. 
  • Third, we will meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Tambrauw.
The cost of the tour depends on the number of participants and the number of days you plan to stay. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in traveling to Tambrauw.
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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Birds of Paradise in Arfak Range

Arfak mountains have been a must visit destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers for years. Before this Covid-19 pandemic hit the entire globe, I often organized birding tours for visitors to this mountain range.

Usually I started from Susnguakti which was the lower montane forest of Arfak. I and the tourists whom I guided spent 3 to 4 days in a simple base-camp.
Magnificent Riflebird
Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)

We walked through the forest to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, and Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy Manucode and a lot of other birds. Sometimes, we saw Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Imperial Pigeon, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Blyth's Hornbill, and Hooded Pitta.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

While staying in Susnguakti forest, I often organized night walking tours in the forest to see cuscus possum, Papua dragon tree lizard, snakes, and various kinds of insects. Sometimes we were quite lucky and able to see Spot-winged Monarch and King Bird of Paradise sleeping on lower branches of trees.
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) from rainforest of West Papua
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)

This lower montane forest of Arfak range was also a great place to watch Hooded Butcherbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and Yellow-billed Kingfisher.
After spending 3 - 4 days exploring the rainforest of Susnguakti forest, I and the visitors whom I guided continued our exploration of the birds of higher montane forest of Arfak mountains especially in Mokwam region. There were a few villages in Mokwam. We stayed in Lorikeet Guesthouse and did birding walks in the forest of Kwau village. There, we stayed for 4 days/ 3 nights to watch Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala, and  a lot more.
The ballerina bird - Western Parotia
Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)

We also had the chance to watch a lot of birds other than paradise species such as Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black-breasted Boatbill, Papuan Flycatcher, Green-backed Robin, Vogelkop Melidectes, Mottled Berryhunter, Masked Bowerbird, Brehm's Tiger Parrot, Feline Owlet-nightjar and etc.
Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Dipyhllodes magnificus)
Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus)

Indonesia government may open this country for foreign tourists next year. It will be a great opportunity for birdwatchers and other nature lovers to visit West Papua not only to see birds, wild animals and the ecosystem of rainforest as a whole but also to meet its friendly people and see their unique cultures.
I can be contacted by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Night Birding

As a tourist guide, I often accompany birdwatchers who come from various countries in Europe, America, or Asia. We spend at least 3 days/2 nights up to 2 weeks in the forest to see birds that live in rainforest and coastal areas of West Papua. We walk in the mornings, in the afternoons, and at nights along the trails or roads or beaches. 
Night walk with Rhett Butler of Mongabay.com in Manokwari's forest.
Rhett Butler founder of mongabay.com
We also do night birding to find birds that are active in the dark or that sleep on lower branches of trees.  Usually owls, nightjars, frogmouth, boobook, and Hook-billed Kingfishers are the ones that go out to find their prey. We detect their calls and imitate them to attract the birds.
In Mesirrokow river forest, we just walk along the banks of the river to find Large-tailed Nightjar. In Tambrauw Mountains, we walk along empty roads to find Marbled Frogmouth, Hooded Pitta and Azure Kingfisher. In Ases valley of Tambrauw, we saw fruit bats.
Large-tailed Nightjar in lowland forest of Manokwari of Indonesia
Large-tailed Nightjar
From my trips with tourists in the jungle, birds that I see sleeping on lower branches include King Bird of Paradise, Red-bellied Pitta, and Spot-winged Monarch. 
When we do the night birding, we often see other animals such as cuscus possum, bandicoot, snakes and a lot of insects. 
Because taking pictures of animals and plants at night are difficult, we have to use flash of our cameras or light from our torches.
Bird of Paradise in Susnguakti forest
King Bird of Paradise
There are venomous snakes in the forest so, birdwatchers must wear boots and socks.  
At the moment, the spread of coronavirus has forced government to curb all tourism activities. These birding trips can be continued again in the future if government has lifted the travel ban of foreign tourists. - This is written by Charles Roring

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Some Birds that Eat Flowers' Nectar

I often see birds sitting near flowers when I guide tourists in the forest. Most of them are small birds. Coconut lorikeet, large fig parrot, black-capped lory, black sunbird, olive-backed sunbird are the ones that feed of the nectar of flowers. I have got some pictures of them.
Black-capped Lory in a flowering tree of rainforest

Olive-backed Sunbird in the flowers of Papaya tree
Olive-backed Sunbird is quite unique. It can hover like a helicopter. At first, I did not pay attention until I met some Australian tourists who told me about it. After that when I went birdwatching again, in the coastal area, I saw that behavior.
Female Olive-backed Sunbird

In higher elevation forest, more smaller birds can be seen. Some of them include Papuan Flycatcher, Spectacled Longbill, and etc. 
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Friday, March 20, 2020

Birding Cameras

Taking pictures of birds in distant trees can now be done using cameras that have got telephoto lenses. The affordable ones are the bridge cameras. I used to have Nikon Coolpix P500, Nikon Coolpix P600, and.Fujifilm HS50EXR. New products have been released by camera manufacturers. 
Sony RX10 IV bridge camera
Birding Camera Sony RX10 IV
  • Bridge Cameas: Nikon Coolpix P1000, Nikon Coolpix P900, Sony DSC H400, Canon SX70HS, Canon SX540 HS are relatively new products. Most of them use 1/2.3 inch sensor. Older cameras such as Sony Cybershot HX-350, Sony DSC-H400 are also good for birders who only want to use the camera for taking pictures of birds and share them in social media or for identification purposes. I personally used several versions of Nikon and Sony. They were good for shooting birds that were sitting still on twigs in good light condition. For lowlight ones or for birds in flight, these bridge cameras would face difficulties trying to focus on their subjects. I usually lower the exposure a little to take pictures of birds in low light condition. The result can be seen at the sample picture of Magnificent Bird of Paradise below. I did not use tripod. If I edit the photograph in Adobe Photoshop to brighten it, I will get good picture. I like carrying bridge camera with me while I guide tourists in the forest of Raja Ampat, Sorong regency, Tambrauw Mountains and Arfak mountains because it is small, light, and can easily fit into my small backpack. 
  • Brige Cameras with bigger sensors: Fujifilm HS50EXR, Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 and Sony Cybershot RX10 IV. I used to use Fujifilm HS50EXR for several years. Its zoom lenses were 42 times, equivalent to 1,000 mm lenses in 35 mm format. Fujifilm does not continue the development of the camera. It was a good product but not the best one. Perhaps, the Sony Cybershot RX10 IV is a good choice for those who have money. It has got 1 inch sensor and zoom lenses that are equivalent with 600 mm telephoto lenses in 35 mm format. 
  • I used to try digiscoping system. It was not easy. Best results could be obtained if the scope and the camera or cell phone can be perfectly aligned using an adapter. If the scope can generate clear and sharp image, the result will be good photos. Shooting birds in flight is almost impossible.
  • D-SLR cameras with telephoto lens. Professional photographers invest a lot of money on buying expensive camera such as Nikon D5, Nikon D500, Canon EOS 7D, Canon 1DX Mark II. For telephoto lens, Sigma 150-600mm sport or Tamron 150-600mm G2 is a good choice. As a birding guide, I only use photographs for promoting birding tours and guiding service, I use Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600mm G2 as my photographic device. 
Sample of Photographs:
Magnificent Bird of Paradise  Photo: Charles Roring
Magnificent Bird of Paradise shot using Nikon Coolpix P500
Picture of Coconut Lorikeet in a tree in Raja Ampat which I shot using Fujifilm HS50EXR
Papuan Hornbill birds photo by Charles Roring
Picture of Blyth's Hornbill in a distant palm tree which I shot using Fujifilm HS50EXR
Birdwatching tour with Charles Roring
Picture of Palm Cockatoo locally called Kakaktua Raja,
that I shot using Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm G2
Wompoo Fruit Dove

For me, a birdwatching guide who also maintain some blogs related to my job, having a camera is a must. However, I use the pictures that I take only for my blog posts and facebooks. I do not think I need a professional D-SLR camera. An entry level D-SLR camera with telephoto lens or a bridge camera with super telephoto lens is my favorite tool. Professional wildlife photographer usually invest in high quality photographic devices such as Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Nikon D500. 
For lenses: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS Telephoto Zoom Lens are good choice. Sigma 150-600mm sport and Tamron 150-600mm G2 are also recommended. They are more affordable but have got higher reach. 
Birds are not the only subjects that I shoot when I accompany tourists in the forest. I also take pictures of flowers, insects, mammals, scenery and people. That's why in the blog readers can see other photographs as well such as Red Hibiscus and White Passion Flowers, orchids, Blue Trumpet Vine,  or landscape of Anggi lakes, or even marine life (for this purpose, I use underwater camera such as Nikon Coolpix AW130.
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