Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tour with Russian Tourists in Susnguakti Forest

I have just completed a tour with 2 Russian tourists (Elena and Stanislav) in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. We spent 3 days/ 2 nights (24-26 January 2020) watching birds, taking pictures of insects and taking a bath in fresh water stream.
We watched Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird. We also saw other birds such as Black Sunbird, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, Black-capped Lory, Mimic Meliphaga, and Frilled Monarch. 
Night walk with Russian tourists in Manokwari of West Papua
Night Walk with Russian Tourists
Watching Insects
Susnguakti was a great place for entomologists or those who want to see various species of insects. When we did night walk to find cuscus possum, we also saw stick insect, longhorn beetle, snout beetle, big spider, stink bug, Saint Andrew Cross Spider, moths, butterflies. Perhaps, there are thousands of species of insects that can be seen in the forest. Glowing Mushroom started to cover the forest floor near bamboo plants. 
watching cricket, stick insect and longhorn beetle in Susnguakti forest
A cricket was coming out of a dry bamboo
Reptiles could be observed in the forest. Forest lizard, ground skink, and green tree lizars can also be seen in the forest. On our last day of walking in Susnguakti forest, we saw a big soa-soa monitor lizard on the trunk of a big tree near the birding hut of Magnificent Riflebird.
I also organized another birding tour for Ekaterina and Ivan from 26 to 28 January in the same forest. The main target birds they wanted to watch were Lesser Birds of Paradise and King Bird of Paradise. They were happy to see them.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Birds from Lower Montane forest of Manokwari

I often guide tourists on a 3 to 4 days of hiking and birding tours in lower montane forest of Manokwari. We stayed in a basecamp located near a small stream which we use to cook food and boil water.
Bird of Paradise watching tour in Manokwari forest
King Bird of Paradise

Rainforest Birds

Bringing binoculars, spotting scope, and digital camera with telephoto lenses, we can watch such birds as: Lesser Birds of Paradise; Magnificent Riflebird; King Bird of Paradise; Grey Crow; Common Paradise Kingfisher; Yellow-billed Kingfisher; Azure Kingfisher; Frilled Monarch; Spot-winged Monarch; Pinon Imperial Pigeon; Brown-cuckoo Dove; Pink-spotted Fruit Dove; Beautiful Fruit Dove; Superb Fruit Dove; Great-cuckoo Dove; Hooded Butcherbird; Northern Variable Pitohui; Eclectus Parrot; Black-capped Lory; Rainbow Lorikeet; Fairy Lorikeet; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot; Olive-crowned Flowerpecker; Yellow-bellied Gerygone; Spangled Drongo; Black Sunbird; Mimic Meliphaga; Brown Oriole; Hooded Pitta; Red-bellied Pitta; Papuan Frogmouth; and a lot more
Hooded Butcherbird was singing in a tree in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus)
Rainforest tour in Manokwari
Lesser Birds of Paradise
In addition to birds, there are also other things which tourists can see while exploring the forest. Some of them include glowing mushrooms, Papuan forest dragon, cuscus possum, lizards, snakes, bandicoot, butterflies, unique tropical plants, and etc.
Birds and animal in lower montane forest of Arfak mountains
Hiking and Wildlife Watching in Manokwari forest
The name of the forest is Susnguakti. It has been visited by tourists who come from Japan, Korea, the Philipines, Thailand, the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, France, Spain, and a lot more. This adventurous rainforest tour is suitable for those who are physically fit.
Birdwatching Device
To serve my customers, I usually bring a Kinglux 20-60×60 mm spotting, a pair of 10×42mm Visionking Binoculars, laser pointer, and field guide book Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler. Sometimes I bring my D-SLR camera - Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600mm telephoto lens that I use to take pictures of birds and other wild animals in tall trees.
Today, manufacturers of cameras have developed photographic devices that can shoot birds and other subjects that are far away. Some of them include Nikon P900, Nikon P1000, Canon SX70HS, and etc. These cameras have got smaller sensors but can produce high quality pictures that are adequate for identification. The photos of birds that they make are suitable for internet uses.

There is no guesthouse or hotel in Susnguakto forest of Manokwari. There is only a basic basecamp for visitors to stay at night. We provide dome tents with mattrasses and pillows for tourists so that they can stay there. There is no toilet in the forest. We use small stream near the basecamp to wash. The water from the stream flows into the ground again.
Basecamp for rainforest birding tour in Manokwari
Our basecamp for tourists in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Typical Dome tent, mattrasses, pillows that we provide for tourists in Susnguakti forest
To book your trip in Susnguakti forest, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

New Year Birding in Susnguakti Forest

From 2 to 4 January 2020, I guided Sue, an American tourist who likes hiking, in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. She took a long flight from the United States to Seoul of South Korea, to Jakarta of Indonesia and then to Manokwari city of West Papua province. When she arrived at the airport, I arranged her transfer to the forest. I met her later in the afternoon and then started our exploration of the tropical rainforest to watch paradise birds. The first bird that she saw was Hooded Butcherbird. I used a scope, Kinglux 20-60×60 and a tripod to spot and watch the bird. This bird has got very beautiful songs.
Charles Roring's basecamp in Arfak range
Basecamp for Tourist in Arfak range
The next morning, we went to a blind near our basecamp to watch the Magnificent Riflebird. We went there early. We reached the blind before he landed on the branch where he usually sits to attract his female partner. When the sunlight reached the canopy of the forest, the male Magnificent Riflebird came, he started to call his female counterpart. He straightened and cleaned or dried his wings. We watch the bird using the scope again. After that we continued our adventure in the forest by hiking to the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise located around 5 minutes from the Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus).
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) - Burung Cendrawasih Raja
King Bird of Paradise
We saw the Lesser Birds of Paradise but not long enough. The birds moved to other dancing site. It was around 08.30. We returned to our basecamp to have some tea. At the basecamp, I asked my friend and a villager to accompany Sue to higher elevation area where they could watch King Bird of Paradise. 
We provide dome tent, mattrass, pillow and blanket for tourists
Dome tent, mattrass, pillow, and blanket that we provide for tourists in Susnguakti forest
I asked two villagers to return to the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise. We went there to build a screen made of leaves so that we could conceal our bodies while we watch the paradise birds through small holes that we made in the screen. 
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise
At lunch time, we returned to the basecamp. My friends returned with good news that they were able to watch several King Birds of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). They also saw Brown Cuckoo Dove, and Common Paradise Kingfisher  (Tanysiptera galatea) as well as other tropical birds. 
Sue Draheim, a tourist from United States, was watching and taking pictures of birds of paradise.
Sue Draheim was taking pictures of the Lesser Birds of Paradise
Sue took a rest inside her dome tent after lunch. I and some villagers continued our routine works, clearing and sweeping the footpath. We used brooms made of the bones of palm leaves. We made several clearing areas near some big trees as our new birding sites.
Night walk was arranged. Sue was able to see cuscus possum. In the previous night, she saw glowing mushroom and a Papuan Frogmouth.
Watching Cuscus Possum
Cuscus Possum
The next morning, we went to the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise again. This time Sue was able to watch and take good photos of the beautiful birds. We still did some tours in the forest where we saw Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, and Olive Flycatcher.
Suddenly the weather changed. It started to rain while we were watching the fruit dove. We had to walk back to our basecamp. Lunch was served earlier. When the rain had stopped, we packed our things again and left the forest for the main road and then returned to the city by a public transport vehicle that we chartered.

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