Thursday, September 15, 2022

Beautiful Scenery and Flowers of Anggi Lakes in Arfak mountains

I often organize tour for visitors who are interested in seeing beautiful scenery and colorful flowers of Arfak mountains. The most recommended destination is Anggi lakes. There, visitors can see the beauty of the landscapes, meet friendly local villagers and see various kinds of flowers that grow naturally in the wild or at the front yards of local villagers. 

Lake Anggi Gida in Arfak mountains
Lake Anggi Gida in Arfak mountains
Some flowers that are worth seeing include Rhododendron konori, Rhododendron laetum, and Rhododendron zoelleri, passion flowers, and nepenthes. There are also red, pink and white hibiscus which visitors can see in the region.
Rhododendron konori in Anggi lakes of Manokwari
Rhododendron flower

The tour to Anggi lakes of Arfak mountains to see beautiful landscape and flowers can be extended with another tour to lower montane area of Arfak mountains to see Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest. There, visitors can watch paradise birds including the Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, and Magnificent Bird of Paradise. Night walk to see possum, and dragon lizard can be organized for visitors who want to see more animals in the forest. 

traveling to Manokwari
Flowers in Arfak mountains

The duration of the tour, both in Anggi lakes and Susnguakti forest in Arfak mountains is 5 days/ 4 nights. 

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest

Flight Route

To take a tour to Arfak mountains, visitors need to take an international flight from their country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia or to Denpasar city of Bali island which isnthe tourism hub of Indonesia. After that, they can continue their trip by taking domestic flight to Manokwari city.

Readers who are interested in taking this tour can contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Birding in West Papua - a Trip Report

Trip Report by Charles Roring

birding west papua
Birdwatching Tour in West Papua

Introduction

Tropical rainforest of West Papua has been an important destination for visitors who are interested in watching birds of paradise and wild animals. 

From 27 August to 10 September, I guided a Russian birdwatcher, on a 2-week birdwatching, wildlife watching, snorkeling and sightseeing tour in bird's head region of West Papua in the Republic of Indonesia. His name was Dmitry Ivanov and he flew in from South Korea. 

Flight route to West Papua of Indonesia
Flight route to Sorong city

Birdwatching Sites: Klasow valley, Sorong, Saporkren of Waigeo island and Arfak mountains of Manokwari regency

Day 1 (27 August 2022)

I met my client Dmitry at DEO airport of Sorong city. He flew from Seoul of South Korea. After taking a few hours rest in a  hotel in Sorong and enjoying lunch, we began our birdwatching activity in mangrove forest around 45 minutes ride to the suburb of the city. There, we saw Pacific Swallow, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Sahul Sunbird (formerly called Olive-backed Sunbird). Suddenly rain started to fall. We walked back to the car and had some tea and biscuits while waiting for it to stop.  After the rain we still did birdwatching again and saw Oriental Dollarbird, Rainbow Bee-eater, Great-billed Heron, Willie Wagtail, Sacred Kingfisher, Yellow-faced Myna, Helmetted Friarbird. It was already dark when we returned to the city. We had dinner at Padang Restaurant. The food was spicy. 

Birding Raja Ampat

Day 2 (28 August 2022)

In the morning, we left for Waisai. The ferry boat was crowded with people. All tickets were sold out. There were a big group of Christians from Supiori who made a pilgrimage tour to their fellow Christian community in Waisai town. However, I urged a porter to arrange a seat for my client with the captain of the boat. We got 1 VIP ticket at an extra charge and an economy ticket. 

Arriving in Waisai, we continued our trip by speedboat to a beach resort. We still had time to enjoy birding that day. We saw Papuan Frogmouth, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Willie Wagtail, Lesser Frigatebird, Tern, Helmetted Friarbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Sacred Kingfisher, and Glossy Manucode (which is a Bird of Paradise). Back to the resort, we had a nice view of Palm Cockatoo sitting on the branch of a cattapa tree over the white sandy beach. It was eating its fruits. 

Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica)
Wilson's Bird of Paradise

Day 3 (29 August 2022)

We woke up early at 04:00 and had some tea and bread. After that we left the resort by boat to a beach in Kabui bay where we continued our trip by hiking steep slopes for one and a half hour to the site of Wilson's Bird of Paradise. We arrived around one and a half hour later. We watched the paradise bird until eight o'clock. When we returned to the beach we saw Dusky Scrubfowl,  Brahminy Kite, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pacific Swallow, Willie Wagtail, White-bellied Sea Eagle. We had a stop at Saporkren village and enjoyed some interactions with villagers. In the resort, we took pictures of Papuan Frogmouth.

In the afternoon, by speedboat we went to Raflow resort to enjoy birding. There, we saw Red Bird of Paradise, White-breasted Woodswallow, Variable Goshawk, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Rainbow Lorikeet, Palm Cockatoo, Mimic Meliphaga, Hooded Butcherbird, Dwarf Fruit Dove, Yellow-faced Myna, Eastern Osprey, Helmetted Friarbird, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Mimic Meliphaga, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Red-cheeked Parrot, Spangled Drongo.

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
Day 4 (30 August 2022)

We woke up in the morning again and had a short hiking to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise. In the same site, we watched Helmetted Friarbird, Spangled Drongo, Hooded Butcherbird. After watching paradise bird we still enjoyed birding in the area and saw Grey-headed Goshawk, Spangled Drongo, Rusty Mouse Warbler. We walked down the slope and did birding walk along the road where we watched Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Brown headed Crow, Coconut Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Sulphur-creasted Cockatoo, Yellow-faced Myna, Blyth's Hornbill, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Torresian Crow. 

In the afternoon at 15:00, we left for Friwen to enjoy snorkeling and seeing coconut crab on a small island not far from it. The Friwen wall was a great snorkeling site for seeing soft corals as well as hard corals and a lot of tropical fish. 

Because coconut crab only came out at night, we decided to move to Nyetreiram islet at 18:00 local time. The land owner who accompanied us cut some coconuts and left it on the islet to attract the coconut crabs. We waited at the jetty of the islet. Fifteen minutes later, they came out of their hiding places. We were invited  to see them. We were watching and taking pictures of the crab for around twenty minutes when we felt strong winds blew on the sea. A big storm was coming. When we were back on the boat, the waves were getting bigger. I asked our boat driver Zeth whether it was ok to return to our beach resort or take cover in Gam island. He said we could return to the resort. We decided to go back in full speed. Soon after we arrived, the sea storm hit our beach. Fortunately, we were already on land and inside our warm cottage. It was a great experience. 

Day 5 (31 August 2022)

Birding in the morning along the road, we were able to watch: Black Butcherbird, Hooded Butcherbird, Mimic Meliphaga, Red Bird of Paradise, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Variable Goshawk, Lowland Peltop, Pacific Reef Heron, Brown-headed Crow, Torresian Crow, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Oriental Dollarbird, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker.

A Chinese photographer, Phang, joined us. Because I forgot my binoculars, he was glad to lend his binoculars. We enjoyed watching and photographing birds. Phang returned to the guesthouse earlier whereas I and Dimitry continued walking to the area of Raflow resort where he photographed Eastern Reef Egret near the resort.

Klasow Valley of Sorong Regency

We left Raja Ampat at 14:00 and arrived in Sorong at around 16:00. I went to supermarket to buy more food materials and then continued our trip to Klasow valley by 4WD car. We arrived at around 19:00. The rain started to fall. We continued walking along a wooden bridge for around three hours. We saw frog, lizard, grasshopper, cricket, moths, and bandicoot. Arriving in the village at 22:00, we had dinner and took a rest. I was very tired but could not sleep well.

Klasow Valley

Day 6 (1 Sept. 2022)

We woke up at 05:00 and then started to make preparation. We watched Western-crowned Pigeon, King Bird of Paradise, Frilled Monarch, Blue Jewel Babbler, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Papuan Lorikeet, Sacred Kingfisher, Yellow-faced Myna. There were calls of Yellow-billed Kingfisher. Unfortunately, we could not see it. At around 12:00 we returned to the village and had lunch. After that we took a rest. At 16:00, we did a birding walk along the bridge where we saw Hooded Pitta, Brown Oriole, Black Lory, and some other beautiful birds of Sorong's lowland forest.  Blyth's hornbill flew over the forest several times. There were hibiscus flowers in the village. I took some pictures of them.


Day 7 (2 Sept. 2022)

We woke up at 04:00 and then made a preparation. After having some tea and biscuits, we walked to the lek of Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise. It was a long walk. Walking up a steep slope, we saw wallaby. I aimed my flashlight at the marsupial animal. With the light, Dmitry could take pictures of the wallaby. The male Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise was already on top of his display tree when we arrived. We watched him performing the "pole dance" for around thirty minutes before continuing our trip to watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise. We stayed there until 09:00. In addition to Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise and the Lesser Birds of Paradise, we were able to watch Glossy-mantled Manucode, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Blyth's Hornbill, Shining Flycatcher, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Birdwatching Indonesia
Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise

Lesser Birds of Paradise
Lesser Birds of Paradise

At around 10:00, we slowly returned to the village and had our lunch. After that we took a rest until around 14:00. In late afternoon, we walked along the boardwalk to watch birds including Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Papuan Babbler. I played the sound of Hooded Butcherbird. Several minutes later he showed up. 

We saw some interesting birds including Golden Myna, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Red-cheeked Parrot, and Oriental Dollarbird. We waited for the cassowary to visit the village but we did not see it. In late afternoon, we walked back to main road. It was drizzling. Reaching the main road, we saw that the parking lot was still empty. So we continued birding along the road. Wompoo Fruit Dove flew fast crossing the road over the canopy of the forest. There was an Orange-bellied Fruit Dove perching on the top branch of a tree. When our car arrived, we ended our birding in Klasow valley and returned to Sorong where stayed one night at Swissbel hotel. 

Arfak Mountains

Day 8 (3 Sept. 2022)

We flew to Manokwari in the morning of 3 Sept 2022. However, we did not go directly to Arfak range. We had to go to a supermarket to buy food materials for our 6 days stay in the mountains. After that, we went to traditional market in Wosi to buy more fruits, vegetables and eggs. 

The duration of the car trip from Manokwari city to Arfak mountains was approximately 2 hours. Unloading our bags and food supplies from the 4WD car, we brought them to Lorikeet guesthouse. We did not take a rest. There was still time to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird. Because the nearest blind was only around 5 minutes walk, we immediately went to it. Dmitry was able to see the Vogelkop Bowerbird and took some picturws of the bird. Back to the guesthouse, we were able to see some nice birds including Green-backed Robin and White-shouldered Fairywren. There was a tall tree in the middle of the flower garden of the guesthouse. There, Great Cuckoo Dove liked to eat its fruits.

Day 9 (4 Sept. 2022)

We woke up at 04:30 and made preparation as well as had some tea and biscuit. At 05:00 we started hiking up the steep slope of Mount Soyti. It took around twenty minutes to reach the birdwatching hut of Western Parotia. Inside it, Dmitry sat to wait for the paradise bird to come. Becuase villager had put a red pandanus fruit near the dancing ground of Western Parotia, other birds came to eat the grain of the fruit too. There was a female Western Parotia. And there were also female black sicklebill. 

After watching the parotia, we did general birding along the road. We saw Capped-white Eye, Ornate Melidectes, Sclater's Whistler, Mountain Fruit Dove, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Olive Flycatcher, Western Smoky Honeyeater.

During nightwalk, we saw tree frog, mouse, and stick insect. We heard wing beats of flyingfox but we could not locate the tree where he feeded on. 

Day 10 (5 Sept 2022)

At 04:00 we woke up to make preparation and to have a quick breakfast. We had some bread, rambutan fruits, and tea. Dmitry, accompanied by two villagers went to the site of Magnificent Bird of Paradise. It took around one hour twenty minutes of walking to reach it. He returned at around 10:30 with smiling face. Dmitry was able to make pictures and a short video of the paradise bird. In the afternoon, he returned to the site of Western parotia again. He wanted to watch the adult Western Parotia performing his courtship dance. However, only the female Black Sicklebill, juvenile  Western Parotia that were seen at that site. On a separate site, I saw Spotted Jewel Babbler at the entrance door of the birdwatching hut. We did late afternoon birding walk and saw Grey Green Scrubwren, Green-backed Robin.

Magnificent Bird of Paradise in Arfak mountains (Diphyllodes magnificus)
Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Day 11 (6 Sept 2022)

As usual during the birding tour, we woke up early in the morning. Our destination this time as Maibri village and our target bird to see was the Crescent-caped Lophorina or Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise. The weather that morning was sunny. As a result, we were able to see the paradise bird. At the same site, we also saw Black-eared Catbird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise (male and female), Crinkle-collared Manucode and a female Western Parotia. We heard the sounds of Plum-faced Lorikeets on the canopy of the forest. However, we could not see them. In the afternoon, Dmitry tried to watch the adult male Western Parotia but it did not come to its dancing site. 

Crescent-caped Lophorina
Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise

Day 12 (7  Sept 2022)

I organized a trip for Dmitry to watch Arfak Astrapia in the forest of Syioubri village near a place that was called German Camp. At 02:00 early morning time, by a 4WD car, we went to the village where Dmitry started his guiding trip to the top of the mountains guided by Elyakim. They arrived at around 03:00 and waited for the sunrise. He was able to watch both the Arfak Astrapia and the Black Sicklebill.

In the afternoon, Elyakim offered him an alternative site to watch adult Western Parotia performing his courtship dance performance. Because a bird hide had not been prepared, Elyakim told us that he would build it first. We could go there to watch the bird at 04:00. We went there by 4WD car. It was quite far from Lorikeet Guesthouse. The birding site was located at steep slope in the forest that was inside the territory of Pigout village. We waited for Elyakim to come out of the forest. He showed up at 17:00 and said that the bird had already performed the dance. He had built the hide and offered Dimitry to come and watch it the next day. We agreed to come again the next day at 13:00. Some Sulphur-crested Cockatoo landed on the trees at the edge of a cliff above us. Dmitry took some nice pictures of them using his Nikon Coolpix P1000 camera. 

Day 13 (8 Sept. 2022)

At 05:00, we went by 4wd car to Maibri village to watch Masked Bowerbird. Serinus, a local villager, who owned the land, guided us to the birdwatching hut. When we arrived at the hut and entered it, we saw that the bower of the Masked Bowerbird had been demolished. We still sat down in the blind to wait for the bird to complete his demolition works. Unfortunately, he did not come. We returned to our guesthouse and took a rest at 09:00. There were some birds that were seen playing in the flower garden of the guesthouse. Some that I saw were Black Fantail, Blue Grey Robin, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Great Cuckoo Dove, Black-billed Cuckoo Dove, Mountain Fruit Dove, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Cinnamon Melidectes, Vogelkop Melidectes, White-shouldered Fairywren, Glossy Swiftlet, Blue Grey Robin, and etc. 

In the afternoon, we did a trip to territory of Pigout village to watch Western Parotia. It was a happy moment for Dmitry because he was able to see and made video of the male Western Parotia performing his courtship dance. 

At 17:00 we returned to Manokwari city. He stayed at Mansinam Beach Hotel. I stayed at home. 

Having Papeda as dinner at the restaurant of Mansinam Beach Hotel. At night, we had Papeda, a kind of porridge made of Sago starch, and yellow fish soup. 

Day 14 (9 Sept 2022)

We had a morning flight to Sorong city. After taking a rest and having lunch, we went to mangrove forest recreational park by car.  Birding in this mangrove forest, we were able to watch Brown-backed Honeyeater, and White-bellied Cuckooshrike. Suddenly rain started to fall in the area. We sat in.a shelter to wait for it to stop. Fortunately, the rain lasted for only around twenty minutes. We continued birding again while walking along the boardwalk of the mangrove park. We saw Metalic Starling, Rainbow Bee-eater, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Olive-backed Sunbird and Nankeen Nightheron. There were several observation towers in the park. They allowed us to see the magnificent few of the mangrove forest. Unfortunately, there were a lot of plastic wastes which were thrown to the forest floor by the visitors. We also saw Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Pacific Swallow. I played the sounds of Blue Black Kingfisher. He came out but not perched on the visible branch of the mangrove strees. He flew over a water of the canal in front of us and into the forest on its other side. He did it several times. 

Dmitry told me that he wanted to watch Emperor Fairywren. I played its soundsany times both in the Mangrove park and in the protected forest of Sorong but the bird did not come out of its hiding places. At around 18:40, we returned to Sorong city. We still had grilled fish at Tembok area for our dinner before returning to Swissbel hotel. 

Day 15 (10 Sept. 2022)

At 8:30, I arranged his transfer to DEO airport where he would fly to Jakarta at 10:45. We said goodbye to each other before he entered the check-in hall.

I also left Sorong for Manokwari in the afternoon at 12:45 by Batik Air. It ended the two weeks birdwatching tour in West Papua.

If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour in West Papua and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Birdwatching and Wildlife Watching in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari

Susnguakti is the name of a forest in lower montane region of Arfak mountains. It is a great site for nature lovers to watch birds of paradise and wild animals. It can be reached from Manokwari city by car. 

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
A couple of Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakto forest of Arfak mountains
Manokwari regency - West Papua province - Indonesia

Birds that can be watched in this forest include Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) and Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), Red-bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Black-billed Cuckoo Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Western Ornate Fruit Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Golden Cuckooshrike, Papuan Spangled Drongo, Fairy Lorikeet, Coconut Lorikeet, Black-capped Lory, Papuan Frogmouth, Blyth's Hornbill, and etc. 

Typical Itinerary

Day 1 

  • Meeting with tour participants in Manokwari city
  • Transfer to Susnguakti by car (1 hour)
  • Hiking to basecamp (1 hour)
  • Watching Lesser Birds of Paradise (first attempt)
  • Night walk


Day 2 

  • Wake up at 05:00, make preparation, have tea or coffee, walk to birding site of Lesser Birds of Paradise.
  • Continue to the site of King Bird of Paradise
  • Explore the forest to see various kinds of birds, insects (beetles, butterflies), reptiles as well as unique tropical plants.
  • Night walk to fins possum and nocturnal animals.

Day 3

  • Wake up early in the morning to watch Magnificent Riflebird which is another species of birds of paradise. 
  • Explore forest to see more plants and animals
  • After lunch, we will pack our things and walk down the mountains.  We will return to Manokwari city.
The trip in this forest of Arfak mountains can be extended for several more days to include tour to higher elevation forest to watch more birds of paradise and other animals of West Papua.

natural attractions in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains
Natural Attractions of Susnguakti Forest

In addition to birds the forest of Susnguakti is the habitat of snakes, butterflies and beetles. 

Activities

Visitors can follow trails during the days and nights to see plants and animals of the forest. During night walks, local villagers can immitate the calls of a female cuscus possum to attract the male ones. When a male possum comes down from a tree, visitors can take pictures. During the day, visitors can go to the nearby stream to enjoy the cool water that comes out of the stones of the forest. 

cuscus possum is a nocturnal animal.
Cuscus Possum is a nocturnal animal in the rainforest of West Papua

Insect Watching

There are butterflies, beetles, grasshopper, cicada, fireflies, and other unique insects in the forest. Visitors can see them when staying for a few days in the jungle camp of Susnguakti forest. Colourful butterflies of Arfak mountains can be seen in this forest. 

insect watching tour in Indonesia
Butterflies can be watched and photographed in Susnguakti forest

Accommodation

As of today, most of the visitors who go to Susnguakti forest will stay in a basecamp as described in the following pictures.

rainforest tour in Arfak mountains of Manokwari
A simple basecamp in the forest of Susnguakti for visitors to stay for a few days to watch birds of paradise and other wildlife.

Dome tents in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari regency
Dome tents for tourists in Susnguakti forest

How to get to Manokwari city

International visitors need to fly to one of the major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Denpasar, Surabaya, Makassar, or Manado. After that they can continue their trip to Manokwari city. I can meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to Susnguakti forest.

flight route to Manokwari city
Flight Routes from major cities in Indonesia to Manokwari city

To book your trip to Susnguakti forest, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

I could also organize a trip for you to Sorong, Tambrauw, Raja Ampat, Kaimana or even to Java and Bali, Sulawesi and Halmahera of Indonesia.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Paradise Birds that You Can Watch in West Papua Province of Indonesia

Paradise birds live in the forest of West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. You can watch most of them if you spend around 2 weeks of traveling from Wasior town in Wondama Bay to Arfak mountains in Manokwari, Weyos beach in Tambrauw and Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. Birds of Paradise are beautiful avifauna that have got unique behaviour. They like dancing and mating. To watch them birdwatchers need to bring binoculars, camera with telephoto lens. 

Birding in West Papua of Indonesia
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Destinations:

  • The first destination which visitors should go is Manokwar city. This is the entrance gate to Arfak mountains. The steep slopes of higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains are the natural habitat of Long-tailed Paradigala, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Crescent-caped Lophorina. There are a lot of other interesting birds as well such as Masked Bowerbird, Vogelkop Bowerbird. The lower montane forest of Arfak mountains such as the Susnguakti forest is the habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Magnificent Bird of Paradise. The forest is also the destination for visitors who want to watch Hooded Butcherbird, Red-bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot. 
Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigala carunculata)
Long-tailed Paradigala
  • Your next destination should be Wasior town in Wondama bay regency. The Wondiboy mountains is one of the centers of endemism in New Guinea. There are Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, and Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise. For Glossy-mantled Manucode, and Trumpet Manucode, they can be watched there too. The higher elevation forest of Wondiboy mountains is another center of endemism in West Papua. Its slopes are steep making it very difficult for avid birdwatchers to reach it. Along its mountain ridge, visitors will be able to find rare birds such as Black Sicklebill, Western Parotia, Crescent-caped Lophorina, and perhaps the Arfak Astrapia. Further avifauna studies need to be conducted in Wondiboy mountains to assess whether millions of years of speciation process have created new species of birds in this isolated mountain range. Wasior town which is the entrance gate for visitors who want to watch birds in Wondiboy mountains and lowland forest of Wondama regency is a great destination to visit. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the beach to see colorful reef fish and beautiful corals of the sea. 

Wondiboy mountains birdwatching tour
  • Another important site for finding lowland and lower montane birds of paradise is Weyos beach in Tambrauw regency. Visitors could go there by motorized boat. Lesser BoP, King BoP, Twelve-wired BoP, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Trumpet Manucode, Crinkle-collared Manucode live in this forest. 
birding in West Papua
Weyos beach in Tambrauw regency
    Weyos and its surrounding beaches are the nesting ground of Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Green and Hawksbill turtles that swim across the Pacific ocean to lay eggs there. Actually, Weyos can be considered as the vocal point of birding and wildlife watching in West Papua.
    For higher elevation forest in Tambrauw, the recommended destination will be Mount Vitakur. The entry point to go there can be Manokwari city. Visitors can go by small passenger plane, Cessna Caravan 208 to Kebar and then continue their trip to District Miyah. In Ayapokiar village, there is local guide named Amo, and in Siakwa village, there is Paul Warere. They can guide visitors to find not only the Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Birds of Paradise, Masked Bowerbird and Vogelkop Bowerbird but also the Western Parotia, Crescent-caped Lophorina and Black Siklebill.
  • Sorong regency has got several birding sites. The famous one is Malagufuk. I introduced it for the first time to the outer world in late 2014. Years later, it has become an important birding site in West Papua. 
  • Waigeo, together with some islands in its surroundings, of Raja Ampat is the habitat of Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. People go there to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. If they have time, they want to see the paradise birds. 
Some Birds of Paradise from the forest of West Papua


rainforest orchid in Indonesi
Orchid Flower in the forest of West Papua

As a matter of fact, West Papua is a beautiful tourist destination not only for birdwatching but also for marine tourism activities and cultural interactions. If you are interested in traveling to West Papua and want me (Charles Roring) to guide you, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Wildlife Watching Tour in Tambrauw Regency of Indonesia

Tambrauw is one of the regencies in West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. It is a very important destination for visitors who are interested in wildlife. Certain coastal areas of Tambrauw have been famous as the nesting grounds for such turtles as Leatherback, Olive-ridley, Green and Hawksbill. Visitors can watch during egg laying season from April to September. Its forest is also that habitat of deer, wild boar, bats, wallaby, frogs, turtles, monitor lizard, possum, and etc.

wildlife watchingnin Tambrauw regency of West Papua
Wildlifewatching Tour in Tambrauw regency
At the beach, there is coral reef that is teeming with various species of fish including anemonefish, butterflyfish, lionfish, grouper, parrotfish, wrasse, blenny, boxfish, filefish, jacks, and etc. Visitors who are interested in snorkeling at this beach need to bring their own snorkeling device such as mask, fins and snorkel.
Reef fish, sea star and corals at Sausapor beach
Marine Life in Tambrauw regency

Birdwatching

Birds of West Papua
Birding in the forest of Tambrauw
The rainforest along the shore of Tambrauw is the natural habitat of a lot of birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles. There are birds of paradise such as:

  • Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
  • Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
  • King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
  • Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus)
  • Glossy-mantled Manucode (Manucodia ater)
  • Crinkle-collared Manucode
  • Trumpet Manucode. 
For visitors who are interested in birding, the lowland and hill forest of Tambrauw are the combined habitat of sea birds and forest birds. They include:
  • Northern Cassowary
  • Dwarf Cassowary
  • Bltyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
  • Lesser Frigatebird 
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle
  • Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
  • Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophyris)
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Northern Fantail
  • Black-thicket Fantail
  • Moustached Treeswift
  • Frilled Monarch
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Rufuous-bellied Kookaburra
  • Common Paradise Kingfisher
  • Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher
  • Hook-billed Kingfisher
  • Yellow-billed Kingfisher
  • Azure Kingfisher
  • Shovel-billed Kookaburra
  • Grey Crow
  • Torresian Crow
  • Blue Jewel Babbler
  • Papuan Babbler
  • Hooded Pitta
  • Red-bellied Pitta
  • Barred Rail
  • Brown Cuckoo Dove
  • Great Cuckoo-Dove
  • Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove
  • Pinon Imperial Pigeon
  • Western-crowned Pigeon
  • Pheasant Pigeon
  • Pink-spotted Fruit Dove
  • Papuan-spangled Drongo
  • Golden Monarch
  • Boyer's Cuckooshrike
  • Golden Cuckooshrike
  • White-bellied Cuckooshrike
  • Papuan Cicadabird
  • Stout-billed Cuckooshrike
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Palm Cockatoo
  • Moluccan King Parrot
  • Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Red-cheeked Parrot
  • Large Fig Parrot
  • Double-eyed Fig Parrot
  • Black-capped Lory
  • Black Lory
  • Fairy Lorikeet
  • Red-flanked Lorikeet
  • Coconut Lorikeet
  • Olive-crowned Flowerpecker
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Black Sunbird
  • Yellow-bellied Longbill
  • Tawny Straightbill
  • Mimic Meliphaga
  • Puff-backed Meliphaga
  • Red Myzomela
  • Papuan Black Myzomela
  • Ruby-throated Myzomela
  • Papuan Nightjar
  • Large-tailed Nightjar
  • Rufous Owl
  • White-eared Catbird
  • Olive Flycatcher
  • Black-chinned Robin
  • Black-sided Robin
  • Yellow-breasted Boatbill
  • Black-winged Monarch
  • Black Berrypecker
  • Hooded Butcherbird
  • Black Butcherbird
  • Rusty Pitohui
  • and a lot more.

Visitors need binoculars, spotting scope and birding cameras such as Canon SX70HS, Nikon P1000 to watch and take pictures of the birds. 

insect watching in Indonesia
Insects in West Papua

Beetles, butterflies, dragonflies and various kinds of insects can be seen in Weyos beach of Tambrauw regency too. Some butterflies which tour participants can see include:

  • Common Green Butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus)
  • Cruiser butterfly (Vindula arsinoe)
  • Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio ulysses)
  • Silky Owl Butterfly (Taenaris catops), and etc.

How to get there?

  • First, you need to travel from your country by plane. Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar can be your destination. 
  • From these cities, there are flights to Sorong city. I can meet you at the airport and organize your trip to the beach of Tambrauw

I suggest that visitors go in small group of 2 to 4 or even 6 participants to share the cost. Because this forest is located in remote are, the supporting facility is very basic. There is no luxurious hotels. Your accommodation will be a simple shelter. Bringing dome tents and rolling mattrass will allow you to reach more remote areas of Tambrauw. The best time to travel to this beach is between April and October. The tour to this beach is only suitable for anyone who likes adventure in remote beaches and islands where there are not many tourists around. So, this tour is for nature lovers. 

wildlife watching in West Papua
The beach and forest in Tambrauw regency

The duration of the tour is usually between 5 to 7 days.

Where is Tambrauw?
Location of Tambrauw regency
Booking

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com for more info. 


Friday, April 15, 2022

Wildlife Watching Tour to West Papua

West Papua province of Indonesia is a beautiful destination for visitors who are interested in seeing the ecosystem of coral reef and rainforest. There is a beach in this region where visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling as well as wildlife watching. Its name is Weyos beach. A lot of animals and plants can be seen here. 

wildlife watching tour in Tambrauw
Wildlife Watching Tour in West Papua

Between April and September, visitors can walk a long the beach to find turtles that land on it to lay eggs. Leatherback, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and Green turtles usually lay their eggs at this beach. They are protected by government. Visitors who stay at this beach can watch birds, reptiles and mammals in this coastal forest. Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Yellow-faced Myna, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Black-capped Lory, as well as Brahminy Kite, Western-crowned Pigeon could be watched in this area.

birds in the forest of Tambrauw mountains
Tropical birds in the forest of Tambrauw
The exploration of the forest of Weyos beach can also be carried out at night to see deer, monitor lizard, snake, and cuscus possum and wallaby. 

To do the wildlife watching, visitors need binoculars, camera and head torch or flash light. Because this forest is located far from cities, logistical preparation will be needed before carrying out this trip. This includes preparation of boat, tents, sleeping bag, and purchase of food in the city.

Visitor who want to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at Weyos beach can bring snorkeling device (mask, snorkel, and swim fins) and a good underwater camera like Nikon W-300, or Olympus TG-6.

tropical fish in Tambrauw beach
Marine Life in the North Coast of West Papua

Flight Route

To visit Weyos beach, international visitors need to fly from their country to Jakarta or Denpasar or Surabaya or Manado. These are cities in Indonesia. 

After that the flight can be continued to Sorong city by domestic airlines such as Garuda, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air or Lion Air. 

flight route to Sorong city
Flight route to Sorong city

From Sorong city, the trip to Weyos beach and be continued by 4wd car and then by boat. If the trip from Sorong city is conducted early in the morning, visitors will arrive at Weyos beach in late afternoon. 

I suggest that visitors traveling in a group of at least three to four peoplenor even six to share the cost. However, a solo traveler is welcomed if he or she can cover the cost of the trip to this secluded beach.

secluded beach in West Papua
Weyos - a secluded Beach in West Papua

If you are interested in taking a tour to this beach, and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Birding in Klasow valley's Forest of Sorong Regency

Sorong city is the main gate for visitors who are traveling to Raja Ampat islands. Most airlines in Indonesia have got scheduled flights to this city. They will land at Domine Eduard Osok airport and then continue their trip to Waisai by ferry boat. In Raja Ampat, they will enjoy various kinds of activities related to marine tourism. 

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

For visitors who are interested in wildlife, Klasow valley will be an interesting destination. There is a village in the valley that has become a good base for visitors who like to watch tropical birds. Its name is Klatomok village

Birding site in West Papua province of Indonesia
Klatomok Village

birdwatcher in Klasow valley
A visitor in Klatomok village of Klasow valley

Western-crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata)
Western-crowned Pigeon

It is a village that is located on the side of a road that runs through the valley. This small village is surrounded by tropical forest that is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds including Western-crowned Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove, Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Black Butcherbird, Northern Cassowary, Forest Bittern, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, and etc. 

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
Magnificent Riflebird

The wildlifewatching activity can be carried out not only during the day time but also at night time. The night walk in the jungle is usually conducted after dinner. Animals that visitors may find include wallaby, possum, birds that sleep on the lower branches of trees, bandicoot, snake, Papua forest dragon, deer, and etc. Visitors will need to bring torch or flash light for this night time activity.

King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
King Bird of Paradise

Accommodation and Food

Visitors who go to Klatomok village in Klasow valley to enjoy birdwatching and wildlife watching can stay in the houses of the villagers whose picture is shown above. It is a basic accommodation with room and toilet. 

Before traveling to this village, food and drink materials such as bread, eggs, coffee, milk, cheese, tea, sugar can be bought from supermarket in Sorong city. 

The usual duratin of the birding tour is 3 to 4 days, it can be continued to Tambrauw mountains, Arfak mountains, Wondama Bay or even to Raja Ampat islands. 

Contact

If you are interested in taking a wildlife watching/ birdwatching trip in West Papua (particularly Sorong regency, Tambrauw regency, Manokwari - Arfak mountains, Wondama bay) and want a guide to organize your trip and accompany you during the tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 



Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tourist Attractions in Numfor Island

Numfor is a beautiful island in Cendrawasih bay of West Papua. It is surrounded by coral reef that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of marine plants and animals. Numfor is a good destination for visitors who like swimming, snorkeling and fishing. 

Dutch visitors in Amberimasi village
Dutch visitors at Amberimasi beach of Numfor island

Mangrove trees grow in tidal area of the island. They become shelter for small fish that are being chased by their bigger predator. Mangrove seedlings are planted by villagers to protect their villages from big waves. These newly formed mangrove forests increase fish population in the island. 

numfor island
Numfor island

Various species of sea birds can be seen in Numfor. They include White-bellied Sea Eagle, Eastern Osprey, Common Tern, Frigatebird, Pacific Swallow, Little Egret, Little Pied Cormorant, Beach Kingfisher, and a lot more. In the forest, typical birds of New Guinea such as Blyth's Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and Sacred kingfisher. Willie Wagtail and Torresian Crow are common in the island. Numfor Paradise Kingfisher can easily be found in the island. Most of the land is flat. So, it is easy to enjoy birdwatching in the island. 

Most of the villages in Numfor island are located along its coast. Visitors can travel to the island by ferry boat from Manokwari city to a harbor in Saribi village of the island. Villagers can also go by small passenger plane of Susi Air from Manokwari to Numfor island to enjoy their holiday there. There are two flights every week on Thursday and Saturday. The ticket price is around 319,000 rupiahs per person. Ticket can be bought at the airport.

During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Forces built their military base in the island. However, they were defeated by the Allied Forces. Visitors could still see some old broken weapons and helmets of the Japanese and American forces in Numfor. Some villagers keep them for house decoration. 

Where to go and where to stay

Amberimasi village is the recommended place for visitors. It is located in a bay in the east of Numfor island. There is an islet in front of it making the sea calm all year round inside the bay. Its name is Numpuri. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the bay. During low tide, visitors could walk to Numpuri. The nearby Warido village is also a good place to visit. Visitors can stay in the houses that belong to the villagers. 

Yemburwo village, located in the north of the island, is also an interesting place to go. Small passenger aircraft operated by Susi Air lands at an airstrip in this village. Regular flights between Numfor and Manokwari city are available several times a week.  

Cessna caravan 208 Susi Air
Cessna Caravan 208 Susi Air

Visitors can go by passenger ferry that goest between Manokwari and Numfor. It takes around five hours to reach the island. 

Visitors can stay at small inns in this village. There are groups who can perform some traditional dances for visitors.

Flight Route to Numfor
Flight Route to Numfor island
If you are interested in taking a holiday in Numfor and need a guide, please, contact Matias Rumbruren by whatsapp to: +62 812-4464-1370.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Watching Birds of Paradise in the Forest of Arfak Mountains

A lot of visitors travel to Indonesia every year to watch birds. One of their destination is Arfak mountains. The higher elevation area of the mountains is the natural habitat of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigalla carunculata) and a lot more. Most of these birds have got display grounds in the slopes of Arfak mountains. 

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)
Western Parotia

To reach the birding site, we need to wake up early in the morning, usually at 04.00 and make preparation. After wearing hiking shoes, bringing binoculars and camera, we will start walking to the birding sites. For Western Parotia, the walk can be as long as 30 minutes. For Magnificent Bird of Paradise, it can be as long as 1 hour. 

We will sit inside a hut that has been prepared by villagers for visitors. The male bird of paradise usually comes to his dancing or display site in the morning at around 06:00. It can be earlier than that time. To increase the chance of seeing the paradise bird, local villager put A Red Pandanus Fruit to attract birds. Female birds of paradise like to come and eat the fruits. Their existence will attract male birds to come too. Because the fruit is put on a wooden stick that is closer to the observation hut, visitors will be able to take pictures of the birds using a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens.

tropical birding in Arfak mountains
Birding in Manokwari

In addition to paradise birds, visitors can watch other tropical birds in the forest of Arfak mountains as well including Western-smoky Honeyeater, Black-breasted Boatbill, Friendly Fantail, Vogelkop Melidectes, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, and a lot more.

To enjoy birding in Arfak mountains, visitors need to fly to Manokwari city. Regulars daily flights between Manokwari and other major cities in Indonesia are served by Sriwijaya, Batik and Lion Air. 

The weather in higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains is cool at night. Visitors need to bring some warm clothing. 

An organized birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains usually lasts for 4 days/ 3 nights. It can be combined with birding trip to lower montane forest for another 4 day tour. There, birdwatchers can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird. The accommodation in lower montane area is very basic. Visitors will need to stay in a simple basecamp. This will be a guided tour too. by Charles Roring Whatsapp: +6281332245180. 

Merchandise

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:

Sketchbook Drawing of Reef Fish

Sketchbook Drawing of Reef Fish
Moorish Idol Fish (Zanclus cornutus)

Watercolour Sketch of Bird

Watercolour Sketch of Bird
Fruit Dove from Tropical Rainforest

Colored Pencil Drawing

Colored Pencil Drawing
Swimmer and Manta (Art Print on Canvas)

Drawing with watercolour pencils

Drawing with watercolour pencils
A Couple of Dolphins at Sea

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

Digital Art of Tropical Flower

Digital Art of Tropical Flower
Vector Art of Rain Lily Flower

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