Monday, June 7, 2021

Olive-backed Sunbird in Minahasa Highland

sahul sunbird
Male Olive-backed Sunbird
After guiding tourists across Sulawesi, Ternate and Halmahera islands, I decided to go back to Minahasa for a 5-day birding and sightseeing tour in its highland and lowland. It was a very nice trip. I saw more birds. Some of them were Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Collared Kingfisher, Sulawesi Scops Owl, Cattle Egret, Sulawesi Drongo, Slender-billed Crow, Collared Kingfisher and a lot more.
There were small birds that I saw too. One of them was Olive-backed Sunbird. This little bird could hover in the air like a helicopter or dragon fly. I hadn't had an opportunity to shoot him while he was hovering. Two days ago, I saw him feeding on the nectar of papaya flower. He was quite close to mee and I was able to shoot him - with my camera, of course.
If you are interested in visiting North Sulawesi for birding and sightseeing, please, contact me by email to: leororing@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180

Mansinam Island Tourist Attractions

traveling to Mansinam island
Mansinam island
The Island of Civilization
In West Papua, Mansinam is seen as the Island of Civilization. On 5 February 1855, three German missionaries, C.W Ottow, his wife, and J. G. Geissler landed on Mansinam island to introduced Gospel for the first time to the indigenous Papuan people. Although they and their successors faced a lot of hardships, and challenges finally they could spread the Good News to most of New Guinea. Now, most of the population are Christians. Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims gather in Manokwari to celebrate 5 February as the Gospel Preaching Day.  There street parade where Papuan tribes wear traditional costumes and perform traditional dances along the main streets of Manokwari city. This event attracts a lot of domestic and international tourists to Manokwari.

Visiting Mansinam Island
Visitors who go to Mansinam island can see foundations of the old church, school, dormitories, houses, well, cross monument and museum that were used by the missionaries and the earliest Christians who lived there. For those who are interested in nature, they can go hiking to the top of Mansinam to see a giant Jesus statue that stands on 4 concrete pillars that look like Papuan drums (tifa).

hiking in West Papua
Walking Track that Circles Mansinam
The Forest
Most of Mansinam is still covered with tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of a lot of species of plants, butterflies, beetles, reptiles, wild flowers and sweet cherry trees (called gersen) and birds. Exploring the forest is very easy. Visitors can walk along the concrete track that completely circles that island. The best time to explore the forest is in the mornings and late afternoons where birds and butterflies are more active. Bring binoculars and a good camera to take pictures of the forest, and its wildlife.
The concrete track is also good for anybody who likes jogging.

The Coral Reef
The underwater world of Mansinam is also beautiful. There is a huge coral reef area located in the southern coast of Mansinam. Tourists who stay there for several days can enjoy snorkeling to see a lot of species of fish such as grouper, damselfish, moorish idol, butterflyfish, parrotfish, anemonefish, boxfish, sea star, sea cucumber and turtles. Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to enjoy snorkeling in the island.

holiday destination in Indonesia
Mansinam Island



Booking
If you are interested in visiting and staying in Manokwari and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180




Birding in Raja Ampat Karst of Kabui bay

travel holiday in Raja Ampat
Birding in King karst of Raja Ampat
There are a lot of karst formations in Raja Ampat. They attract thousands of tourists every year. There is a Karst formation in the region that is suitable for birding activities. Its name is Raja Karst.
Last week I organized a tour to Raja Karst for 3 foreign visitors who were from the United States. We went there by a motorized outrigger boat to see the beauty of its marine landscape and the wealth of its birdlife. As we entered the waters of Raja Karst, I asked the boat driver to lower the speed of the boat. A Striated Heron (Butorides striata) that was standing on a rock looked at us. As we moved deeper into the small islet formation, we saw some Rainbow Bee-eater, Rainbow Lorikeet, Torresian Crow, Pacific Swallow, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Beach Kingfisher, and Lesser Frigatebird, Willie Wagtail. We also saw a Spice Imperial Pigeon (Ducula myristicivora) flying over our boat and landed on a tree. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in the jungle of Indonesia
Red Bird of Paradise
The karst islets were a very rich habitat for avifauna. They were located in remote area and far from the influence of human activities. I highly recommended this site for birders who want to see water and lowland and hill forest birds of New Guinea.
We also did several hiking in Waigeo island to watch Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Great-billed Parrot and etc.
If you are interested in birding and snorkeling in Raja Ampat and wants me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Jungle Tour in Sorong of West Papua

I have been organizing tours for tourists to tropical rainforest of  Sorong regency since last year. The destination is Klasow valley located approximately two hours by 4WD car and 2 hours walk through tropical jungle to reach a village in the valley.
jungle vacation tour in West Papua
a Swiss tourist with the background of
tropical jungle of Klasow valley
Tourists
So far most of the guests who visited the valley were from western countries such as the United States, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Germany and etc. Some came as a single travelers while others came as couples or as groups of three up to six people. More visitors are coming as more information is uploaded into the internet about the Klasow valley and Tambrauw mountains.
The Rainforest
The plants that grow in Klasow valley are typical vegetation that is usually found in the lowland and coastal area of New Guinea. Big trees such as ficus, large conifer Agathis, and iron wood, and various species of palms live side by side with rattan and other vines or climbing plants.
There are also sago trees which the indigenous people process to make flour. Sago is the staple food of Moi tribe who live in the region.
Wildlife Watching
Tourists go to Malagufuk village of Klasow valley to see the rich bio-diversity of tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of wallaby (a kind of small ground kangaroo, bandicoot, cassowary, wild pigs, sulphur crested cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, blyh's hornbill, goshawk, kingfisher, golden myna, dollar bird, pinon imperial pigeon and a lot of other birds. Colorful butterflies can also be seen in the area too. Birdwatching can usually be done from mornings until evening. Nocturnal bird such as Papuan Frogmouth can sometimes be heard calling from distant trees. At night, jungle walk can be carried out to see wallaby.

Where to stay
Most of the tourists who visited Klasow valley stayed in a small guesthouse built by the villagers of Malagufuk. It is made of wood and covered with palm roof. There is clean water installation and a simple toilet.

Cost: On the average the cost is 5 million rupiahs per person for 3 days/ 2 nights traveling. It includes transportation by 4WD car, local guide, food, and basic accommodation in the jungle village.

Booking:
Please, contact my email: peace4wp@gmail.com for detailed info about the tour.

Snorkeling at Warduwer Beach in Southern Waigeo of Raja Ampat Islands

Coral reef and fish in Raja Ampat islands of West Papua.
House Reef at Raja Ampat Paradise Resort
A beach resort is being prepared in Raja Ampat. It will be ready in 2019. It has got house reef that is very good for visitors who are interested in snorkeling, and scuba diving.
I went there yesterday to enjoy freediving at the drop-off area of the house reef. I was accompanied by a villager who provided his canoe as a floating platform for me. It was approximately 10.00 A.M. when we pushed the outrigger canoe into the sea. We moved slowly to the reef whose distance was only 60 meters from the beach. After we were on a safe depth, I got into the boat and sat on the forward bench.  I began to wear the swimfins and snorkeling mask. The brand of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, and swimfin) was Whale. It was not the best in town but it was a very good quality brand whose prices were more affordable.
Snorkeling holiday in Raja Ampat
Marine Life at Raja Ampat Paradise Resort
We paddled too fast. I did not realize that we had been in deep water. I told the canoe driver to move back. When I saw the drop-off reef, I slowly got off the canoe and immersed my body into the water. The visibility was very good. I could see the marine life up to around twenty meters. Fish were everywhere thriving among hard corals.
I used Nikon W300 to take pictures of the coral reef. Its shooting mode had been set into fish one. I did my first dive to a depth of around 7 meters. There were surgeonfish, wrasse, parrotfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, soldierfish, sweepers, anemonefish, staghorn damsel, and a lot more.
After freediving for about fifteen minutes, I returned to the canoe to take a brake and tried another camera the Fujifilm XQ2. I also applied some shampoo on the surface of my snorkeling mask to eliminate the fog that covers the glass. After that I rinsed it with fresh water. I wore the mask again and returned to the coral reef. This time the mask became clearer again. I helped me a lot in finding my target fish.
I wanted to compare the results of my underwater photos taken by two different cameras. The ones taken by Nikon W300 had higher contrast whereas the ones taken by Fujifilm XQ2 were less contrast but had more details.
If you are interested in snorkeling in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Where is Raja Ampat?
Freediving Pictures from Waigeo island
Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat Karst

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Yellow Billed Kingfisher Birds

I had a 5-day hiking and birding tour with 3 foreign visitors in Klasow valley of Sorong regency last month. We went there to watch Yellow-Billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), and Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus). As a matter of fact we also saw a lot of other birds during the trip in the lowland forest of the regency.
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
I think October was the mating season for the Yellow-billed Kingfisher because I saw male and female were calling each other. I and a Chinese lady, who was one of the tour participants, were walking along the clearing area of the forest in the village in search of Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise when we heard the sounds of the Yellow-billed Kingfisher. We immediately turned our attention to the birds. We were very lucky, we could take a lot of pictures of the birds.
Eclectus Parrot was Flying Over the Sea
Eclectus Parrot over the sea of Raja Ampat
After birding for several days in Klasow valley, we continued our trip to Raja Ampat to see Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. It turned out to be a successful trip. We saw both of them. We also saw Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Pacific Swallow, Torresian Crow, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Blyth's Hornbill. Raja Ampat was really a paradise for nature lovers.
Tomorrow, I will go to the valley again and I hope that I can see birds that I haven't seen before.
Also read:
  • Birding Tour in Sorong regency of West Papua

Minahasa Beach and Great-billed Kingfisher

a beach in Minahasa
Minahasa beach
I visited the coastal area of Minahasa in its northern region to find Great-billed Kingfisher. It was a nice experience because I could enjoy the view of the blue sea, fishermen's boats, mountain, and water birds.
Great-billed Kingfisher usually lived in mangrove forest. To reach it, I organized a trip by boat through a river in Likupang area. I was with 4 Taiwanese tourists. They were bird watchers.
Our boat moved slowly into the river, we saw some water birds flying over the river such as Little Egret, Great-billed Heron, but they were not our target. There were Slender-billed Crow, and pigeon too.
When we were deep in the mangrove forest, we saw a Great-billed Kingfisher flying fast through the river. We asked the boat driver to chase him. It looked that the bird had disappeared behind in the forest. We decided to look for another one. Several minutes later we saw another Great-billed Kingfisher.
Great-billed Kingfisher
Great-billed Kingfisher
This time I asked the boat driver to turn off the engine. I and my friend took turn in paddling the boat. We approached the bird slowly and silently. I asked the tourists to take pictures when the kingfisher was within shooting range. They were so happy because they could watch it for a few minutes. The kingfisher dived to catch fish and then returned to its roosting place again.
When the tourists had taken pictures, I pulled my camera and shot the bird several times. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens. It was quite powerful to shoot distant animals.
After shooting the bird, we returned to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful evening of Minahasan coast. We returned to Tangkoko with happy face.
If you are interested in traveling to North Sulawesi to see its beautiful landscape, beach, people, culture, birds and wildlife, and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: leororing@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Olive-backed Sunbird in Minahasa Highland

Male Olive-backed Sunbird After guiding tourists across Sulawesi, Ternate and Halmahera islands, I decided to go back to Minahasa for a 5-da...