Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Outdoor Adventure Tour in Raja Ampat

As a tourist guide, I often organize adventure tour for anyone who is interested in exploring the outdoor marine environment of Raja Ampat. The tour will include swimming, snorkeling and free-diving in some uninhabited islands where visitors can see the wealth of marine life of the archipelago. There are thousands of fish and marine creatures that we could see in the water while we enjoy snorkeling or free diving. Some of them include
butterflyfish, spadefish, moorish idol, convict surgeonfish, damselfish, pink anemonefish, snappers, groupers, parrotfish, sweetlips and giant trevally and manta.
Adventure Tour in Raja Ampat islands
In addition to water sport activities, we will also go hiking in the forest to watch wild animals and tropical birds including the Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica). From my previous experience, we could also watch other birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Blyth's Hornbill, Beach Kingfisher, Singing Starling, Brahminy Kite during the tour.
Taking Pictures
Visitors need to bring good photographic devices for taking pictures of those birds. D-SLR camera, with super telephoto lens, is an ideal one but it is heavy and expensive. Fortunately, there are bridge cameras that offer excellent quality pictures for birding and wildlife watching. Some bridge cameras that I highly recommend are Nikon P600, Nikon P900, Canon SX60 HS, and Fujifilm HS50EXR. 
Flying to Raja Ampat
I often receive questions about flight info from visitors who want to visit Raja Ampat. As a matter of fact, it is not difficult to reach Raja Ampat. 
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia
  • And then fly from the city to Sorong city. There are daily regular flights that are served by such domestic airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Nam Air, Batik Air and Travira Air between Jakarta and Sorong.
  • When you have arrived in Sorong, you could take ferry or speed boat to Raja Ampat.
Things to bring
If you want to enjoy swimming and snorkeling, don't forget to bring mask, fins, and fins. If you also want to enjoy birding, a good pair of binoculars is highly needed. You also need to bring ziploc plastic bags to protect your passport, money and other important documents for the trip. Torch is also needed because electricity is not always available in remote islands.
For traveling to remote uninhabited islands, bringing dome tents and mattrasses will enable us to stay there for several nights.

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Bridge Birding Camera

Birding in West Papua forest of Indonesia
Lesser Birds of Paradise shot by Fujifilm HS50EXR
Most professional photographers use D-SLR camera with telephoto lens to take pictures of birds. However, they are very expensive and heavy. I have used bridge cameras for birding since 2010. The quality of photographs, may not be the best, but is good enough for bird identification and picture sharing on my blog and social media. My first bridge camera was Nikon Coolpix P500. I used it when I traveled to a lot of regions not only in West Papua but also in Indonesia. Later, when the camera could not function properly anymore, I bought Nikon Coolpix P600. It was a nice camera but had a very short life. I did not make a lot of pictures of birds with the P600. Now, there are Nikon P900 and Nikon P1000 on the market but I haven't tested them yet.
Traveling to Tambrauw mountains of Indonesia
Grass flowers in Tambrauw Mountain
My Current Birding Camera
After using Nikon cameras for several years, I decided to buy a different camera from different brand. I bought a Fujifilm HS50EXR. After using the cameras for several years, I could say that this is my best choice. I have captured hundreds of good quality pictures of birds, butterflies, flowers and landscape scenery. The camera is not expensive compared to high end D-SLR camera. To take pictures of  birds, I have to turn the lens barrel manually. This saves the battery life of my camera. I often spend 3 days up to 2 weeks guiding visitors on a birding trip in the jungle of West Papua from the tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains to Klasow valley, to Raja Ampat. For that long trip, I always have 1 extra battery in the pocket of my bag. I also put the charging device and its cable in it. My Fujifilm HS50EXR allows me to take pictures of birds for several days in the jungle without recharging. I often mention this camera in my blog posts.
Bird photography using Fujifilm HS50EXR
Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)
I hope that Fujifilm will continue to upgrade this Finepix HS50 EXR camera by creating higher version with 50x or even 60x optical zoom. However, I am sad to read that the company has discontinued the production and further development this electronic product.
by Charles Roring

Red Bird of Paradise

Waigeo island
Red Bird of Paradise
I have organized birding tours in West Papua for several years now. Most of the visitors come to watch paradise birds. One of the most favorite destinations is Raja Ampat. There are two species that are known to science, i.e. Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica). There are a lot of places that we could go to watch the Red BOP. One of them is in the forest of Waigeo island. This year, I run several birding and snorkeling tours to Raja Ampat. To watch the birds, we have to wake up at 04.00 in the morning. We need to make some preparations such as preparing our clothing, hiking shoes, binoculars, camera and food. After having some tea and biscuits, we need to walk up slopes for approximately 45 minutes to reach the birding ground. Local villagers have built a birding platform made of wood. The raised wooden structure is 4 meters tall and is suitable for photographers who want to take pictures of birds.
Birdwatching in Raja Ampat
Birdwatching in Raja Ampat
Birds are usually active from 06.00 to 09.00. Male Red Birds of Paradise call their female counterparts and compete one another to win the heart of the female birds for mating. They perform their best courtship dance to impress the female birds. Red Birds of Paradise look similar to Lesser Birds of Paradise but they have got red feather.
To watch Red Bird of Paradise, visitors need binoculars. I highly recommend the ones manufactured by Zeiss, Swarovski or Nikon. The size can be 10×42 mm or even the 12×50 mm. There are also binoculars that are made by Chinese companies and are offered in more affordable prices. I personally use a pair of Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars. They are not the best in the market but they are good enough for birding and wildlife watching. So, if you plan to enjoy birding, don't forget to bring good quality binoculars to enhance your birdwatching experience.
Snorkeling and swimming

Birding is not the only activity which tourists can enjoy while traveling to Raja Ampat, snorkeling and swimming are also interesting especially for visitors who like to see coral reef and marine life. So, visitors can bring mask, snorkel, and fins if they want to enjoy snorkeling in the archipelago.

Also read:
Red Bird of Paradise Digital Art
Wildlife Tour in Raja Ampat

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Outdoor Adventure Trips in Raja Ampat

I organize Outdoor Adventure Trips for anyone who is interested in exploring uninhabited islands, coral reef environment and tropical rainforest of Raja Ampat. The duration of the tour is from 3 to 6 days. During the trip, visitor will be able to enjoy snorkeling over coral reef of the archipelago to see such colorful tropical fish as moorish idol, anemonefish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, surgeonfish and a lot more.
Traveling to Raja Ampat islands
Panoramic View of Raja Ampat islands
For adventure in the forest, visitor will go hiking to watch paradise birds such as Wilson's Birds of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). There are also a lot of other birds and animal in the jungle of the archipelago. Some of them include Lowland Peltop, Eclectus Parrot, Rainbow Lorikeet, Beach Kingfisher, Olive-backed Sunbird, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Coconut Lorikeet.
Raja Ampat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. This regency has got hundreds of small tropical islands that are surrounded by white sandy beach and pristine coral reef.

Things to bring:
For visitors who like swimming and snorkeling, a snorkeling set such as mask, fins, and underwater camera is needed.
For birders, a good pair of binoculars, digital camera with telephoto lens will enhance their birding experience.
Vacation in Indonesia
Crystal Clear Sea Water and Coral Reef in Raja Ampat
How to get there?
It is easy to reach the islands.
  • First, visitors need to make a little research on the internet about the available tour package in Raja Ampat. 
  • After finding the ones that they are interested in, they can fly from their country to Jakarta or Denpasar. 
  • There are regular domestic flights served by airlines in Indonesia such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Nam Air and Batik Air to Sorong city.
  • From this city, visitors can continue their trip by fast ferry boat to Raja Ampat.

Beach Kingfisher

I was in Waisai town of Raja Ampat a few days ago for meeting with other local guides. During that trip I had a short birding walk in a small cape near the harbor. It was morning time and the activity of birds were quite high. Birds that I saw at that time were Willie Wagtail, Coconut Lorikeet, Moustached Treeswift, Singing Starling and Beach Kingfisher.
I brought with me a pair of 10×42 mm Visionking roof prism binoculars, and my old bridge camera Fujifilm HS50EXR. Because I was watching birds from the second floor of a building, I could easily find birds that were perching on the surrounding trees. I could also see some singing starlings that were sitting on top of navigation lamp post that stood on the shallow water of the cape. After watching birds for approximately 30 minutes, I walked down the building and had a short walk to the side and backyard of the building. There was a gazebo on the shallow water right below the cape. It was connected to the cape by wooden bridge. I walked to the gazebo. I could hear the sound of various species of birds in that small forest but could not see them easily due to the enormous number of leaves, branches and twigs of the trees in the steep slopes of the cape. So, I walked back to the top of the cape.
Beach Kingfisher in Waigeo island
Beach Kingfisher in Waigeo island
Soon I was able to take pictures of rainbow lorikeet. I gave up hope of seeing Beach Kingfisher that was calling from inside the bush of the trees. One hour later I could hear the sound of the Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus). The bird had flown on to dead branches of a tree above the sea. He called his female counterpart for a few minutes from that naked branches. As soon as I saw him, I quickly turned on my camera and aimed it at the bird. I was able to take some good pictures of the bird. He was approximately 40 meters away from me. I used maximum zoom of my camera. Less than 3 minutes later, he flew away.
Birding with Charles Roring in Raja Ampat
Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus)
About Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat islands are very beautiful destination for visitors who like marine tourism such as swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The islands are also perfect places for birding. I have guided visitors to Raja Ampat both for birding, snorkeling and sightseeing.
There are hundreds of islands in this regency that are surrounded by pristine coral reef and covered by pristine rainforest. Every year thousands of visitors go there to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and kayaking. But there are also significant percentage of visitors who go there for watching birds particularly the Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise. This was wriiten by Charles Roring

Coconut Lorikeet in Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

This is Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) that I saw at a hill near the harbor of Waisai town in Raja Ampat. A government building about Geopark stood on it. I was there to participate in certification works for tourist guides. While waiting outside of the Geopark building with my other friends, I did some birding. I brought a point and shoot camera. It was a Fujifilm HS50EXR. I was trying to find a Beach Kingfisher that was calling from trees at the lower area of the hill.  Suddenly when I looked at the higher branch of the tree in front of me,  I saw this lorikeet walking down a branch. I quickly aimed my camera at the lorikeet and shot it.
The Coconut Lorikeet fed on nectar of flowers in that tree. Actually there were a few lorikeets in other nearby trees but branches and leaves covered those birds. The bird was common in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea.
Traveling and birding in Raja Ampat islands
Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) in Raja Ampat

Shortly after taking picture of the lorikeet, I was able to see the Beach King Fisher that i was looking for. He was sitting on a naked branch of a tree that was close to the beach. Because I stood on a hill looking down on the bird. The background image of the bird was the sea. It was not difficult to shoot the bird. There was a big window among the branches and leaves of trees. I could take good picture of the bird through it. 
Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus)
In the past this coconut lorikeet was categorized in one group with Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus). The coconut lorikeet has got red and dark blue stripes on his or her breast. Because the birds have got beautiful feather, it is often caught and sold as pets.
Birding is an environmentally friendly sport or tourism activity. To enjoy birdwatching, at least, we need a good pair of binoculars.b byCharles Roring
Also read:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Slender-Billed Cuckoo Dove

When I was guiding two Australian and one Chinese birders in Arfak mountains to watch Magnificent Bird of Paradise, I saw a bird landed on a tree near me. It was feeding on small yellow fruits some 10 meters above my head. I slowly moved under the branches and leaves and then carefully aimed my Fujifilm HS50EXR at the bird. There was a small window among the thick green leaves above my head where I could see the bird.
Brown Cuckoo Dove
Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove in Arfak Mountains
I turned the lens of my camera to maximum zoom (1,000 mm) and pressed the shutter button to shoot the bird. This bird was called Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove also called Brown Cuckoo Dove. He turned his body on the same branch and sat for a while perhaps trying to find out what happened downed there. I thought the sounds of my camera had attracted his attention.
Brown Cuckoo Dove of New Guinea
Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove in Arfak range of Manokwari
Again, I aimed my camera at the Cuckoo Dove and shot him several times. I was happy with the results. Birding in tropical rainforest was quite difficult because we could not see the birds easily. Most birds sat on the branches of trees on the canopy of the forest. Birders could not easily find them because of obstructions from the branches, twigs, vines, and leaves.
Most often, the birds sit in tall trees making it difficult to take picture of them using ordinary pocket camera. Carrying a D-SLR camera with telephoto lenses is a good solution. However, such camera is very expensive. I recommend bridge camera with telephoto lens such as the Nikon B700, Nikon P900 and Nikon P1000. The camera is suitable for wildlife watching and birding.
Birding tours in Manokwari
Birding tours in rainforest of Manokwari

Monday, October 23, 2017

Yellow-billed Kingfisher

This is the photograph of Yellow-Billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro) that lives in the forest of New Guinea especially in the lowland and lower montane forest. I often guide tourists on riverwalk birding expedition in Manokwari regency for visitors who want to watch such birds as Blyth's hornbill, Dollarbird, Willie Wagtail, Little Egret, Yellow Faced Myna, Large Tailed Nightjar, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and even the Black-capped Pygmy Parrot.
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
The duration of the tour is 3 to 4 days. Because there is no guest house in the forest, we will provide dome tents, sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils as well as spotting scope and binoculars for visitors.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.
King Bird of Paradise
Lesser Birds of Paradise
Camping and Watching Wild Animals in Arfak mountains

Birding and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat

Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus) also called Burung Jagal Papua in Indonesia
Hooded Butcherbird
I guided 3 visitors from Cina and Australia in Raja Ampat last week. We stayed in southern region of Waigeo island enjoying hiking, birding, swimming and snorkeling. During our jungle tour in the island, we were able to see Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Eclectus Parrot, Great Cuckoo Dove, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Moustached Treeswift, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, and various species of birds. I brought my old camera Fujifilm HS50EXR. It was powerful enough to take pictures of birds even in distant trees. When we went hiking to the hill behind the homestay which we stayed, I was able to take pictures of the Red Bird of Paradise.
Male Red Bird of Paradise
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
It was a nice journey for my guests because they could complete their birding tour in a tropical island whose waters are clear and whose coral reef and beach are very beautiful. Besides hiking and birding, we also enjoyed swimming, and snorkeling to see beautiful tropical fish such as butterflyfish, striped surgeonfish, damselfish, parrotfish, moorish idol and even anemonefish. Coral reef in Raja Ampat is the richest in the world for marine bio-diversity.
Scuba diving in Raja Ampat archipelago
the underwater picture of coral reef in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is a favorite destination for marine tourism. Its coral reef environment has got the richest marine bio-diversity in the world. Its forest is also the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds, marsupials, reptiles, insects, and a lot of unique trees as well as beautiful flower plants.
As a tour guide, I run tours for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat islands. Most visitors extend their tour to mainland for watching King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Golden Myna and a lot of other tropical birds that live in New Guinea.
The tour in Raja Ampat is relatively expensive. So, I highly suggest that visitors come in a group of 3 to 5 people to share the cost of transportation, accommodation. I also can run private tour for single traveler.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Snorkeling Holiday in Raja Ampat
Birding Walk in Waigeo island

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Birding Tour to Raja Ampat

Tropical birding in West Papua's forest of Indonesia
Red Bird of Paradise
I offer birding tour to Raja Ampat for visitors who want to watch such birds as Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica), Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Radjah Shelduck, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Olive-backed Sunbird, Pacific Swallow, Beach Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Frigatebird, Singing Starling and Crested Tern and a lot more.
The duration of this birding tour can be as short as three days or as long as one full week. It can also be combined with swimming and snorkeling activities in the front waters of the guesthouse where we stay or even in an uninhabited island that we visit.
Birding in tropical rainforest of Waigeo island Indonesia
Brown Cuckoo Dove in Raja Ampat
If you are interested in taking a birding tour in Raja Ampat and want me to be your private guide, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blyth's Hornbill

These are the pictures of Blyth's hornbill birds that I saw in Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari when I was guiding a French tourist. The birds were very common in the Lowland Forest. I spent four days/ three nights hiking, birdwatching, camping and interacting with local people in the area.
Tropical birds in the rainforest of West Papua
Blyth's Hornbill in Mesirrokow Forest of Manokwari
I made the pictures of these birds using Fujifilm HS50EXR. With its 1/2 inch EXR CMOS sensor, and Fujinon 42× optical lens (equivalent with 24 mm to 1000 mm) on a 35 mm format, the camera was powerful enough to shoot birds and other wild animals in distant trees. Fujifilm stopped the production of the camera a few years ago and has not launched an update version of this wonderful photographic device.
Similar cameras with higher optical zoom are now available on the market but in general the size of their sensor is smaller than the Fujifilm HS50EXR. The famous bridge cameras which readers can buy now are the Nikon Coolpix P1000, Nikon Coolpix P900, and Canon Powershot SX70HS. 
Hiking, birdwatching, camping and riverwalk tour in West Papua.
Female Blyth's Hornbill
Hornbills are big birds. Together with a lot of other tropical birds such as palm cockatoo, sulphur crested cockatoo, eclectus parrot, they play important roles as seed dispersers. They eat fruits and drip their seed throughout every corner of the forest. In other words, birds are the ones that grow rainforest. 
I have organized numerous birding and camping tours to Mesirrokow forest and its surrounding areas for visitors who come from French, China, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, Thailand, and the Netherlands to watch birds and other wild animals that live in the forest.
Birdwatching, and wildlife watching and nature watch ecotourism.
Riverwalk tour in lowland forest of Manokwari
In addition to Hornbills, we can also see other birds in the same forest such as Little-ringed Plover, Little Egret, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Variable Goshawk, Rainbow Bee-eater, Willie Wagtail, Lowland Peltop, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Hooded Butcherbird, Brahminy Kite, Coconut Lorikeet, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Black Sunbird, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, and a lot more. Because the birding  and wildlife watching trip is carried out along the sides of the river, it is much easier to see birds. Visitors can enjoy swimming too.
British and Chinese tourists were taking a riverwalk tour in Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari
Riverwalk and Birdwatching Tour in Manokwari
We enjoy riverwalk tour and do birdwatching along the river banks. To enhance our birding experience, we bring binoculars, Swarovski spotting scopes and camera with telephoto lens. This rainforest tour in Mesirrokow forest opens jobs for local people and help them preserve their natural environment.
by Charles Roring
buku novel, pengembangan diri, textbook kuliah dan buku pelajaran sekolah dasar