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|
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.
|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