Olive-backed Sunbird

Olive backed Sunbird near papaya leaves and flowers
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)
I like walking in the morning to see beautiful scenery and watch birds that like to perch on the branches of trees. When I was traveling in Minahasa regency of North Sulawesi, I saw a lot of species of birds. Some of them were very small such as the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Scaly-breasted Munia, and Chestnut Munia.
But there was another beautiful bird that attracted my attention. It was the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cynniris jugularis). The male one had yellow bellied feather and blue throat. His wings were olive green. I was standing still in front of my parents' house when I saw it landed on the branch of a Papaya tree to lick the nectar of its flowers.

Sulawesi Scops Owl

Sulawesi Scops Owl
I did a short night birding in the forest of Minahasa a few hours ago. My main target was Sulawesi Scops Owl (Otus manadensis). It was around 18.00 local time when I heard the call of owl. So, I immitated it by making similar call. The bird was calling from the forest in a distance of approximately 50 meters away from me. I was standing at the side of a road. After replying its calls for around 15 minutes, I heard that the calls from the bird were getting closer. There was a small forest at the roadside. The bird was sitting on the lower branch of a tree around 5 meters above the ground.

Pale Blue Monarch

Here is the picture of Pale-Blue Monarch (Hypotimis puella) that I saw when I guided several Taiwanese tourists in the rainforest of North Sulawesi. It was around 10.00 morning time. We were about to leave the forest where we were birding in. Suddenly a small blue bird landed on the lower branch of a tree on the right of us. He stayed for a few seconds and then jumped to other branches of another tree. The feather of the bird was blue. It was a beautiful bird. I immediately aimed my camera to the bird and began shooting him several times. In addition to the bird, we also watched other species such as Green-backed Kingfisher, White-necked Myna (Streptocitta albicollis), Large-billed Kingfisher and etc.
If you are interested in birding in North Sulawesi, and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: leororing@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Azure Kingfisher in Halmahera

Azure Kingfisher
This morning, I accompanied the Taiwanese tourists on a birding trip to the coastal area of Halmahera island. Our main target was Azure Kingfisher and Beach Kingfisher. We focused our birding activity in the harbor area of Sidangoli across from the old ruins of the former plywood making factory.
There, we saw a couple of Beach Kingfisher, Willie Wagtail, Sunbird, and Plover. After that we moved to the bank of the river that was located across from the lodge where we stayed. There was an elementary school near the place where we enjoyed birding. We were waiting for the Azure Kingfisher when suddenly we heard that there were a lot of school children coming out of the school to meet us.

Farmland in North Sulawesi

Farmland in Minahasa
I was in North Sulawesi last week. I guided some Taiwanese tourists on a birding and wildlife watching tour across Kotamobagu and Minahasa. In Kotamobagu we watched Maleo whereas in Minahasa, we watched Scaly Kingfisher and various other species of birds. We spent several days in Tangkoko to watch monkeys, cuscus possum, and various species of birds.
While traveling in this region, I saw beautiful landscape of farmland both in lowland and in highland areas. For lowland, most of the farmland consisted on ricefield whereas for highland, the slopes were covered by vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, and fruits. This agricultural produce is sold not only to Manado, Tomohon, and Bitung but also to towns and cities in eastern region of Indonesia such as Sorong, Manokwari and Jayapura as well as Ternate, Ambon. North Sulawesi also exports palm sugar to these cities.

Great-billed Kingfisher

Great-billed Kingfisher
This is the picture of Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha) that I saw when in the mangrove forest of North Sulawesi. The bird was bigger than most other kingfishers. I was traveling with 4 Taiwanese tourists in Tangkoko region when we decided to do a trip to a river in North Minahasa to watch the bird. We went there by car. It took around 1 hour to reach the birding site. We had to continue our trip by a motorized boat through a river where mangrove trees and other coastal plants grow on its both sides.

Eruption of Mount Soputan

Mount Soputan
I am now traveling with several tourists from Taiwan on a birding tour across Sulawesi and Halmahera islands. This trip has been an extraordinary adventure for us because we experienced huge earthquake in Palu city of Central Sulawesi and saw the eruption of Mount Soputan in Minahasa.
For me earthquake, tsunami, volcano eruption are processes of nature that have happened millions of years before the introduction of concepts of religions into mankind. These natural phenomenons are not the punishment from God to human being so that they will repent from their sins. People may think that these natural disasters are bad things to ever happen to us. For me, personally, it is the best time to learn, understand, appreciate and respect nature.
Most of the time, it is not easy for us to live in harmony with nature. Men often exploit natural resources irresponsibly. Illegal logging, the use of trawl net at the bottom of the sea, or the excessive use of toxic materials to control pest in farmland are some of the many examples that occur every day.
Visiting Minahasa is an exciting moment for me. I can see mountains, and valleys. I begin to fall in love with this land. I hope that I can return very soon to Minahasa.

Flying Lizard

Celebes Flying Lizard
I am traveling with four Taiwanese tourists in North Sulawesi now. We explore the rainforest of Minahasa peninsula to watch birds and other wild animals that live in tropical rainforest. This morning, I saw Maleo, Ashy Woodpecker, Blue Roller, Hanging Parrot, White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Pale-Blue Monarch.
I also saw some flying lizards. I like the color of this reptile. So, I took a picture of the lizard. It is a very beautiful animal.
In addition to watching birds, insects and reptiles, I also saw a lot of species of wild flowers. As a tourist guide, I offer birding and wildlife watching tour to visitors who are interested in traveling to North Sulawesi. Please, contact me (Leo Roring) by email to: leororing@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Wild Flowers in the forest of Sulawesi island

Birding in Ramang-Ramang

Ramang-ramang
Ramang-Ramang is the name of a karst area in Maros of South Sulawesi. I went birding with several Taiwanese tourists today. We saw Yellow-billed Malkoha, Sulawesi pygmy woodpecker, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, and various other interesting birds.
The karst formation is beautiful and also good for sightseeing.

Birding in Sulawesi

Sulawesi Hornbill
I am on a trip now exploring tropical rainforest of Indonesia with several Taiwanese visitors. We are doing birdwatching to find Sulawesi birds. So far, we have seen Black-ringed White Eye, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Red-backed Thrush, Sulawesi Hornbill, Red-knobbed Hornbill, Black Sunbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Sulawesi Babbler, White-necked Myna, Glossy Swift, Uniform Swiftlet, Gray-rump Treewift, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Hawk Eagle, Hair-crested Drongo.
I hope that we will see more interesting birds as we travel to other regions of Sulawesi. This is also the first time I use a D-SLR camera with a Tamron 150-600mm G2 telephoto lens. Honestly this is my first birding trip with foreign visitors across Sulawesi.
Red-backed Thrush
Sulawesi is a large tropical island located between Asia and Australia Avifauna region. It has got a lot of endemic birds that attract the attention of thousands of birdwatchers from around the world.
After birding in the morning, we continued our exploration of South Sulawesi birds in Patene of Makassar sub-urban area. We left Dalton hotel at 16.00 local time. It was not a forest that we visited but an open area with some trees, and wide grass land. There were big buildings in the vicinity. The first bird that we saw that day was Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris). He was sitting on a branch of a shrub approximately 10 meters from me. Seeing the bird I immediately took out my camera and aimed it at the bird. I pressed my shutter button several times. We saw Lemon-bellied White Eye, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Chestnut Munia, Javan Pond Heron, female Olive-backed Sunbird, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, and various other birds that I can't mention all of them in this post.
A fenale Olive-backed Sunbird
Hundreds of youth from the city were busy with their motorcycle racing near the site where we enjoyed our late afternoon birding walk. Although we were tired, we were satisfied with what we saw. Our clients were having dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I, Idris, and the drivers ate Coto Makassar for our dinner. Now, I am sitting in my room in Dalton hotel writing this post. I hope that our birding adventure tomorrow will be more exciting and interesting. As I see more birds in the coming days, I will update this blog with more stories and pictures. Written by Leo Roring
Also read:

King Bird of Paradise

Birding Tour in West Papua of Indonesia
King Bird of Paradise
This is the photograph of King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) that I made in Susnguakti forest of Arfak range. The bird lives in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea. There are several sites that visitors can go to watch this bird such as Tambrauw Mountains, Arfak mountains and Sorong ridge forest. Because the size of this bird is quite small, bird watchers need to bring binocular and, if possible, a spotting scope in order to find and watch the bird.
The wings and upper part of the bird are red whereas the underpart is white. I made the picture of this bird while I guided two Dutch tourists on a 3-day/ 2-night hiking, birding and wildlife watching in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. I used my old camera Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR. The telephoto lens capability of this photographic device allowed me to shoot the bird in the branch of a tree some 10 meters above the ground.
In addition to King Bird of Paradise, visitors who go to this forest can also watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Great Cuckoo Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, Coconut Lorikeet, Spangled Drongo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and a lot more.
At nights, we did soome night walks where a local villager immitates the sound of female cuscus possum to attract a male one. We saw the nocturnal animal twice. In addition to birds and possum, we also saw a venomous white snake, ground brown skink, and a bandicoot.
The Susnguakti forest where I saw the King Bird of Paradise is located in the south of Manokwari city. It can be reached by car or motorcycle in approximately one hour ride. There is no guesthouse in the forest, tourists only stay in simple basecamp which was built by local people.

Pinon Imperial Pigeon

Late March to April are the mating season of Pinon Imperial Pigeon in rainforest of West Papua
Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon)
Pinon Imperial Pigeons are in mating season in late March and April. Actually during these months the northern region of West Papua receive high rainfall. However, due to its close position to the equator the sunlight is also good. Small berry fruits are still abundant in Klabolo forest of Sorong regency. They attract a lot of birds to gather in trees to eat the fruits and mate. During my recent birding tour where I guided Tony Lau - a Canadian tourist in Klabolo forest, we saw male Pinon Imperial Pigeons compete one another to mate with their female counterparts. I was able to take some pictures of them including pictures of a female pigeon sitting on her nest in a high tree. Fortunately, my Fujifilm Finepix has got powerful zoom to shoot her. Her nest was quite small compared to the size of her body.
Female Pinon Imperial Pigeon was incubating her eggs.
Female Pinon Imperial Pigeon was incubating her eggs
In West Papua, people hunt Pinon Imperial Pigeon for their meat. They are greatly extirpated especially in the forests near big towns or cities. In these areas, town dwellers use air guns to hunt them. Pinon Imperial Pigeons can still be watched in lowland and lower montane forest.
I also saw Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Large Fig Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Moustached Treeswift, Oriental Dollarbird, Black Lory, Magnificent Riflebird, Rainbow Bee-eater, Eclectus Parrot, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, and even Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise during my 4 days/ 3 nights stay in the forest.
This is my whatsapp number: +6281332245180. You could contact me to book your birding trip in Manokwari and Sorong regency. You could also send email to peace4wp@gmail.com.

Paradise Birds in Klabolo Forest

Lesser Birds of Paradise were performing courtship dance in tropical rainforest of Sorong regency of West Papua.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Klabolo is the name of rainforest located in the east of Sorong regency. Several birds of paradise live there including Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca), and Glossy Manucode (Manucodia ater).
Last week, I guided Tony Lau - a Canadian tourist to the forest for 4 days/ 3 nights. We explored the forest to watch paradise birds and other tropical birds that are endemic to West Papua lowland region. To watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), we had to wake up very early in the morning at 04.30. After drinking tea, and eating some bread, we began to wear our hiking shoes. Thirty minutes later we were leaving our guesthut for the birding site of the paradise birds. 
It took around one hour of walking up and down two hills, and along muddy paths to reach trees where paradise birds like to dance for mating. When we arrived at the birding site, we heard the calls of birds of paradise approximately 10 meters high the branches of trees. I brought two pairs of binoculars. I lent one pair to Tony. We spent 3 hours under the tree watching and photographing the birds. 
I used my old camera Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR to take pictures of the birds. With its telephoto zoom capability of 1,000 millimeters, I could take some good pictures of the paradise birds. Although I was so exhausted with the morning walk, I was very happy to see the yellow paradise birds. 
We also saw other birds such as Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Coconut Lorikeet, Helmetted Friarbird, Moustached Treeswift, Golden Myna, Yellow-faced Myna, and Northern Cassowary. I was fortunate enough to see Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise in a distant using my spotting scope Kinglux 20-60×60. He was sitting for a few seconds on the branch of a tree at the forest edge of the clearing area of the village. 
I provided birding tour to Klabolo forest for everybody who is interested in watching paradise birds as well as other birds in the jungle of Sorong regency.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180 for detailed itinerary and cost.

Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Magnificent Bird of Paradise
Photo: Charles Roring
Magnificent Birds of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus) live in mid-montane forest of New Guinea. This paradise bird can easily be watched in Arfak mountains especially in the mornings and in the afternoons. Physically, a male Magnificent BOP is similar to Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica). The male Magnificent BOP is slightly larger then the Wilson's BOP. He has got mostly yellow and brown feather with dark green underparts. Magnificent BOP has been a favorite tourist attractions in Manokwari for birdwatchers who come from the United Kingdom, the United States as well as a number of Asian and North American countries. For sexualy life, the Magnificent Bird of Paradise is mostly polygamous.