Saturday, September 28, 2019

Kofiau Islands of Raja Ampat

I and my friends visited Kofiau islands early this week. We went there by speed boat from Misool islands. It was a nice adventure because we could get the opportunity to see a lot of tropical islands in the southern region of Raja Ampat.
snorkeling, birding and wildlife watching
Kofiau islands
In late September, strong wind from east and south covered the region. This generated big waves that were dangerous for small boats.

The speedboat that carried us from Misool had engine problems at sea when we entered the waters of Distrik Kepulauan Sembilan (District of Nine Islands). Boat crew tried to repaired it when we were at sea. Unfortunately, it did not work. With one outboard engine that was still working, we landed at Wejim island. We took lunch and had some coconut fruits, and waited for the crew to repair the engine. Because they could not repair it, we decided to move to Wejim village. There, we asked helped from villagers. There was one who had the sparepart of the engine. We had to spend one night in Wejim sleeping at the house of the village chief.
marine tour in Raja Ampat
Deer village in Kofiau islands
Early the next morning, we continued our trip to Deer village in the western region of Kofiau. During our stay there, I gave training to villagers on how to organize a birding tour. Some birding tour companies had visited Kofiau. So, the villagers were quite familiar with this type of tourism.
There were two birds that were endemic to Kofiau, i.e.  Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher and Kofiau Monarch. The Latin name of Kofiau Monarch was Symposiachrus julianae. It was given to the bird in honor of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. It was interesting to find that such a small bird bears the name of a European queen. In IUCN Status, the bird was put in the status of Vulnerable due to its very limited range and decreasing population. I hope that birding tourism could help local people preserve rainforest and protect their land and marine environment.
The tropical islands of Kofiau were covered by very nice coral reef. So, fishing, snorkeling, birdwatching, island hopping, rainforest tours, village visits are the recommended tourism activities for visitors who want to go to Kofiau. There was another group of islands located in the west of Kofiau. Its name was Boo islands. Unfortunately, due to its remote location, I had not been able to visit them.
After spending several days in Kofiau, we returned to Yelu village by speedboat and then to Sorong the next day.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Traveling to Misool

I left Sorong city for southern region of Raja Ampat islands yesterday by a fast passenger boat. She passed through a lot of big and small islands.
Adventure in Misool islands
Misool islands in Raja Ampat regency
The marine landscape was very beautiful.  It took several hours to arrive in Yelu - a crowded fishing village.  Some friends of mine met me at the jetty. We walked around the village and arrived at a homestay where we took a rest there for a few hours. The owner provided tea and coffee for us. His name is Eja. I took the opportunity by taking pictures of the village from the second floor of the house. It was a fishing village whose houses stood above the water.
Yelu village
Towards evening time, we moved to Harapan Jaya by a small motorized boat and stayed there for 1 night. The homestay owner provided us with simple but delicious dinner - fried fish, sambal (a sauce whose ingridients were chilli, onion and tomatoes). We stayed at a bungalow that sat on the edge of a cliff facing the sea. In the morning, the weather was very nice. Birds such as Lesser Frigatebird, Brahminy Kite, Willie Wagtail and Pacific Swallow were flying around. Some Blyth's Hornbill were busy eating fruits in a tall tree.
Now I am waiting for another speed boat that will take me to Kofiau islands.
Interested in Traveling to Misool?
As a tourist guide, I could organize your trip to Misool islands of Raja Ampat. Please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:
Traveling to North-east Coast of Waigeo island
Kofiau islands
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Trip Preparation
Traveling to Raja Ampat

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sketch of Lesser Bird of Paradise

I have visited Susnguakti forest several times since 2 months ago. I guided tourists from France, Germany, Belgium, Thailand, and Switzerland on a trip to watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise performing their courtship dance.. This is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. We spent between 3 to 4 days in the jungle to see birds, cuscus possum, and various kinds of unique tropical plants. Because I like art, I make several sketches of birds that I see in the forest. I have created some drawings of male Lesser Birds of Paradise using watercolour pencils. After that I redraw them using stylus on my Samsung Tab A. The application that I use is Autodesk Sketchbook.
There are other birds that we saw in the forest including Hooded Butcherbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, King Bird of Paradise, Brown Cuckoo Dove, and a lot more.
Drawing of Lesser Bird of Paradise
Sketch of Lesser Bird of Paradise in watercolour

Colored pencil drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise
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I may also draw them in the future. My drawings are now available as prints on various redbubble products such as t-shirt, iPhone and iPad cases, canvas print, mugs, drawstring bags, tote-bags, and etc.
Illustration of Lesser Birds of Paradise
T-shirt with Drawing of Paradise Bird
Please, have a look at them at these links:
In the same website, there are also illustrations of flowers that I saw from rainforest such as Terrestrial Orchid, Red Hibiscus Rhododendron, lotus or Water Lily, Rain Lily (Zephyranthes rosea) and a lot more. 
I offer rainforest tour for anybody who wants to watch Red Bird of Paradise, and Wilson's Bird of Paradise in the forest of Raja Ampat. The tour can be combined with snorkeling and sightseeing trips by speed boat.  Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Lesser Birds of Paradise Art Drawings

I have created some artworks of Lesser Birds of Paradise that are now available as prints on several products such as mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, scarf, spiral notebooks, and a lot more. One of them is a manual painting entitled: Paradise Birds in Watercolor. The other is a vector illustration that I created using Inkscape entitled: Lesser Birds of Paradise. I also have another drawing of the male bird that
Paradisaea minor artwork by Leo Charles Roring
Vector illustration of a male Lesser Birds of Paradise by Charles Roring
I made using Derwent Watercolours. The title is still the same: The Lesser Birds of Paradise. Male bird has got more beautiful feather. They like to gather in the branches of a tall tree to dance for attracting their female counterparts. Please, have a look at the artworks at the above links.
As a tourist guide, I organize tours for visitors who want to watch the paradise birds in the forests of West Papua. In Raja Ampat islands there are Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. They can also be watched by visitors who want to spend their holiday in the tropical archipelago.
Drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise by Charles Roring
Watercolor Painting of Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest by Leo Charles Roring
Visitors need binoculars to watch birds. For taking photographs, bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900, Nikon Coolpix P1000 and Canon SX70HS can be used.
If you are interested in watching paradise birds, please, contact me by email to: or whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Reef Fish Art

I often create drawings of reef fish that I saw when I was guiding tourists on a snorkeling and freediving tours to coral reefs of Raja Ampat islands. Some of them include Striped Surgeonfish, Convict Surgeonfish, and Moorish Idol. First, I make sketches of the fish using conventional tools such as pencil on paper and watercolour. After that I redraw them using stylus and my Samsung Galaxy Tab A.

I use Autodesk Sketchbook as my drawing application. Drawing on glass surface of the tablet looks the same as drawing on the surface of a paper. However, it is more difficult because the surface of glass is more slippery to draw curved lines or other complicated forms.
In the past, I used vector drawing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Expression Design 4 and Macromedia Freehand MX. Although the illustrations that I make a scalable, the way I created the artworks was not as intuitive as the Autodesk Sketchbook.
Freediving to see Manta in Raja Ampat
Watching Manta 
Digital drawing of surgeonfish
Striped and Convict Surgeonfish

Clown anemonefish
Reef fish art digital drawing
Moorish Idol
Now the artworks are available as prints on various products such as mugs, iPhone or Samsung Galaxy cases, pillows, scarf, t-shirt, in my Nature Art shop in redbubble website. Anyone could see them here: Reef Fish Art.
Raja Ampat is a famous tourist destination for those who like marine environment. Every day, people fly from all corners of the world to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia and then continue their trip to Sorong city by such airlines as Garuda, Batik, Sriwijaya, Nam Air, and Lion Air. As the main gate and transportation hub to Raja Ampat, Sorong city has got tens of big hotels which visitors can choose to stay. Most of the hotels provide free wifi internet connections. The 4G internet connection is available in the city for travelers who buy data voucher from Telkomsel. 
If you are interested in taking snorkeling, hiking, bird and wildlife watching tours in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also read:

Red Bird of Paradise - digital art

Here are some drawings of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). I saw the birds when I guide tourists in Raja Ampat islands on a hiking, birdwatching as well as swimming, snorkeling and sightseeing tours. To watch the birds, I and the tourists whom I guided had to wake up at 04.30 in the morning. It was still dark outside. We made preparation by wearing jeans, t-shirts, and putting binoculars, and a bottle of water into each of our bags.
Red Bird of Paradise

After that we went to the dining room of the guesthouse where we stayed to have tea/ coffee and some bread. We had our early morning breakfast for around 15 minutes and then left for the birding ground of the paradise birds. Because it was still dark, we used flashlight. First, we used a small boat to a beach in the south of Waigeo island and then continued our trip on foot for around 1 hour. It was a round 06.00 when we reached the site. Local villagers had build a platform for tourists around 2 meters high. We climbed its ladder and sat on the benches also made of round woods. When the sunlight reached the top branches of the tree where the paradise usually gather, the male Red Bird of Paradise began to call their female counterparts.
Red Bird of Paradise
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
As more birds perched on the branches of the tree, the male birds started to perform their courtship dance. It was a beautiful dance similar to acrobatic pole dance in human world. The male Red Birds of Paradise were often in upside down position when they were dancing. Their female counterparts were watching from higher or nearby branch. When one was impressed with the performance of one of the male Red Bird of Paradise, she gave an ok gesture for mating.
I have made several artworks of the birds both in colored pencil drawings and anyone can see them at this link: birds of paradise art
Please, send whatsapp to my number +6281332245180 if you want to take birdwatching tour to Raja Ampat with me (Charles Roring) as your guide.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise in digital illustration

This is the drawing of A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). I often watch these beautiful birds when I guide tourists on a hiking and birding tour in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. The drawing is now available as prints on various products of redbubble such as t-shirt, mugs, iPhone case, pillows, and etc. Please, have a look at this link: Bird of Paradise Art
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
I made the drawing using Autodesk Sketchbook. In real world, most often, there are several male birds that dance in the top branches of a tree. They compete to win the female Red Bird of Paradise for mating. The courtship dance performance usually occurs in the mornings at 06.00 to 09.00 and in the afternoons from 15.00 to 17.30.
In addition to Red Bird of Paradise, we also see other tropical birds such as Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Yellow-faced Myna, Hooded Butcherbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Beach Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher and a lot more.
Participants of the tour need to bring binoculars in order to watch them. A powerful spotting scope made by Leica, Nikon, or Swarovski can greatly enhance the birding experience. I personally use Visionking roof prism 10×42mm binoculars. They are not the best but good enough for watching birds and other things in distant trees.
Visionking 10×42mm roof prism binoculars
10x42 mm Visionking binoculars

For taking pictures, I recommend D-SLR camera with Tamron G2 or Sigma Sport 150-600mm lenses. Bridge camera such as Nikon P1000, Nikon P900, or Canon SX60HS can also produce good quality photos.
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour or sketch tour with me in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: or by text message to: +6281332245180.
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