Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove

This is the photograph of Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia Amboinensis) that I saw in the forest of north-east region of Waigeo island of Raja Ampat regency. I and two villagers were conducting an early morning bird walk when we saw the bird 2 kilometers outside Yenbekaki village. 
Actually the species of Brown Cuckoo Dove, according to Phil Gregory in his book Birds of New Guinea: including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville, has been split into several species. So, the ones that we see in West Papua is now called Sultan's Cuckoo Dove. The Amboyna Cuckoo Dove is considered as the species that lives in Ambon island, Seram and other islands in the Moluccans. As a matter of fact, some birders disagreed with the split.
It was a nice trip because we were able to see other birds as well including Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Oriental Dollarbird, Papuan Black Myzomela, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Olive-backed Sunbird (now also known as Sahul Sunbird), Beach Stone Curlew, Shining Flycatcher, Singing Starling, Eclectus Parrot, Torresian Crow, and Papuan Blyth's Hornbill.
Birding in Indonesia
Brown Cuckoo Dove
I turned on my camera and shot the bird. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 200D telephoto lens to make this picture. I also brought a good pair of roof prism Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars.
Raja Ampat regency in West Papua province of Indonesia is a great destination for birdwatching. As a tourist guide, I often organize birding tours to this archipelago for visitors who want to watch Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise and a lot of other birds such as Wimbrel, Radjah Shelduck, Beach Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Eastern Osprey, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Pied Imperial Pigeon and a lot more. I usually combine the birding tour with snorkeling and sightseeing excursion to various islands in archipelago. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Queen of the Orchids in Waigeo island

When I visited northeast region of Waigeo island, I saw a large orchid plant on a big rock at Warebar beach. I approached the rock trying to find whether the plant had some flowers. It was around 4 meters or 13 feet above the ground. The flowers that I saw were the same as the orchid flowers in Yenpapir karst. When I did some research on the internet, I found that the flowers on the rock of Warebar beach were similar to Queen of the Orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum) which was also called Tiger Orchid. But its labellum is puple-pink Perhaps, it was a sub-species or a different species at all. 
Close up photo of Waigeo's Queen of the Orchids

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Watching Birds and Sea Turtle in Waigeo Island

I visited Waigeo island in Raja Ampat regency around two weeks ago. I went there to watch tropical birds that live in the rainforest as well as sea birds that live along the coastal region. I stayed in northeast region of Waigeo island for 5 days/ 4 nights. It was a nice experience because I could see a lot of birds. Some of them were Black-capped Lory, Oriental Dollarbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Brahminy Kite, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Shining Flycatcher, Papuan Black Myzomela, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Eclectus Parrot and a lot more. 
Palm Cockatoo in northeast region of Waigeo island
Palm Cockatoo

Monday, October 21, 2019

Dive Resort in Raja Ampat

Vacation tour to Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Karst in Kabui bay
Raja Ampat is a very popular destination for diving. Every year thousands of visitors go there to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and even freediving. They can stay in homestays, and beach resorts that provide diving excursions to various dive sites in Waigeo, Gam, Kri, Mansuar, Batanta, or even in Misool islands. Dive Resorts in Raja Ampat often have recreational dive packages which tourists can buy while enjoying their holiday in the archipelago. There are tens of dive resorts which tourists can choose if they want to stay in comfortable accommodations while exploring the wealth of Raja Ampat's marine biodiversity.

Some dive resorts in the archipelago are listed below:
    Papua Explorers Dive Resort in Gam island
    Over the water bungalows in Papua Explorers Dive Resort
  • Papua Explorers Resort - This is a nice dive resort located in Gam island. I  I and my friends used to visit it years ago. Its overwater big bungalows are built using environmentally friendly materials and are comfortable for guests who bring their families. The dive resort is highly recommended for scuba divers who want to stay for several days up to more than 1 week. Its official website mentions the resort also has got Coralia Liveaboard which is very good for visitors who want to explore wider areas of Raja Ampat islands. 
  • Meridian Adventure Scuba Dive Resort, and Marina,
  • Traveling to Raja Ampat
    Green trees create fresh and cool atmosphere in Raja Ampat Dive Resort
  • Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADR) - It is located in the southern region of Waigeo island near the entrance waters to Kabui bay. I used to stay in the resort several time and also took a short dive excursion to Mioskon island. Trees that cover the bungalows provide cool environment. The resort has got a dive center whose gears are well maintained.  Non-divers guests who want to enjoy sightseeing like to stay there.   
  • Papua Paradise Eco Resort, 
  • Raja Ampat Dive Lodge - located in Mansuar island it offers dive excursions to various dive spots in the region.
  • Raja Ampat accommodation in Urai island
    Bungalows in Urai island
  • Raja Ampat Doberai Eco-resort - it is located in Urai island at the entrance to Kabui bay. Because of its secluded location, it gives the impression to guests that they stay in a private island. The picture on the right was taken from a moving boat when I was passing by the resort with tourist. I often pass by the resort by boat when I guide tourists on sightseeing tour to Kabui bay between Gam and Waigeo. I haven't visited the resort, so I cannot give any comments about it. 
  • Misool Eco Resort, 
  • and etc.
Information about the rooms, price per night, dive packages and other facilities can be obtained by typing such keywords as raja ampat or raja ampat dive resorts in google.com/travel/hotels. Booking.com can also be accessed to get more info about each of them.
In addition to resorts, there are also homestays which tourists can choose. Stayrajaampat.com is a website that contains information about the facilities, prices and tour packages.
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