Sunday, April 15, 2018

Birding Adventure in Sorong Forest

Birding Tour in rainforest of Sorong city - Oriental Dollarbird
Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Birding in Sorong Ridge Forest

Sorong is a city in West Papua province of Indonesia. It is the gate to Raja Ampat which is a famous destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Most visitors who want to visit Raja Ampat will need to fly to Sorong city. They may have one or two days in the city before continuing their trip to the island. Taking a tour to a forest will increase the adventure experience of tourists about West Papua's nature. There is a forest area in the regency that is the natural habitat of various species of birds such as: Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Variable Goshawk (Accipiter hiogaster), Olive-crowned Sunbird (Dicaeum pectorale), Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus), Helmetted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Black Lory (Chalcopsitta atra), Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), and a lot more.
Rainbow Bee-eater in Sorong forest
Visitors who want to do land tour in Sorong city before or after their trip can take this rainforest hiking and birding tour. To do birding in this forest, visitors need to bring their own binoculars such as the Swarovski EL 8.5×42, Swarovski SLC 10×42, Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 or the more affordable Visionking 10×42 mm.
Since our birding tour is carried out along a mountain ridge, bringing a spotting scope will greatly enhance the birding experience.

Duration of The Birding Tour

The birding adventure in Sorong forest can be as short as 1 day to as long as 3 or 4 days. For day birding tour, participants can start by leaving their hotels at 05.00 and return to the hotel again at approximately 18.00. Birding in the forest for the whole day and going back to the hotel in the evening is one of the most convenient way to see tropical birds of West Papua in Sorong city.

What to bring for Birding in Sorong forest

  • Birding gear: binoculars and spotting scope
  • Wear hiking boots or sportshoes
  • Insect repellent lotion or spray
  • Some biscuits and a bottle of water
  • Field guide-book: Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler
If you are interested in taking this birding adventure tour, please, contact me by e-mail to: or by text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pinon Imperial Pigeon

Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) lives in tropical rainforest of West Papua - photo by Charles Roring
Pinon Imperial Pigeon
Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) lives in tropical rainforest of West Papua. They are important seed dispersers that maintain the forest. April is the mating season of the bird. When I guided a Canadian tourist a few days ago, I saw some Pinon Imperial Pigeon mating in trees. Because they were bigger than the average birds, I could take several good pictures of them. In addition to pigeons, I also saw Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Bee-eater and Oriental Dollarbird in the forest.Walking deeper into the jungle, I could see Lesser Birds of Paradise performing courtship dance to attract their female birds.
If you are interested in Birding in West Papua, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to:

Birding in Fulgidus Forest of Tambrauw Regency

This yellow paradise bird (Cendrawasih Kuning) or Lesser Birds of Paradise lives in the forest of West Papua.
Fulgidus is the name of forest in West Papua that I promote as birding destination for visitors who want to watch birds especially the ones that are endemic to tropical rainforest such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and Western Crowned Pigeon, Western Black-capped Lory, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, and etc.
Visitors need a pair of binoculars, and spotting scope to enjoy birding in Fulgidus forest. Wearing darker color clothing, hiking boots or sport shoes is important for exploring the rainforest and birds of the forest.

Getting to Fulgidus forest

It is not difficult to go to Fulgidus forest of Tambrauw Mountains. You need to take an international flight from your country to Jakarta. It is the  capital of Indonesia. There are such airlines as Garuda, Batik, Sriwijaya and NAM air that provide regular flights to Sorong city of West Papua province. I could organize your trip to Fulgidus forest to watch paradise birds, see unique plants of Tambrauw.

For detailed itinerary and cost calculation, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send text message to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Red-necked Phalarope in Tambrauw Mountains

Birding trip in Tambrauw mountains of West Papua
Red-necked Phalarope in winter plumage
Last year when I made an exploratory trip to Tambrauw Mountains, I saw a small bird in Fef valley right in front of the new office building of Tambrauw's regent. At that time I did not know its species name. I only know that it was a shore bird. I made some pictures of the bird and then did the identification works at home several days later.
To my surprise, from the field guide book the Birds of New Guinea (written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler), I found that the bird's name was Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus). The bird lives in Artic region of North America and Eurasia during the breeding period.  In winter time, this small bird fly for thousands of kilometers and land in the interior region of Tambrauw mountains.
The regency of Tambrauw is located in the vogelkop region of New Guinea. Most of its land is still covered by tropical rainforest. It is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds including birds of paradise such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Glossy Manucode, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill and etc.
If you are interested in visiting Tambrauw regency for birding and wildlife watching, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or whatsapp to: +6381332245180.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Yellow-faced Myna

Yellow-faced Myna lives in tropical rainforest of New Guinea especially in lowland and lower montane region.
Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii)
This is Yellow-face Myna - a large starling that lives in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea and its surrounding island. It saw the bird for the first time when I guided two Belgium tourists to Tambrauw mountains. After that, I saw the bird again in Klabolo forest of Sorong regency, in Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari as well as in Waigeo of Raja Ampat islands.
I made the above photograph when I went birding in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. It was morning time when I saw the bird sitting on the branch of a tree above my head. In Wikipedia, it says that Yellow-faced Myna eats fruits and insects.
Birding tour in West Papua of Indonesia guided by Charles Roring
Golden Myna (Mino anais)
There is also Golden Myna (Mino anais) that has got black, white and yellow colors. These Golden Myna and Yellow-faced Myna can be watched in the mornings and in the afternoons in the forest of Tambrauw Mountains, Manokwari, Sorong, and Raja Ampat. Actually, they are not the only birds that tourists can watch while taking a birding tour with me in West Papua. From my previous birding tours, I saw a lot of species of woodland and coastal birds such as: Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove.

Paradise Birds Tour in West Papua

Male and female Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Most tourists who take birding and rainforest tours with me want to watch paradise birds. Therefore, I offer trips to Susnguakti forest and Mount Soti in Arfak range of Manokwari, to Syuan river and Miyah forest in Tambrauw mountains, to Klabolo and Sunbird forest in Sorong regency, and to Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. During the two weeks hiking and birding tours, we will watch paradise birds such as:

  • Lesser Birds of Paradise
  • King Birds of Paradise
  • Glossy Manucode
  • Western Parotia
  • Magnificent Bird of Paradise
  • Black Sicklebill
  • Twelve-wired Birds of Paradise
  • Wilson's Bird of Paradise
  • Red Bird of Paradise
If you are interested in visiting West Papua province of Indonesia to take a birding tour with me, for detailed itinerary and cost, please, contact me by e-mail to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Birding in Susnguakti Forest

Male and Female Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari, Indonesia.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

Birding in Lower Montane Forest of Arfak Mountains

There is a birding site in the south of Manokwari city which visitors can go to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Magnificent Riflebird, Hooded Butcherbird, Coconut Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove  and a lot of other birds that live in lower montane forest.
To reach that forest, we need to go by car for 1.5 hours and then continue our trip by hiking steep slopes of Arfak range for 1 hour. We will arrive at our huts and birding site located in the middle of Susnguakti forest.
Our Clients
Dutch visitors were watching birds in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari regency, Indonesia
Birding in Susnguakti forest of Arfak range
As a tourist guide, I have organized hiking and birding tours to this forest for visitors who come from various countries in the world such as Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, China, Korea, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, and a lot of other countries which I cannot mention one by one in this blog post. We spend between 3 days to 5 days in the forest to explore the biodiversity of plants and animals in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. 
There are also some Indonesian tourists who visited Susnguakti to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise.
Night Walk
I took picture of this Spot-winged Monarch (Monarcha guttula) in tropical rainforest of Manokwari using Fujifilm HS50EXR.
Spot-winged Monarch (Symposiarchus guttula)
Tour in the forest will be done both during the days and at nights. In the mornings and in the afternoons, we will walk under the canopy of the forest to watch birds, butterflies, insects, and tropical plants. At nights, we will walk through the forest to find cuscus possum, brown ground skink, and Papua dragon lizard. Wear hiking boots and socks to protect yourself from mosquito and snake. Sometimes we could see birds that sleep on the lower branches of trees. One example is the Spot-winged Monarch (Symposiarchus guttula). I was walking with 2 Dutch tourists and our local guide when we saw the bird. I and one of the tourists carefully aimed our cameras at the bird and then shot him several times. After that, we left him to continue our exploration of the forest.
Where to stay in Susnguakti forest
King Bird of Paradise can be watched in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains in the south of Manokwari city.
King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
I and local villagers have prepared huts in the jungle for visitors to stay. We provide dome tents, mattrasses, pillows, sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils to serve tourists who take birding and wildlife watching tour with us. These huts are located near a small river. These huts are not luxurious hotels but they are our only accommodation for visitors who want to watch paradise birds, cuscus possum, Papua dragon lizard, and a lot of unique vegetation in this lower montane forest of Arfak range.
What visitors need to bring:
This kingfisher has got orange bill with blue upper parts and white underparts as well as long racquet tail antennas.
Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea)
Please, bring a good pair of binoculars, camera with telephoto lens, head torch, trousers, t-shirts (dark colour ones such as dark green, dark gray, or the camouflage colours), hiking boots or sport shoes with socks, personal toiletries, and towel, anti insect spray or lotion.

How to get to Manokwari?

Manokwari is the capital of Papua Barat province of Indonesia. There are regular flights from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) to Manokwari served by such airlines as Garuda, Batik Air, Sriwijaya, and Lion + Wings Air. I could meet you at the airport of Manokwari or at the hotel where you stay in the city and organize your bird and wildlife watching tour to Susnguakti forest.

Booking your birding tour in Manokwari

If you plan to visit West Papua for hiking and birding in tropical rainforest of Manokwari, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or by sending text message to my number: +6281332245180.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Nightwalk in Susnguakti Forest

Exploring the Susnguakti forest at night to see nocturnal animals

This reptile can be seen by tourists in Susnguakti forest in the south of Manokwari city.
Papua Dragon Lizard
Susnguakti is a rainforest area in the south of Manokwari city. It has been a destination for tourists who are interested in seeing wildlife. Every time I organize a birding and wildlife watching tour in this forest for visitors I always add nightwalk or night herping tour in the list of activities that we can do in the forest. When we do the nightwalk, we could see such animals as Cuscus Possum, bandicoot, Arfak Dragon Lizard,  Vogelkop Brown Ground Skink, White Snake (Micropechis small-eyed white snake), pygmy toad, moth, firefly and sleeping bird. There is glowing mushroom especially during wet season.
This New Guinea small eyed white snake lives in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari city.
White Snake Micropechis ikaheka

Don't Provoke the White Small-eyed Snakes

During the tour, visitors MUST NOT provoke snakes in the forest especially the ones that local people call Ular Putih (White Snake). This acanthophis snake is very venomous and is considered as one of the deadliest reptiles in the world. One bite from this snake can be fatal. So, visitors must wear hiking boots or sport shoes and socks and maintain a safe distance from the snake if they see it in the jungle.
What to wear
Thi nocturnal reptile could be found in tropical rainforest of New Guinea especially in the south of Manokwari city.
Brown Ground Skink
To do the night herping tour, visitors need to wear long pants, shoes and socks, hand torch or head torch and camera. I and one or two local villagers conduct the night walk tours. We will explore the higher and lower elevation areas of the forest to find the nocturnal animals. It is an interesting activity for tourists because they are able to watch not only birds of paradise but also reptile and nocturnal animals of Arfak mountains.

Birding during the day

In addition to night tours, visitors can also do morning and afternoon hiking trips in Susnguakti forest to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Magnificent Riflebird, Hooded Butcherbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and a lot of other tropical birds that live in the forest.
Please, contact me (Charled Roring) by e-mail to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180



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