Friday, August 27, 2010

Beach Hibiscus from Mansinam island

I like flower. Every time I walk around alone, with friends or with tourists, I will stop for a while when I see flowers. I also did the same when traveling to Mansinam island that is located at the Dorey bay of Manokwari regency. Several months ago, I went there with an English tourist, David Scott. We did some snorkeling there and I was happy to find a beautiful beach flower whose petals were yellow with maroon at the base.

Tropical Flower Beach Hibiscus

At that time, I did not know the English and Latin names of this flower. It is not the same as other ordinary flower plants whose height were between one and two meters. This flower was blooming from a tree.
To write this blog post, I did some research on the internet. From the website of Jamescook University Australia, I got the information that the latin name of the flower was Hibiscus Tiliaceus. It likes to grown along the coastal area where the temperature is warm. Another information that I got from Wikipedia is that this flower plant can reach a height up to 10 meters. It is interesting to know that its leafy shoots and flowers are edible besides its bark can be used to make rope for sealing the but joints of wooden boat. These coastal flower trees provide good shades during the sunny days for tourists who want to take a rest at the white sandy beach after swimming and snorkeling for a few hours among the coral reef of the Mansinam island.
Beside the beach hibiscus, there are various other flowers in Mansinam island some of them are orchid, flower tree - barringtonia asiatica and bougainvillea spp and many more.




 If you are now thinking of having a vacation in a tropical island, why don't you put Mansinam island into your consideration? by Charles Roring contact info: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: +6281332245180

Barringtonia Asiatica beautiful but poisonous flower

One day, I walked with  a German tourist Katja Zimmerman along the South Eastern beach of Mansinam island. Katja lives in Paris the capital of France.This was her first visit to West Papua.  Under a tree, Katja stopped for a while. She picked up a beautiful flower from the ground. Its filaments were white and purple supported by white petals. She asked me what the name of the flower was but I could not answer her question. She took a seed of the plant and put it inside her bag saying that she would give it to her friend in Europe. She wanted her to plant the seed of this beautiful flower plant.
When she had returned to Paris. She sent me an email again still asking the name of the flower. I asked the local people about it. Some said that it was the flower of "Ketapang Pantai." My friend told me that the seed of the flower or fruit is poisonous. Fishermen like to use it to poison fish. So that they can catch them easily. 
The fruit of this plant looks like coconut but their physical appearances are different. It took around one month for me to find the answer of her question. After hours of searching and surfing on the internet, I finally found an article about the flower from wikipedia. Its name was Barringtonia Asiatica. In the article, it is said that the flower is poisonous too. Oh my God! I hope that she didn't eat the seed and she is still alive now.
Well, when the next time you are at the beach and see this flower, make sure that you don't try to eat its seed although it looks similar to coconut. by Charles Roring 

Watching Birds of Paradise

I, Wim Boyden (a tourist from Belgium) and Maker (our field guide) left Senopi village at 12 p.m.. Our goal that day (16 August 2010) was to see birds of paradise. According to Maker's story, it only takes one hour walking to a place on the other side of Kamundan river where male birds of paradise usually perform their courtship dance to attract their female birds in a tall tree.
We walked fast to reach that place before 3 p.m. because the birds would start dancing by that hour. What seemed to be a short walk in reality turned out to be a long walk. Generally it is hard for anybody who has not experienced trekking in the jungle of New Guinea. But for me and Wim, the journey was moderate. Besides small and big rivers, we had to overcome steep slopes, thorns from various wild vines hanging on trees and other green vegetation along our journey from the village to the hill where birds of paradise would be expected to come.
After stopping and drinking some water at a creek below the hill, we climbed slowly to a very steep slope near the place where the display tree of the birds of paradise stood. Maker arranged some palm leaves on branches and twigs a small tree above our heads to cover us from being seen by the birds. The two-hour walk was exhaustive.
Covered by insects
Our bodies were fully covered with sweat. It was "delicious nectar" for bees. In less than fifteen minutes all of our bodies had been covered by bees, ants, and mosquitoes. There are two different species of them. The smaller bees were black whereas the bigger ones were brown yellow. Flies, ants and various other species of insects came too. We were really annoyed by them but we could not wave our clothes to expel them. If we did that then the birds of paradise above us would fly away. I could only ask Maker to blow some smoke which he inhaled from his cigarette to these insects. They were really tough. They did not want to leave us at all. So, we had no choice but to receive them that afternoon as our friends while watching the birds of paradise dancing above our heads. The birds of paradise came several times and we could see them dancing. Unfortunately, we sat on a wrong place. We were too close to the tree.
Bring telephoto D-SLR camera to shoot birds
Actually, we needed to find a place where we could see them from a 45 degree viewing angle. Wim took out his long lens digital camera to shoot them. It was not easy at all because they were among the branches and twigs of the tree some thirty meters above us. I was happy because at least I could listen to their magnificent voices while calling one another.
We were waiting and watching the lesser birds of paradise for around two and a half hour before deciding to walk back to District Senopi where the tourist guesthouse was. The journey back to the village was not tiring anymore when we had successfully watched and taken pictures of these wonderful creatures from avian kingdom.
Places in Manokwari to watch birds of paradise
There are other places in Manokwari that you visit to watch birds of paradise.

  • Warmarway - this is the closest place from Manokwari town. It takes around 1 hour by car to reach Warmarway village and another 1.5 hours walk into the jungle to reach the dancing ground of birds of paradise. There is a base camp in the jungle which tourists can stay for several days to explore the rainforest of Arfak mountains.
  • Kwau village in Arfak mountains. This is a popular destination for visitors. It takes around 2 hours by car to reach the guest house. There are several species of birds of paradise that visitors can watch, i.e. the magnificent birds of paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). Another interesting bird is the bowerbird (Amblyornis inornatus).
  • Inggramui village - Tourists need to walk for 3 hours through the jungle to watch birds of paradise. There are also 2 basecamps in the jungle which visitors can stay in for exploring the tropical rainforest that is rich of biodiversity.
How to get to Manokwari?
Manokwari is the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia. Tourists fly to Manokwari to watch birds of paradise. To get to this town, fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). After that take a domestic flight that is served by Sriwijaya Air, or Express Air or Lion Air to Manokwari.
When you have arrived in Manokwari, don't forget to call me by phone 081332245180. I will be happy to arrange your trip to the mountains to watch the most beautiful birds in the world. by Charles Roring - contact email: peace4wp@gmail.com

Also read:
Tradition of Cooking with Bamboo
Watching how a deer was caught by dogs in Senopi

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frogs from Arfak Mountains

Frogs are amphibious animals. Amphibious means that the frogs can live on dry land and in the water. On the evening of 30 July 2010, I accompanied Rhett Butler, the founder of mongabay.com, to a small river near Syiobri village. During the days, local Papuan villagers wash their clothes and take a bath. Drinking water is also taken from this river. Syiobri is a small village located on a slope of Arfak Mountains. Our local field guide, Elyakim, showed us the foot path leading to the river where we would be photographing frogs and insects and any animals that we saw that night.
We went out at around 8 a.m. after taking our dinner. I brought two LED lamps with me to lit the foot path. According to Zeth Wonggor, the owner of the tourist basecamp, frogs usually come out at eight. Because the river was not far from the base camp, we could easily reach it within only ten minutes walking.  Frogs were already singing krog..., krog..., krog... when we stepped on the stones of the river bank. With the LED lamps, we could easily spot frogs that were sitting on leaves and twigs and on the slippery granite stones of the river.  Those frogs were waiting for their prey which were insects.
The frogs that were on the plants had yellow green and brown colors whereas those that were living along the wet gravels and stones of the river had dark brown to black colors. It was very easy to take photographs of leaf frogs but it was difficult to take pictures of the ground or water frogs. They were not tolerant enough to lamps and our careful efforts to approach them with our camera. Hearing our approaching steps, the water frogs hurriedly jumped into the water thinking that we were lethal or hungry predators. Actually we only wanted to take some pictures of them from closer look and from various different angles of camera shootings.
It was my first night staying in the Arfak Mountains just a stone throw away from the tropical rainforest. I had to admit that I was not used to its cold temperature. We were continuously moving up the stream to find more frogs, I didn't feel cold at all but later when we had returned to our tourist basecamp and slept for a few hours, I felt that it's very cold there especially after 3 a.m.
I was satisfied with the night walk because I could shoot some nice pictures of these wonderful amphibious creatures of the Arfak Mountains.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birding Site in Aiwatar Hill of Senopi village

Bird lovers might not know the existence of a place called Aiwatar. It is located some 4 hours walk from Senopi village in the Tambrauw Mountains of Manokwari regency. Manokwari is also the name of a city which is the capital of West Papua province. I, Wim and Vicky Boyden went to Aiwatar on 18 August 2010. We began walking in the morning at around 7 and arrived there at around 11.30 a.m. Wim and Vicky Boyden brought their EOS long lens Canon digital camera to shoot the birds that were singing in the branches of the trees along our walk to the Aiwatar - the Bird Center.
For bird watching, birders have abundant birds to shoot with their long lens camera while hiking around the tropical rainforest of Senopi village. But it is nothing compared to a place called Aiwatar. So, although we had been very tired, we were very determined to reach the area. We were informed by the villagers that there are a lot of birds with a large variety of colors and species. Walking in the tropical rainforest of District Senopi was a hard work but was also a fascinating experience.
The sounds of ornate lorikeet, cockatoo and hornbill and various other birds fill the atmosphere of that clear morning sky combined with the sound of the flow of water from the tributaries of Kamundan river. The feather of lorries that we saw in the trees near the Senopi village looked like rainbow. I liked hearing the music of the nature during that morning walk.
We had to cross the Kamundan river to reach the Aiwatar. When we were about to enter the river, from a distance around three hundred meters from us, we saw a dog barking on big deer that was trying to cross the river. According to our local Papuan field guide, the dog belonged to a hunter but he was not sure whether the hunter was with the dog or not. Wim took his long lens camera trying to take the picture of the barking dog and the nervous deer which were too far from us. The result was a blurry picture.
We still had some two hours walking before we arrived in Aiwatar - the place which the villagers  in the District of Senopi call "Pusat Burung" or the bird center. According to Maker - our local birdman, very few tourists have visited Aiwatar. Even though I was very tired at the time, when I saw birds flying around the trees, I suddenly felt relieved. Arriving at the foot of Aiwatar hill located on the other bank of Kamundan river, I soaked my whole body in the flowing water. It was very refreshing. Our lunch of that day was cassava which was cooked inside bamboos. Our drink was unboiled, but clear and fresh water taken from the river. I don't know the names of the birds that were shot by Wim Boyden through his long lens camera but there are various other birds which we did not shoot. I also brought a Sony Super SteadyShot DSC-W80 digital camera but it was not equipped with long lens. Below is a photograph of Aiwatar which I took while standing in the middle of the Kamundan river (one of the largest rivers in the Bird's head or Vogelkop region of West Papua). 
Well, what is bird center? It is a place in the remote mountainous region of Tambraw mountains inside the territory of District Senopi. Here, salty warm water comes out of the ground in several places around a hill called Aiwatar. Another amazing thing is that although Aiwatar is located very very far from the beach, most of the plants that grow in the area are the same as the plants that usually grow along the coastal region. The ground surface is covered with sharp corals that is normally seen in the coastal area. Every morning thousands of birds come to this place to drink the water until they get drunk.
I am not a birder but when I was in Aiwatar I became a bird lover. I hope that one day I could buy a long lens camera to shoot a lot of beautiful photographs of birds that live in the tropical rainforest of West Papua, both along the coastal and mountainous regions. by Charles Roring - If after reading this post and you are interested in visiting Aiwatar, please contact me via this email: peace4wp@gmail.com or lroring@gmail.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Watching Hornbill and Caving in the Table Mountain of Manokwari West Papua

The tropical rainforest of Table Mountain in Manokwari of West Papua is rich of vegetation and birds. It plays an important part in preventing land erotion and in supplying drinking water to citizens in the capital of West Papua province. Yesterday (13 August 2010), I went with Wim and Vicky Boyden to the Table Mountain to watch hornbills eating nutmeg, a kind of tropical fruit that is an important spice. While we were walking along the road that devides the forest, we saw around twenty hornbill birds eating the nutmeg. The fruits are smaller than the usual sold by nutmeg farmers. Perhaps these nutmegs were from different species. With her long lens camera, Vicky was able to shoot some pictures of this magnificent birds.
After watching the birds, we continued walking deeper into the forest to do some caving. One hour later, we arrived at the mouth of the cave. There are around 6 caves in the Table Mountain but only three caves that are frequently visited. The cave that we explored yesterday was the biggest and the most popular. It was not difficult to enter and the floor of the cave was flat. 
 
This morning, I am going with them to Senopi village to see male birds of paradise dancing in trees to attract their female birds the Kebar valley of the interior region of Tambrauw Mountains. I will write a special blog post about my tour into Kebar valley after returning from the area on 18 of August 2010. by Charles Roring

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snorkeling around the Mansinam island with the Labree family

by Charles Roring
Last July, I went to Mansinam island with the Labrees. They were Jan Willem and Ellen, Florien, Jasper and Margot. As part of a one week intensive tour program around Manokwari and Wasior, the visit to Mansinam island would be for them to enjoy snorkeling around the beautiful coral reef in the south of the island. Mansinam has an extensive coral reef park along its southern beach. Various species of marine animals live among these corals making them as the source of food for the islanders and citizens of Manokwari.
Despite its vital function as the source of food and the barrier for stopping big waves from hitting the coastal area of Manokwari city, coral reef of Mansinam island is always receiving wastes from Manokwari city. and the ships that pass by it every day. The citizens of Manokwari continue to dump their domestic and market wastes to the sea. Water current that regularly enters the Dorey bay, brings huge number of plastic wastes to the Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti islands.
I guided the Labree Family around the island and stop at the place where there was white sandy beach with colorful reef decorating the bottom of the sea near it. For the Labree family, snorkeling in Mansinam island was a very memorable experience. They could see urchins, blue fish, anemone, parrotfish, surgeonfish, and giant clamp at the depht of around  3-5 meters below the sea level.
After snorkeling at the south of  the Mansinam island, we still continued snorkeling above  a sunken ship near a place called "air salobar" and then landed on the beach to walk around the Mansinam village to see how the Papuans live in their daily life.
The final leg of the tour was a visit to Lemon island. Here we met Om Jordan, an old man who climbed a tall tree to install a Dutch flag there as a symbol of his support to the orange team during the World Cup final. I still have some more stories of The Labrees' visit in Manokwari which I will try to write in my next posts.

Snorkeling around the Mansinam island with the Labree family

by Charles Roring
Last July, I went to Mansinam island with the Labrees. They are Mr. (Jan Willem) and Mrs. (Ellen) Labree, Florien, Jasper and Margot Labree. As part of a one week intensive tour program around Manokwari and Wasior, the visit to Mansinam island would be for them to enjoy snorkeling around the beautiful coral reef in the south of the island. Mansinam has an extensive coral reef park along its southern beach. Various species of marine animals live among these corals making them as the source of food for the islanders and citizens of Manokwari.

Despite its vital function as the source of food and the barrier for stopping big waves from hitting the coastal area of Manokwari city, coral reef of Mansinam island is always receiving wastes from Manokwari city. and the ships that pass by it every day. The citizens of Manokwari continue to dump their domestic and market wastes to the sea. Water current that regularly enters the Dorey bay, brings huge number of plastic wastes to the Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti islands.
I asked Peter Rumbruren to bring the Labree Family around the island and stop at the place where there was white sandy beach with colorful reef decorating the bottom of the sea near it. For the Labree family, snorkeling in Mansinam island was a very memorable experience. They could see urchins, blue fish, anemone, parrotfish, surgeonfish, and giant clamp at the depht of around  3-5 meters below the sea level. I asked Peter Rumbruren and his friend to move the boat over the corals where the Labree were snorkeling around.
After snorkeling at the south of  the Mansinam island, we still continued snorkeling above  a sunken ship near a place called "air salobar" and then landed on the beach to walk around the Mansinam village to see how the Papuans live in their daily life.
The final leg of the tour was a visit to Lemon island. Here we met Om Jordan, an old man who climbed a tall tree to install a Dutch flag there as a symbol of his support to the orange team during the World Cup final. I still have some more stories of The Labrees' visit in Manokwari which I will try to write in my next posts.

Tree Snake in the Tropical Rainforest of Manokwari West Papua

by Charles Roring
I went to Pantura region of Manokwari regency this afternoon. Pantura is a short name in the Indonesian language for the Northern Coast. I hiked along the banks of Asai river as part of my survey on the possibility of developing the area as an alternative for ecotourism destination. That afternoon, I was able to take a lot of pictures of insects, flowers and green vegetation that thrive healthily along the banks.
At around 1 p.m. when I had been in the banks of the Asai river for around 3 hours, I saw a snake moving in the branches of a tree. Its length was approximately 1 meter. Its skin is yellow and blue. When I moved my digital camera closer to it, it also came closer to me. I was a little bit nervous because I did not know whether it was a venomous reptile or not.
The color of the eyes of the snake was blue when they reflected the flashlight of my camera. I don't put all the photographs that I shot for the snake because some of them are blurry. Perhaps, my hands were shaking when I shot my digital camera Sony Cybershot DSC W-80 because I was a little bit nervous. I hope that I can bring a long lens camera in my future adventure in the forest so that I can provide better looking photographs of reptiles, insects and plants from the tropical rainforest of Manokwari of West Papua for you.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Night Walk in the Tropical Rainforest of the Table Mountain

by Charles Roring
I and Rhett Butler - the founder of mongabay.com had decided to do night walk in the Table Mountain of Manokwari before he left this town for Jakarta the next morning. Accompanied by Nico Nauw, we hiked into the tropical rainforest of the Table Mountain again to see hornbills and insects. During the afternoon walk, Rhett managed to take some pictures of sulphur crested white cockatoo (Cacatua galerita- Latin). I am not a birder so I cannot mention the English or latin names of all the birds in this forest. The tropical rainforest in the Table Mountain is a protected forest owned by the local government of Manokwari regency. We started climbing the forest at 4.30 p.m. on the 1 of August 2010. 
Tropical rainforest in this mountain has been categorized by the Indonesian department of forestry as Taman Wisata Alam (TWA) or the Natural Tourist Park. We walked into the woods where Rhett photographed hornbills eating fruits of Benjamin fig tree, ficus benjamina (pohon beringin). When we arrived under the tree, the birds had finished eating and silently rested on the branches of the tree. Hearing the cracking sounds of the breaking dry twigs on the ground that we stepped on, the hornbill birds flew in a rush to another benjamin fig tree some five hundred meters from us. We decided not to chase them and began concentrating on taking pictures of insect along the asphalt road that passes through the rainforest.
When the sun had set in the west, and when the canopy of the forest left abandoned in the dark,  with the help of two LED flashlights, we could see various colorful insects on the leaves of green vegetation on both sides of the road. I did not know whether they were nocturnal insects or not. But they had wonderful colors. There were grasshopper, crickets, and flies. I also saw lizards, snails and frogs. With my Sony cybershot, I tried to take pictures of some insects that look red.  I was not really sure whether the insects which are presented in this blog post were grasshopper or cricket.
It was a fascinating experience walking in the dark of the forest taking photographs of various tiny creatures that are part of rainforest ecosystem. I was sad to see that this green forest of the Table Mountain of Manokwari has now been used as dumping ground for city wastes and garbage. I hope that the city dwellers of Manokwari would stop dumping their domestic and store garbage into this wonderful forest.
Tropical rainforest in the Table Mountain of Manokwari city plays an important role in absorbing the CO2 gases emitted by the city dwellers as well as storing large amount of water that is consumed the citizens every day. The existence of the forest also cools down the temperature of the surrounding area near the forest. With my current focus is now promoting eco-tourism for helping the local Papuans get more benefits from their natural environment without destroying it, the rainforest near this city will always within the range of my everyday attention.

Bowers of the Bower Bird in the Arfak Mountains

by Charles Roring 
I woke up immediately from a cold night and hard sleep and walked to the front room to prepare our breakfast when Rhett's alarm clock rang at 5 a.m. It was 31 July.  While pouring hot water into my glass to make my morning coffee, Zakaria (our local field guide) and Rhett Bulter - founder of mongabay.com came. I asked Zaka to call Elyakim (our birdman) to have breakfast together. I reminded him to bring my flash light so that we could use it again to climb one of the summits of the Arfak mountains while it was still dark.
We would hike this morning to see Western parotia and vogelkop bowerbirds perform their courtship dances seducing their female birds. I and our two Papuans field guides drank coffee while Rhett had lemon tea. We ate bread and biscuits. A few minutes before 5.30, we began walking from our base camp. Maria, another tour guide, who was boiling some water greeted us and told us to be careful along our trip to the mountain.
It was very cold at 1,400 meters above sea level where the tourist basecamp was located. We began climbing the mountain to 1700 meters and then 2200 meters and then 2400 meters above sea level just to see the bower birds and western parotia.
Our base camp was separated with the mountain that we would be climbing on by a river whose cool water chills the atmosphere of the Syioubri village. The water  stream continuously change the mountainous rocks into rounded and smooth granite stones where we walked on them. After crossing the river, the terrain slowly changed from flat ground to steep slope around 70 degrees quite difficult for a beginning hiker like me :-(.
While most of the villagers in the Syioubri village were still sleeping, birds in the tropical rainforest of Arfak Mountains had woken up welcoming the sunrise. Up we went slowly navigated by my flashlight and guided by our two Papuan birdman and porter.
When we had been walking for 30 minutes, my body temperature rose. I was fully sweating now and I did not feel effected by the cold atmosphere around me. I pulled down the zipper of my jacket, opened and folded it and then put it into my travel bag. The sun had just risen in the East started to brighten the canopy of the rainforest of the Arfak mountains. I did not need my flashlight anymore. I turned it off and put it back into my travel bag again.
We continued climbing the mountain until we reached a clear ground where some male Western Parotia usually performed their courtship dance to attract their females. We stopped here. Our field guides asked Rhett to enter a small bird watching hut. When he had been inside with his cameras, we covered it again with fresh Pandanus leaves and left Rhett Butler alone in the hut. I and the two field guides climbed the mountain again for around 5 minutes. We would be waiting for him for 1 hour to record the courtship dance that would be performed by the male western parotia. We had been sitting on the ground that was covered with moss when suddenly the rain started to fall. First, it was only a light rain. But later after around ten minutes, it became harder making it impossible for Male Western Parotia to perform his courtship dance. The ground where the bird would perform his dance was now muddy. I and Elyakim walked down to call Rhett to continue hiking to reach the hut that had been built for watching bower bird. It was another 30 minutes hiking. The hut was big enough to accommodate two people. When we arrived at the hut, we could hear the sound of male bower bird on the branches of the trees above us. Rhett hurriedly entered the bird watching hut. Elyakim, our birdman took some bright objects from his bag and put them on the ground not far from the bower. He expected that the bowerbird would come down to take the objects and decorate his bower. Again I and the two field guides climbed the Arfak mountain to a base camp located some 1700 meters above sea level. Here, we would wait for Rhett to film the vogelkop bowerbird performing the courtship dance until 9 a.m. It's very cold here, I wore my jacket again.
While waiting at the basecamp, I saw a male white shouldered fairy wren was being chased by female birds. It's weird to see such scene. If male bower birds try hard to decorate their bowers and perform their best courtship dance, the male white shouldered fairy wren birds do not need to seduce their females. They have abundant females that are willing to chase them the whole day. At that time I saw two female  white shouldered bird chased one male. It was 8.30 a.m. when I saw the birds of white shouldered fairy wren. The male bird had dark feather with white band decorate his shoulder. The female birds had brown feather. At first I did not know their names but Elyakim opened his Bird of New Guinea book and showed the pictures of the birds and their names.
We walked down to meet Rhett Butler at the bird watching hut when my mobile phone watch indicated that it was 9.15. Rhett said that the bower birds did not come down to their bowers. So, we climbed the Arfak mountain again to see more bowers at an elevation of around 2200 - 2400 meters above sea level. At these heights, we could see some more bowers decorated with natural bright ornaments instead of plastics and plates at bowers on the lower level 1700 meters above sea level. Unfortunately, there was no bird watching hut which had been constructed by our birdmen for tourists to see the bower bird dancing and seducing their female birds. I took some photographs of these magnificent structure which had been built by bower birds. Bowers are not nests. Bower birds are great architect that build their bowers without any mathematical calculation. Perhaps they build the structure using their animal instinct through a lot of trials and errors. Young bower birds have to learn from their adult counterparts the art of bower building and the art of courtship dance to attract their female bower birds. Somewhere on the summits of the Arfak mountains, male bower birds that are kings of the art of seduction perform their courtship dance to attract and seduce their females far from human civilization where love is now getting more materialistic than pure natural heart expression. by Charles Roring.
If you are interested in traveling to Arfak mountains for a bird watching trip and need me to arrange the trip and guide you, please contact me at peace4wp@gmail.com
Related article:
Birding in Arfak mountains
Hiking tours in Inggramui forest

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Trip to Arfak Mountains with Rhett Butler

A few days ago I was in Syioubri village of Mokwam area in the Arfak mountains. I was a tour guide for Rhett Butler - the founder of mongabay.com. We went there on 30th of July and returned to Manokwari city again on 1 August 2010. 
 Our trip to Arfak mountains, besides to see magnificent birds of paradise and bower birds and other wildlife, was carried out to assess whether the tropical rainforest there is still in good condition or not. We arrived in the morning by Hilux - a 4WD car that is manufactured by Toyota. The car was especially designed to overcome extreme road condition such as the last two kilometers that we experienced before entering the Syioubri village.
When the car was about to enter the village, I saw Zeth Wonggor with other villagers were preparing the road. I got off the car and had a small conversation with Zeth. I introduced Rhett Butler to him and let them talk a little before continuing our trip to the tourist base camp. Zeth is a famous birdman in Arfak Mountains.
I had to cook lunch fast because after that I and Rhett had planned to make a little tour around the village and along the river that passes through the Syioubri village. The view of Arfak mountains was amazing. I liked the scenery and the fresh air. Breathing the cool air in Arfak mountains was a fascinating experience.
We did not find a lot of wild animals during the day tour along the road that divides the village into two part and along the river whose stream flows down from one of the summits of the Arfak mountains.
We decided to carry out night walk after dinner accompanied by one local field guide, Elyakim. He was a nice and friendly person. It is surprising to see that although he did not finish elementary school, he could mention the English names of most of the birds in the Arfak mountains just by hearing  their voices or looking at them. I personally am not a birder that's why I am not familiar with the names of most New Guinea birds.
From that night walk, Rhett Butler and I could take a lot of pictures of insects and frogs. Most big black frogs live near the water of the rivers whereas green and light brown frogs live on the branches and leaves of the plants that grow on both sides of the river banks. Although the weather was cold, I really enjoyed the night trip. I and Rhett was tired when we returned to the base camp. We slept early because we had  to wake up before dawn to climb the mountain to see bower bids. I will write about it in my later post. If you are interested in traveling to Arfak Mountains and need a tour guide, please, contact me Charles Roring at peace4wp@gmail.com or call me via my cell phone 081332245180

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