Monday, August 29, 2011

Birdwatching Picture - Collared Kingfisher from Manokwari bay

The photograph of the collared kingfisher which you see on this page was taken in Lemon island in Manokwari bay. I shot the bird using my digital camera Nikon Coolpix P500. The bird was sitting on a trunk of tree whose top part had been broken near the beach when I saw it. Although my camera was able to zoom the bird up optically 36 times, it was not able to give me high quality photograph. It was not an SLR camera. Today, Nikon as a world leading digital camera manufacturer has improved its product by launching the Nikon Coolpix P510.
In addition, the bird is around 50 meters from me. I walked slowly toward it while holding my camera. I did not bring tripod at that time because I don't have it. I am not a photographer. I am a tourist guide. I use most of my photographs on my blogs and website. For those who want to buy a compact superzoom camera, I recommend them to buy Nikon Coolpix P510. It has got a significant superzoom capability of up to 42 times (from 24 mm to 1000 mm equivalent. According to the USAtoday.com, the Nikon Coolpix P510 digital camera will be available on the shelves in March 2012.
I was walking with three Dutch tourists in Lemon island in Dore bay of Manokwari when I saw the bird. After moving quite close to the bird, I saw it flying away.  There was another bird standing on a rock near the sea water. I tried to take a picture of the bird again. I made several shots of the kingfisher. The first kingfisher has yellow feather on its body but the second bird doesn't.
A few minutes ago, I tried to identify it using a printed copy of Birds of New Guinea. I was not able to find it. Then I opened my computer and log on to the internet. I typed white neck kingfisher. From some results in the search engine, I can finally identify it. This collared kingfisher consists of 50 sub-species. I don't know which one it belongs to. It has blue feather at her back, with noticeable white collar around its neck. Manokwari bay is not only a nice destination for birdwatching but also snorkeling. Coral reefs cover the shallow shores of Lemon, Mansinam and Raimuti islands, as well as the shores near the foot of Arfak mountains. Every month tourists come to Manokwari to enjoy snorkeling, hiking and birdwatching. They like Manokwari because it provides a complete list of eco-tourism activities both in the forest and at sea.
Arfak mountains located in the south of Manokwari city have been a popular hiking destination for tourists who want to see birds of paradise, birdwing butterflies and various other species of animals while walking under the canopy of the trees.
If you are interested in doing hiking trips and birdwatching tour in Manokwari's rainforests particularly in the Arfak mountains and along the lowland jungle in the north coast of New Guinea, please, contact me via email peace4wp@gmail.com. I can prepare a customized itinerary and an affordable cost for you. by Charles Roring
Also read: Birdwatching in Tropical Rainforest of Manokwari

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Snorkeling picture from Manokwari bay

Coral reef is home to various species of marine fish and other marine animals. This can be seen while we go snorkeling in Manokwari. As snorkeling guide, I know some locations in this regency where the coral reefs are still in pristine condition. To reach them, we need to use outrigger boat. Bring your own snorkeling mask and fins if you want to see the beauty of the underwater paradise. The beaches are located at the foot of Arfak mountains - a world class birding and wildlife watching destination in New Guinea. The following picture shows the corals in the Dorey bay of Manokwari with some reef fish such as the butterfly fish and the white cheek surgeonfish (acanthurus nigricans).
The coral reef in Anggresi beach of Manokwari bay is still in pristine condition. It has never been listed in any travel guide book as snorkeling destination. I came to the area in 17 August with 2 Dutch tourists. When I explored the corals, and took some pictures of them, I immediately conclude that the coast of Anggresi is a nice destination for snorkeling.
Every time I go snorkeling, I will bring my waterproof camera Panasonic DMC FT3 so that I will be able to take pictures of the coral reef and the tropical fish. When I have returned home, I transfer the underwater photographs to my computer and use them for my writing project. As a matter of fact, Panasonic DMC FT3 is not the only waterproof camera that is available on the market. There are other cameras that offer similar capability too. Some of them are the Nikon Coolpix AW100 and Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS. You can buy one of them in your local camera store or order it from an online store such as the Amazon.comTo identify the names of the fish, I use a book entitled Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific. We don't need to be a marine biologist to identify the tropical fish. We can easily use the book to find the English and Latin names of the fish which we have shot while snorkeling.
Because the bio-diversity in coral reef is enormously high, more often we need some time to identify the fish. Coral reef is similar to tropical rainforest in terms of its function in absorbing CO2 emissions and in providing shelter or protection to various marine animals. Therefore, we need to preserve it. With snorkeling tour package, I hope that local fishermen can improve their living standard and at the same time respect the reef. by Charles Roring
Also read: New Snorkeling Location in Manokwari bay

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Snorkeling Picture of Marine Fish from Manokwari bay

Everytime I go snorkeling in the Dore bay of Manokwari, I will always bring a camera with me. From my last trip with two Dutch tourists, I was able to shoot some marine fish that live in the coral reef area near the shore of Arfak mountains. Some of them are striped surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus), lined bristletooth (Ctenochaetus striatus), chromis, and wrasse. From the Reef fish Identification book, I found that the lined bristletooth picture does not have bright spot at its tail (see the red arrow). So, I call the fish - Arfak lined bristletooth.
The marine fish whose pictures are shown in this post were made by using Panasonic Lumix FT3 - a good underwater camera that is suitable for snorkelers. Before buying this camera, I used ordinary pocket camera that was protected by underwater waterproof case manufactured by Dicapac. In places where the reefs such as staghorn coral and table coral are still in their pristine conditions, we usually will see more fish there. Marine fish eat algae that grows on the surface of the hard corals. In order to grow well, the sea water has to be clean and free from pollution. In tropical waters where mangrove trees live, more fish will be found. As a snorkeling tour guide, I often bring tourists to several coral reef areas in Manokwari bay.
In addition to snorkeling, Manokwari is also a nice place for travelers who want to go hiking in the rainforest of Arfak mountains. This mountain range is home to birds of paradise, sulfur crested cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, blyth's hornbill, ground and tree kangaroo,  and various species of butterflies. Birdwatching is a great activities that nature lovers can do while traveling in Manokwari. Binoculars, and telephoto camera are needed for birding in the mountains. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Papua Snorkeling
Snorkeling Picture from New Guinea of Indonesia

New Snorkeling Location in Manokwari bay

I have just found a new snorkeling place in Manokwari bay. It's a 30-minute boat ride from Manokwari city. Yesterday, I guided two Dutch snorkelers to the area. They were the first tourists whom I brought to the snorkeling site. We left Arfai in the morning by an outrigger wooden boat. The boat driver was Kosal. He is a fisherman. His daughter - acted as navigator. She informs her father about floating woods or plastic wastes that can be harmful to the hull or the propeller of the boat. The surface of the sea was quite calm that morning.
The coral reef is still in pristine condition. I didn't see any broken reefs caused by dynamite fishing or fishing net. According to the fisherman, no tourists had ever been there. So, Herman and Elizabeth were the first tourists to snorkel in the area. They looked happy to know about it. They came to Manokwari for hiking, birdwatching in Arfak mountains and snorkeling in this Dore bay. Various colors of tropical fish such as wrasse, yellow tail demoiselle, blue and yellow fusilier were seen  there especially because the weather was really good. The beach is clean and protected by green tropical trees. To give you the impression of how beautiful the coral reef of this new snorkeling destination was, I add some underwater snorkeling pictures of the reef in this post. I used waterproof camera Panasonic Lumix FT3 to shoot the reef fish and the corals. For snorkeling in the bay, I wear snorkeling mask Reef Tourer that was manufactured by Tabata. It's a nice gear both for snorkelers or even scuba divers.

So far, very few tourists have visited this site. Last year, I guided four Indonesian youth on a snorkeling tour to this area. They brought underwater camera to take pictures of the fish and the corals. They were some of the participants of aci.detik.com Indonesian tour competition program. Although they didn't win the competition, their photographs about this pristine coral reef is very important in creating awareness among the city dwellers of Manokwari to stop throwing plastic wastes into the sea.
As a tourist guide, I provide (please click the link) snorkeling tour package to anybody who is interested in snorkeling in this bay. Please, contact me if you still need more information about it. by Charles Roring

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birdwatching in the tropical rainforest of Manokwari

I have just guided 2 Dutch tourists on a 3-day hiking and birding tour in the lowland rainforest of Manokwari. It is located between the northern coast of Manokwari (usually called Pantura) and the Prafi valley.
These Dutch travelers were the first European tourists who visited the forests. While walking through the tropical jungle, they saw various species of birds that are endemic to New Guinea island. Some of them are kingfisher, lorikeet, blyths hornbill (rhyticeros plicatus), goliath/ palm cockatoo (probosciger aterrimus), white hawk, shrimp catcher, western crown pigeon, parrots, and fruit dove. I was happy to see that Mr. Herman Van Der Hart was able to shoot the Western Crown Pigeon (Goura Cristata) which was standing on the branch of a tall tree.
On the last day of the hiking dan birdwatching tour, we saw female birds of paradise (paradisaea minor), and sulphur crested cockatoo (cacatua galerita). When I saw the cockatoo, I immediately borrowed the binoculars that belong to Mrs. Elizabeth Pot and used it to shoot the bird. Although the result is not as sharp as a photograph taken with an SLR camera, it is quite good for identification purposes. When he saw the above picture of the cockatoo, he said that the technique that I used in shooting the bird was called digiscoping. That was the first time I was introduced to the terminology of digiscoping.
The tropical rainforest of Manokwari is a world class birding destination for those who want to watch tropical birds in their natural habitat. I have been guiding visitors from many countries on various birdwatching tours both in the rainforest near Manokwari, the Arfak mountains, and the Numfor island.
Birds play very important roles on the survivability of forest. As seed dispersers, they spread seeds of fruits which they eat to all directions where they fly. These seeds will later grow to replace the old trees that naturally fall or cut by people.
In addition to watching tropical birds, tourists who come to Manokwari can also enjoy snorkeling over beautiful coral reef in Dorey bay or Manim islet of Numfor. If you are interested in coming to Manokwari, for birdwatching in the rainforest, please, contact me at charlesroring@gmail.com
Also read:
Hiking and Birdwatching in Arfak mountains
Bird watching in tropical rainforest of Numfor island
Magnificent birds of paradise

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to snorkel in the coral reefs of Manokwari bay safely

Tourists who want to go snorkeling in Manokwari bay need to avoid standing on the reef. It takes tens of years for corals to develop their "skeleton" to a size similar to a human head. Experienced snorkelers usually choose their snorkeling spots along the edge or wall of the reefs when the tide is low. Beginning snorkelers have to do the same thing too. However, for safety reason they can wear life-jacket to prevent them from drowning or drifting away pushed by the sea current.
Also ask the advice of the local fisherman about the sea current, coral pattern and tides before going snorkeling in the bay. Manokwari regency has a number of places that are very good for snorkeling and even scuba diving. Unfortunately, there is no marine sport shop in this city that sells snorkeling gear such as mask, fins and snorkel. So, if you want to enjoy snorkeling in Manokwari and its surrounding region, please, bring your own snorkeling set. by Charles Roring
Also read: Snorkeling in Mansinam island

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