Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trekking and Watching Paradise Birds in Arfak Mountains

Jungle Tour
I woke up at 4 a.m. It was still dark when I asked Yunus Sayori, our field guide from Warmarway village, to boil some water. I and Kathrin would go trekking this morning to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise. We were in the jungle of Arfak mountains that has been popular among birdwatchers who want to watch various species of birds of paradise. For hundreds of years Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) have been hunted by Papuan people who sell the skins to collectors. Some are used in head decoration for traditional dances and rituals.
When the hot water is ready, I woke Kathrin up and asked her to drink coffee. At around 5.15 a.m. we left our camp that was located in the middle of the tropical jungle for the birding ground. Since it was still dark, we brought flashlight. We had to walk up steep slopes and crossed a stream. While we were about to cross the stream, we were surprised by a fast moving white snake that were running away from us. It was also surprised to see us. White snake is very venomous reptile.
The sun was about to rise on the East when we reached the birding ground. Male Lesser Birds of Paradise had been calling female birds. Slowly the morning light got brighter. A lot of mosquitoes were flying around us. I forgot to bring my repellent lotion. We had to be patient with this situation.
Itwas hard to spot the birds as they constantly jumping from one branch to another in high trees. Finally, one of them landed on a branch above my head. He was there for less than one minute but I was able to shoot him using my compact camera - Nikon coolpix P500 (see the above picture).
After watching paradise birds for 3 hours, we returned to our camp. The Papuan children from Warmarway village (Yosias, Magdalena, Yunita, and ...) had finished cooking breakfast for that morning. We really enjoyed the food that they prepared.

We could take some pictures of this beautiful bird. Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) usually live in the lower montane forest.
Visitors who want to watch the paradise birds need to stay in the camp that is provided for tourists by the villagers.
Trekking in the tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains is only suitable for visitors who like adventure.

Sea Tour
In addition to jungle tour, as a tourist guide, I can organize a snorkeling tour for visitors who are interested in seeing reef fish and coral reef of Manokwari. Bring your own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, and fins before taking this tour. We will explore the waters of Dore bay to see striped surgeonfish, convict surgeon fish, lion fish, anemonefish, urchin, damselfish and sea star.
The usual duration of jungle tour and snorkeling tour is between 5 to 7days.
Please, contact me by email to peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested take this tour. This article is written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Rainforest Tour in Sorong regency

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rainforest Tour along Dopi River of Manokwari regency

The tropical rainforest along Dopi river is located on the west of Manokwari town. To reach the river, we need to walk for around 3 hours. There is a camp at the bank of the river that is usually used by foreign visitors when they go trekking and camping in the lowland rainforest of Manokwari. 
Wildlife
Wild animals such as kangaroo, deers, wild pigs, casuari, possums, monitor lizards (soa-soa) snakes, cuscus may be seen in the jungle around Dopi river if visitors camp there for several nights. 
Birdwatching
The rainforest of Dopi are also home to a lot of species of lowland birds. Two Swedish birdwatchers spent 3 days birding along the river. They were able to see some species which they wrote in the following list:
Longtailed Honey Buzzard
Variable Goshawk
Brahminy Kite

Common Sandpiper

Beautiful Fruit-dove
Pinon Imperial Pigeon

Palm Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Rainbow Lorikeet
Pesquet Parrot (endangered species)
Yellowcapped Pygmy-parrot
Moluccan King Parrot

White-eared Bronzed-cuckoo
Jungle Hawk Owl

Marbled Frogmouth

Azure kingfisher
Rufous-bellied Kookabara

Papuan (Blyth's) hornbill

Black Sunbird
Yellow bellied longbill
Pygmy longbill

Olivecrowned (Papuan) Flowerpecker
Spangled drongo
Hooded Butherbird

Lesser Birds of Paradise

Yellow Faced Myna

Birds are usually active early in the morning and before sunset.
I have guided a lot of tourists along the river of Dopi on a number of rainforest tours since several years ago. They came from France, England, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. Some visited the rainforest just to enjoy walking in the tropical jungle while others went there to see birds, flowers and various species of trees, flowers, and green plants.
Flowers
Terrestrial orchids can be seen growing on the mountain just 1-hour walk from Dopi river. They have got red, pink, and white colors. African tulip (Spathodea campanulata) blooms out of the branches of tall trees. They can easily be recognized by their orange color. Another flower that attracts the attention of visitors is Glory Vine (Varadaya splendida). It release fragrant smell. This vine plants grows near the bank of Dopi river. Ylang-ylang plants also grow in the forest. The extracted oil from the flowers are highly valued by beauticians and natural therapists around the world.
Trekking and Camping
The best way to experience the nature is by staying fore several nights at the bank of the river. Two camps have been built on separate locations in the jungle which visitors can use. Accompanied by our local guides, visitors can walk in the mornings, in the afternoons and at nights to explore the rainforest and see various species of animals that live in the rainforest. Most often, the sounds of birds can clearly be heard while visitors swim or take a bath at the river.
We have prepared cooking gear for visitors so they don't have to bring pan, plates, or glasses. This rainforest tour program is prepared by Charles Roring to help local people get some money from their efforts in preserving the tropical rainforest of Dopi river. 
For trekking, camping and birdwatching at Dopi river, please contact me by e-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com

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