Friday, July 27, 2018

Birding in Lower Montane Forest of Tambrauw

Moluccan King Parrot
in Tambrauw mountains
In my previous post about my trip with a Dutch lady to enjoy snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat and Tambrauw, I described about how beautiful the karst islets and the rainforest were. However, we spent most of our time in the coastal region of Tambrauw to do hiking, birding and some snorkeling. The lower montane rainforest that we visited was the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds. Some of them include the Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy Manucode, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Large Fig Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Moluccan King Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Rusty Pitohui, Hooded Butcherbird, Black Butcherbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Oriental Dollarbird, and a lot more.
Intermediate Egret in Tambrauw farmland
We brought three pairs of 10×42 binoculars, a 20-60×60 binoculars. I also had a field guide book: Birds of New Guinea in my bag as our main reference for identifying birds.
From my birding trips throughout West Papua, I consider the tropical rainforest of Tambrauw as one of the best destinations for all birdwatchers and anybody who is interested in everything about rainforest.
We saw a lot of animals including birds, butterflies, lizards, deer and snake. The forest is also the habitat of wild flowers, and unique tropical vegetation.
Oriental Dollarbird
We also enjoyed swimming and snorkeling in coral reef area of Tambrauw waters. We saw a lot of fish.
We were having fun and really like the beauty of the surrounding nature. Local people are very friendly too. Visitors need around 5 to 7 days to travel the rainforest and the coastal area of Tambrauw.
How to go birding to Tambrauw Forest
  • Take an international flight from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • After arriving in Jakarta, please, continue your trip by taking a domestic flight (served by Garuda, Batik Air, Nam Air or Sriwijaya Air to Sorong city.
  • I will meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Tambrauw.
If you are interested in taking a birding and snorkeling trip to Tambrauw, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send message by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Please, support our works in promoting ecotourism, preservation of rainforest and empowerment of local people by buying our merchandise (iPhone case/ skin, mug, tote bag, hard cover journal etc. at this link: Frigatebird Flying Free
Lesser Frigatebird

Birding Trips to Raja Ampat and Tambrauw Mountains with a Dutch Lady

A lady was hiking and birding with me
in Tambrauw mountains
I have just completed a long birding trip to Raja Ampat and Tambrauw Mountains with a Dutch lady for two weeks. We stayed at a simple homestay in Waigeo island that was run by a Papuan family and explored karst islands by a motorized boat to watch birds. Early in the morning, we woke up at 05.00 and did a forty-minute walk to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). July actually was not the best month to visit the Raja Ampat because south wind was strong. The sea was rough and boat could not travel easily to islands in the open sea. So, we decided to explore karst islets in more protected waters. When we visited the King's Karst of Raja Ampat we were amazed by the beauty of its landscape and the wealth of its avifauna. From our trips to the larst, we saw Lesser Frigatebird, Brahminy Kite, Rainbow Bee-eater, Lesser-crested Tern, Great-billed Parrot (Tanygnathus megalorynchos), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Eclectus Parrot  (Eclectus Roratus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra), Striated Heron (Butorides striata), Spice Imperial Pigeon (Ducula myristicivora),  Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus), Hook-billed Kingfisher (Melidora macrorrhina).
Palm Cockatoo
As a matter of fact I have got quite a long list of birds that we saw in the forest and karst islets of Raja Ampat. I only mention the ones in this post that I remember.
Besides hiking and birding, we also enjoyed snorkeling at the reef in front of the homestay. I used my little action camera Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Edition to capture the marine life of this beautiful archipelago. When I was doing freediving at depths of 2 to 7 meters, I saw several species of fish such as Black-tipped Shark, Convict Surgeonfish, Striped Surgeonfish, Moorish Idol, Parrotfish, and Anemonefish.
We continued our trip to Tambrauw to lower montane forest of the region. We watched several species of birds such as Nankeen Kestrel, Grey-headed Goshawk, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Blyth's hornbill, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, as well as Lesser Birds of Paradise and King Bird of Paradise. I thought that the steep slopes of the mountains were difficult to be explored. In the contrary, it was very easy. The are roads in the mountains which birdwatchers could use to enjoy hiking, birding and wildlife watching.
Snorkeling in Raja Ampat
Because the mountains, the forest and the coastal area were beautiful, we decided to extend our stay in the regency for more than one week.
We really enjoyed the adventure trip both in Raja Ampat and Tambrauw. We saw birds, butterflies, mammals, and reptiles. We also explored the coastal area of Tambrauw and swam over its beautiful coral reef. We really like the trip and enjoyed a lot of fun.
If you are interested in traveling with me as your guide to West Papua to enjoy hiking, birding, snorkeling and island hopping tour, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com
Also read:
Birding in Lower Montane Forest of Tambrauw
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Birding in Klabolo Forest

Forest Bittern
This is the picture of Forest Bittern (Zonerodius heliosylus) that I took in Klabolo forest two days ago when I guided 3 Dutch birders. It was quite difficult to shoot the bird because he was sitting on the top of a tree. There were a lot of leaves and branches between I and the bird. After patiently looking for a small window among the green leaves, finally, I found one. I immediately turned on my camera and aimed it at the bird. I made some photos of the bird. I was happy because it was the first time I saw the Forest Bittern.
Western-crowned Pigeon
Another interesting bird that I saw was the Western-crowned Pigeon. When I and the Dutch birders were walking in the forest, suddenly we heard a heavy wing beat of a big bird. I recognized that it was the bird that had become our target. We looked for the bird among higher branches of the trees and were able to spot it in less than 2 minutes. Behind the bird was a bright sunlight. Taking picture of the bird in such back light condition was difficult. I tried several times but the result was not very good. At least it was good enough for identification purposes.
During our 3 days of exploring the rainforest of Klabolo, we were also able to see King Bird of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Lesser Bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Northern Cassowary, Golden Myna, Yellow-faced Myna, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Large Fig Parrot, Red-bellied Pita, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Black-capped Lory, Black Lory.
In addition to birds, we saw wallaby, soa-soa monitor lizard, butterflies. The rainforest of Klabolo is a good site for nature lovers who want to see the wealth of biodiversity of West Papua.
Birding is a fascinating activity but one must make adequate preparations before going to West Papua. The lowland rainforest is the natural habitat of insects such as mosquito. There are also the tiny ones that are locally called agas and kutu maleo. When they bite our skin, we may not know about it. We will suddenly feel itchy on our skin and begin to scratch it. The insect bites will leave a lot of very itchy red dots on our skin. To prevent it, we need to wear long pants, spray anti insect lotion all over our body. We also must protect our legs, and arms from leeches that try to suck our blood. If we prepare well, we will enjoy birding easily in this harsh environment.
If you are interested in birding and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or send email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in birding in Klabolo forest of West Papua.

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