Friday, July 27, 2018

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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