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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hiking Snorkeling and Freediving in Manokwari

I have just completed a 3 day-tour for British, New Zealander, Italian, and Indonesian tourists in the forest and coral reef of Manokwari. We did hiking trip in the hill forest to see such animals as millipede, spiders, butterflies, and birds. We also explored a natural cave to see its bats, frogs, and snake. The sounds of Black-capped Lory, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Yellow-faced Myna, and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo could be heard while we were walking under the canopy of the tropical trees.
Visiting a natural cave in Manokwari of West Papua
Italian tourist was taking a tour to natural cave in Manokwari
The next day, we had another trip to coral reef area of Mansinam island. The sea was quite calm and the visibility was good enough for me to take pictures of the marine life especially the colorful fish. The two British girls, Jess and Leila, whom I guided were very good swimmers. I asked Leila to do a freedive so that I could take a picture of her underwater. She said,"yes." So, I dived first to a depth of a round 5 meters below the surface to wait for her. When  she dived, I took some pictures of her in the blue water. One of them is presented below. It is a nice photo.
Recreational Freediving in Manokwari waters
I brought my camera Fujifilm XQ2 that I had inserted into its waterproof case. The morning sunlight allow me to take pictures of Black-backed Butterflyfish with greater details.
Black-backed Butterflyfish (Chaetodon melannotus)
Black-backed Butterflyfish (Chaetodon melannotus)
However, for fast loading of this article on the internet, I have to resize the photograph and only present its smaller version on this blog.
On the third day, I guided an Italian and Indonesian couple on a trip to the same forest, and then to two small lakes in the southern suburb of Manokwari city to enjoy its beautiful view.
Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) in coral reef of Manokwari of West Papua province of Indonesia.
Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus)
In the afternoon, at approximately 15.00, we continued our trip to the north coast of Manokwari to enjoy snorkeling and freediving again. The waves were quite big in late December but we could still enjoy the view of the coral reef, particularly the fish the live in the rocks that were close to the shore. I was able to take pictures of the Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus), Three-spots Dascyllus, Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel (Chrysiptera cyanea) and Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus).
If you are interested in taking a hiking tour in the forest as well as snorkeling trip in Manokwari city and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Watching Red and Black Anemonefish

I like swimming, snorkeling and freediving very much. I frequently organize snorkeling trips in Manokwari for tourists who want to see coral reef and tropical fish. There are a lot of species of fish that we can see such as surgeonfish, damselfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, grouper, moorish idol, and etc.
Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus)
Red and Black Anemonefish
To do snorkeling, I need to make some preparations. I will wash my mask, snorkel and fins to check if they are in good condition or not. I also recharge the battery of my underwater camera the Fujifilm XQ2 and clean its waterproof housing. In the past, I used Nikon AW120 and an action camera Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Edition. To prevent fogging on the glass lens of the camera and the housing, I insert several minipacs of silica gel. I also bring shampoo and a jar of fresh water to wash my mask before snorkeling. A thin film of shampoo of my mask will prevent fogging when I do snorkeling and freediving. Snorkeling sites are located in the islands and outside of Manokwari city. The coral reef is around 30 to 100 meters from the beach. To see the Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) we need to swim to its habitat. The nearest site for seeing the fish is only a 2-minute swimming from the beach. It is located around 1.5 meters below the surface.
Red and Black Anemonefish, Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel and Three-spots Dascyllus
Red-Black Anemonefish in
the waters of Manokwari
Huge colony of the Red and Black Anemonefish can be seen at depths of around 2 to 3 meters below the surface.
We need to do a short freedive to take pictures of them. Taking pictures from the surface is also possible if our camera has got zoom. We need to maintain stable position in the water to get sharper pictures.
For tourists who like snorkeling, we can do it for 1, 2 or even 3 days in several locations around Manokwari. The best time to enjoy snorkeling is in the mornings and in the afternoons.
Mansinam island
How to go to Manokwari
You need to fly to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. After that, you need to fly to Manokwari. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya Air, NAM Air, Batik Air have got regular flights between Jakarta and Manokwari.
If you are interested in snorkeling in Manokwari and other parts of West Papua such as Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling mask if they want to see marine life in the suburban coastal area of Manokwari.
Also read:

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Parrots in Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

Waigeo island of Raja Ampat is a great place to watch parrots. I have organized numerous trips to the island for birdwatchers or nature lovers who want to see parrots and other birds. We usually explore the forest on foot in the mornings and in the afternoons. There are several places that I visit with tourists to enjoy birdwatching. Some of them include Warduwer beach, Yengkawe forest, Fish Lagoon and Sopen forests. All of them are located in Waigeo. In the forest south of Waigeo, I saw Red-cheeked Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, as well as Violet-necked Lory, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and Palm Cockatoo. There was a wooden platform on the hill where tourists can sit in the mornings to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kabui bay as well as watching parrots, starlings, kingfishers and paradise birds. In the forest near the runway of the airport of Waisai, I saw Great-billed Parrot, and Coconut Lorikeet. They were very beautiful.
Palm Cockatoo
The best site to watch Palm Cockatoo is Warduwer beach. This black feather bird likes to eat fruits in catappa tree. One afternoon, after enjoying snorkeling at the beach, I saw the Black-Palm Cockatoo landed on a small tree in front of me. I took out my camera to shoot him. Unfortunately, he flew away to a higher tree still in the nearby area. I walked slowly closer to the tree. It was a catappa tree. There were several Palm Cockatoos in the tree. Local people called them Kakaktua Raja meaning literally King Cockatoo.
Eclectus Parrot are sexually dimorphic. The male has got green and red feather whereas the female one has got red, and blue feather with black beak. The eclectus parrot can be seen in most part of Raja Ampat. Female likes to wait in the nest of high ironwood tree. To watch parrots, birdwatchers need a good pair of binoculars such as the 10×42 mm Swarovski, Nikon or Leica binoculars. A camera with tele-photo lens is also good.
Eclectus Parrot
In addition to parrots, visitors can watch a lot of tropical birds in Raja Ampat including Pied Imperial Pigeon, Puff-back Meliphaga, Hooded Butcherbird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon. Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Beach Kingfisher, Hooked Bill Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, and a lot more.

Field Guide

I use Birds of New Guinea as my reference in identifying birds. The Second Edition field guide book was written by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce Beehler and some other ornithologists.

Birding in the Karst islets of Raja Ampat

Karst islets in Raja Ampat
There are several karst formations in Raja Ampat which tourists can visit to enjoy birding and wildlife watching. Some of them were Fish Lagoon, Piaynemo, Wayag and Kabui. Because of their remote locations, bird life in these karsts is relatively rich. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and Great-billed Parrot are the ones that I often see. Other birds that I saw in my previous trips were Spice Imperial Pigeon, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Hooded Butcherbird, White-breasted Woodswallow, Rainbow Bee-eater, and Striated Heron. Sea birds such as Pacific Swallow, Eastern Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle, starlings, lesser crested tern, Torresian Crow, and Lesser Frigatebird,  can also be seen in the karst
Snorkeling
In addition to organizing birding trip, I also run snorkeling trips to Raja Ampat. Tourists who want to join the tours need to bring their own masks, snorkels and fins as well as underwater (action) camera such as Go Pro, Nikon W300. We will enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef of Waigeo, Gam, Mansuar, Kri, Friwen Wall, Arborek to see such fish as Grouper, Jackfish, Surgeonfish, Anemonefish, Parrotfish, and, etc.

Booking

If you are interested in taking a birdwatching, snorkeling and sightseeing tour in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip in the archipelago, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Also read:
Coastal Birds of Raja Ampat
Snorkeling and Birding in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour in Raja Ampat