|White sandy beach in Gam island|
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Birdwatching and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat and Sorong
I have just completed a birdwatching and snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat and Sorong. I guided four tourists from Australia, Germany and France. They were Gunther, Ulser, Kathrin, and Alex. In Raja Ampat, our main targets were Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise. We were able to watch them very well on the second and third days. To watch Wilson's Bird of Paradise, we had to wake up early in the morning at 04.00 for making some preparation and drinking some tea or coffee. When it was still dark, we left our guesthouse by boat to a beach that was located around 1 kilometer. When we landed, we still had to walk up steep slopes for around one hour to the birding site. Late February and early March were mating season for the bird of paradise. We were able to watch the birds for more than 1 hour. It was a nice experience for everyone who participated in the birding tour.
The Red Birds of Paradise whose lek was on top of the mountain behind the guesthouse presented us with their beautiful courtship dance performance. We were able to watch them well using binoculars.
We also had a tour to several islands in Kabui bay by a motorized boat where we watched Olive-backed Sunbird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Singing Starling, Eastern Osprey, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Blyth's Hornbill, Willie Wagtail, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Stephan's Emerald Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, and a lot more. Because I brought spotting scope, we could watch birds in distant trees using a more stable optical device. Participants of the tour were able to watch birds better.
In Waigeo island, we stayed in a guesthouse that was built above the water. From its verandah, we could see coral reef, and fish. Dolphins frequently passed by the guesthouse. I did some snorkeling in the morning after watching Red Bird of Paradise. I used Nikon W300 to take pictures of the reef fish, and corals. The water is so clear, I could see the marine life easily.
In Sorong, I guided birdwatchers to a mountain ridge area where visitors could watch Yellow-faced Myna, Black-browed Triller, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Black Sunbird, Helmetted Friarbird, and a lot more. Because the forest is close to Sorong city, visitors can stay in a hotel and do day trips to watch birds.
Visitors who want to take snorkeling and birdwatching tour with me to Raja Ampat and Sorong need to bring binoculars, snorkeling mask, waterproof camera (for taking pictures of fish and coral reef) and super zoom camera for shooting birds in tall trees. The duration of the tour is 3 days in Raja Ampat.
Please, contact tourist guide: Charles Roring