Birding in Raja Ampat Karst
There are a lot of karst formations in Raja Ampat. They attract thousands of tourists every year. There is a Karst formation in the region that is suitable for birding activities. Its name is Kabui Karst.
Last week I organized a tour to Kabui Karst for 3 foreign visitors who were from the United States. We went there by a motorized outrigger boat to see the beauty of its marine landscape and the wealth of its birdlife. As we entered the waters of the Karst, I asked the boat driver to lower the speed of the boat. A Striated Heron (Butorides striata) that was standing on a rock looked at us. As we moved deeper into the small islet formation, we saw some Rainbow Bee-eater, Rainbow Lorikeet, Torresian Crow, Pacific Swallow, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Beach Kingfisher, and Lesser Frigatebird, Willie Wagtail. We also saw a Spice Imperial Pigeon (Ducula myristicivora) flying over our boat and landed on a tree.
Taking pictures of birds from a moving boat is difficult. There were waves that were created by boat movements. There was canopy of the boat that provided shelter but blocker our views to the walls of the rock islets. Fortunately, inside the karst, the sea was very calm. As we moved slowly among the islets, we could watch birds easily. This trip to Kabui karst was offered to anyone who liked adventure.
Point and shoot cameras such as Nikon Coolpix P1000, P900, Canon SX70 HS were suitable for taking pictures from a small outrigger boat. They were light and could reach birds that were sitting on rocks or on the branches of trees.
The karst islets were a very rich habitat for avifauna. They were located in remote area and far from the influence of human activities. I highly recommend this site for birders who want to see water, lowland, and hill forest birds of New Guinea. We also did several hiking trips in Waigeo island to watch Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Great-billed Parrot and etc. If you are interested in birding and snorkeling in Raja Ampat and wants me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.