Friday, July 29, 2011

Hawaii (part three)

Kapiolani Park turned out to be a great place to find birds...  One morning there was a lone Pacific Golden-Plover standing by the pond.

After my first visit to the park I continued on to Diamond Head.  The hike up wasn't too bad until the very top which consists of steep staircases and a dark tunnel.

The view was sweet.

I saw my first scorpion on one of the concrete walls at the top.  A petite Asian lady came over next to me to see what I was taking a picture of and consequently let out a scream that almost made me drop my camera.  It was funny.

On the way back down I saw some wild cats.

Also saw a couple Japanese White-eyes:

I watched one a few days later digging into a tree next to the Honolulu Zoo.

An extremely common bird on Oahu is the Cattle Egret.  I saw them all over the place including the farmer's market, flying over the ocean, on the Mokolua Islands, and standing on the back of a sheep at a farm near the north shore.

Also at the farmer's market I saw some amazing avocados.  I start drooling just thinking about the sandwich I got at Veggie Star made with a local avocado. 

Yummy.  On Sunday was my friends' wedding at a ranch near the north shore.  After the wedding, and after a visit to Matsumoto's for shave ice, we stopped at the beach to watch the sunset...

Dare I say epic?  My last full day in Hawaii most people were heading home, so I took off on my own.  I rented a car to drive to Kailua Bay so I could rent a kayak so I could paddle to the Manana and the Molokua Islands.  First I stopped for lunch at Down to Earth (mmm, vegan potato salad and a hummus & mock chicken wrap).  Behind the parking lot was a stream filled with Common Moorhens and Hawaiian Coots!

The stream was full of fishies too!

I made it down to the Kailua Beach park and met up with my kayak.  It was probably the most beautiful beach and water I have ever seen.

And it was just filled with sea turtles!  Unfortunately no photos because I only saw them while paddling, and my camera was safely stowed in a dry bag.  My first kayak stop was the Molokua Islands...

All the islands around are bird sanctuaries, and on the islands I visited were tons of nesting Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.  Often the nest holes were right next to the trail...

On Manana Island a shearwater let me get great looks as it flew around the island, eventually settling down.  I didn't realize till after that it had settled down to sit on an egg.

Only during its landing did I see where it got its name...

Also on Manana Island were lots of anole lizards!

Alright, I'm almost done.  The last interesting creatures I saw in Hawaii were mountain goats!  I had no idea there were mountain goats there, and I didn't get very good photos, but still.  Cool.

The only bird I saw and didn't get a photo of was a Great Frigatebird.  I watched one soaring by Diamond Head when I was in a car on the highway with my camera in the trunk.  Still awesome to see.  And that was it!  Now it's time for camping!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hawaii (part two)

My first morning in Waikiki I noticed the White Terns.  They were mostly flying in pairs over the ocean, often synchronized, and then flying overhead to trees behind me... They are one of my new favorite birds.

The next awesome bird up is the Red-crested Cardinal.  I first caught sight of some at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve where I went snorkeling for the first time.  Snorkeling was rad, but no photos because my camera was safely locked in a teeny locker.  Here is the cardinal:

At Kapiolani Park:

At a farmer's market near Diamond Head there were some with brownish crests, young ones?

At Hanauma Bay I got nice views of a Red-vented Bulbul, one of many I saw on this trip...

After I hiked Diamond Head I sat down to eat a granola bar.  The second I pulled it out of my bag, this bulbul plopped down next to me...

And a photo where you can actually see its red bum:

Oahu has tons of wild fowl, which I found surprising.  Not sure if they all fall under the "junglefowl" category or what... I did a quick google search and came upon some weird cockfighting forums that I'd just as quickly like to forget.  Vomit.  Anyway, here are some birds:

At Hanauma Bay hanging right near the fowl were Spotted Doves:

My first morning in Hawaii I walked that boardwalk in Waikiki where the guy was letting Zebra Doves land on his arm.  It was also where I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron.  The first of many on my trip.  He was very grey.

A wave splashed over him and he flew up to the boardwalk not far from me.

A few days later I walked over to the Hilton in Waikiki with some friends to check out their random bird displays, and found a night heron hanging out with the resident storks and flamingos.

Behind a vegetarian grocery store in Kailua:

At Kapiolani Park there were about a dozen Hawaiian Ducks, plus three ducklings.  I read somewhere that the Hawaiian Ducks on Oahu are not genetically pure, but read somewhere else that some of the ones at this park are pure.  

That's it for birds for now... I'll leave you with a photo of Hanauma Bay:

And a dragonfly at Kapiolani Park:

More to come soon!

Hawaii (part one)

I have no idea where to even start with my trip to Hawaii.  There were birds everywhere, all the time, even some bold House Finches that strutted right into my hotel room from the balcony.  There were lizards and fish and turtles, and even mountain goats.  It was insane and awesome. 

Alright, I suppose I will start with the first photo I took in Honolulu on a walk from the shuttle stop to the ATM.  My first new bird of the trip: Zebra Doves!

I saw these guys everywhere I went.. One morning I walked out on a boardwalk and found a guy letting them land on his arm.

They were even on Manana Island in Kailua Bay:

One of the cutest birds around was the Java Sparrow.  I saw lots of them, but only on random lawns around Waikiki.  My friend referred to them as mini-puffins.  I liked that.

I saw one that had something weird going on...

Kind of gnarly.  Another bird I saw around the lawns were Common Waxbills.  Also adorable.

Yet another super common bird was the Common Myna...

There were a lot of young ones around too...

One morning there was a myna by the beach with some string stuck around its foot.  He worked diligently pulling and tugging and eventually freed himself. 

One of the prettier birds I saw was the Yellow-fronted Canary.  I only saw them a few times on my trip, mostly near Kapiolani Park.

I will squeeze one last bird into this post, another bird that was everywhere I went, the Rock Dove.  They come in some pretty colors on Oahu.

Alright, tons more rad birds to come.  I'll leave you with an amazing rainbow for now...