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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hawaiian Birdie Day

Normally for every 5 days I spend in Hawaii, I spend 2 days birding. This trip was unusual as I did almost zero birding on Maui, and here on Molokai, will only bird today. There is the Nature Conservancy's preserves: Kamakou in the mountains and Mo'omomi a beach preserve.  Kamakou requires reservation and it's often booked months in advance so as I didn't plan ahead I won't be birding there at all. So sadly, no endemic Molokai birds for me this trip, she added hopefully.  Exotic birds aside, dedicated this one Sunday for birding for non-native Hawaiian birds. I drove out to the western reaches of the island where yesterday I got lost.

On the way there, I just HAD to stop to visit this cool kite factory.

Not just a shop, but a factory
Oooo the kites seemed to be as birdy as I am.

Red Bird of Paradise Kite?
 A back room in the factory had lots of colorful kites hung in the windows.
Of course I'm quite fond of butterflies too.

Now this wasn't a kite, but it certainly was a bird. I think it was a Rocking Toucan. Cool!
Imagine how lucky the kid who gets to play with this banana-billed toy!
The Kite Factory is a big-ish building, connected to a second shop that had interesting goods for sale.
I gave in to buying a small book of Poki & other Hawaiian recipes, and... a tee shirt. I can't resist the danged tee shirts. The shirt sums up life on Molokai. What driving around I've done has already shown me this shirt keeps it 100.
Yeah, this one came home with me. 
Thankfully there is no room in my luggage for this beautifully carved wooden Honu
The shirt and the mini-cookbook didn't do much damage to the purse. After my tiny bit of support for the local economies I was off to the west for some birding. I had my big camera with me. I stopped briefly at Papohaku Beach park, because I spotted some small shore birds on the lawns. There was a big flock of Ruddy Turnstones - common enough on the California coast, but cool to see here anyway. The little buggers would not lift their heads up for me, so my pics are rather sad.
Ruddy Turnstones
 There were also a couple of Pacific Golden Plovers too, but... let's not even go there! Now, about a quarter mile farther along was a puddle in the middle of the road. I parked and waited for thirsty birdies to come - and they did.

Nutmeg Manikins known by their creepy 'new' name, Scaly-breasted Munia
which could be the birdie or a skin condition - your call!
After a while I drove on to the higher ground, out where I was good and lost yesterday. AHEM. I know my way around there now. There were Pacific Golden Plovers here and there on the roads.

Pacific Golden Plovers
Taking the loop I drove yesterday, when I was lost. I found another roadway puddle and was happy to watch a Small Indian Mongoose dart across the road there a couple of times. The little thing was too fast for me to get any photos of it at all. The puddle was quite the draw for the local birds. The first birds that showed sent me scrambling for an ID on my phone Hawaiian Birdie app.

Who gargles here? An African Silverbill
Soon to arrive, l to r, Zebra Dove, Red-crested cardinals and 2 more African Silverbills
And a Munia that thinks itself a Penquin
There was some romancing going on - a little Miss on the left
Mr. "I got the stuff" to the right
"Hey, little wahine, I can HULA!"
"Great, you Hula, while I get the hell out of here!"

It took a while for me to give up birding at the little puddle move on. One thing I saw yesterday and today were Falcolins, a type of partridge, of which there are three species on Molokai.  None of the partridges hung around long enough for photos. There were lots of Wild Turkeys though, they were plentyful and slow, but I wasn't as interested in photographing them, as I've plenty at home. The photo below was a half-arsed effort of a photo, I took it with my iPhone.
One of many large turkey flocks on Molokai
Those were all the birdies I managed to photograph. I headed back east towards 'my' apartment and along the way spent time staring off into the ocean.

Looking east, with the pale Mokuooniki Rock in the distance
Won't forget the beauty of the waters off Molokai any time soon
Thought I'd go out for a good dinner tonight but instead bought groceries and ate in... I admit to being a little nervous, in anticipation of tomorrow's adventure.

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