Thursday 16 November 2023

Oahu - Day 4

What to do today, our final day on the island with a late evening departure to Los Angeles? Another tour of the island is what - when you have a Mustang convertible it would be rude not to, and you can't beat the wind rushing through your hair, or at least that's what Mick said. We had another look for ducks at Kahuku fish ponds (failed again), another look at the Bristle-thighed Curlew at the golf course (this time there were two birds), and then drove the Lyon Arboretum, lured by the possibility of Cockatoos that live wild there - White and Salmon-crested. We saw a few of these in trees distantly but were later told by the eBird reviewer that all the birds now present were hybrids between the two. Oh well. Standard Hawaii I suppose.

After an epic but slightly tricky snorkelling session at Electric Beach (advanced swimmers only, and you must have powerful fins!), where a power station warm water outflow attracts vast numbers of tropical fish and turtles it was time to think about leaving. We tried another seawatch down near the Japanese Fishing Shrine, but it was a shadow of what it had been previously as a result of different winds, so instead we went to a local park to concentrate on photography and to see if we could find any new birds for the list.

Yellow-fronted Canary

Ke'ehi Lagoon on the edge of Honolulu has Yellow-fronted Canary so that's where we went, and we managed to find a small group with ease near the bandstand. The list from this site is notable in that every single passerine species we saw was an introduction, with only the Turnstone and PGP lending any credibility to proceedings. Dear oh dear, but this is what it is. There was an article just this week declaring that yet another eight Hawaiian endemics have been declared extinct. It is fair to say that Hawaii is the extinction capital of the modern era. For many reasons, but part of me cannot help but think that the transposition of the American lifestyle onto Pacific islands has played a large part. I was looking at my list of native birds the other day and noted that despite four visits my list of Hawaiian native passerines stands at just 10, with 14 native birds in total - the others being a Duck, a Goose, a Coot, and a Hawk. Of the other 63 species the vast majority have been introduced by humans. Go while you still can! I'll leave you with a final selection of "Zoo"!

Red-billed Leiothrix

White-rumped Shama

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Panther (impact on Albatross colonies currently poorly understood).

No comments:

Post a Comment