I had a family holiday in Hawaii, on O'ahu and The Big Island, during January
and I made the most of every birding opportunity that fitted in with our plans.
My favourite birding experience was seeing Bristle-thighed Curlew in Northeast
O'ahu. The James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge was closed to the public,
for the 2013-14 season, so I walked through the Kahuka Golf Course to the back
boundary of the refuge. I encountered 31 Curlew most of which were on fences or
fence posts, and five were on headstones of an old Japanese cemetery. I was
soaked by a heavy shower and dried off before seeking shelter from a storm
under the edge of an old building, near the golf club. I had distant views of
Hawaiian Gallinule and Northern Pintail in the refuge, and a range of
introduced birds during my walk in and out. I had much better views of Northern
Pintail later at Hilo, on The Big Island.
Introduced birds are present everywhere and much easier to find than endemic
and resident birds, although I still found reasonable numbers of the latter.
The few seabirds I saw were chance encounters, on a couple of marine mammal
trips we did, which didnt go very far offshore. Pacific Golden Plover, which
take a bit of work to find in Tasmania, were on just about every patch of grass
in the places we visited. Seeing White Tern fly in through the buildings on
Waikiki Beach while watching my son surfing was special.
Here is the link to my photos from the trip.
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