Saturday, March 24, 2007

Birding in Kailua

After joining the "I ran the rock" club on the leeward side of the island, I had an opportunity to go walking with Teri along a huge marsh adajacent to Kailua. There's a trail along the wetlands that turned out to offer some good views of birds and the wetland area.

This is the view looking toward the southwest, I think. I'm totally turned around and disoriented in terms of directions on the island. I don't know the landmarks and it doesn't help to know where the ocean is, because it's always on one side and the mountain on the other.

At any rate, the marsh is lovely in the late afternoon, and there were a lot of birds here. Most of them are alien species, but that is typical of the entire archipelago.

This is the view looking toward the northwest, I think.

There were a lot of Pacific golden plover around the area. This photo was taken at Craig and Teri's house, but there were many, many of these birds hanging out at the marsh as well.

These Brazilian cardinals were there by the hundreds.

Muskovy ducks all along the canals next to the houses. People feed them from across their fences.

Ditto for the mallards and various mallard hybrids. There are so many different morphotypes of the hybrids that it's making my head spin.

Hybridization of mallards and the Hawaiian duck are causing some problems, too. The Hawaiian duck is endangered primarily through genetic swamping from hybridization with mallards. What a mess.

This is a variety of the Hawaiian coot that sure looks a lot like the American coot. I did see the pure white billed ones on Friday, though.

Red-vented bulbul were there by the thousands.

I also saw several black-crowned night herons in the marsh.

I never realized how awkward these birds are at flying. You can see that from the sequence of photos here.

Now, that's a bit more dignified.

This is the red-whiskered bulbul.

Another view of the same bird.

A poor picture of a common waxbill, but it was far away and it's a little, tiny bird.

This little bird is cute, even though it's an alien species. It's a Java sparrow.

There were a lot of them swarming all over the flowers of the rushes.

Another view of a red-vented bulbul.

A common moorhen - the Hawaiian race of the species.

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