We flew to Kauai on September 30. This was our first time on Kauai. We arrived late and stayed at a nice resort north of the Lihue airport. The next morning (October 1) we were awakened by the persistent crowing of the Red Jungle Fowl (chickens)
that were introduced onto the island many years ago and now occupy almost every acre of the island. We birded on our own from Lihue up the east and north coasts. At the Kilauea Lighthouse, we found our first interesting birds: lots of Nene Geese,
and Great Frigate Birds.
The best finds of the day were the Wedge-tailed Shearwater chicks, looking very vulnerable and exposed.
We went on to the end of the road at the northwest corner of the island, looking for a way to get near the taro ponds, where we had been told we might see Koloas, or Hawaiian Ducks, which would be new for me.
We failed to find an access point on the way out, but on the way back we took a little turn-off toward the taro ponds, and just a few yards in, spotted two pairs of Koloas.
Coots and Common Gallinules were plentiful on the ponds and rivers along the way.
We then drove back through Lihue (and heavy rain) to Waimea where we stayed over night at a rustic motel. The next morning (October 2) we met our bird guide, Jim Denny, at the end of the Grand Canyon of the Pacific where he helped us find a couple of new birds for me, an Elepaio (a native Hawaiian bird, one of the few that has not become extinct), and an Erckel’s Francolin, an introduced game bird species.
The only other native forest birds seen were Apapanes, which were fairly numerous.
We flew to Maui on October 3 and enjoyed the rehearsal dinner for my great niece’s wedding. On the 4th we drove up to the Coffee Plantation near Kanapali, where we saw a number of interesting birds, including Chestnut Manakins,
Pacific Golden Plovers,
and Gray Francolins. Later we spotted several beautiful Black Francolins.