Day 308 – “…Come on and rock me Amakihi.”

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This trip to Hawaii with Wildside Nature Tours started in Oahu. After a 2 day whirlwind, I left the island with 7 new species: White Tern, Oahu Amakihi, Oahu Elepaio, Little Stint, Red-vented Bulbul, Rose-Ringed Parakeet and White-rumped Shama.

I am now in Kauai with tour leaders David Kuhn and Chris Brown. What a stunning island! David lives here and has a wealth of knowledge about the avifauna of Kauai.

Yesterday we went to Kilauea Point to seawatch. Aside from the breathtaking vistas, the skies were busy with Boobies, Great Frigatebirds and White-tailed Tropicbirds. A colony of Red-footed Boobies dotted the rocky cliffs.

As we walked to the point, Nenes were feeding right by our feet. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were nesting in the shrubs by the path. A cornucopia for birders and tourists alike. I wanted to stay here all day.

Our next stop was Hanalei NWR. The main target was Hawaiian Duck. This is the only Island in the group where there are still non-hybridized Ducks. We spent the rest of the day looking for Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush. The scenery was beautiful but the only one laughing was the Thrush–at us.

Today we were in the Alakai wilderness area on the Alakai swamp trail, looking for 3 of the island endemics. A 12 hour day birding in spectacular rainforest habitat finally yielded good looks at Kauai Elapaio, Kauai Amakihi and Anianiau. Try saying that 3 times!

I have now added a lucky 13 birds, including all 3 species of Amakihi, to bring my total to 799!!

Tonight will be full of anxiety.

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