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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Birdwatching

Total Number of Entries - 80
  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 12

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    We may not get weekends off, but we albatross counters do get Christmas Day off. The serious birders, however, participated in the Audubon Society’s 109th annual Christmas Bird Count today.  I opted to go snorkeling.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 11

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    In Carl Safina’s book “Eye of the Albatross,” one of the researchers stationed on another remote island in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, Laysan, told Safina, “The island becomes your world. You almost don’t want to know what’s going on outside.” After 11 days, I feel the same way. Caroline Kennedy is running for senator? Hmm. A reporter threw a shoe at President Bush? Really? The University of Hawaii football team was trounced by Notre Dame. Too bad. It’s snowing in Chicago? So.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 10

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Finally, sun.  Why is everyone so much more cheerful when the sun is shining?  That includes the birds.  They no longer tuck their heads under their wings like they did when it was so windy and rainy.  Like us, they are soaking up the rays.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 9

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    It’s time to talk about the trash. More specifically, the plastic. Just about every albatross nest site here on Midway has bits of plastic in it. Albatross use whatever is within reaching distance of their nest to build the home for their egg. In the ironwood forests, I see nests built up with tiny pine cones. In the fields with verbesina, I see nests built up with sticks of the invasive weed. Near the beach, it’s sand. On the side of the runway, it’s tiny bits of gravel. Almost all albatrosses use some amount of plastic to build their nests.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 8

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

     

    As I stepped out of the shower, I heard a rap at the door and quickly slipped into some clothes. When I opened the door, the threshold stood empty. There was no one there. As I stared at empty space, I heard the sound again. Knock. Knock. Knock.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day7

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    One week down; one week to go. Today, we biked to the Empire Café and received good news.  (Of course, the fact that it wasn’t raining at the time and the winds had backed off to 20 knots was already good news.)

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 6

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Still rainy.  Still windy.  Still a whole lotta birds to count.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 5

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Today, I debated another member of our team on what day of the week it was.  I said Wednesday; she said Thursday.  Turns out she was right.  I just love it when I lose track of time. Today’s weather:  Abyssmal.  High 50s.  40 mph wind gusts.  Pelting rain.  And, still, we counted.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 4

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Today, we were supposed to head over to Eastern Island, but blasting wind and stinging rain required us to abort our plans.  Instead, we stayed put on Sand Island, our base.  When we signed up for this gig, we were warned that we would work every day, no matter the weather.

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 3

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    For some reason, I have taken to the black-footed albatross.  So much so that my crewmate Lindsey knows to let me mark the nest sites that fall on the line between us.

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