The Kealia Pond area was a pleasant surprise that Sandy & I stumbled upon when were were here in November. It was a beautiful day so it seemed perfect for exploring it a bit more. The walking is easy as the trail through the Refuge is an elevated boardwalk.
The 2200 foot boardwalk is lined with self-guided interpretive exhibits. Even with those a good book of Hawaiian birds will come in handy.
The boardwalk runs between the shoreline and the marsh, at times passing right over the shallow water where you can see loads of fish. Its easy to see why they have so many birds here. Food is clearly very abundant.
Today the endangered Hawaiian Stilts were on the far side of the road and out “in force”. I also saw a large heron as I drove in. It looked a lot like our Great Blue Heron but I don’t know if they come to Hawaii.
Once on the boardwalk I met a park ranger and we talked a little bit. He especially commented on how windy it was and almost on cue a para sail went up towing a wind surfer behind.
As I moved along the boardwalk I could see that the birds were really out in force.
The ‘Auku’u, were everywhere. The common name is Black Crowned Night Heron. Sandy and I saw one in November but today I saw 3 as soon as I started down the trail. At every turn another one showed up.
The ‘Alae ke‘oke‘o, or Hawaiian Coot, were also well represented. They are a little bird so getting a photo with the lens I had with me would have been futile. They pretty much stayed out of camera range.
I did spot a bird that no one seemed to recognize. It reminded me of the bittern’s we get in Massachusetts marshes but I’ll have to do some more research to find out what it was.
It was standing in the vegetation near the washout from the storm yesterday.
Although there was still lots of boardwalk left, I was starting to get warm and thirsty. I didn’t have a hat and nothing is worse than trying to brush your hair when you have a sunburn on your scalp. Time for a trip to Island Creme for a frozen treat.