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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Hawaiian Vacation on the Big Island--Part III

One of many locations of Black Noddy nesting sites
          After finishing up touring around Hilo, Mauna Kea Volcano, and the Saddle Rd areas we decided to head south towards Volcanoes National Park and the southern tip of the island. Once again as we were leaving our jungle cabin we came across more Mongoose.
Mongoose - as common as squirrels in Delco

   Our first stop of the day was at the "Star of the Sea" church, also known as the painted church.
King Kamehemehe pointing out the sites
Painted Church

An exotic looking Catholic Church

Scanning for Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and Bulwer's Petrel-- no luck

Close-up of above photo--Black Noddies on the cliffside

Black Noddies - Life Bird
Location of the recent Volcano flows

A quarter mile to the ocean of all new land mass since 1990-already rejuvenation has started

Steam Vent

Breakfast stop - Not quite the Hard Rock Cafe

           After breakfast, we arrived at Volcanoes Nat'l Park. We visited here way back in 1974 and of course, nothing looked familiar. 

Volcano Caldera

Sharon sizing up the crater
         Even with all the lava rock around plants keep on growing.

           Driving along Crater Rim Drive we stopped to view many other craters and lava flows. The National Park starts at 3500' elevation but as you drive along Crater Rim Dr the elevation eventually brings you back to sea level. As we reached the ocean we walked to the overlook and saw the "Sea Arch".

View of distant ocean from 2500' above sea level.

The Sea Arch

View looking in opposite direction. Looks good for Black Noddies

Oh, Look! There they are.

This Hawaiian subspecies live in colonies and breeds on cliffs.

Hard to see but look at the orange feet. Another trait of this subspecies.

           After finishing up at the National Park we cruised further south along the eastern coast. The rest of the journey south was mostly sightseeing, not birding. We stopped at the most southern bakery in the United States. 

Malasadas - Portuguese type of donut. Delicious!

            We noticed these signs at many locations along the coast.

They grow big Poinsettias in Hawaii

Mark Twain's Monkey Pod Tree

          Rounding the southern tip of Hawaii we directed ourselves north, up the west coast. We stopped at one more spot to look for birds, the Manuka Natural Area Reserve. Here, we were able to find another pair of Apapane.

Unknown tree blossom

Japanese White-eye

Japanese White-eye is probably the most numerous bird on the island.
          After departing the park we did an about-face and started heading back to our AirBnB. Tomorrow we will pick up Chris and his family at the Hilo airport and embark on new adventures.

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