Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 8 2011 - Day 10 in Paradise

Day 10 was a very nice long goodbye to the north shore.  We also called it "end of the road" day.  On Sunday we move to a hotel closer to the Lihue airport for a super early take-off Monday morning.

I had 3 photographic goals for Kauai (plus lots of wish list items) - red-footed boobies, java sparrows, and waterfalls.  So we started the day looking for the java sparrows.  This is more of an urban bird, like a house finch or a house sparrow, so we found a nice playground with open space around it and a lot of trees.  I had seen a bird briefly when passing by this place one day with the car that I believed to be a java sparrow.  We hit the veritable jackpot on seeing urban birds.  In addition to the java sparrow, who posed very nicely for me, we also saw nutmeg and chestnut mannikins.  All new birds for us, and very rewarding to find them.  The java sparrows that we found were kind of fat and not necessarily the finest specimens, but still fun to hit that goal.

Next stop was a great cup of coffee from Java Kai in Hanalei - the best coffee on the island - and I also picked up one of their t-shirts as a souvenir.

Then back to the taro fields to see any of the birds hanging out there at the Hanalei Preserve, but not a lot of luck - too much the middle of the day. A stilt, some cattle egrets, a few moorhens....we heard the hwamei but could not find him.  This bird has a really nice call (hence the alternate name of melodious laughing thrush). We drove to the end of the road here for the first time and made sure we looked everywhere.

Next was a picnic lunch next to Hanalei Bay.  Could imagine staying in Hanalei on another visit - it is a lovely place. Lunch included fresh papaya, fresh mango and banana fruit salad.  The fruit here has been outrageous.

Then we drove to Ha'ena Beach where we parked the car and walked to the end of the road that almost encircles the island.  We had saved the treat of Ke'e Beach and the Kalalou Trail for this day.  Great walk, great hike up (as far as we did go - and I let Tom walk further on the trail than I did - I was happy enough when I got to a great overlook point), and fabulous views...

Finally we walked back to the car, drove back through Hanalei, where there was a large group of folks dancing in native Hawaiian garb so we stopped there again to see some of the dancing
and had a very nice meal at the Postcards Cafe.

A bunch of photos from Day 10 here:

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