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9/24/09 - Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve, Diagonal Northeast Trail

Posted Friday 25th September 2009 at 05:44 by bkrownd
Of course they day I decide to point people to my Waikamoi trip photos PBASE collapses for the first time. Hrm.

I was operating on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks due to everything connected with the bird survey on Maui. Today was my first full day off since returning, and since I was unable to get up early I decided to sleep in. I got a late start, arriving at the start of the forest road at noon. My mission was to go back to the location of some possible native orchids I saw about a month ago and see if I could figure them out.

It was very quiet when I arrived, and a bit hot from a sunny morning. The birds must have been napping. Even after the sprinkles started everybody except the 'elepaio were quiet. Point counts were very consistent today. Averages were roughly 3 quiet 'apapane, 2.5 'oma'o, 2 'elepaio, 2 Japanese white-eye. There was a single Japanese bush warbler 'chht'ing its irritation at me from the 'uluhe.

I got to within 20 meters of the target plants easily enough, but it took me over an hour of criss-crossing a 15m-by-15m area to finally locate them again! I had expected to find the spot by memory, but I was never approaching it from the right angle for it to look like I remembered. Finally something matched my memory and there they were, as obvious as could be. My GPS had pretty poor reception, which kept making my location dance around the screen. When I finally took another waypoint on my GPS it was within 1 meter of the previous waypoint. Navigating through the understory and deadfall gets you turned around so quickly that searching is often more of a random walk than a sensible pattern.

I found a few other moderately interesting plants and trees while I was out there, but the only relatively rare one was a very large cyrtandra giffardii tree with a 5 inch diameter trunk. I had little time to explore new area.
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