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3/15/09 - Powerline Road (big image warning)

Posted Monday 16th March 2009 at 19:46 by bkrownd
Sunday's weather was much the same as Saturday, but not as wet. Upper and lower level winds battled over the Saddle, sucking air up from the East, building weird cloudscapes over the Saddle, and then tearing them apart above. However, the clouds were not as tall, dark and ominous as Saturday's, so I was able to do a more ambitous outing. The overcast closed in about 2PM as the wind died, but it never rained. I returned to the car after dark at 7:30PM, with flashes of lightning beyond the coast lighting up the tops of the clouds on the Eastern horizon. There was one large group of people marching down the road. Not sure where they were headed, and never saw them again later.

Birdy observations were similar to Saturday. 'Amakihi in higher numbers relative to 'apapane than usual. A general lack of white-eyes and more (still few) house finches than normal.

I went to the Big Kipuka upslope from Powerline Road. I heard all four of the endangered birds, as usual. There is a curious concentration of all the endangered birds to within a fairly small area in the lower middle section of this kipuka that I haven't figured out yet. However, one of the 'akiapola'au was heard at the very bottom end (small bit) of the kipuka where the endangereds usually aren't found. It sounded like about 3 'akepa, 1-2 Hawai'i creeper, 1-2 'io and 1-2 'akiapola'au. I'd be interested to know how many of them call the kipuka home. What I know right now is that I often encounter up to three of each of the endangered honeycreepers here at a time.

Cyanea shipmanii flowers are starting to open. I also found a new fern to ID..

The magical cyanea shipmanii:

1855 lava field scenery:

Kipuka ahoy!

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