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9/25/08 - Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve

Posted Friday 26th September 2008 at 18:53 by bkrownd
Updated Friday 26th September 2008 at 19:53 by bkrownd
A stormy looking morning turned into a really quiet dry day. I went down the diagonal northeast road off of Stainback to look for rare plants. I checked my favorite cyanea colony. There were some fresh pig tracks and a pig in the area, but none of the plants appeared to be damaged. I added a bunch of dead tree fern fronds to the barriers around the mud pit.

After that I headed through the forest back towards Stainback, hoping to be able to cross the whole forest for the first time. I quickly found a hunter trail, but after going in the right direction for 2/3 of the way it suddenly took a turn and seemed to disappear. It was getting late, so I had to turn back for the day.

Along the way I found a couple of new maua trees. They are dropping their old dark green leaves and growing new bright yellow leaves, giving them a two-color appearance right now. The highlight of the day was finding a new small colony of cyanea tritomantha, right in the middle of the hunter trail. This is the third cyanea patch I've found in this area. I ran into another very large pig(s) not too long after.

Bird counts were modest. There were small numbers of 'apapane throughout the day, averaging about 3 per count. Numerous 'elepaio and 'oma'o, about 2 per count, and many of the 'elepiao came up to visit me. Small but consistent numbers of white-eye, about 3-4 per count. I think there was a trio of nutmeg mannikin at one station.

Just before dark I visited a very small bulldozed trail in the nearby acacia plantation area. Since this is a plantation area (i.e. the native forest was bulldozed down first) I doubt it will be worth exploring much.
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