7/11/09 - TNC Honomalino

Saturday was a volunteer day at the Nature Conservancy's Honomalino preserve. The weather was pretty good for a volunteer day - a bit too sunny at first, but pleasantly misty in the afternoon. Elevation about 4200-4800 feet. Our task for the day was to clear the pasture grass and root mass out of scattered meter-square areas for native forest restoration test plantings. This was in the same area as last summer's extensive forest restoration plantings.

The plums planted along the roads by the former ranchers were fruiting abundantly, and we all collected a lot of plums.

The mix of open-canopy native trees and dense pasture grass (varied edge habitats), combined with various nearby habitats such as ranches, lava fields, native alpine scrub forest and mesic native canopy forest, results in a varied bird mix. Kalij pheasant and Erckel's francolin were heard all day. We didn't see any 'io, but they are frequently nearby. 'Amakihi were the most numerous forest bird, followed by 'apapane and Japanese white-eye. House finch, northern Cardinal, 'elepaio and i'iwi were scattered in small numbers. Near the bunkhouses there were also red-billed leiothrix, Japanese bush-warbler, and there are often saffron finch which I have trouble finding by ear.

Example 10-minute counts:

Pasture area 1: 6 'amakihi, 4 Japanese white-eye, 2 'apapane, 1 'elepaio, 1 northern cardinal, 1 house finch, 1 kalij pheasant

Bunkhouse: 18 'amakihi, 7 Japanese white-eye, 6 'apapane, 2 northern cardinal, 2 i'iwi, 1 house finch, 1 red-billed leiothrix, 1 Japanese bush warbler
 
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