Trip Report: Oahu, Midway, Maui, Kauai, March 19 - April 2, 1999

John Haas;

I went on a birding trip of a lifetime from 3/19 to 4/2/99. the areas covered were Oahu, Midway, Maui, and Kauai! All Birds listed in CAPITALS will be life birds. I will mention each species only once, however some were seen on many occasions and several islands. I arrived in Oahu at 1:30 pm on the 19th. I hiked the Kuliouou trail that afternoon. The birds seen were Common Myna, House Finch, Zebra Finch, Spotted Dove, Red-billed Leiothrix, and White-rumped Shama. Throughout Honolulu along the way I saw, Rock Dove, Java Sparrow, Pacific Golden Plover, Red-crested Cardinal, and Common Waxbill. In Kapiolani Park I saw House Sparrow, Red-vented Bulbul, Great Frigatebird, Fairy Tern, and Yellow-fronted Canary. On 3/20 I did a circute tour of birding spots around the Island. At Kaneohe I saw ORANGE-CHEEKED WAXBILLS, Cattle Egret, Spice Finch, Northern Cardinal. As I moved north along the coast I saw BROWN NODDY, Hawaiian Coot, Black-necked Stilt and HAWAIIAN MOORHEN, Koloa, Mallard.

That evening I flew to Midway Atoll via Midway Phoenix corp. I spent four days on the atoll and enjoyed wonderful relaxing atmosphere with millions of birds. LAYSAN ALBATROSS were everywhere to be seen, and BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS were very common. BONIN PETRELS greeted us at our quarters as we had flown in after dark and they were very active at that time. After an interesting orientation to the island I got my bike and began birding. I saw COMMON CANARY immediatly. My next exiting bird was the BRISTLED-THIGHED CURLEW. There were about fifty of them on the Island. Other birds seen that day were Black Noddy, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Sooty Tern, Ruddy Turnstone and Wandering Tattlers. On Tuesday the 23rd we took a boat to Eastern Island. Enroute I saw my first GRAY-BACKED TERN. On the island we saw many Great Frigatebirds, Red-footed Boobies and one juvenile MASKED BOOBY. Upon returning to Sand Island I saw my first Peregrine Falcon in the Hawaiian iIslands.

On 3/25 I flew to Maui, where I hooked up with my friend from Japan, Shoji Sasano. On Maui at the Kanaha NWR we saw Northern Shoveler. On the way up to Haleakala NP we saw Eurasian Skylarks and Ring-necked Pheasants. At Hosmer Grove we saw Common Amakihi, Iiwi, Alauahio and Apapane. Birds seen at Kelia Pond were Northern Pintails, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Sanderling, and one Pueo. At Kanaha that day I spotted a Great Blue Heron*. On Sunday 3/28, I had the privilege of hiking in Haleakala National Park with H. Douglas Pratt. It was supposed to have been a hike into Waikamoi Preserve, but that was cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. I mentioned to Doug that I had seen the Great Blue Heron, and he said that that is an extremely rare occurence in the Hawaiian islands. It was a great day and a pleasure to finally meet Doug in person. He is the author of Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific as well as numerous other texts. Another interesting bird was a Brant which was wintering across the street from my hotel. Along Hansen Rd I saw Chestnut Mannikins and Spice Finches. This being my third trip to Maui, I added no life birds there.

On 3/29 I flew to Kauai, Shoji having returned to Japan. My first bird of note was the Western Meadowlark. At Kilauea Pt NWR I saw WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER, Nene, White-tailed Tropicbird and BROWN BOOBY. I then moved on to Kokee State Park. On 3/30 I hiked on my own down Mohihi Rd to Kawaikoi Stream and then up the Pihea Ridge trail. I saw KAUAI AMAKIHI, ANIANIAU, Red Junglefowl, KAUAI ELEPAIO and Erckel's Francolin. The following day I hiked into the Alakaii swamp with David Kuhn of Terran tours. He was excellent at identifying the bird calls and I added AKEKEE, AKIKIKI, PUAIOHI and Hwamei (Melodious Laughing-thrush). David's E-mail address is, and I highly recommend him as a guide. After leaving the Kokee area I saw the ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET at Hanapepe overlook. I added nineteen species to my life list and saw seventy three species on the trip. I highly recommend the book Enjoying Birds in Hawaii by H. Douglas Pratt. It gives most of the best birding sites in Hawaii.

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; May 3, 1999