|Brooks Rownd | profile | all galleries >> Hawai'i >> Stranded In East Hawai'i >> July 3, 2010 - Mauna Loa Strip Road||tree view | thumbnails | slideshow|
Saturday brought lots of rain to the windward side. After sleeping in I went up to the nearest dry (and hunter-free) area available to me - Mauna Loa Strip Road. When I arrived at Strip Road the weather was partly cloudy with intermittent blowing mist. It was really perfect weather for bird counting: not too hot or cold, not too wet or dry, and not too sunny or overcast. The birds were relatively active all afternoon. I started at the upper edge of Kipuka Puaulu and counted at fairly regular intervals up to the intersection with Powerline Road. The attached counts show how highly concentrated the 'apapane were at either flowering 'ohi'a or the tallest koa and manele. The last big 'apapane count was a big wave of birds heading upslope/North to roost. Other birds were pretty thinly spread. I was surprised by the low 'oma'o count.
I've pretty much exhausted most of the interesting plant discoveries/observations along Strip Road, but the one interesting thing that caught my eye was a profusely flowering pawale, with beautiful pink puffball flowers and shiny white seed pods.
I've attached a map of the count sites. The counts in the table are ordered by increasing elevation along Strip Road, instead of by time. (I'd park in a central spot and count both up and down the road from the car) I also attached a view of the Mauna Loa Strip from the summit of Kilauea, showing how it looks from another angle.
Bird Counts: (Species Codes Here)
|Kipuka Ki||1436||11||4||1||10||'ohi'a bloom|
|Kipuka Ki||1450||21||6||2||11||1||'ohi'a bloom|
|Powerline Road||1831||5||4||1||4||scrub on lava|
Birds in the count table: 'apapane, 'amakihi, 'oma'o, 'elepaio, Japanese white-eye, house finch, yellow-fronted canary, red-billed leiothrix, northern cardinal, kalij pheasant, Erckel's francolin.