Saturday, 4 June 2011

When The Levee Breaks - Memphis Minnie

If it keeps on rainin' levee's goin' to break,
If it keeps on rainin' levee's goin' to break,
When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay.

Mean ol' levee taught me to weep and moan,
Mean ol' levee taught me to weep and moan,
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well.

HAIL? Wot 'hail, I'm suppose to be in Hawaii......

The electric storm that shook me from my slumbers at 04:00 was of epic proportions, and drawing back the curtain to look at the frequent strikes of fork lightening there was also a covering of 'hail' on the balcony. Drawing on the adage that rain before 7 would be dry by 11 was no consolation as the damned stuff continued for best part of the day, but I was not to be deterred.

However, before continuing I should return to yesterday and tell that having left Maui it was a short 30 minute flight to Honolulu on the Island of O'hau in the company of John Weinsenburge. He was in fact occupying my seat on the plane and maybe it was as well I approached in a polite manner as it turned out he was a veteran member of the 7th Airborne Division and among others had been awarded 2 Purple Hearts and the Silver Star for his bravery. Sadly the photo of John was too blurred to publish but he certainly put me right on everything I needed to know about Honolulu and the surrounding area.

It was still pouring by the time I got up at 06:00 and as usual took a quick look around (the view from my room 12 floors up) for birds before my own shower. There seemed to far more White Doves than yesterday but one particularly caught my eye, some way off, as being a bit scrawny.

I could hardly believe my eyes when it was seen to be a Tern, but only a few yards from the Pacific Ocean it was reasonable!

Even more unbelievable was the fact that it was

a Fairy Tern the name I preferred to the more usual

White Tern.

This species is a World Lifer and a bird I must have seen in 1965 / 1966 when I served on HMS Eskimo in the Persian Gulf with long runs into the Indian Ocean and more particularly the Seychelles Islands.

It is a delight to have seen this delightful little bird at last,

and will long remember the colony of about 40 individuals in the trees to left of the hotel view.

With the afore mentioned guidance from John I decided, despite the whether, to take the 3 hour bus ride to the Waiamea Bay Nature Park at the north end of the island but the further we went the worse got the lightning and rain.

There were several delays en-route and this impromptu shot through the bur window shows the police and fire service attending a badly flooded property. On the west coast things were even worse, with a main road bridge having been washed away with my bus reduced to turning back from its circular route.

It would have been foolish to stay, so I too returned to the city catching just a fleeting (excuse the pun) glimpse of Pearl Harbour on the way. It is intended to make a visit there before I depart. Leaving the bus at the main terminal, things were looking a bit better although the clouds were still threatening there was plenty of shelter to be had here.

In the coastal park the first encounter was with a small flock of Common Waxbill which like many of the Hawaiian species are introduced by man.

Likewise this Red-crested Cardinal

the last of which I had seen was in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Japanese White-eye was next to be added to the list,

followed by Java Sparrow this individual thought to be an immature or female?

There were also good numbers of males.

On this stretch of beach there was little going on except bizarrely this Japanese Wedding.

A Red-vented Bulbul was singing from a tree as

2 Cattle Egrets flew in

and landed quite close by.

I think this one must have been 'puffed out' by all the flapping?

To continue the Heron theme this still part juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron appeared from nowhere,

followed shortly by this adult.

Along all the roadways were hundreds of beautiful blooms

as this one of your 'roving corespondent' adequately shows, taking advantage of the 10 minute lull in the rain at Waikiki Beach.

There also were a couple of Hawaiian canoes,

but I was a little late to capture this one 'bows on'.

Another unusual looking flower!

Just keeping the peace dear, just keeping the peace! With the onset of even more heavy rain, I decided to return to the hotel and set about trying to lure some of the local bird population onto my varhanah. Whenever I'm on the road Mr Lay goes out and buys a new Rolls Royce, so it wasn't surprising that the dicky birds also liked his 'crisps' a 'staple' for me on any trip!

Sprinkled liberally on the deck and handrail a Red-vented Bulbul was first to show up, closely followed by its partner and

a couple of dozen House Finch. This male was far too busy trying to attract a mate to be bothered with suck trivialities as food, but

this juvenile was more than happy to 'tuck in' as were several House Sparrows and 2 Feral Pigeons.

With a further look at some less than adequate photos of what I thought was a White-tipped Dove yesterday it is certainly more likely to be Spotted so the log has been altered accordingly, leaving the

Trip Total @ 18 World Lifers = 1

The full list thus far (regaurdless of provenance) is