130813 First day in Honolulu

NF Photos 130813, click photo to view with Light box
Honolulu 130811-130902

Sunday 130811
First morning I was picked up by my family at 9. For breakfast and a round tour in the area surrounding the school. They were accompanied of Isabelle and her brother. Arriving at Hawaii Pacific University we started to look around. My daughter found a place where she could get her nails done so she and my grand daughter got an appointment. Then we headed for breakfast. Isabelle invited us to one of her favourite places. A good one. Then my daughter and granddaughter went to the nail shop and Isabelle guided the rest of us through the school and the neighborhood.

Isabelle is a great guide. She guided us through market places and let us taste the Hawaiian specialties. And also we went through a Chinese market. She also had some "secret spots" she shared with us. A place with gorgeous view over Honolulu harbor.

I also noted that H has a lot of artwork here and there and, of course, some birds too.
Zebra Dove

We picked up my daughter and grand daughter at midday. Had lunch at Mc Donald but as we tried a lot on the tour I was not hungry. Only had a Cooke.

Then we headed for Ala Moana Shopping Center. First stop, Victoria´s Secret! That was cool! And a beautiful shop. My family members got the shopping fever I think. Both in VS  and all other shops in the shopping center.
At 4 we were picked up and headed for a restaurant which speciality was flamed food. It was nice as all of my granddaughters roommates was attending.

After dinner some of the others wanted to go to the movies but I was not interested. Isabelle was driving her brother to the airport so I joined them and she let me of at the Hostel later on. Talked to a couple of guys for a while and then took a stroll down to the beach. Back at the hostel I was surprised to find all of the guys sleeping. Quiet as a mouse I uploaded my shots to the computer, took a shower and went to bed.

Snake in Naturalista, Costa Rica


Honolulu 130811-130902 Summary

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NF Photos Oahu  130811-130902
Starting Monday 130812
J o m  at ARN 130812
I met my daughter and grandson on Arlanda Airport Monday morning. The plane was airborn at 10.50, a bit late, and headed for Chicago. In Chicago Ohare we had two h between planes and had to go by train to another terminal so it was a little bit nervous but we did good. Next plane left in time and we were going straight to Honolulu. That was quite a distance to sit on a plane. Especially as the plane was cold. And we did not expect that. And no food served.

Greenland from above
Well everything turned out well and we landed in Honolulu according to plan at 18:53 local time. It is kind of fun. Looking at the watch we had been travelling 6.5h. But the real travel time was about 20h.
Two of the Hawaii islands from the plane before landing on Oahu 130812
Honolulu 130812
 We were met by my granddaughter and one of her room mates and went to their place first as my daughter and grandson would stay there. The house was crowded with people so I would be staying in a hostel at Waikiki beach. So that was our next stop. And after bringing my stuff in we went for a walk and to find something to eat. And enjoyed some street entertainment.

 My first impression of the town was bad. But it seem to grow on you. The hostel seemed not as good as it did on their website and the town was crowded with homeless people. We had dinner on a place my daughter had like her first time in H. And after that I left for the Hostel and the others for the house. We had fixed some bus tickets so that would be the main transportation during the stay.

The Hostel turned out to be OK. It was a 8-bed room and my room mates was all guys most of the nights. I was there for 19 nights. And the others was starting school or was travellers.

After a few days I had a routine. I went to the beach in the morning. Then I met with my family or went out on my own. Lol, my family went shopping, I went birding!
This bird is a Mynah. Seem to have a habit of talking.

Waikiki sunset NF Photo 130830

Most of the evenings I was at the beach at sunset. I bought something to eat and drink and then I sat at the beach watching sunset and people. There was a hotel over the street and they used to play rather good music too. And Friday at 20.00h there was fireworks. So I can say I was entertained.




As time went by I got used to the homeless. They did not disturb anybody and they were tidy enough as they had access to the toilets and showers at the beaches. And getting used to having young men as room mates was quite easy and turned out to be fun.
The view from my bed when I awoke. :)

NF Photo 130827
The highlight of this visit was the day we went dolphin diving. What a day! None of us will forget it. And the days we had the car and went out exploring the island of Oahu was also great. My family especially enjoyed colored Shaved Ice. And the Pineapple ice cream at Dole plantation. And the turtles. We also explored my granddaughters schools. And was guided around most of it.  

After three weeks it was time for me to go back home while the others would stay another two weeks. Last day we were at the beach and my daughter and granddaughter was surfing. And then we was at the market buying me a dress. That is very unusual. :)
Around 17.00h we were at the airport and I had a very long, lonely trip back home. About 20h this time as well but in days it was a day and a half. I left Saturday evening and was home Monday morning.

Johanna at North  Shore  Malama aina beach park 130829


Birding at Kvismaren

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NF Photos 131007, Kvismaren

I had seen reports of  two Great White Egrets in Kvismaren. So waking up monday morning with ratehr good weather I decided to go there. It is about a little more then an hours drive to the location from where I live.
My first stop at the lake Rysjön where the Egrets were supposed to be I saw none. But a lot of greylag geese and swans and a few ducks.  I continued to the area called Öby Kulle, a place famous for lots of snakes in spring. They spent the winter hibernating in an area now fenced.
Well, I took my gear and started out to the birding tower. In the area there are cattle grazing and I saw something that made me stop. There was a newborn calf lying in the grass. I saw it´s first steps in this world. What a pleasure to see this. From what I can tell it was a boy. :)  On my way back I could see there was actually one more calf that seemed to be only days old. Both of them black in color.
After a while I left the little family and headed for the tower. Checking out the wetland I noticed it was very little water. Lots of small island I never seen before. But no egrets.  But a hungry Sea Eagle harassing the birds in the lake. After a while a group of Grey Herons flew in over the lake. The Eagle seemed to think one of them would make a great dinner. Maneuvering it out of the group. I was a bit unlucky as the pair flew in front of the sun and became silhouette's. But I was pleased anyway. The heron went for the grass and once on the ground it could use the beak as a weapon and the eagle had to give it up.  Good for heron but bad for eagle.

Now I turned my attention o the egrets once more. And now I finally found them. Far away of course but close enough to ID them. I sat down on the table an ate an apple. Enjoying the area around me. Took a lot of shots of course as that is what I do.

There is a problem in Sweden causing me to do one thing on the tower. I put my scope on the table and stood on the bench to watch the lake. On this tower I can do just that. So, why am I doing that? Because the towers are built for men and I am always too short to see anything. The rail is always in the height of my face causing me to either kneel or stand high up on my toes. And it is always blocking the sight path through my scope. None of it is fun.

Bird D´Pot    Camera Critters 


Birding at Hjälstaviken oct 2013

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NF Photos 130920-22
I was going to Hjälstaviken to meet up with some women from the network Rapphönan. We were going to be birding at Hjälstaviken, a small lake/wetland with, usually, lots of migrating birds resting.
I left my home early as I wanted to stop at the southern part of the area before heading for the meeting. I had figured out that there should be Bearded Reedlings ( Skäggmes) in the reeds. I had never seen them and I really wanted a chance to do that. And I figured it would be easier alone.
I arrived at the parking place around 15.00h. Talked to a man that told me how to get to the footbridge in the reed. He told me he had just seen them. That sounded promising. But did I see them??? NO! I was there for two hours and did not see them. I  went back to the car in a bad mood continuing the journey to our hostel. Biskop Arnö. A beautiful small island in lake Mälaren.  

 We all met and got our rooms. I shared it with a woman named Maria. There were a nice sunset and some migrating geese (link to my birdblog) travelling the sky. We gathered at the dining room for coffee, tea and bread that was arranged for us. Our hostesses Gigi and Mariann informed us about the days ahead.

130921 Saturday
To be a birding trip we slept late. Breakfast at 7 and leaving at 8h. There is a birding tower at the east side of the lake. That is where we headed.  But that was not a good idea. e were greeted by a man that informed us about the area and how it is taken care of. He also said that birding in the morning is hard as it is back light and everything turns black. So he recommended us to change plans and come back after lunch. Which we did after having a short coffee break.
Then we headed for Parnassen and the reed I had visited yesterday. Now we heard a few birds but did not see them. A few other warbles was in the area as well. And in the stream some geese and ducks.
Back to Arnö for lunch! And then back to the tower. Now lots of geese was in the fenced areas closest to the body of water. This afternoon we spotted all but one of the geese species normally visits Sweden. Not bad. A few ducks and waders also in the area.

A Sea Eagle passing by causing the geese up into the air.
We were back to the hostel at 17.00h when dinner would be served. A good meal it was. :)
Done with that it was sunset outside so we took a walk in the area.

Bishops Oak
One activity on the evening stroll was to measure the Bishops Oak, approx 550 years old. It took 6 Rapphönor to close the ring around it.
We gathered in the diningroom again and Gigi showed us some images and had arranged a quiz.
130922 Sunday
The same procedur this morning. We headed out at 8.00. All packed and with our own cars as we were not coming back.  We went to the place called Hjälstaviken. Not far from the boardwalk in the reed. There is a hill with a beautiful view of the area so we were going up there. But not me. I decided to head for the reed once more so I left the group for a while. And now I was lucky. Even if it was only one bird,  I saw a beautiful male Bearded Reedling and got shots of it. Also heard a few others in the reed. But did not see any other then the male. After a while I went to join the group at Jungfrulunden (lol Maiden grove).
 Short after I met them again we had an alert that a rare vader, Buff-breasted Sandpiper (prärielöpare), was seen at the tower on the other side of the lake. The group decided to go there. As we expected a lot of cars coming after the alert we parked some of the cars at the place were we should have lunch. Now it was cloudy and a hopeless situation for photographs and it also turned out that the bird was far out in a dry area in the wetland. I did see  it but got no shots.

How on earth are you supposed to find a tiny wader in this shot. And this sandiper is really tiny. I can ID a few lapwings but that is about it. I used the 400mm lens.

Before lunch we had time to take a look at the castle nearby. Ekolsunds castle. A nice but worn out place. Even if they seemed to tend to the gardens. The lunch was superb and the sun came out again. Allowing me a few shots. Hm, I wonder what the little camera did to this shot?

After lunch we sent back to the reed area and a hiding that was newly constructed there. Mostly grey lag geese and cormorants was there. It was almost time to leave so I said good bye and headed for the boardwalk a last time. Hoping to be alone. Now I walked slowly as I heard  them. Finally it was 3 of them in the reed but I could not get them on camera. And then, of course, all the other woman came on the boardwalk. I raised my hand and they stopped dead behind me. Most of them were able to see 3 of the Bearded Reedlings as they flew over to the other side and disappeared. So, what can I say, if they did not come I might have seen the birds in front of me, maybe also a female, but then the other would not have seen any.
Bearded Reedling - Skäggmes. 
 Better images on the Bird blog
By for now!
Going home took a long time as the closest road was blocked due to repairing work. I was home around 18.00h.