Hawaiian Islands: Winter 2016–2017

1 Dec–28 Feb

Lance Tanino
[email protected]

Recommended citation:

Tanino, L. 2020. Winter 2016–2017: Hawaiian Islands. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-9xu> North American Birds.

In the Hawaiian Islands, winter is usually wet; but this year there were fluctuations of wet and dry periods, including back and forth tradeoffs between trade winds and Kona winds, with a very dry January and above average rainfall in February. A cold front in late January brought strong damaging northeasterly winds. The winter avian highlights included a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Western Gull, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull (second regional record).

Contributors

Liz Abraham, Michael Abrams, Audrey Addison, Rick Ahrens, Brad Argue, Bob & Bettina Arrigoni, Jochen Baurmeister, Moe Bertrand, Matt Boone, Cheshta Buckley, Sammie Buechner, Jean Campbell, Michael Cranny, Peter Donaldson, James Fox, Robert Furrow, Myron Gerhard, Don Glasco, Justin Hite, J. Joseph, Donald Kirker, Aaron Lang, Satoko Lincoln, Amy McHugh, Delia Moore, Richard Jeffers, Paul Kinzer, Robby Kohley, Robby Lambert, Kevin Lapp, Derek & Jeannette Lovitch, Dick May, Jim Owens, Kurt Pohlman, Ron Pozzi, Thane Pratt, Rodney Reagor, Alain Robert, David Roberts, Mike Scott, Mike Sefton, James Sipiora, Bridget Spencer, Marsha Squires, Yo Takata, Amanda Talpas, Lance Tanino, Sharif Uddin, Gus van Vliet, Eric VanderWerf, Benjamin Vizzachero, Michael Walther, Alex Wang, Christopher Warren, Guy White, Sherman Wing, Beth Wolff, Eric Youngblood, Jeff Zuckerman.

Abbreviations

Barking Sands P. M. R. F. (Barking Sands Pacific Missle Range Facility, Mana, Kauai Is.); J. C. N. W. R.–Kii Unit (James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge–Kii Unit, Kahuku, Oahu Is.); K. H. N. H. P. (Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Kalaoa, North Kona, Hawaii Is.); Kanaha Pond S. W. S. (Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Kahului, Maui Is.); Midway Atoll N. W. R. (Sand Is., Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands); P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit (Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge–Honouliuli Unit, Waipio, Oahu Is.); W. R. S. R. A. (Wailoa River State Recreation Area, Hilo, Hawaii Is.).

WATERFOWL THROUGH SHOREBIRDS

Snow Geese — vagrant winter visitors — continued in good numbers during this period: six juveniles at Kanaha Pond S. W. S., Maui Is. on 5 Dec through the end of the period (JO, AM, JZ, ph. MG, ph. CW, m. obs.); a total of six in Hilo, Hawaii Is. at Lokowaka Pond (AW, m. obs.) and Hilo International Airport (AW); and three juveniles at Waikoloa Beach Golf Course, Puako, Hawaii Is. on 5–19 Feb (RA, JF, RR, LT, BA). Two Brant — occasional winter visitors — were reported this period, both on Hawaii Is.: one Brant at K. H. N. H. P., Hawaii Is. 4 Dec through the end of the period (BA, SW, m. obs.) and one at Whittington Beach Park, Nāālehu, Hawaii Is. 25 Dec–7 Jan (TP, ph. DR, ph. PK).

A fair number of Blue-winged Teal — occasional winter visitors — were present in the islands: a flock of five at Keālia Pond N. W. R., Māalaea, Maui Is. 8–10 Jan (ph. MG., ph. BS); a single bird at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Waipio, Oahu Is. 6–10 Dec (KP, JS, AA); and 1-2 at J. C. N. W. R.–Kii Unit, Kahuku, Oahu Is. 14 Dec–10 Feb (EV, RK, AT). The Canvasbacks in Hilo continued through this period: three were at Lokowaka Pond 15 Dec through the end of the period (SW, TP, m. obs.) and one was at Waiākea Pond, W. R. S. R. A. 1 Dec through the end of the period (AW, SB, m. obs.). Record-setting fall Bufflehead numbers continued through this period: as many as six were at K. W. W. T. P., Kalaoa, Hawaii Is. 4 Dec through the end of the period; two were at the oxidation ponds in central Molokai Is. on 21 Dec (ph. EV); one or two were at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is., 6 Dec–4 Jan (KP, JS, EV, AT, DM); as many as six were at J. C. N. W. R.–Kii Unit, Oahu Is., 31 Dec through the end of the period (DM, AT, m. obs.); as many as five were at Hanalei N. W. R., Kauai Is. 17 Dec–20 Jan (MB, LA, ph. RJ, m. obs.); and four (possibly a part of Hanalei flock) were at Poipu-Kiahuna Golf Course, Poipu, Kauai Is. on 13 Feb (ph. DG).

Pied-billed Grebes are considered vagrants in the islands: one at Waiākea Pond, W. R. S. R. A., Hawaii Is. 13 Dec through the end of the period had been present for over a year (ph. AL, ph. SW, m. obs.); and another at the aquafarm ponds in Kahuku, Oahu Is. 29 Jan through the end of the period (MA, RK, EV) may have been the same individual reported within the past year from nearby Lāie. The species was last seen on Hawaii Is. in 1979.

A banded Whimbrel returned to Koheo Wetland, Kaunakakai, Molokai Is. on 18 Jan (ADY). Only one of the original pair of vagrant Little Stints continued into this period at Midway Atoll N. W. R. 23–28 Dec (ph. KM, ph. RL, B&BA). A Semipalmated Sandpiper — winter vagrant in the region — was reported from Kaunakakai W. W. T. P., Molokai Is. on 18 Jan (ADY). A Marsh Sandpiper was photographed at Kahanui, Molokai Is. 19–21 Dec (ph. ADY, ph. EV) and probably the same bird was seen at K. W. W. T. P., Kalaoa, Hawaii Is. 1 Jan through the end of the period (ph. BA, LT, CB, ph. SW, ph. RP, MS, m. obs.). This is only the third substantiated record for the Hawaiian Islands and second for the southeastern islands (Oahu Is. Mar 2003). The vagrant Wood Sandpiper continued at Midway Atoll N. W. R. 23 Dec through the end of the period (ph. KM, ph. RL, B&BA, EV, BW).

JAEGERS THROUGH FALCONS

A Pomarine Jaeger was observed chasing a White Tern flock from shore at Ko Olina, Kapolei, Oahu Is. on 1 Jan (EV). A first-winter Bonaparte’s Gull was photographed at Marriott’s Kaua‛i Lagoons Golf Course, Līhue, Kaua‛i Is. on 26 Dec (JH, MB). The fourth record of Mew Gulls were reported from Midway Atoll N. W. R. 3 Dec–1 Jan (KM, B&BA, RL) and one photographed at Barking Sands P. M. R. F., Kaua‛i Is. on 12–24 Jan (ph. EV). A fair number of Slaty-backed Gulls were present in the region: one second-winter at Keālia Pond N. W. R., Māalaea, Maui Is. on 13 Jan (ph. D&JL); one at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. 2 Feb through the end of the period (ph. SU, ph. EV, ph. RK, ph. MW, m. obs.); and at least three were observed and photographed at both Sand and Eastern Islands, Midway Atoll N. W. R. 16 Feb through the end of the period (ph. EV, ph. KM). Four Glaucous-winged Gulls — occasional winter visitors — were observed: one at Midway Atoll N. W. R. on 17 Dec (RL); one dark first-winter plumaged individual was photographed at Kaena Point N. A. R., Mokulēia, Oahu Is. on 24 Jan (ph. EV); one at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. on 27 Feb (KP, DM, PD); one at K. W. W. T. P., Hawaii Is. 514 Jan (ph. RF, ph. BA, LT, RP, m. obs.). The ninth substantiated record for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for Glaucous Gull and first record of an adult in the Hawaiian Islands was photographed at Midway Atoll N. W. R. 16–20 Feb (ph. EV, ph. KM).

A Western Gull — only the second substantiated record for the region — was photographed at Midway Atoll N. W. R. 16–26 Feb (ph. EV, ph. KM). A first-winter Herring Gull — winter vagrant in the southwestern part of the region — was photographed at Hookipa Beach Park, Pāia, Maui Is. on 1 Dec (ph. GW), where it was only the fifth substantiated record for Maui Co. The second substantiated record for Lesser Black-backed Gull was of a bird found and photographed at Midway Atoll N. W. R. 16–26 Feb (EV, ph. KM). As many as four Least Terns were seen at K. W. W. T. P., Hawaii Is. 1–11 Dec (CB, BA, LT, SW) and at least one at both Hawaii Prince Golf Course, Ewa Beach, and P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. 12–17 Feb (SU, SL). Perhaps the same Caspian Tern returned (for at least the 15th year) to Nuupia Ponds W. M. A., Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Mōkapu Peninsula, Kāneohe, Oahu Is. 25 Dec, where it continued through the end of the period (ph. MB, KP, EV). The Common Tern on Kaua‛i Is. continued through this period between Kekaha Beach Park (a. k. a. MacArthur Park) and Kawaiele S. W. S. 18 Dec–15 Feb (MB, BV, RJ, EV, JB, AR).

Great Blue Herons are occasional winter residents in Hawaii: one continued at a wetland in Pololu Valley 7 Dec–4 Feb (LT, BA, CB, m. obs.); one was at Keālia Pond N. W. R., Maui Is. 16 Jan–14 Feb (BA, CW, MC), and probably the same individual was at Kanaha Pond S. W. S., Maui Is. 22–27 Jan (DK, GVV); another was at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. 27 Dec–11 Feb (YT, JC, ph. EV, KP, JJ). Record-setting White-faced Ibis numbers from the past year continued through this period: up to 19 were at Keālia Pond N. W. R., Maui Is. 12 Dec–13 Feb (EY, ph. KL, m. obs.); three continued at K. W. W. T. P., Hawaii Is. 1 Dec through the end of the period (CB, BA, m. obs.); and one continued at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. 6 Dec through the end of the period (KP, JS, m. obs.).

An Osprey continued to be seen at P. H. N. W. R.–Honouliuli Unit, Oahu Is. 27 Dec–10 Feb (EV, KP, SU).

An unprecedented number of Belted Kingfishers were reported over a single period: in Hilo, the female present at Lokowaka Pond, Hawaii Is. for the past year continued 28 Dec–11 Feb (TP, SW, ph. BA, m. obs.), and less than four miles away, a male showed up at Waiākea Pond, W. R. S. R. A. 5 Jan through the end of the period (MS, MA, JB, ph. SW); they were never observed together. In West Hawaii, another male Belted Kingfisher was spotted at both Aimakapa and Kaloko Ponds, K. H. N. H. P. 4 Dec through the end of the period (ph. DR, ph. BA, m. obs.). On Maui, a Belted Kingfisher (unknown sex) was reported at Keālia Pond N. W. R. on 20 Jan (CW).

Peregrine Falcon sightings were widely scattered throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago: one was at Midway Atoll N. W. R. on 8 Dec through the end of the period (B&BA, RL, KM, m. obs.); another was at Kaena Pt. N. A. R., Oahu Is. on 2 Jan (DM); a juvenile was at Keālia Pond N. W. R., Maui Is. on 26 Jan (GVV); and the final sighting of the species this period came from Kēōkea Beach Park, Kapaau, North Kohala, Hawaii Is. on 23 Feb (CB).

Report processed by Amy Davis, 30 Dec 2020.

Photos–Hawaiian Islands: Winter 2016–2017
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.