By the time we arrived on the first day, I did not have much time to do anything other than bird a little bit around the lodge where we were staying. Luckily, the Volcano Village Lodge has beautiful grounds that make you feel like you are in the middle of the rain forest and there are birds everywhere. Since it was raining pretty had I was unable to get any photos but it was still nice to walk around looking at tons of 'Apapane as well as some of the exotic species that occur in the area.
The next morning we arrived at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park early and went to the Visitor's Center to learn more about the best places to explore. I am always a little hesitant to do this at National Parks as I have found that many times the rangers really don't know as much about the parks as they should but this was not the case here! The rangers in the Visitor Center were the most knowledgeable about both the park and even more shockingly the birds that I have ever run into.
Even though I am typically most concerned with finding birds, even I agreed that our first stop should be at the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater where you can see the fumes and ash raising from the crater. On our drive over to the Jagger Muesum, where you can view the crater from, I got to see my first Nene! They were on the lawn at the Kilauea Military Camp. This made taking photos of them extremely easy!
|My first Nene!|
|This Pacific Golden-Plover was hanging out with the Nene.|
|The view from the Jagger Museum.|
|Some new growth in a crevice in the lava.|
In the afternoon, we took a drive down the Chain of Craters Road. While there is not much in the way of birds on this drive, there is nothing quite like driving though old lava flows. The vast amount of nothing but lava is impressive and scary all at the same time. To think about how much land the flows have covered up over the years is really quite impressive. At the end of the road there is a really cool sea arch and if you walk just a little bit down the trail, you can see where a recent lava flow completely buried the road!
|The sea arch at the end of Chain of Craters Road.|