Sunday, November 19, 2017

11/19/2017 Monk Seal Dailies: Rabbit Island Critters Kolohe & 3 Unknowns,

Today's dailies are brought to you by Team Billand, Gayle, Vicki, Mrs. Whisperer and Lesley. Lesley's Ka'ena Point update is part 2 of the dailies.  Thank you all. Marilyn, Gayle and Vicki all checked out Rabbit Island today.

Based on the reports there were three critters on Rabbit Island today. Both Vicki and Gayle had trouble with their photos so I am just including Marilyn's photos from today.
Marilyn spent several hours viewing Rabbit Island from Makai Range pier. With the high wind and heat waves caused by the cool air, viewing conditions were far from ideal. Marilyn's initial find at 10:30 saw 2 seals just right of the 1BS (1st blue sign) and 1 seal just left of the 2BS. At 11:54, she spotted a fourth seal up in the grass above Seal Rock Inlet. 
The two seals near the 1BS both appeared to be adults, one with a newer coat and one with an older, brown coat. When the latter seal changed direction I could see that it had a "cue ball" natural bleach behind the RFF that to the identification of RW22 Kolohe. Marilyn later was able to see his male belly. Good to see him, since there hasn't been any recent sightings or reports of him.
Marilyn is labeling the adult seal with the newer coat as UNK#1. She was unable to see tags nor could she confirm it's gender.
The seal near the 2BS is labeled UNK#2. Marilyn judged the seal to be a subadult with a darker coat. No tags could be seen and could not guess at it's gender.
The seal she first spotted at 11:54 is labeled UNK#3. This appeard to be a juvenile with a brownish coat and a light-colored belly. She could not see tags nor determine gender.

Team Billand found da Benny at 6:20am at Secrets. He was all the way up by his Naupaka bush sleeping. The hotline was called. There were many visitors who came by and thankfully all were respectful. Tide was very high and Benny continued to snooze. At 9:30 volunteer Ralph arrived, Team Billand left at 10:00 am.

Lei Ola RH48 was Mid Rocks snoozing alone at Maili. Her molt continues on her hind flippers, face, starting on her chest. She was still there on their afternoon check. Hook is still visible, but she shows no signs of stress.
Next Maili find Ka'ale RH32 to the right of Lei Ola snoozing on the inland rocks. He's looking healthy and handsome ID'd by his tags. At 2:30 they watched Ka'ale leave go into the small tide pool roll about, wake himself up and then left.
They saw RN14 arriving cautiously, slowing looking, anyone around... then up he went, landed and went to sleep. On the afternoon check he was still on the lower rocks, snoozing in peace.
Team Billand spotted RIP RR70 at Maili foraging off shore doing 5 minute dives. They waited for a few hours hoping he would haul out, but he was too busy pigging out. He was ID by his cookie scar on back. (good he was eating). Afternoon check he was gone and the waves were much larger.

Last but not least they found Aukai RL12 at Electric beach. When they arrived a volunteer was already on site and her tags were showing. To the best of their knowledge this is her first "known" visit to electric beach. Her mom R020 M&M was known to frequent the area. Now Team Billand noted their shock by her size, she is huge, like good chance she is pregnant with her first pup huge. Who knows when or where? 

Unknown#1 and Kolohe RW22
 Unknown #2
 Unknown # 3
 Lei Ola
Ka'ale RH32 
 Aukai RL12 looking big and beautiful

11/19/2017 Monk Seal Dailies (part 2) Lesley's Ka'ena Point Update

Headed back out to Ka'ena Pt today with Jaime & Catherine.
There was a beautiful big swell and the coastline was being washed, it was sunny and the breeze just right. Perfect day!
Just as we were starting our hike we came up on R330 "Squinty" on the first beach from parking lot. He's looking charming in his new coat. It took me awhile to ID him, he wasn't showing me his scars, his right eye, was rolled in sand... after a while he repositioned a little and I saw the NB on his rear flipper (I even called Diane to check on the computer if that was really him - I knew that NB but wasn't sure it was his) another move and he showed me his chest small NB and other scars. Now on the computer I could she his head scars perfectly.
Out at the point we found RW02 "PVKauai" and R353 (F) behind the Naupaka at the base of the big rock. RW02 "PVKauai" galumph/slide down Back Beach entered the water surfed 3 waves turned back hauled out again and galumph up the beach again. That was the first time I saw that happen. It's a steep beach to go up and down.
R353 (F) bearly moved while we were there.
Up from the waterline on the Main Beach RO40 "Ka'ena" was hauled out on the corals. His molt doesn't seem to have really started (his neck is as ruffled up as yesterday) but the smell, OH yes he has started molting.
We did A LOT of outreach.
Before starting back out we did the loop to check on the Albatrosses. The fields already look like popcorn everywhere, we heard some singing, whistling and beak clacking.

 R330 Squinty  
 R353 (f) 
 R353 and RW02 PVKauai
 RW02 PVKauai
 RO40 Ka'ena

Saturday, November 18, 2017

11/18/2017 Monk Seal Dailies: Rocky, RIP, Ka'ale, Lei Ola, Pohaku, Benny, RL42, Right Spot and One Rabbit Island Critter

Today's dailies are brought to you by Lesley, Gayle, Team Billand, our ole' pal Dana, and photographer Melody.

Melody sent a photo of her favorite seal Miss Rocky who had arrived at Iroquois Point before 6:00 am. Rocky stayed on the beach until 10:21. There is a beautiful picture of her basking in the sun.

Lesley, Marilyn and Diane (hiking pals) did their usual Saturday Ka'ena Point Trek. (see part 2) for photos)

Team Billand was out and about and at 7:02 am found an adult seal doing 5 minute dives at Campbells. Could not get an ID from 300 ft away. 

Next stop Maili where they found RIP RR70 on the lower rocks, alone settling in for the long snooze. He was still there on their last check at 2:15 same spot, dried from the sun. Ka'ale RH32 was also at Maili to the right alone sleeping in between rocks. He was still there on their afternoon check.

On Team Billand's afternoon check was the first time they spotted Lei Ola RH48. She is starting her molt could see around her eyes. Couldn't see much more than that since she was snoozing.  I know Team Billand keep a special eye on this little cutey and we all want her to haul out in a safe spot so the NOAA folks can clip that hook off her lip.

At 10:48 Team Billand came across Pohaku RO28 at white plains. She was already roped off by the lifeguards.  While with Pohaku, Team Billand got a call at 11:13 from Dr. Michelle letting her know they were at White Plains to release Benny!  Talk about timing! There they were Team NOAA brought the truck up to shore on the grass and there was da Benny SNORTING, wanting out.
Cage was set down and door opened and out came Benny from 0 to 60 gone into the water and swam off. He didn't even pause long enough to notice Pohaku. He was free in the blink of an eye. Thank you TEAM NOAA !!!  Team Billand had granddaughter Olivia with them, I'll tell you this youngster is going to grow up to be quite a protector of marine life. 

Our ole' pal Dana also made a trek to Ka'ena Point today where she came across RL42.  Good to have Dana back in the field again, it's been a while.  

Gayle only spotted one critter on Rabbit Island today... hmmm from five to one.  Gayle also found Right Spot at Sandy Beach today and left at 18:00. We'll see what she'll do tomorrow.

 Rocky RH58 
UU at Campbells

 He's looking much better
 Lei Ola
 Team NOAA with da Benny set for release 
 Go Benny Go !!!
 Free from hook, no surgery and he started his molt what a day!
 and I am out of here!
Right Spot