Friday, June 22, 2018

6/22/2018 Monk Seal Dailies:

Today's dailies are brought to you by Team Billand, posse pal Tammy, and my Rabbit Island update.

Team Billand's only find today was on the west side where they found Benny RE74 and RL42 Leia resting together on the rocks. Benny held he hind flippers down with his body, so she couldn't sneak away. She wasn't having it, oh Benny you can't treat her like that!

Team Billand covered from Nimitz to Ka'ena West and didn't find any critters.  Even the fishermen at the outfall were asking for the little "green" seal. 

On their last check after Ka'ena West check, Benny and Leia were having words. She got away from him and hauled up on the rocks. He was very vocal, letting her know he wasn't happy, and she.... kept going. 

 Tammy was out at the playpen today with Lesley. Today was the big day when the weaner cousins got their bling. The NOAA team was out there and from what I understand it all happened very quickly. SOOOO  the official tags for:

PO4 is now Puna, male, RK88/K89     (mother RN58 Luana)
PO5 is now Napua female RK40/41     (mother RL42 Leia)

By the way, I don't know if I posted but Kaiwi's boy got his bling last week and he is officially RK24/25.  I'm not sure who may have said it, maybe my old pal Gayle, but K24 like 24 karat gold... Bruno Mars.  I know it's not a Hawaiian name but, certainly belongs to a local boy. Little Bruno 24 karat gold :-)  

My Rabbit Island observations today lasted about two hours. And of course I found myself scratching my head over and over. In the end I found four critters, but at one point I thought there were only three, for sure a challenge when looking through a scope a half mile away.

First find was a small critter about 10 feet right of the 3BS and after observing and the critter rolling over showing it's female belly. Large white belly, and clean gray body (until she was covered with sand). Probably safe to say it was Hali'a RK38, although I never spotted the N4 bleach. 

Second find was about 20 ft from the 3BS, show his belly, male, very greenish in color and skinny. The critter never showed me anything else..... so U/M. Could be Aka, but that is just a guess.

Last find was way to the left of the Island by the rocky flats. This is where Sadie and PO6 usually hang out. What I was viewing through the scope was a very large critter. I watched for an hour, I couldn't tell which end was the tail or the head. I was watching for any kind of movement, something and then FINALLY there was something oh, there's the head, and oh wait that isn't one huge critter, that is Sadie with her fatso kid right in front of her.  They were so close together I could not see that there were two. Thankfully Sadie lifted her head and moved away from the kid ever so slightly. 

I love observing Rabbit Island, but man oh man it is a challenge.  I have always been in awe of DB's ability, but now, I think he had some type of super power.

Leia RL42 & Benny RE74 
 Napua RK40/41 
 RK88/89 Puna
Rabbit Island Weaner - Hali'a N4  
U/M  Aka? RJ30
Sadie & PO6

Thursday, June 21, 2018

6/21/2018 Monk Seal Dailies:

Today's dailies are brought to you by Team Billand and Lesley. Also I have an update and correction from my Rabbit Island observations from yesterday.

First with my update and correction. The large seal who I thought was an adult turned out to be RG32 and had an N32 bleach.  I thought I saw a bleach number which looked like an upside down 2. The critter to his left was AKA who received a N5 bleach number. RG32 is a 3 year old male and Aka was born on Rabbit Island last year.  The little one to the right of the two of them is weaner RK38 Hali'a.  ( At least I had Sadie & PO6 correct). 

Team Billand was out at 5:50 when the got to the beach on the West Side and spot a seal on the shore by some canoes. There was Pohaku RO28 alone snoozing on shore. They called the hotline and left a message. They did get a call back saying a volunteer would come out.  Team Billand stayed for a while but they had no signs. They went to check on other areas and would return to check on her.

They returned at 8 am and she was still there a little closer to the water and there were foot prints close to her. They stayed for another hour and left for the day. It is unknown if a volunteer arrived, as there were no signs posted. Pohaku is getting pretty big, hope she leaves for Kauai soon.

Team Billand went from Campbells to Ka'ena West lots of walking but no seals.

Here's Lesley's complete update:

Another beautiful day in Hawaii Nei. Started checking the PlayPen. PO5 "Napua" (F) D48 was hauled out at the base of the cliff that's were I saw her on all my other checks today. PO4 "Puna" (M) D54 was in the water playing with whatever he could find to throw around or dive after. When left he was still in the water. 

I stopped several times on my way out to the point to make some outreach with fishermen already set for the big 3 day fishing tournament. At 10Mnts Beach, one of my Birth Beach posse Jerome came by to say hello. He's participating in the tournament and will be my eyes at 10Mnts Beach over the weekend. That's really cool because seals having hauling out there. 

At Hidden Beach, from the corner of my eye, I saw a rock moving. Went down to check and found RO40 "Ka'ena" and RN30 (M) in the water having a discussion. RN30 didn't want anything to do with "Ka'ena" and this one was being a master bully. They had some words, moved around and finally RN30 left followed by "Ka'ena" 

Team Tammy & Dave caught up with me there. They went on hiking and doing outreach. We met again at the point were we were skunked, so we decided to go and hike the West side. We didn't see any seals but enjoyed our hike celebrating the Solstice. Back at the Pt we found RW02 "PVKauai" hauled out o the reefs in the Main Pool. 

We stopped to check 10 Mnts and were driving past when Tammy spotted a seal. It was RN30 hauling out on the flat reefs towards 5Mnts. Right beside Jerome's campsite we took photos and documented him. We left knowing he has good guarding angels looking over him. 

Back at the PlayPen PO5 "Napua" was still sleeping and PO4 "Puna" was hauled out surrounded by rocks beside RO40 "Ka'ena" I checked before sunset and the three were still

The albatross were all quiet when we first arrived at the NARS on our way back the wind had picked up and some of them were stretching their wings. I saw several tropical birds, actually heard them before seeing them they nearly sound like parrots (but don't tell them) Aloha 🌺

Pohaku RO28
 Ka'ena RO40 and PO4 Puna
 Ka'ena RO40 and RN30
 RW02 PvKauai

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

06/20/2018 Monk Seal Dailies: (part 1)

Today's dailies are brought to you Team Billand, Lesley, Melody, and my Rabbit Island observations. Lesley's complete Ka'ena update is in part 2 of the dailies.

Team Billand checked out the Outfall (all you can eat buffet) and there is Ka'ale RH32 with a fish, and the fishermen reeling in their lines. After one hour at the outfall he disappeared, but they never saw him leave. 
They went to a near by haul out spot, but he wasn't there, they waited but nothing. They see a seal fighting off shore with something. It was Ka'ale with and an eel, looking like a dog tossing a bone. Then it was gone, he swallowed it all up. After feasting he went to his rocks to settle in.

Team Billand did the Ka'ena West trek and once again they cam up empty. But on their way back they passing one of the west side beaches they spot two seals. There again (day 3) was Benny RE724 and Leia RL42.  Benny is smitten, he has her all to himself, no other males to fight off, and she hasn't run him off yet. Team Billand didn't stay long to not bring attention to their resting peacefully.

I went out to Makai Pier today to check out Rabbit Island. Upon arrival I spotted three seals to the right of the 3rd Blue Sign. Two seals were closer together, a smaller, thin greenish, white belly, juvenile, and a larger adult seal. About 15-20 feet to the right of them was a young chubby critter on the rocks, initially looked black because it was still wet.

After 30 minutes I noticed the NOAA zodiac heading towards the island. One guy got out onto the island and did apply bleach to the unknown juvenile. The rest of the team in the zodiac was busy working with a drone. I am hoping to get confirmation on who the
critters actually are. I did spot a bleach number on the adult and determined it had tags and a male belly.

While watching NOAA Team do their work I panned the island and spotted to the far left by the flat rocky and just where the sand began Sadie RB12 and PO6 had just hauled out. I observed two nursing sessions and a couple of roll overs. PO6 is getting bigger and Sadie is getting smaller but still looking healthy.

Melody went out for her weekly visit to the playpen, she got their early to avoid the midday heat.  Melody spent several hours watching over the cousins and caught up with Lesley while on site. Lesley generously shared her knowledge and patience answering Melody's questions. The cousins were very active both in and out of the water (Melody sent some video too).  
Melody also checked in on a leeward beach and found Ka'ale. He is looking like a little green monster these days. Hopefully once he molts he'll be back to his cute shiny silver gray butthead self.

 Ka'ale RH32 
 RL42 Leia and Benny RE74
 she look so tiny
U/J & Kekoa
U/U young weaner?
 Sadie RB12 & PO6
Cousins at play
 Ka'ale little green machine
Video of the cousins!