Saturday, January 31, 2009

DB Post Saturday 1/31/2009

It was "Ground Hog Day" all over again. The Rabbit Island cast was the same as yesterday. The gang of 4, RIP, Sadie, Buster & R301 were once again at the left end of the beach. RIP and Sadie moved down to the water line on the extreme left end of the beach, while Buster and R301 stayed to the left of 1BS, There was never any observed interaction.

Team Billand had Whale count duties in the morning so I didn't get a call from them until 1402 responding to a call from Tracy they responded to an animal in Ewa Beach. near access #186B, which proved to be Irma. An unknown soul had put up signs. Thank you.........very much !

The next call came at 1430 reporting Kermit at White Plains, fronting cottage #1707. He had been cordoned off by lifeguards.

As if all of that weren't enough to make a short , fat, bald guys day, it got even better, when I got home and found email from Val Bloy, on Molokai. She and sidekick Diane Pike and found 12 animals on their 1-30-09 trek, two of which were Unknowns. Alas one remains an unknown, but time will solve that problem. The BIG news is that the other Unknown was none other than my #2 son , Mojo (2nd son of Irma). He is identified by the natural bleach on the top, left side of his head. He had been at Rabbit Island on 1-23/24-09, but was a no show since. Now I know why. I'd gotten proof of Mojo on Molokai back on 6-22-08, so I knew he knew how to find the place. Today I finally have proof that he was there again. It's a warm , fuzzy moment for an ol' bald guy !! Aloha, DB
RIP, Sadie, Buster, & R301
Mojo on Molokai

Friday, January 30, 2009

DB Post Friday 1/30/2009

My day began with finding RIP at the left end of Rabbit Island at 0723. When I got back to the pier at 0920 I found that he had been joined by Sadie. At 1116 RIP suddenly charged toward the water line ,and I saw that there was a new arrival in the shallows. RIP was just bluffing. It turned out to R301, and they touched noses, and settled in for the rest of the day. At 1232, Buster would join the gang . Initially , he hauled out 40 ft right of the others, and RIP started toward him, but at about 20 ft distance, Buster hit the "submissive pose", presenting his belly, and flapping his up fore flipper, and that seemed to satisfy RIP. As the day progressed each of the males would, at one time or another, "one up" the other guys and get to lie next to Sadie. I can't blame em', she is a cute little thing !

Team Billand, once again, came through with a few finds. The first call came at 1108, reporting Irma at the Wind Sock, Kalaeloa Beach. Then at 1121, it was Kermit on the west side of the Nimitz Beach jetty. Lastly, at 1341 they reported Ewa Girl, once again on her SW quadrant grounds, at the Palm Grove, Campbell Industrial Park. Aloha, DB
R301, Sadie, RIP & Buster
Ewa GirlIrma

Irma & Kermit Sequel

What follows is as find an example of "cruiser male" behavior as you are ever likely to see for yourselves. Most or all of you spend lots of time with lone individuals on the beach, in snooze mode. Very few have seen two animals at the same time, and even fewer have seen the classic male behavior when he is out lookin' for chicks !

Team Billand followed Kermit from Kalaeloa Campgounds as he made his way toward White Plains and eventually to Irma's side. Every so often he would partially haul out, do his head bobbing ritual and vocalize, to announce his presence. If nobody is around he would reenter the water and continue on the quest.

In this case he would find Irma fronting Cottage #1707, at White Plains. From a partial haul out position he would extend his neck , elevating his head and do a throaty bellow and an extended series of barks, announcing his manly man presences and hopefully getting the female to come scurrying to the water (yeah...right like that's gonna' happen). It also tells any other males that may be around that I'm here...I'm bad, and this chick is MINE ! If there are younger, less self assured males in the neighborhood then beat flipper away from the scene. Of course, if there is a macho young male around he may want to push the issue, but mostly the older males prevail.

In this case Kermit is just calling to Irma to join him in the water , and failing that he would haul out to join her, hoping to get lucky later on . It is the age old quest, regardless of species. Aloha, DB

The following is from Barbara & Rob Billand
I have some bit of news to share with ya. On Jan. 25th, 2009, Dr. Marilyn Dunlap, Mr. DB Dunlap, Robert and I had to attend a very special banquet at the Honolulu Country Club. Seems we were nominated for an award of some kind. A doctor John Kaya, President of the Honolulu Veterinary Society, called me to say we are the recipients of an award. It's being presented at the Banquet which they want us all to attend. Well, all four of us attended the Dinner Banquet and we got a nice Trophy called the Gentle Doctor, for all the work we have done with Monk Seals. Dinner was ono. All the veternarians of Oahu attended this dinner too. Took some photos so, here you are. Mrs Dunlap gave an excellent slide show and talk on monk seals and the vets were quite interested. Dr. Greg Levine gave a talk on the success of KP2. Talked about the volunteers that kept watch on KP2 all those months and how he was successfully released in the wild in an undisclosed area. Ok, thats all folks! BB

I just want to extend my congratualtions to DB, Marilyn, Barbara and Robert.... I know there are many many volunteers that put in lots of time and effort... But I honestly couldn't imagine any other folks who deserve the recognition and kudos as this group.... Beyond my love for u Hawaiian Monk Seals, I am both privileged and honored to call these people my friends. !!!
Much Aloha to all of you... you so deserve this and more!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

DB Post Thursday 1/28/2009

The one and only Rabbit Island resident today was Sadie. She spent most of the day couched amongst a bed of Morning Glory near 3BS, but finally moved down to cool off at 1245. She spent the remainder of the day near the water line in snooze mode.

Team Billand called at 0816 with the report of Irma at White Plains, frontage cottage #1707. They would call again at 1159 to report that Kermit had hauled out to join her, within the cordoned area. They had followed Kermit on his swim from Kalaeloa Campgrounds. He would haul out and vocalize every so often, and reenter the water and continue his quest, until he found Irma.

A White Plains lifeguard called me at 1348 to report that "the smaller green one" had just arrived and hauled out to join Kermit and Irma. Unscientific though it might be, I'm puttin' my dollar on Benny, however I have no proof of that at all.

When the Billands checked the Palm Grove at Campbell Industrial Park they found nobody, but a fisherman said they'd missed "a big one" by about an hour. Ewa Girl owns that location, and has had sufficient time to get back over there after her 4 day, 3 night package at Hanauma Bay. Of course, once again I have no proof, but I'll put another dollar on Ewa Girl. Aloha, DB
Kermit & Irma

KP2 Update

So here is a little one photographed for the first time since he's been in the wild. He looks great... so sweet and peaceful. Below is an official update from David Schofield, NOAA/NMFS/PIRO
Aloha all,
KP2 has been in the wild for 45 days. We know he has traveled several times to Ilio and La'au Pts and as far south as Kaunakakai from satellite trasnmitter readings, but today is the first day he has been observed and documented, through photography, outside of Kalaupapa. Molakai monk seal volunteers went out this morning (after receiving an update on his last known satellite tag location) and found him at 2 PM, fast asleep. Nice work to our Molokai volunteer team! David

DB Post Wednesday 1/28/2009

Kolohe (RW22) and Buster (RV08) were the only Rabbit Island residents today. Positive ID's were provided by my pal Jaap (DLNR) who was out there with a crew repairing the 2nd Blue Sign (2BS).

The Billands came through with a great find today. At 1425 they found Rocky and Benny together at Wind Sock, Kalaeloa Beach. They also reported Kermit by himself at Nimitz Beach. There had been an earlier report from the White Plains lifeguards of an animal there, but nobody was home when the Billands arrived.

The Rocky sighting is particularly interesting, because on the 26th John Johnson had recieved information that two animals , one of which was a female, were seen at Kahe Power Plant. Since Irma was accounted for that day , I though Rocky might be a possibility. With today's sighting, the possibility of the Kahe animal being Rocky is somewhat better.

I got grrrreat info late today of a KP2 sigthing at his "undisclosed location". Aloha, DB
Benny & Rocky
KP2 Snoozing and all wired up, u think he listens to music?
KP2 Tags

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

KP2 Update

Just a quick note to say there have been a couple of reports on KP2... He is doing great! Swimming and hanging out on the beaches, according to the last tracking he managed to get back to beach where he was released.

When I have more information or photos.... I will make sure to post.. I am hoping to see some shots of him out in the wild being a growing healthy seal.

DB Post Tuesday 1/27/2009

It was about as miserable a day as you could hope to have at the pier today. Visibility was horrible and the cold and rain didn't help. Fortunately, I was able to get an ID on KC at the left end of the island. She has been in the area many times over the years, but this was the her first observed visit to Rabbit Island.

At 1245 Buster and and animal I was unable to ID , hauled out to the 2nd Blue Sign (2BS). By that time it was nearly impossible to even see Rabbit Island let alone ID anybody. I finally called it a day at 1500.

Team Billand called at 1052 to report Kermit and Irma together at Nimitz Beach. Aloha, DB
Irma & Kermit
Irma & Kermit

Ka'ena - Sunday 1/25/2009

In the meantime, here are photos from McKay Davis, one of the Makai Ocean Engineering employees , who trekked to Ka'ena Pt. on Sunday. Ka'ena was the only KP resident.

DB Post Monday 1/26/2009

Apparently Ewa Girl decided on a 4 day, 3 night package. She was still at HB this morning.

Buster was the only resident of Rabbit Island today. I found him at the right end of the beach, pretty much where I'd seen him all day yesterday. He may well have overnighted.

Strengthening SW winds and nuisance drizzles brought an early end ot my MP day.

Team Billand reported Irma and Benny at WP, at 0945, and Kermit at Nimitz Beach at 1027
Benny & Irma

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Irma Out at White Plains

Volunteers Dana and Bob responded to Miss Irma hauling out at White Plains this afternoon. They so graciously sent these photos of lovely Irma. Hmm no Kermit or Benny.... girl needs her rest.

DB Post Sunday 1/25/2009

I found Ewa Girl waiting for me at Hanauma Bay this morning. This was the 2nd night of her (at least) 3 day, 2 night package.

The Rabbit Island cast for the day was R301 and RIP together near the 3rd Blue Sign (3BS), and Buster by himself at the right end of the beach. There was no interaction (or action) at all.

Team Billand reported Irma at White Plains at 0910, and at 0957 reported Kermit at Nimitz Beach.

Thanks to photos sent to me by Jenn Maldonado, taken by an untagged turtle guardian, The single day critter record has been surpassed. Shots of R5AY at Laniakea on 1-23-09 , make the new record 14 critters, and yes...... she's lookin' chubby to me too.
R301 & RIP
Irma Kermit
R5AY from 1/23/09