|Still woke up at 6:30am and got ready to leave at 7:30am. When I got to the Lyon Botanical Garden, to my disappointment it was closed. It only opens during weekend. I could hear many bird sounds at the parking lot. Pretty soon I saw a group of Leiothrix that I just saw in Chengdu in February. There were several White-rumped Shamas besides normal suspects such as Japanese Whiteeye and Bulbuls. After I parked the car and began to walk in the parking lot, a group about 30 Red Jungle Fowls appeared from underbrush and ran towards me. Somebody must have been feeding them. A couple of hens have chicks. When I was looking up the tall tree to see what birds were there, I suddenly felt something hit the back of my head. Soon, something gooey and warm started to run down my neck. I realized what it was: bird poopoo! I looked up but the offender had slipped away. I took some paper towels out and wiped it clean as much as I could. I took it as a good omen.
Now I must change the plan. Since Kawainui Wetland is nearby, I went there. It was built in 1997 to mitigate flood. Now, it is a wetland with walking trails. At the parking lot there were a dozen of Red-crested Cardinal, many Common Myna and Zebra Dove. During the walk along the ponds, I found Scaly-breasted Munia, Chestnut Munia, a Black-crowned Nightheron, 2 Muscovy ducks, and many Pacific Golden Plovers. A dozen or so Cattle Egrets were following a tractor that was mowing some overgrown wetland plants. Normally they follow cows, zebras, giraffe, and other bigger animals to get insects they stir up. The tractor was doing the same.
After a simple lunch at a small restaurant nearby I started to drive to Sea Life Park. Last time when I visited, I remember that it had a colony of Greater Frigatebird. But this time the staff told me they were not there anymore. I stopped at a couple of observation points to watch the sea and the scenery. The white sandy beach stretches forever, the diamond head is the backdrop, the sea water and the sky are clean blue, and the palms swaying. This is Hawaii what I remembered.
By 3:00pm I made to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. It has changed the most. Now each person has to pay $7.50 to enter, one must watch a safety video, and there is a tram that one can take to get to the beach. Last time when I was there, no entry fee was needed, no tram nor visitor center but one could buy bags of fish food to take along for snorkel. To my disappointment there were only 1/10 of fish and the coral reef seems dead. The colorful sea garden no longer exists but gray coral reef. There were big schools of fish but now only a few. No sea turtles either. This really reflects how we as human has done to the natural world, even in Hawaii. It is really sad!
Got back to Waikiki just in time for sunset. It is still just as beautiful as I remembered.