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Pacific Golden Plover by Steve Gifford | by Steve Gifford - IN
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Pacific Golden Plover by Steve Gifford

Kauai, Hawaii - Day One


No, these pictures are not from Indiana! As a surprise for Sarah's 40th birthday, I decided to break with our traditional quiet family celebrations and do something really special and take her to Kauai, Hawaii. Kauaii is one of the most pristine tropical environments in Hawaii, earning it the name "The Garden Island". Several films such as South Pacific and Jurasic Park have been filmed here because of it's beautiful scenery.


After resting up from a long day of travel, we headed out this morning and went to the Kilauea Lighthouse and Bird Sanctuary on the island's north shore. It was an amazing start to our vacation as I realized what a treasure this place really is. Before we even left the parking lot of the condo, we saw birds like Pacific Golden Plovers, Common Mynas and Cattle Egrets strutting through the landscaping. Birds like these that would otherwise be showstoppers in Indiana are very common here.


Upon arriving at the lighthouse itself, we were greeted by hundreds of various sea birds flying and nesting in the trees along the lava cliffs. Red-footed Boobys, Frigatebirds and Albatross were everywhere! In addition to the birds, we also spent some time on the point watching pods of Humpback Whales spouting and breaching with their newborn calves offshore. Unbelieveable.


After returning to the condo for lunch and a short nap, we made our way down a short, steep trail below our place and explored the shoreline. It was both relaxing and awe-inspiring to see the power of the waves as they crashed into the rocky shores in explosions of white. It was absolutely mesmerizing to watch.


Still worn out from the time change we headed back up to our condo and sat on the balcony watching passing whales and talking until bedtime.


Not a bad way to spend a day. Five more to go!

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Taken on March 20, 2011