The list of sea creatures I was able to identify during our recent trip to Kauai contains 84 species. However, many of the male/female and juvenile/adult versions of the fish look so dissimilar that they appear to be completely unrelated, so perhaps they should count as separate identifications! One example is the male and female Bird Wrasses pictured in my watercolor above.
There were also some wonderful birds, including Red-Footed Boobies, Tropic Birds, Laysan Albatross, and Great Frigatebirds. Lovely Red-Crested Cardinals, Northern Cardinals and Doves visited us on our deck in Princeville. We also saw a few of the native Hawaiian Geese, and innumerable Myna Birds and feral Chickens. Actually, the chickens were everywhere! They were scattered from coops destroyed during hurricanes several years ago, and they’ve pretty much taken over the island. Roosters strut around in their finery and crow at all hours. Chicks of all sizes scurry after their mothers. They even hopped in and out of our car when we had a door open in the Ke’e Beach parking lot!
My favorite part of any trip to Hawaii is the snorkeling. This time we stayed in two different locations, so we were able to go diving at the Poipu beaches in the south as well as Tunnels and Ke’e Beaches in the north. Whenever I go diving, I write down every fish I can remember when I get out. After the first dive, I just add any new creatures to the list to avoid repetition. If I don’t already know what it is, I search through books until I find it. Since I had recently completed the painting of Hawaiian Fishes, it was much easier to identify many more fish this trip. All the research I did for the painting paid off!