Masked Boobies: Rose Atoll Part Two

The Masked Booby is such an elegant bird however the young are endearing and almost comical – as the first two photographs show.  There were a few chicks and juveniles on Rose Island and I saw several adults flying.  The young were at the edge of the vegetation by the high tide line and appeared unperturbed  as we walked by.

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Rose Atoll, Remote US National Monument. Part One Brown Boobies

Rose Atoll is a tiny speck on the map in the Southern pacific and is part of American Samoa.  This remote place has one small island that you can walk around in twenty minutes but is home for over 300,000 seabirds.  This is the first of a series of blogs about this land of  sun and sand,  sky and sea, pink rocks and guano.  There are three species of Boobies nesting on Rose Island. The brown boobies always seem slightly comical on land but are so graceful in the air.

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Ofu Beach American Samoa National Park

The second island in American Samoa I visited was Ofu. It is joined by a slim suspension bridge to Olisega and together they are six kilometers long.  This isolated speck of paradise has steep verdant slopes of thick forest and a lagoon full of coral and bright reef fish.  The South side is part of American Samoa national Park.  I spent an afternoon snorkeling off Ofu Beach  – One of the most magical places I have ever seen.  My photos taken with a small digital camera really don’t do it justice but I hope they give you a glimpse of this pacific jewel

DSC_4308 Ofu caves

DSC_4296 Ofu Coast

DSC_4330 DSC_4321Young Humpback Whale

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Ofu

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Ofu Breach

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Ofu Beach

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Ofu Reef

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Algae  eating into the coral looked like a strange hand print

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Marks from Puffer fish feeding on the coral

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Removing species of algae harmful to the coral

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Huge Blue Star fish

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Ofu Beach

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Leaving the Harbor

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Posted in American Samoa, environment, fish, General, Landscape, marine, National Parks, Nature, ocean, outdoors, pacific islands, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beautiful National Park of American Samoa

I have just come back from a remarkable visit to one of our least known treasures and one of the most beautiful places I have seen – A National Park far deep in the Southern Hemisphere spanning several of the verdant volcanic islands of American Samoa. This post shows some of the photographs I took from a  visit to the National Park of American Samoa on the island of Tutuila on a rainy morning in early October. The light was terrible but you will  have some idea of the landscape and birds in the Park.

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View from American Samoa National Park

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Entering US Southern-most Park!

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View of Pago Pago, the Capital of  American Samoa on Tutuila the main island

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The National Park in light rain

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The sun came out briefly

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DSC_5646 DSC_5647The endemic Samoan Starling

DSC_5681 DSC_5655 The endemic Wattled Honeyeater

 

DSC_5661 DSC_5733The Collared Kingfisher

DSC_5657 Moth  – Alas no idea of the species

DSC_5669 Small blue butterfly –  probably Euchrysops cnejus samoa

DSC_5676 DSC_5741 Fruit Bats

DSC_5697 DSC_5707 Purple-Capped Fruit Dove

DSC_5747Australasian Swamphen

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Orange Sulphur Butterfly

I love the delicate colors of the underwings of the Orange Sulphur.  The pink wash on the edges of the wings complements the yellow, blues and greens – and in this case the flower as well.

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Fritillaries in a Butterfly Garden in Maine

South of Bar Harbor, Maine, tucked away in the woods and close to the water, is a house with a wonderful butterfly garden.  It is close to the end of the season and the most common butterflies around now are fritillaries. I only had my cell phone with me when I visited a few days ago  – however I tried to capture the glory of this garden with some snapshots of the butterflies and the flowers.photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 2-2 photo 2 photo 4-2 photo 5-4  photo 5-3 photo 1 photo 1-2 photo 3-3 IMG_0095 photo 5-5 photo 4-3 photo 5-6 IMG_0091

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August insects in Provence

I went for an early morning walk along the edge of the vineyards in a small valley near Bandol in Provence.  The grapes were ripening and the wildflowers dying, but the insects, especially the dragonflies, were out in force.  The sun was very hot and the air extremely dry and dead leaves and dry earth cracked under foot.  There was a small stream at one side full of demoiselles and other insects.  At the other end the fading lavender bushes were alive with bees and the air full of the sound of cicadas.

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