Sunday, November 17, 2013
Birding opportunity: low water at Bayou Sauvage NWR
One of the birding highlight of Greater New Orleans is the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge of New Orleans East.
While it is worth visiting under any circumstances, the areas south of I-10 are presently experiencing exceptionally good conditions. When water levels are low, the ponds and marshes in that area gather thousands of waterbirds. Although birds may be distant, the numbers of them will be exhilirating nonetheless.
The refuge is currently experiencing such conditions- making now a prime time to visit. There is no telling how long these conditions will last- their attractiveness could even be severely reversed by just a few rainstorms. Many months can sometimes pass between low water episodes, so now is a great time to get out and enjoy the throngs of waterbirds.
Good viewing is available along Chef Menteur Hwy, east of I-510. Just into the refuge, a gated road on the right (Recovery Road) can be walked to a large pond- if you want, you can walk the levee track for miles around its perimeter (the levee eventually separates it from the Intracoastal Waterway and tidal marshes). You can also view the habitat from the Joe Madere boardwalk just a bit farther down Chef Hwy. Light is generally best in the afternoon in both places, since the wetlands lie to the east of the vantage points. There are land birds to be seen while walking Recovery Road, in the roadside scrub.
These places are described on pp. 35 + 36 in Birding Made Easy-New Orleans.
for a copy of Birding Made Easy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for it at local bookstores. It is now available at:
Uptown: Garden District Book Shop, Maple Street Book Shops
French Quarter and the Marigny: Peach Records, Fauborg Marigny Art Books Music, Librarie Book Shop, Beckham's Bookshop, Arcadian Books and Prints, the Crabnet