Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Site report: Lafitte Trace boardwalk
Today I spent an hour on this boardwalk down in Lafitte, a relatively new site with untapped birding potential. I have not heard a birding report from this site before.
This is a 0.8 mile loop boardwalk through semi-open baldcypress swamp forest, with trees widely enough spaced to have sufficient sunlight to produce a healthy weed layer and ample shrubs (which appeared to me to be wax myrtle). The cypress are c. 60-80 feet tall. At the midpoint, the boardwalk reaches a canal, providing a little open water. A spur goes off here, a cement walkway following the spoil bank (wooded) of the canal for about a third mile. The interpretive signage indicates this provides views of an egret rookery in nesting season.
The whole thing is 3 miles from where the high rise over the Intracoastal Waterway ends (a T intersection- turn left).
The whole length of the boardwalk and cement path were alive with songbirds- hundreds. They were constantly swarming to my spishing, which I did essentially continuously. However, their diversity was not as great as in some other winter woodlands in our area. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining hour, with 200 or so Yellow-rumped Warblers, 25 or so Swamp Sparrows, and 8-12 each of House and Carolina Wrens, Common Yellowthroat, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. There were smaller numbers of Eastern Phoebe, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Orange-crowned Warbler.
Birds of other taxa included four woodpecker species, all just heard, incuding Pileated and Sapsucker. Black Vultures were about, and an odd American Kestrel was calling repeatedly up in the cypress crown (pleet pleet pleet...). Two each of Great Blue Heron and Great Egret.
For a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for it at area book stores. It is now available at
Uptown: Garden District Book Shop, Maple Street Book Shop, Octavia Books
French Quarter and Marigny: Peach Records, Fauborg Marigny Art Books Music, Librairie Book Shop, Beckham's Bookshop, Arcadian Books and Prints, the Crabnet
Mid City: City Park Botanical Garden, Community Book Center
North Shore: Mandeville Chiropractic