Sunday, January 5, 2014

Honey Island Swamp and Bayou Sauvage today

I spent from 10:15-12:30 with visiting birders in the Honey Island Swamp, on old Hwy 11.  The highlight was a Barred Owl which came in and put on a show in response to my hooting imitation, at the first bridge.  The other most notable feature of the area was the number of woodpeckers- probably the most conspicuous taxon of birds there, apart from warblers (ie, Yellow-rumped Warblers).  We had seven species:  Pileated, Red-bellied, Red-headed, Hairy, Downy, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Northern Flicker, probably about 25 woodpeckers total.  My first Downy doing a drum roll this "spring."

Madere Marsh Overlook on Chef Menteur Highway in Bayou Sauvage is quite birdy; at 2 pm it had numbers (10+ each) of Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, and Green-winged Teal.  There were smaller numbers of other ducks as well.  Flocks of gulls and terns sitting, mainly Forster's Terns and Ring-billed Gulls, but some other interesting species mixed in- eg, 4 Caspian Terns, and Bonaparte's Gull.  Black-necked Stilts all over, large waders of various species scattered around the edge.  American Pipits are foraging in the mud clumps by the boardwalk, affording good viewing opportunities.  A very birdy spot- very helpful to have a scope, but birding is worthwhile with just binocs.  Light is best in the afternoon.


For a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at, 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
Metairie:  Double M Feed on W. Esplanade
Harahan:  Double M Feed on Jefferson Hwy
North Shore:  Mandeville Chiropractic

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