Saturday, February 22, 2014
3000 birds roosting in Monticello wastewater plant
I just got back from a quick visit to the wastewater facility on Monticello Ave, on the Orleans-Jefferson line, where I went to check on the evening roost. Birds there can be viewed from the levee along Monticello.
The number of roosting White Ibis is several fold larger than on my last visit, which was back in late summer or fall. Tonight there were about 2100 White Ibis, 98% or more adult (ie, white). There were perhaps 100 egrets also: Great, Snowy, and Cattle. No other heron species were seen, although I heard a Black-crowned Night-Heron's kwok several times. Four Anhingas were roosting in the ibis throng.
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were everywhere, lined up single file on the handrails- almost comically. I estimated 1000. They were becoming quite noisy by the time I left.
A male Ring-necked Duck and a pair (male, female) of Lesser Scaup were together in one pond, where another duck in the failing light looked like a Mottled Duck, but I can't say for sure it couldn't have been a Mallard in female-type plumage. One Pied-billed Grebe, three American Coot. Three Wood Ducks were seen flying in- actually less than in the warm season.
Starlings were coming to roost in the reeds, where Red-winged Blackbirds were audible- singing actually. It is impossible to tell how many had settled in there for the night.