Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Today in Jean Lafitte National Park's "Big Woods"
Most birders who visit Jean Lafitte National Park go to the Coquille Trail, a worthy destination. However, one of the most significant natural resources of the park is across the street- an area called the "Big Woods" that is one of the two best remaining mature forest areas south of Lake Pontchartrain (the other being the forests of the English Turn area). The area is accessed by the Ring Levee Trail, Wood Duck Trail, and Plantation Trail loop, and other trails. I walked those three trails this morning, from 6:30-9:30 AM.
Perhaps the highlight was seeing and hearing nine Pileated Woodpeckers- the most I've had in a day in a while. Three were close. That was twice as many as all the other woodpeckers combined. There were also five or so hollering Barred Owls.
The neotropical migrant nesting chorus was fun as usual. I tallied a total of 13 Northern Parulas, 11 Hooded Warblers, 8 Prothonotaries, 8 Red-eyed Vireos, 5 Yellow-throated Warblers, 4 White-eyed Vireos, and two Acadian Flycatchers- all by song.