Saturday, March 28, 2015

Swarming swallows in Bayou Sauvage

This morning I walked with Dave Muth out to South Point in Bayou Sauvage NWR.  This is where the railroad bridge leaves for Slidell in extreme New Orleans East. 

We were hoping for some migratory movement across the lake, and did see a flock of eight Anhingas and a group of four Little Blue Herons that appeared to be crossing.  But the most striking feature of the visit was the impressive swarm of swallows that were foraging over the levee and marshes, sitting out in the emergent grasses, and even hunkered down on the cement flood control structure to gather warm solar rays.  They were overwhelmingly Tree Swallows- 400 plus- with healthy numbers of Barns, Cliffs, and Purple Martins, and three Northern Rough-wingeds.  Cliffs were conspicuously back in residence at their nesting colonies at the Hwy 11 overpass over I-10, and the "crabbing bridge" nearby.  Oddly, none were yet in evidence at their colony farther west at Almonaster x Paris Road. 

The usual marsh birds were in attendance along the walk out to South Point, with Clapper Rails calling, liberally scattered American Coots and Blue-winged Teal, groups of four each of Mottled Ducks and Northern Shovelers, six circling Anhingas, scores of White Ibis working the muddy shallows, etc...


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