Friday, April 17, 2015
Nine Mile Point grain elevator birds
This morning I took a stroll along the Mississippi River levee on the West Bank at Nine Mile Point, walking from the grain elevator for a distance of a half mile upstream.
The backwater by the elevator was crowded with Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, perhaps 1000. Four Fulvous Whistling-Ducks among them were unusual for southeast Louisiana. Seven Blue-winged Teal were also mixed in (six drakes and a hen), as was a comically large brood of Wood Ducks- the hen was followed by 14-15 small ducklings. Five Lesser Scaup remained on the river, lingering past the normal March departure of their kind.
Shorebirds were also using the edges of the backwater: 20 Lesser and 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 10 Black-necked Stilts, and 15 Least, 5 Solitary, and 3 Spotted Sandpipers A Red-shouldered Hawk called loudly from a low tree, a Painted Bunting sang from another, and two or three pairs of Eastern Bluebirds frequented open perches along the levee. A circling flock of 17 Black Vultures appeared to be rising from a nocturnal roost in the batture willows, while ten or so Tree Swallows foraged beneath them.
All birds were seen from the paved trail on the levee top- the batture itself is posted.