Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sandpipers returning to the Earhardt x Causeway ponds

Well, there has been low water in the retention ponds beneath Causeway at Earhardt for most of the summer, but no migrant shorebirds till today.

This morning there were a single Least Sandpiper, single Pectoral Sandpiper, and two Spotted Sandpipers.

Leasts are tiny and brown above, Pectoral is twice as large (but still smaller than Killdeer) and also quite brown above; Spotteds are most easily told by their exaggerated bobbing of their rear ends as they walk about. 

They were in the company of 8 Black-necked Stilts and 8 Killdeer- nesters in the New Orleans area.  And the usual large waders- today Snowy Egrets, White Ibis, and a young Black-crowned Night-Heron.  An adult Red-shouldered Hawk was atop the utility pole where it often sits.

Someone has put four duck decoys out there in the marshy section east of the overpass- not sure what they are thinking!?!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Time to bid the kites farewell

Within the next week or so, there will be a dramatic change in our bird scene. Our Mississippi Kites, so prevalent in our skies in August, will disappear. Their departure to head around the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most abrupt changes in our bird communities each year.
We will have to wait until next April to enjoy them again!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Roseate Spoonbill at Nine Mile Point on West Bank

Yesterday I made a visit to the grain elevators on River Rd at Nine Mile Pt. A Roseate Spoonbill was plying the shallows of the pool just downstream of the entrance, seen from the Miss River levee. It was an adult, as revealed by scattered rich pink feathers among the paler pink overall body tones. I am 90% sure another individual of the species flew out as I approached.
The usual horde of Black-bellied Whistling- Ducks was in attendance, 3000 strong, 20% adult-sized juvs hatched this year. The spot was busy with waders, including 60 Great and 20 Snowy Egrets, 55 White Ibis, and 22 Black-necked Stilts.
Good busy birding spot.