Saturday, January 16, 2016

Recent sightings on the batture

As usual, the batture in Old Jefferson has been providing some daily pleasures.

This morning, in a twenty minute levee stroll, I was treated to 22 swimming Wood Ducks and a couple more flybys- not an uncommon species here, but usually detected in single digits.  Probably made more visible by the unusually high river, which is lapping the base of the levee.

A Common Gallinule was also present today- I only see a couple each year in this stretch. 

A flock of White Ibis and Cattle Egrets has been working the water's edge every morning, although today they were on a rain-soaked lawn barely outside the levee- 200 strong, mostly ibis. 

A flock of 120 Robins a few days ago flew out from the batture forest in the morning, headed into the residential areas nearby.  The species is a winter resident here, not the harbinger of spring as it is farther north.

This morning two Eastern Bluebirds fled a wire just long enough to dodge a meddling Kestrel.  A few days ago, a group of 45 American Pipits skittered from place to place on the grassy levee face as bicyclists and dog-walkers repeatedly (unwittingly) put them to flight.

Perhaps the most unexpected bird was a Pied-billed Grebe- seen today and a few mornings ago.  This species does not winter in this section of batture in normal conditions- not enough open water.  It appears the flooding has made the habitat more appealing. 


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