We had bee-yoo-tee-full weather in Louisiana this year for the Mardi Gras. I decided to forego the revelry and head for the woods instead. Decided to try a new location today and headed with a BR Audubon society friend to Lake Martin near Breaux Bridge. It was an easy hour drive and we were rewarded immediately on arrival to the rookery with a great view of Roseate Spoonbills and Great Egrets in the cypress trees. The Spoonbills are the greatest color this time of year...orange and strawberry sherbet! They haven't quite paired off yet and started nesting, but there sure is a lot of clacking going on! I can't tell if they're mating or fighting! We got some great views of Red-Shoulder Hawks as well. Gorgeous colors!
The Great Egrets were in full-on breeding mode. Some were doing the Egret Mating Dance. It was very cool...they would show off the long breeding plumage tail feathers and do their repetitive, ritualistic dance. Some had paired off and started nests. I couldn't tell if there were eggs yet.
We saw a few shy Moorhens working along the water's edge. Along with many Alligators that were just hanging around looking for, shall we say, lunch opportunities.
We saw a few Swamp Sparrows and some other un-identified "little brown jobs" . One of the coolest things for me was the flock of Ruby-Crowned Kinglets. Usually I would just see one, but there must have been a dozen or more all in one place chittering away. And they brought a Northern Parula with them! Another first :-)
A Black-Crowned Night heron was there see us off as we headed back to town it had the neatest tail presumably its version of breeding plumage
It was a great outing and I plan to go back a few times this spring to see the Spoonbills and Egrets nesting and fledging... I tell you, I felt completely inadequate with my little camera and vid-cam though--you should have seen some of the rigs these folks had! Next time I'll take a picture of them :-)