Saturday, May 06, 2006

Yellow Breasted Chat -- what a bird!

Whiskey Bay is an area just east of the Atchafalaya Basin. You take the highway 975, going north. It's a gravel road, and it follows the Atchafalaya River for 17 miles to Krotz Springs if you take it the whole way. Almost immediately after the exit is a "watering hole" on the right hand side that has been very productive for birds, especially in the evening this spring when it was so dry. Something less than a mile north on 975 you'll enter Sherburne Wildlife Management Area. This is a state area run by LA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries. You're supposed to have a Wildlife stamp or any kind of hunting or fishing license.

I ran into a new bird on my first visit to Whiskey Bay. There were plenty of these guys and they are anything but shy! I get such a kick out of watching them. They have terrible posture, and they look like they're retching when they sing. The field guides describes their flight as "awkward" -- that's putting it mildly! How on earth do these birds migrate across the gulf!

Here are some shots of the Yellow-Breasted Chat.

Chat on a wire -- talk about bad posture!

Chat in a tree

A little bit closer

and a close up of the Chat singing his song

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