Thursday, April 29, 2010

What're you squawking about??

Complaint of a Moorhen from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

This Common Moorhen was not happy that I was able to get so close...not sure if the alarms were for itself or if had a mate or chicks that may have been hidden in the vegetation.

Observed near the backside of the rookery near Jefferson Island, LA.

A Look at a Rookery

Scenes from a rookery from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

"I'll get you, my pretty!"

An alligator patrols beneath a wading bird rookery near Jefferson Island, LA. Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Cattle, Snowy, Great Egrets, and a few Roseate Spoonbills are all nesting here, as well as a few Neotropic Cormorants and Anhingas.

Where have all the Spoonbills gone?

Spoonbill Convention from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

This collection of Roseate Spoonbills was seen hanging out near the small rookery near Jefferson Island, Louisiana. They didn't seem to be interested in pairing off for breeding, which was odd. Mostly they seemed to be pestered by flying insects (buffalo gnats?). There were a few spoonbill nests stirred in with the other wading birds, but not many at this location.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fuzzy little Red-tails

The hawk's nest is hidden well at the top of a tall cypress. I wasn't sure, for a while, if there was anything in the nest, but then a head poked up...and then a second. A few trees over, the parent screeched at me...I didn't stay long...

Red Tailed Hawk nest in cypress tree from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

There were two nestlings visible and they seemed to be curious about me. Mom was not amused, however, and she cussed at me big time for being too close to her babies.

The Swamp Canary sings

The Swamp Canary sings from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

The Prothonotary Warbler is a welcome sight, and sound, in south Louisiana. Its song is a sure sign of spring, as it finds its way to our swamps and bayous and sets up nesting territories. This one found a lovely snack!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Swamp Scenes

Painted Bunting - this is how a rainbow colored bird hides in a green tree
This turtle has had a hard life...still kicking

Picture perfect stream

Have a seat

Cypress-Tupelo Swamp

Virgina sweet-spire

Stand of Indian Pink

Close up of Indian Pink



Red Swamp Maple - leaf bud

Spider Lily

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cuckoos and Catbirds

Beautiful day for birding on Grand Isle today. Even though I arrived mid-day, the weather was sunny but not too hot, a little breezy, and altogether pleasant. The woods are all fresh and green. I did make a pass to the state park end of the island and picked up a few shorebirds, but spent most of my time in Sureway woods. Birds were not there in great number, but there were some good ones. Unfortunately, most of them eluded my camera. Catbirds are probably the most plentiful, but there were also 3 types of vireos, both Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks, a several warblers -- coolest for me were the Northern Waterthrush and the Black-throated Green. There were also several Cuckoos, though try as we might, we could not make any of them into Black-billed.

Roadside Birding on Grand Isle

I love that you can detour down a side road on Grand Isle and run across a gaggle of shorebirds.

Shy Willet

This is the story of the Yellowlegs who thought he was a Dowitcher

Striking Stilt

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frenchtown Road Conservation Area

Photos taken on 4/11/2010 at BREC's Frenchtown Conservation Area, where the Amite and the Comite rivers meet.

New fern frond

Jack in the Pulpit

Green Dragon - relative of jack-in-the-pulpit with an even more impressive tongue

Close-up of the dragon's tongue

Gartner snake

Cypress-tallow swamp

Stand of giant bamboo

This is where I want to put in my kayak on the Amite river.

Monday, April 05, 2010

He's flown the coop!

The Ramah-Maringuoin Eagle chick has fledged! A friend (thanks, Carol!) sent me this link today to a photographer's photos on flickr. He apparently caught the chick in the act of taking his first flight!

Calling in the nest
Wings spread -- ready to go!
Up to a nearby branch!
And he's away! First flight!

How terrifically exciting -- how I wish I could have seen it! Good to know the chick's on his way. Bald Eagles take 4+ years to develop the white head and tail and become fully adult and are ready for a nest of their own. Best wishes to this chick, and here's hoping the Ramah-Maringuoin pair come back next year to this wonderful location and do it all over again!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I'm addicted to waxwings!

I can't help it. I walk past a tree full of Cedar Waxwings and I have to take a picture of them. They're just so darn photogenic and cooperative!

Eagle Bonanza!

Visited the Ramah-Maringuoin eagle nest this week and found the chick continuing to "flappercize" --stretching his wings in practice flying motions. The wind was so stiff we were worried a gust might take him right out of the nest before he's ready! There's not doubt he'll be leaving the nest soon. The parents are still very attentive, with one adult usually at or near the nest. One was even observed feeding the chick this week, though he is obviously able to eat on his own.

As an added bonus, we noticed TWO Bald Eagles down at the Capitol Lakes in downtown Baton Rouge this week! There have been eagle sightings at the Capitol and University lakes all winter, but this is, I believe, the first time two have been observed together. Seems very likely this pair might have a nest site close to downtown, but nothing has been reported (to my knowledge). I was able to set up my scope in our office building and let people look at the eagles -- for many, it was the first time to see an eagle "in person"!