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Monday, March 29, 2010

Yellow Rail

A 'Rail Walk' was hosted not far from my house in Anahuac Refuge, Texas this weekend. Anyone who wishes to participate just shows up. The participants walk close together combing the salt marsh/prairie habitat hoping to flush one of the five species of rails. We flushed two Yellow Rails and a Clapper Rail (which landed a foot away from me) during the walk. I was one of only a few who had seen Yellow Rails thanks to the 'Yellow Rail / Rice Fest' held in Thornwell last year.

My hopes were high to see the elusive, recluse, rare Black Rail which has been seen on walks in previous years. No dice today but it was certainly fun trying.

There are four days of rail walks left. If you are interested, go to http://www.friendsofanahuacnwr.org/ and click on Yellow Rail Walks for more information.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crested Caracara, Turkey, White-Faced Ibis

My son-in-law and I came upon this Crested Caracara sitting in a tree at Pintail Loop in Cameron Parish today. Being backlit by the sun left much to be desired for the image. I've never seen brown plumage on a Crested Caracara and wondered if this was a juvenile Caracara. (Left click to enlarge)

We were traveling down a farm road when a hen ran across the road followed by two Tom Turkeys. They were displaying and gobbling attempting to gain the attention of the hen. (Left click to enlarge).

This multi-colored, stunning White-Faced Ibis was at Pintail Loop today showing off its iridescent plumage. (Left click to enlarge).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

YC Night Heron, White-Eyed Vireo, Black and White Warbler, Hooded Warbler

Robby Bacon discovered a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron sitting in a tree at Peveto with his eyes closed, sleeping. There was no waking the YCNH as he was too tired and too exhausted from his journey north to move. (left click to enlarge)

This White-eyed Vireo is one scary looking bird with his white eye. He looks possessed and in need of an Exorcism. (left click to enlarge)

This Black and White Warbler was in perpetual motion hopping about the tree trunk and limbs. He spent almost as much time upside down as right side up. (left click to enlarge)

The Hooded Warbler was a pleasure to see with its brillaint yellow plumage and black hood.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Singing Carolina Wren, Barn Swallow

An unfamiliar song was music to my ears this morning. A Carolina Wren was perched on the top of a thick budding bush singing away. It was a pleasure to hear the melody, observe the Wren and capture its picture. Left click to enlarge.

A stunning, brilliant colored Barn Swallow was perched on a line this morning. He was most cooperative as he posed for his picture. Left click to enlarge.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-Headed Blackbird, Lincoln's Sparrow

Thanks to Paul C and a little luck, the rare, Review List Cinnamon Teal was still in the pond on Pintail Drive. After scanning every duck on the water it finally popped into view after about an hour and a half. I pulled up the truck and was preparing to take its picture when a huge motor home passed down the road. All of the ducks took to the air, including the Cinnamon Teal and left. What poor timing for the motor home to pass.

I backed up in my truck and started the tedious process again. The ducks ever so slowly returned to the pond. After another ninety minutes of scanning each and every duck on the water, lo and behold there were now two drake Cinnamon Teal and one hen.

With no one coming down the road I captured their images. Two cars paseed while taking the pictures. The passengers in one car were from Rhode Island and the passengers in the other car were from New York. They were friendly and cordial birders and had a lot of nice things to say about our area. They were happy to witness this bird.

(Left click on the image to enlarge).

Paul C was spot on again, as usual. There were six Yellow-Headed Blackbirds on Chalkley Road this afternoon. It seems so unnatural for a blackbird to have a yellow head. It was interesting and amusing to oberve these birds.

(Left click on the image to enlarge).

A Lincoln's Sparrow popped out of some thick brush this afternoon.
(Left click on the image to enlarge).

American Goldfinch

This is my first year to see an American Goldfinch and some of these delightful little birds are still lingering around. The transformation into their striking colorful breeding plumage is remarkable. I'm not certain how much longer they will remain in our area but they are surely getting prettier by the day. (Left click to enlarge).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Canada Goose

My son-in-law and I were heading South on Highway 27 this morning. Right before you get to the shrimp boats before Hackberry in the marsh to the west was a surprise. Two Canadian Geese were swimming in the marsh close to some grass. We managed to get a picture of one of them. What a great way to start the day. Left click to enlarge.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carolina Chickadees

These cute little fussbudgets hop around never sitting still for their picture to be taken. They are like small children when trying to take pictures for a family portrait. Every now and then (mostly then) an opportunity presents itself. Left click to enlarge picture.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was fortunate this Merlin landed on a high line close to me. It hovered like a hummingbird momentarily in mid-air as it left its perch and was quite agile in the air as it flew away. (Left click to enlarge image).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Northern Parula

I was just leaving home, 3/12/2010, when a movement in one of our trees caught my attention. I saw a glimmer of yellow behind some leaves and thought it must be an American Goldfinch. Then this striking, small male Northern Parula with its blue, yellow and chestnut colors hopped out hanging upside down looking at me. He was hilarious as he spent as much time hanging upside down as he did right side up as he bounced about the trees. This is the first Northern Parula seen in our yar. The spring migration must be on. Left click to enlarge the image.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

White-Tailed Hawk

My wife and I were surprised to find this White-Tailed Hawk on Fabacher Road in Calcasieu Parish this morning sitting in a low lying tree along the fence line. It is an extremely rare raptor in Louisiana which has only been documented about seven times. It was an exciting way to start the day! Left click to enlarge the image.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hawk, Cardinal and Ash-Throated Flycatcher

This Red-Tailed Hawk looked different today, 3/10/2010. with his white mask. I'm not certain what that is all about but it was surely different. (Left click for larger image)

A lot of attention is paid to the male Cardinal with his brilliant red plumage. The female Cardinal is often forgotten but is surely pretty with her striking red accents. (Left click for larger image).

I spotted this Ash-Throated Flycatcher in a tree today, 3/10/2010. I was thankful it was in the open and not concealed behind the limbs. It flew away after a few clicks of the shutter. This bird is uncommon in Louisiana and I felt thankful to witness it and to capture its image. (Left click for larger image).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A few small birds ...

My Son-in-Law and I were watching sparrows. Unbeknownst to us were being watched as well. The masked bandit with his hooked bill was keeping a sharp eye out for available sparrows. (Left click for larger image)

If you want a picture of a Swamp Sparrow go to the swamp. This Swamp Sparrow finally jumped on the edge of the brush opening himself up for a picture. (Left click for larger image.)

I thought the American Goldfinch had left the building but lo and behold there were a few hanging around and this one happened to be somewhat cooperative. (Left click for larger image.)

The Chipping Sparrows were out and about today. One of them held still enough to get a few pictures. (Left click for larger image.)

Here he is again turned around. (Left click for larger image.)