Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I decided to do something about the Louisiana situation. Which was that I had very few species listed for there in spite of having lived and spent a lot of time in New Orleans after I started birding. I'm trying to make the ABA threshold in all the states touching Arkansas. That's silly, but what isn't in the face of the end of civilization.

This is an email I sent to Don Chalfont of Michigan and Florida after we had exchanged some lists. We discovered that we'd both sadly neglected birding in Louisiana, and I got motivated to do some mop-up. The big annual ABA convention was in Louisiana, but I couldn't justify the expense. It was later in the year and conflicted with some other commitment to act as birding guide for an Elderhostel trip. Also most of the LA birding habitat is easily accessible and widespread so it's not necessary to have a guide if you have some experience at just puzzling out maps and the time to simply explore.

So a twelve day gulf trip with 3 days in LA. Got 104 species, 83 were new tics, probably more that I never logged in like CAWR, BRPE, maybe others. Anyway I'm attaching a pdf to give a sample of LA in the winter. One day north, stayed at a state park on an oxbow lake south of Tallulah, one day SW, stayed near Lake Charles, and one day on Lake Pontchartrain near Mandeville. The state park looks like an excellent migrant place, right near the big river, great birding habitat, with well spaced big trees, brushy areas etc. Think I might do a LA, MS, TN spring migrant run. I got to the panhandle finally, a cold rainy proposition, there for the big storms on the news sitting in Outsz's Too outside St Mark's, next day snapping pics at Wakulla (got a private tour on an intro to one of the rangers), but added great stuff for winter in FL (40 new), now at 194, close enough to force another trip. So I'm jazzed as they say. Needed the break badly, funny that I can be exhausted almost the whole time - drive, bird, drive bird, drivebird, etc, but come home invigorated. Best birds were an Oldsquaw on the coast of AL, and a Long-eared Owl serenade for half an hour in AR, also saw Red-throated Loon and Tufted Duck in AR, Thayer's Gull too. A pretty good time. Hope you're well and enjoying the winter somewhere warm. I never got down to a T-shirt that whole trip.

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What follows is a more detailed accounting of the trip.


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