Monday, December 28, 2009

Beginnings of CBCs

Week 3, December 14-20, 2009

Monday - In the morning at the NERR, I went back to the boat landing, pretty foggy conditions, but as the sun broke through I was able to find one yellow-eyed Blackbird, a Brewer's, amongst the Red-wings. Then a short drive north to the Pascagoula River Audubon Center was worth the trouble since the guy there was able to direct me to some likely spots, and in particular, the nest of a Bald Eagle. I tried several others hoping for White Ibis, but they have eluded me in MS. I did finally find a flock of dark Ibis while crossing a bridge in that area. I headed back to Pass Christian for some library geeking in the trailer that served for a library while the new replacement for the Katrina wreck was finished. Also laundry and a bath, thorough immersion in civilization. Hung out in the evening with Sean and Justin, and slept in the truck for another long night of rain

Tuesday - I hit some MS sites with my wish list and eventually found three more species. My timing was bad for Seaman Rd, and I missed the Hancock County CBC since I never heard back from the coordinator. Probably my fault as I'd waited until the last minute to contact them having been away from wifi for a few days. I headed back into New Orleans in the rain, and stayed at Angela's again, where I got caught up in the ongoing jigsaw puzzle. It kept me up late, but that didn't seem to matter as more big rain was predicted.

Wednesday - The rain didn't materialize, so it was a social day started by a visit with my friend Christine, then a Chinese lunch with my friend Teona who filled me with tales of marriage, children, house buying, traffic tickets and so on. Back to Angela's. She was an angel to put up with me during this quest, and I regret that we didn't get to actually spend more time talking. She was caught up in the end-of-term business, and the rapidly accelerating Christmas social whirl.

Christine at her house in Marigny

Thursday - There's a day missing here.

Friday - Woke up in a truck stop in Louisiana, then headed down to Cameron Parish area with a scouting stop at Lacassine NWR. Also made stops at Cameron Prairie, Holly Beach, Peveto Woods, and Sabine. Slept at the inter-coastal Canal Park north of Sabine, a nice little free place.

Bare honeycombs near Lacassine town

Saturday - Sabine CBC - I was up very early to meet Theresa Cross, the birder I shared our assigned count area with. We mostly did Sabine Refuge, including the headquarters, marsh trails, roadsides, and then along the highway into Holly Beach, where we walked something like three miles of beaches. We birded, she kept the paperwork organized, I carried the scope a lot, and were generally successful through a tiring day. lots of walking, a lot on sand. Big deal was the Burrowing Owl that had been found previously in Holly, but it wasn't in the culvert where it had been, probably driven out by flooding. We looked around and another pair of birders found it, I made run for it, Christine chose to finish some notes, and when she arrived it had disappeared again. But we got it for the count on count day. We also had a Caracara, and a great look at a Virginia Rail, right in front of the scopes, bigger than full field. Ended the day with another Marsh Loop walk and my legs were killing me. Christine invited me to dinner, but I was way too whooped to deal with anything but sleeping again at the park.

Sunday - Lacassine CBC - I was up well before dawn to drive to Jennings and the Lacassine CBC organization meet-up, but it had taken way longer than I'd planned, so I missed getting assigned to a group. Still, they let me do the Lacassine Pool. Since I was alone I made a stop at the office area, which had some good birds, but not the hoped for Eagle. At the pool I never did catch up with the official group, but did find 5 more LA tics, and found a Caracara there too, which I been especially warned to note carefully as far as flight direction and such. I emailed my stuff the next day. On the way back to Grand Isle I tried to stop and sleep at Indian Creek. A deputy roused me, he said it was alright with him for me to crash, but it was against the real rules. Since his shift ended at midnight, and I'd have to talk to another guy, I decided to keep going. It's a fair drive from the Interstate on a lousy road, and wasn't fun to drive back in the dark. Still. Ended up driving to another truck stop in Plaquemines south of Baton Rouge.


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