Louisiana-Texas Day 4

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Apr 20, 2016 | by Greg Miller

Today is the fourth day of my third Big Year Tour in 2016 with Wildside Nature Tours. Here is a quick summary of today’s adventures.

When I looked at the hi-def composite NEXRAD from University of Wisconsin this morning at 5:15am I changed our day’s itinerary.

NEXRAD 2016-04-20 0515

NEXRAD for April 20, 2016 as of 5:15am (University of Wisconsin)


So we left Lake Charles and headed directly for the Gulf Coast. Baton Rouge Audubon’s Peveto Woods Sanctuary was our destination. The butterfly garden had an Indigo Bunting and a Blue Grosbeak in the same bush. Four Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were in the small mulberry tree. In less than three minutes a gorgeous male Painted Bunting joined the birds in the mulberry tree. An Inca Dove was at the far end of the garden. We walked to the bigger trees to the eastern end of the small woods. We looked in vain for the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher reported yesterday. But we did find the lingering Black-throated Blue Warbler.

From Peveto Woods we drove east on Route 27 using the ferry to cross the channel. We had lunch at the only place for miles–at Canik’s Feed & Grocery in Creole, Louisiana. It is both interesting and fun to eat a local hangout.

We drove the Pintail Trail at Cameron Prairie NWR. It’s a delightful drive and we were treated with the sighting of a couple juvenile King Rails. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on a nest was a nice find. There were many of the always-entertaining Purple Gallinules here, too.

Our last birding hotspot was the Pool Unit of Lacassine NWR. A pair of Roseate Spoonbills were in a ditch along the road leading into the refuge. Purple Gallinules abounded again here. And there were alligators, too. The highlight for me were the Fulvous Whistling-Ducks. Both whistling-duck species were here at the Pool Unit.

Just as we finished birding at Lacassine, the skies opened up as a line of thunderstorms finally reached us. There are flood watches and warnings in the area tonight. We are just east of Lake Charles, LA this evening. This is the southeastern edge of the area of flooding that hit Houston so hard.

Our day total was 96 species. Our trip total now stands at 163 species. And the year total is up to 326 species. Time to get some rest before another day of exciting adventure begins!

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