Matt Conn, Troy Richard & I did the Mulvey/Wright section (north and south of LA 14 just west of Kaplan) for the Crowley CBC. Fog pestered us badly all morning and the wind kicked up in the afternoon, scattering the fog, but laying all the scrub birds low.
Matt’s amazing from-the-hip telephoto work scored many a far-flying duck species for our group, and that’s probably what pushed us over 85sp on what was a low day for just about everything: waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and on down the line.
We whiffed on stuff like vultures, accipiters, red-bellied woodpecker, and palm warbler (generally an easy winter bird there); and overall it seemed that all of the usual winter avifauna were at least half — often more — of typical numbers. One downy woodpecker. One yb sapsucker. Seven orange crowneds and not many more RCKIs.....and beyond killdeer, yellowlegs & snipe, we had but one small shorebird flock on the day — a day when thousands of acres of bare fields were holding perfect amounts of shorebird water.
Our only bb plover of the day came as one accidentally flushed out of a big flock of resting RBGU that we were studying.
> A young bald eagle, lifting out into the fog from a nearby row of scraggly live oaks just after dawn was our best bird of the day.
And on it went. But hey the weather was mild, the fellowship good, and compared to, say, the Denver CBC, there were birds aplenty!
merry christmas to all labirders,
lafayette parish, LA