Date: 4/25/18 5:43 pm
From: Matt Brady <podoces...>
Subject: [LABIRD-L] Continuing Black-legged Kittiwake, dearth of shorebirds, SW LA
Hi LABIRDers. I did a bit of scouting for the LSUMNS Big Day fundraiser
that is happening tomorrow (still not too late to donate! –
http://www.lsu.edu/mns/news/2018/bigdayfundraiser-2018.php) in the Fruge
Road area of southern Calcasieu Parish. Almost all fields were depressingly
dry. Apparently rice farmers are using a new method to plant rice that
minimizes the amount of water needed early in the season. This results in
vast areas of barren dirt – terrible shorebird habitat. In fact, I found
virtually no shorebirds at all anywhere along Fruge, Chalkley, Arceneaux,
Pine Pasture, or Highway 27. Farther east, the situation is similar until
one gets to the Thornwell area, where a few fields were flooded, and had
decent numbers of Dowitchers, peeps, Yellowlegs and the like. Non-shorebird
highlights in the Fruge area included a handful of SCISSOR-TAILED
FLYCATCHERS, SWAINSON'S HAWKS, and CRESTED CARACARAS along Fruge south of
LA 14. At the grain elevators just south of the corner of Rossignol and
Fruge, a single adult male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD continues.

Farther south, the Pintail Loop at Cameron Prairie NWR held a couple of
lingering NORTHERN HARRIERS, which seemed late to me; otherwise, there were
no lingering ducks of interest and no shorebirds (but habitat was very
limited). There were a few migrants at the Oak Grove Sanctuary, but
diversity was decent with 12 species of warblers and all four expected
brown-backed Thrushes. I finally found decent numbers of shorebirds along
Rutherford Beach Road, where there were several hundred STILT SANDPIPERS
and a scattering of WESTERN and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, as well as Lesser
Yellowlegs, American Avocets, and the like. At Rutherford Beach itself, the
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE continues on the beach itself, a little farther east
than the location described by Sam Saunders in his report on eBird. It was
just east (left when facing the Gulf) of the public access, in a flock of
Least Terns. It wasn't looking especially great, so I hope it survives at
least another 24 hours for the Big Day. If anyone does find it dead, it'd
be great to salvage the carcass for the LSU Museum of Natural Science (feel
free to contact me off-list). An AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER flew by as well.

Good birding,

Matt Brady
Baton Rouge
 
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