Date: 12/19/20 6:54 am From: Bill Fontenot <natrldlite...> Subject: Re: [labird] Niblett Road highlights for the Lac-Thorn CBC
Matt, et al —
Congratulations! Not just on the cool finds, but for carrying on the tradition of the LAC-THORN Nibblett Rd. Crew.
I was part of that crew for a number of years. My personal list for Nibblett Road alone includes many hard-to-find winter birds (Ash-throated Fly, Short-eared Owl, Harris’s Sparrow, Leconte’s Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird) crowned with out-and out LA winter rarities such as Golden Eagle, Great Kiskadee (at the time), Say’s Phoebe (ditto), and Green-tailed Towhee.
Can you construct a cumulative all-time Lac-Thorn-Niblett Rd. list?
I shall leave you with the traditional sacred marching song of the Niblett Crew:
“Everywhere we go
People don’t wanna know
Who we are
But we tell them anyway:
We are the Nibbletts!
The mighty mighty Nibletts! (3x)
Merry Christmas to all Nibbletteers, wherever ye may dwell! oh, and to all ye LABIRDERS as well.
N. Lafayette parish, LA
> On Dec 18, 2020, at 9:35 PM, Matt Brady <podoces...> wrote:
> Hello all. Today John Garret, Melissa and Cyndi Simon, James Smithers, and
> I participated in the Lac-Thorn CBC, in the Jeff Davis Parish rice country.
> We covered the area around West Niblett Road, from Highway 99 west to
> Lacassine Bayou. Overall, it was a fairly typical day in the rice country,
> with the usual huge numbers of geese and blackbirds, though we were not
> especially overwhelmed by the diversity or numbers of landbirds. Despite
> this, we did have some highlights. Along Lacassine Bayou at the extreme
> west end of Niblett Road, in the flooded cypress forest, we found a
> solitary SOLITARY SANDPIPER (photographed) and a heard-only NORTHERN
> WATERTHRUSH (audio recorded), both flagged in eBird as rare; additionally,
> we had two WINTER WRENS here. On the eastern portions of West Niblett, in
> the rice fields, we had a grand total of four VERMILION FLYCATCHERS,
> including two brilliant adult males. Along Watkins Road, between the dog
> leg and Cherokee Road, we had two BLACK AND WHITE WARBLERS and a distant
> flock of ~500 TURKEY VULTURES over Lacassine Bayou (possibly also counted
> by the party to our west?). Over the course of the count, we had a half
> dozen or so CRESTED CARACARAS, a dozen or so INCA DOVES, around five BALD
> EAGLES, a very nice assortment of RED-TAILED HAWKS of various morphs,
> subspecies, and forms, a PEREGRINE FALCON, 7 Roseate Spoonbills, and three
> American Avocets.
> The overall highlight for our portion of the count came after sundown. We
> decided to check the unkempt pine plantation at the corner of West Niblett
> and Clyde Roads (though at the east end, so not right at the junction). We
> were hoping to see some American Woodcocks fly out of thick cover to their
> nocturnal feeding sites, and we were rewarded with two birds. We also had a
> couple of Wood Ducks, which turned into a trickle of pairs, then a torrent,
> then an absolute deluge of flyover Wood Ducks, rocketing out of the swamp
> forest in flocks of several hundred individuals. After about ten minutes,
> first counting individually, then keeping track by fives with a clicker, we
> estimated a grand total of 3460 WOOD DUCKS, an absolutely huge number, and
> (in eBird) not just a new high count for Louisiana, but perhaps the second
> highest count for the species ever! The previous Louisiana high count was
> 1200 individuals counted by John Dillon and Gerry Click flying out of
> Lacassine NWR at dusk, on 30 July 2017 (
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S38400497), so not very far away as the Wood
> Duck flies, but at the opposite end of the year. The Wood Ducks we observed
> were all flying out of the Lacassine Bayou swamp forest, towards the rice
> fields. I’m guessing that they were going out to forage, but I’m really not
> sure. John Dillon, in his eBird checklist, hypothesized that the birds he
> and Gerry saw were departing Lacassine Pool to the north, to roost for the
> We have not yet finished editing, compiling, and entering our lists, but
> we’ll get them entered this weekend.
> Good birding,
> Matt Brady
> Baton Rouge