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.

Bill Fontenot
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 (
>, 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
> evening.
> 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

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