Date: 12/22/20 7:24 am
From: Bill Vermillion <bill.gcjv...>
Subject: Re: [labird] Niblett Road highlights for the Lac-Thorn CBC
Hi Matt and LABIRD - Regarding your observation: "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."

At least with Northern Pintails, research by Cox and Afton in the 90's
revealed that birds roosted during the daylight hours on Lacassine Pool,
then left at sunset to forage nocturnally in rice fields up to 15 miles
away, returning to Lacassine Pool before sunrise.

Cox, R. R., and A. D. Afton. 1997. Use of habitats by female northern
pintails wintering in
southwest Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Management 61:435-443.

Cox, R. R., Jr., and A. D. Afton. 1998. Evening flights of female northern
pintails from a major
roost site. Condor 98:810-819.

Thanks,

Bill Vermillion
(we are the Nibletts, the mighty mighty Nibletts, etc.)

On Fri, 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
> 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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