13 February 2020

Cajun Country

Last fall, after returning from Australia, we had a short break and then it was off to Cajun Country for our Yellow Rails tour in Louisiana.

Although this is a very short tour, only 3 days of birding, we amassed 150+ species of birds.  This is due to the very different habitats we visit: flooded rice fields, upland pine forests, and coastal marshes and shorelines.

In the pine forests we tracked down a couple of key species like RED-COCKADED WOODPECKERS.  Here are three in one tree:

Another target in the pine forests was this BACHMAN'S SPARROW:

One of the major surprises from this tour was when a NORTHERN WHEATEAR showed up at a nearby airport.  We swung through to check out this major rarity:

I was thinking, this tour might be the only one I do where the default chickadee is the CAROLINA CHICKADEE:

But of course, the main draw on this tour is to see YELLOW RAILS.  We get to ride around on the rice combine and watch as these hard-to-see rails flush from in front and fly to safety.  On this tour, I ended up seeing 50!  It's a wild ride!

You can see the full triplist online here.

All for now...