Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mostly Birds...

Roxy, one of the volunteers worked her last day yesterday...  heading off today to work at Okie for the summer.  Shirley and Dan, the other volunteers work through Wednesday, then they're heading back to Wisconsin.  The refuge visitor center is closed Saturdays and Sundays, so I will probably work the visitor center starting next week.  I spent some time with Roxy learning the ropes, but I've had a lot of time to wander around on my own.

Pied-billed Grebe

The Pintail Auto Loop always has something to see.  And there is a boardwalk that loops around a swampy area where you'll see ibis... glossy, white and white-faced can all be spotted......  ducks, herons, egrets and much more.   I was lucky enough to spot this guy in the weeds...
I believe he's a Virginia Rail as he wasn't real big.
Please correct me if I mis-classify the birds in my photos... I swear, I need retrained, it's been too long since I've been out in the field!

Another one I'm not real sure about...
He looks like a Canvasback, but again, please let me know if he's not.

This one looks like he's dirty...
 this little Ruddy Duck is in his winter clothes.

The Great Blue Herons are very shy here...
This Great Blue and Great Egret posed for only a minute...

Then flew away....

We've seen a couple of Crested Caracaras around...
A big bird (23") they are the national bird of Mexico.
They are birds of prey and I saw one carrying a fish in his talons.

Bill was mowing around the ponds behind our rig and saw these guys.  He came back to get me so I could see them too.
Snow Geese
On the left is the one like we usually see.  The one on the right is also a snow goose, but is a Blue-morph adult.  These both had a lot of reddish color on their face.  

There are lots of songbirds here as well...
Eastern Kingbird
It's fun to watch them catch insects mid-air.

Probably the most abundant bird here is the Red-winged Blackbird.
They and the grackles congregate everywhere.  But the red-wings catch a person's eye with their splash of color.  

A Scarlet tanager flew across my field of vision but I wasn't quick enough to snap his picture.  I've seen quite a few Killdeer running along the road.  The Pintail Nature Loop offers views of water birds, shore birds and birds of prey, but one long section also has trees and brushy areas that the songbirds like.  

I see that each day busloads of visitors arrive for tours.  I've talked to tours from Iowa and Wisconsin so far, and also a busload of travel writers who were attending a convention in Baton Rouge.  This refuge is on the Creole Nature Trail (hope I got that right) and is listed in the Lake Charles visitor center as a "must see" place to visit.

With all to see here, I certainly agree.

That's All For Today!


  1. Thanks for the info will try to remember to check it out next time we are in the area. Have fun.

  2. I'm looking forward to you being our tour guide. Oh, and At least I knew one bird in your photos! I think you mean the Creole, not Creel. See you soon!

  3. The variety of birds is boggling. Thanks for the survey. More egrets, if you plase.

  4. Each time I've been in Scott, LA, getting work done on my rig, I take a drive over to the Pintail. Saw a nesting black-necked stilt there once.

  5. Wow - I really like your Header and all the photos you shared today. That Caracara is an impressive bird!

  6. I agree with all the above comments. You do such a great job at wildlife photography and especially the birds.