Saturday, January 31, 2015

South Louisiana and Mississippi Birding Pt 1.

Been back two days now from a 17 day visit to Mississippi and Louisiana. We flew out to Jackson MS so that we could visit our eldest son and daughter-in-law in Meridian MS before driving down to the south-east corner of Louisiana to sample the varied delights of New Orleans or more correctly Newlins! There were some great opportunities to get in some birding and we managed around 110 species which, considering where we were at and what we were doing was not so bad. We walked around lakes Okatibbee and Bonita near Meridian as well as bumbling around the golf course and birding from the house...which was much more impressive than expected. In the first thirty minutes of looking out of the patio windows we had seen half a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos, 25 Chipping Sparrows, a couple of White-throated Sparrows, a Carolina Wren, two Carolina Chickadees and two House Finches, a superb male Northern Cardinal, two Northern Mockingbirds, 45 Cedar Waxwings, over 50 American Robins, a few Turkey Vultures and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. A Sharp-shinned Hawk also put in an appearance but it stayed in the shadows of a tree and I could only manage a couple of record shots.
In Louisiana we spent most of our time in New Orleans but we managed to bird the City Park and get out to the Beau Sauvage Nature Reserve for a couple of days. A trip on the Pearl River and Honey Pot Swamp proved useless for birding and alligatoring but good for snaking and racooning.
This first post is of birds that I managed to photograph around the house in Meridian.

Carolina Chickadee in the back garden.

Chipping Sparrow. These were all over the feeders in the garden.

Dark-eyed or Slate-coloured Junco. Very common around the house.

House Finch. A pair were frequently at the feeders

Male Northern Cardinal. Another frequent visitor to the garden feeders.

Red-bellied Woodpecker atop a tree out the back of the house.

Dodgy picture of a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Northern Mockingbird. All over the shop as we say!

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