Posts Tagged With: marsh

ILLUSIVE BIRDS AND BIRDERS

We began our bird walk on a marked trail, climbing a rocky point and then descending to a flat marshy area.  It was 9 a.m. and chilly.  We found ducks immediately enjoying the water.

I named this spot “golden pond”.  These ducks are common in Arizona but do not show up in many bird identifying websites I looked into. 

A family of  mallards off in the distance.

The birding area  follows the marsh and Sonoita creek. The trees look dead.  Tangled brush and leaves cover the ground. Paths run off in every  direction. We found the woods full of birders. We knew to be quiet and only spoke to people in a whisper. If we met people ahead of us, we would change directions and choose another path to allow each couple quiet space of their own.

And, we did see birds. Lots of them. We don’t know their names but found their voices filling the woods enjoyable. We would stop often and listen, then try and locate the bird from the sound.

I’m better at identifying plants and enjoyed a taste of watercress. It grew prolifically along Sonoita Creek.

Whether we saw birds or didn’t, we enjoy walking in the woods and always find something of interest.  Someone built a cairn.

Is this a natural rock formation?  Or man-made, we wondered.

We happened upon this old, gnarled giant growing horizontally from the bank.  Sonito Creek once poured through here and this tree hung over the water.

The bark was beautiful and shaggy.

From that angle, it is hard to believe  the main  trunk can  hold up several heavy trunks and it’s  crown.

Mushrooms slowly eating away at dead wood.

Sonito Creek winds like a snake through this preserve and I crossed it several times on make-shift bridges.

The most colorful bird we saw was the vermillion flycatcher. I was surprised the picture turned out as good as it did considering our equipment and how fast this little guy moved from place to place.  We saw warblers and flickers and a small flock of silver winged, green and yellow breasted birds so exquisitely tiny, flitting about in the trees as though purposely putting on a show.

With my camera, if I can get close enough, the result is decent as this little crested fellow, one out of probably seven or eight tries.

And I got two credible pictures of this noisy fellow.

We could see he was calling to a mate, or prospective mate. While in the woods we met a birder with a camera mounted on a heavy mono pod with multiple lenses three feet long. The end lens was about 10 inches in diameter. Now, that is birding equipment. Fascinating stuff. I asked if I could take his picture and he turned his back on me an walked off. I guess some birders are as illusive as their quarry.

Bet he didn’t get a picture of this cowbird!!

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Alligator Annie’s Son’s Swamp and Marsh Tour

Jim says: Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 63 degrees. A perfect day to take a swamp and marsh tour…and that’s just what we did!

2.5 hours through picturesque swamps and marshes of the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge and Bayou Black complete with lots of wildlife. Our tour guide told us that because of the unusually cold and rainy winter season in Louisiana, we might have trouble seeing any alligators. Nonetheless we did manage to see four!

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To see the other 60 pictures I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/SwampTourLA022710#

Here’s the tour company website…
http://www.annie-miller.com/

Here’s a link for the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge…
http://www.fws.gov/mandalay/

To top off a great tour, some other folks on the tour (Jim & Joann Diethrich and family) invited Mary and I to join them at their table in the restaurant. They were really nice people and we enjoyed our conversations with them.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Jean LaFitte National Park – Barataria Preserve

Note: We received a message from a good friend that indicated that sometimes as she starts to read a Blog posting on this site, she’s not sure if it’s myself or Mary who is the author. So from now on we’re going to help by doing this…

Jim says: Yesterday Mary and I drove about 30 minutes South to the Jean LaFitte National Park – Barataria Preserve. It’s one of the six sites in the Jean LaFitte National Park system in Louisiana. The preserve is 20,000 acres of marsh, swamp and natural levee forest.

We spent about one hour in the Visitors Center viewing the exhibits and a 30 minute film. Then we headed out on an about three-hour, four-mile walk through the preserve. It is a truly unique and beautiful setting.

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Two miles out and back on this boardwalk.

To see the other 49 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/20100210JeanLaFitteNationalParkBatariaPreserveLA2010#

Here’s the official government website link…
http://www.nps.gov/jela/barataria-preserve.htm

If you do not know who Jean LaFitte was, this Wikipedia link will tell you all about this pirate…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Lafitte

After our enjoyable time in the preserve, we traveled about 10 miles South to the end of the road to the town of Jean Lafitte where we enjoyed a delicious Louisiana shrimp meal. Here’s a Wikipedia Link about the Town of Jean Lafitte..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Lafitte,_Louisiana

All in all a really nice day!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.co

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