Sunday, January 10, 2010
Louisiana and into Texas
This morning it was 18F at Steve Cardiff and Donna Dittmann's house. They were busy early thawing and repositioning all their hummingbird feeders. We managed to see several Ruby-throateds and one male Black-throated Hummingbird. They also put out seed of various kinds and had many Chipping and White-throated Sparrows. Their Red-shouldered Hawk ate Brown-headed Cowbirds. The freeze had a strong impact on Donna's fantastic garden, but most of the plants will come back. We were served boudin, a Cajun sausage, for breakfast. Together with the fresh-brewed coffee, it really hit the spot. After leaving Steve and Donna, we stopped at a car wash, and after a small panic about getting the transmission into neutral, we rode through the surreal flapping, whirling parts and emerged with a clean car. I think it actually ran better, too. We headed across Louisiana stopping at various spots. At a mowed grass air strip we found a couple of Sprague's Pipits (photo). We managed many more species particularly around some of the rice fields and crawfish ponds including Roseate Spoonbills, Mottled Ducks, Glossy Ibis, Sora, Virginia Rail, and Common Moorhen. At about 5pm we entered Texas and drove to Galveston where we dined on Mexican food. I got my usual Chile Relleno which didn't match others I've had. We are bedding down at Dick Peake's tonight. Dick is an old friend who grew up in the Tidewater area and became a Shakespearean scholar, taught at Wise College, and with whom I have birded internationally for many years. Tomorrow we're going to look for LeConte's Sparrow. After today's birding, the list totals 149.