Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Yellow Rails

Early this morning David and I went on a local field trip just south of town where we saw Bald Eagles sparring with Northern Harriers, tons of geese and ibis, and a few songbirds for our Louisiana list.  Then it was back to Thornwell for our assignment to a rice cutting field for another round with Yellow Rails.  Today there were a lot more festival goers than yesterday, and since the combine could only take four riders, it took quite a few trips before David and I were able to ride the combine.  However, that didn't stop us from seeing many more Yellow Rails from the edge of the field.  I tallied an even dozen solid sightings such as the two shown in the photos.  See if you can find the rails.  At one point I nearly was able to snatch one out of the air as it flushed from where we had marked its landing.  BTW let me set something straight about the combines and the rails.  The combines are in the rice fields cutting the rice.  The birders are there at the invitation of the rice farmers and see the rails as a simple consequence of the rice harvest.  Under no circumstances were the combines run through the rice fields simply to flush rails.  At the conclusion of our combine ride we were served some boudin, a rice-based sausage which originated in this area.  After lunch David and I toured the wildlife drive at nearby Lacassine NWR.  There were lots more ducks, geese, ibis, herons.  We also saw an American Golden Plover, lots of Long-billed Dowitchers, a Neotropical Cormorant, five Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, a bunch of Roseate Spoonbills, and Savannah, Vesper, Song, Swamp, and White-crowned Sparrows.  In the evening we attended a reception with hors d'oveurs including bacon-wrapped alligator served with wine at the Zigler Museum, a local art museum.  David and I both won a door prize and both chose a pound of local coffee.  There is a god.
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