|Who got deh prettiest eyes in deh swamp?|
That's what it felt like out there in the southern piney woods. Felt like I was slogging along in the Long-needled piney woods of DEATH. That's how hot, how humid the air was. I could barely take in my breath, and my feet felt weighted down with see-ment overshoes.
|Red-Cockaded Woodpecker shot taken at whopping 1296 mm|
But enough with the bitchin' already. This was the Piney Woods segment of two days of touring I'd signed up & paid for months ago. We started in the Kisatchie National Forest. We watched a Red-cockaded Woodpecker at the tippy top of a pine.
|Long-Needled Pines of DEATH|
|Tromping for Henslow's|
|Bachman's Sparrow - south Florida|
My lifer Bachman's Sparrow in a south Florida piney woods forest in 2014. It wasn't humid when I saw the Bachman's Sparrow. There, the tall grasses gave me zero problems.
It can be argued there were Bachman's a plenty, but not a one of Henslow's Sparrows to be found. I was sooo... disappointed, though honestly, I was so exhausted from just attempting to walk in the piney woods, that had one showed itself, I don't know if I'd of had the energy to walk over to view it. Too freaking hot n' humid!
The group's second stop was a v. civilized country park with a large lake and a children's play area. The group tromped off to circument the lake. I had no energy for such and with great disappointment and a sour face to match, I sat on a bench. Occasionally I could view the group through spaces in the trees. There was another tour participant, a tall man, who had the same heat/humidity issues as myself, and we chatted amiably and watched the others with great goo-gobbers of disappointment. Stupid Louisiana. Stupid heat. Stupid, stupid humidity.
|A view of the group, across the lake, trees reflected on the pond.|
It got worse. On Sunday I woke, and the weather hadn't really changed much. I decided eff the Coastal Tour I'd also signed up & paid for. I would drive to Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Had an exciting 'WHERE THE EFF IS THERE A BATHROOM IN THIS MOFFER FRAKKIN' STATE!' episode mid morning with a very-nearly-acceptable outcome we will not go into here. *harumph...*
I was pleased to see the wildlife drive allowed no getting out of one's vehicle, which meant I could be legally as lazy as a cooter on a log without feeling guilty about it.
|Cooter lazin' without the benefit of a log|
Juvie Little Blue Herons look like a whole 'nuther species, with snowy white feathers.
|Juvenile Little Blue Heron|
|And this 'snowy' bird is not a Juvie Little Blue Heron, it's a Snowy Egret|
That is sort of confusing - more-so for us though. The birds 'get it'
The best birdie of the day for me was a Gull-billed Tern. Haven't seen one in decades.
|Gull-billed Tern with a newly nabbed frog|
There were loads and loads and loads of gaitors everywhere. I remember back to my childhood when gaitors were an endangered species. Too many were being turned into shoes, belts and purses.
|Fell asleep half in, half out of swampy bed|
After lolling about in my car, taking pics, I left the refuge, headed for New Orleans. Along the way I saw the birds which are would be boring if I weren't a birder. They're Neotropical Cormorants and I was excited to get to see them close at hand rather than the way I've normally seen them, always far off.
|Doesn't this bird have the most amazing head?|
When I was south, bordering the gulf coast, I skidded to a near haut on the highway to avoid hitting a 3 foot alligator tot, that decided to cross both lanes of the road. Wish there had been time for a photo, but there were speeding cars fast approaching my rear bumper so had to move along sharpish like.
I found, but passed by the Rockefeller National Wildlife Refuge, because it seemed all work buildings and no wildlife access.