Tuesday, March 12
We started off following the song of a Blue Jay hoping that it was an exotic bird. It was a little frustrating, knowing we were looking for it for about 10 minutes. We felt that this was a sign that the Audubon Park, in New Orleans, was worthless for our birding big year. But as we started wandering around the park to make sure there was nothing else, I spotted an American Coot! Jackson came over to see and out of the corner of his eye saw something else. It was a White Ibis! We were both very excited and knew that this park was not worthless. In fact, very amazing.
We spent a few minutes to take some pictures of them and observed the pond about us. On one side, we saw nothing. But as we looked over in the other direction toward an island, we found hundreds of Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, Double Crested Cormorants, Anhingas, Greater Scaups, Northern Shovelers, and more White Ibises! It was such a beautiful sight: the variety of birds in the water, trees, and on land. The loud whistling did get to be a little annoying at times.
After we enjoyed the sight, we continued our adventure through Audubon Park. At one point, we spotted a couple Muscovy Ducks. Afterward, though, we realized that we couldn’t add them to our Big Year and were pretty disappointed. So we continued on. Maura, Jackson, Bruce, and I walked carefully, trying not to scare any birds as Jackson pointed out the Pied-Billed Grebe. Bruce just missed it, for he was side-tracked by other birds and stayed behind with me as Jackson and Maura went ahead. In the end, Bruce got a second chance and finally saw the Pied-Billed Grebe.
In the end, our Big Year count had reached a total of 106 species!