Yesterday Bill and I birded Cameron Parish, LA. This is a great place to bird with it’s own migrant traps. Just as many birds but a whole lot less people than Texas. We started here first because Jon Dunn suggested it as the best place to see King Rail. When I asked if a tape would be needed he answered with a chortle in his Dunnian way, “Well you could, but I’ve never failed to see them crossing the canals while birding”. He was right, they were all over the place early on Hwy 82, but there were some that looked like Clapper Rails mixed in.
We actually joined up with Jon and his Wings tour group around 8:00 AM. Bill found a Yellow-billed Cuckoo which was a trip bird for their group, but we were unable to relocate the Le Conte’s Sparrows we had 1/2 hour before they showed up. We then worked inland a mile to 100% fresh water where the chances of hybrid King X Clapper Rails would be nil. Had two classic plumaged reddish birds. There were a lot of birds in the marsh. Jon identified eight Buff-breasted Sandpipers as they flew overhead which was nice. Bill and I located a Least Bittern, another wary bird that can be difficult to see.
The Hollyman-Sheely migrant trap added both Baltimore and Orchard Oriole as well as Dicksissel that was associating with Indigo Buntings. Bill and I parted from Jon’s group and spent the afternoon back in Texas at Sabine Woods. The highlight was undoubtedly the Canada Warbler.
All in all 18 new year birds for me and a proper way to begin the Texas Migration.