Two new birds in Louisiana! (LA LA) Added to the three John got on the first day of the tour, that is all five target birds he was hoping to get. Tours are great! You have an experienced leader and lots of eyes to help spot the sneaky little birds.
Saturday, November 3rd, the group headed for Cameron Parish in southwestern Louisiana. In a coastal marsh, Dan Lane called up a Seaside Sparrow 669! They also saw tons of shorebirds, seabirds and sandhill cranes, all of which John had seen already in his big year. It isn't a waste of time for him. He enjoys seeing and photographing all of the birds again. He even keeps track of which subspecies he has photographs of.
Since I wasn't officially signed up for the tour, I stayed at the hotel Saturday. Laundry needed to be done, so I carted it all to a laundromat, stuffed all the clean clothes in pillowcases and lugged it back to the hotel. Somewhere, between the laundromat and my hotel room, I lost a pillowcase filled with John's underwear. Sunday, after giving up the search, I bought two weeks worth of new underwear and socks for him. Someone out there was probably pretty disappointed with their find. Not much market for used men's underwear, even if it was clean!
Sunday, November 4th, the group headed for the piney woods through heavy rain. The rain eased up once they got there. The standard birds were all there, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-Headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler, etc. The fun one for John was the Bachman's Sparrow. They had chased a few and finally had one surrounded. John had a clear view and helped a few others get a good view for their life list. Dan played a Barred Owl, in it flew! His tape must say something nicer that ours does. We only got it to call back. John got great pictures and he prefers to have a visual for his big year list.
Then they went back to the rice fields. A possible Sprague's Pipit morphed into a Chestnut-Collared Longspur. Several people were happy with that. John would have preferred the pipit. Dan Lane has an alarm call tape that brings in all sorts of little brown jobbies from the tall grass. Among them was a Le Conte's Sparrow 670! Ending the day on a nice note, John saw yet another Yellow Rail pop out from in front of the rice combine in a nearby field.
The Field Guides tour, Yellow Rails and Crawfish Tails, was a great success. Thanks, Dan Lane.