Louisiana Wild

By Eilene Lyon

Since we won’t be traveling in the foreseeable future, I decided to look back at a trip we made in April 2012 to Louisiana – our first visit to the “deep South.” It coincided with the migratory bird festival on Grand Isle. And since this past Saturday was World Migratory Bird Day (May 9th – who knew?), I’ll focus on the birds and wildlife we saw. In a future post, I’ll cover more of the cultural side of our visit.

Before we headed out to the bird festival, we arranged for a swamp tour. Our guide eventually showed up at the designated meeting point. Not a stickler for punctuality, that one. We got in the boat with his German shepherd and headed into the swamp. The guide boasted of his involvement in River Keepers, and about how he’d spotted an ivory-billed woodpecker.

No, we did not see any ivory-billed woodpeckers on our tour. In fact, I’m surprised we saw any wildlife at all, given that our guide spent most of the time yelling at the top of his lungs into his cell phone.

Louisiana2012 062
Heading out to the swamp with a polite dog and crass guide.
Louisiana2012 070
I didn’t get any bird shots on the swamp tour, though we did spot some prothonotary warblers and bald eagles. This beaver was a treat. Big dude.
Louisiana2012 084
A brilliant tree frog. Yes, I can see you!
Louisiana2012 069
Kissing cypress trees.

Next we headed for the coast to search for migratory birds. I hoped to see a painted bunting, but had to settle for an indigo one. The festival had a banding station and offered group bird walks. Many pairs of eyes help spot more birds. One of the highlights was this yellow-billed cuckoo.

Louisiana2012 114
A slightly blurred look at a yellow-billed cuckoo.
Louisiana2012 090
A laughing gull on the shore. Doesn’t look like it’s yucking it up much.
Louisiana2012 110
A willet.

Our next stop was Avery Island, home of the Tabasco brand of hot sauce. It isn’t an island in the sense of being surrounded by water. Rather, it’s a salt dome. Much of the property is dedicated to a wildlife sanctuary, and they’ve put out platforms for herons and egrets to nest on.

Louisiana2012 136

Louisiana2012 134

Louisiana2012 123
Lucky egret with a frog for supper.
Louisiana2012 145
Tri-colored heron.
Louisiana2012 130
More than just birds hang out here.

We stopped for lunch at a plantation that offers extensive gardens to roam through. This is NOT a migratory bird.

Louisiana2012 178

Louisiana2012 180
In case you ever wondered what that looks like from the rear.


Then we did a hike around Lake Martin where we spied some other interesting feathered denizens.

Louisiana2012 202
Possibly a red-shouldered hawk.
Louisiana2012 237
Roseate spoonbill.
Louisiana2012 246
Not a great photo, but an unusual sighting – barred owl.
Louisiana2012 213
This lovely swamp flower is an invasive problem. Water hyacinth grows rapidly and changes the swamp ecology. It’s edible, so maybe we can eat our way out of trouble? Ha.
Louisiana2012 228
And finally another non-bird species to share.

36 thoughts on “Louisiana Wild

Add yours

  1. Well the tour guide may have been a disappointment but you got a blog story out of it, so I’d say it was worth the price, whatever it was. The photo of the egret is stunningly beautiful in its simplicity.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, you saw plenty to share even if you missed an ivory-billed woodpecker. I got excited the other day when I spotted three pileated woodies in the trees behind our house.
    That egret is a handsome fella!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful wildlife photos, Eilene. In the mid-80’s, I worked for an oil company based in Lafayette, Louisiana. We used to go out into the Atchafalaya swamps. We always heard the birds, but never spotted as many as you did. We probably made more noise than even your loud-talking tour guide.

    Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

The Willamette Valley's Heritage through its Barns and Structures

A history of the people of the Willamette Valley as revealed through their structures.

A Dalectable Life

Doing the best I can to keep it on the bright side


You might think you understand what I said, but what you heard is not always what I meant.

Tumblereads: A New Twist on the Old West

A New Twist on the Old West

Eilene Lyon

Author, Speaker, Family Historian


thoughts about parenting and life from below the surface

Northwest Journals

tiny histories

Ancestral Writing in Progress

... stories of significant others in the Allery, Cutting, McCulloch and Robertson tribes ...

Coach Carole Ramblings

Celtic, Mythical and More ...

Shedding Light on the Family Tree

Illuminating the Ancestral Journey

Forgotten Ancestors

Tracing The Faces

The Patchwork Genealogist

Uncovering Family Legacies One Stitch at a Time

Family Finds

Adventures in Genealogy

What's Going On @ ACGSI

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Blog

sue clancy

visual stories: fine art, artist books, illustrated gifts

Ask the Agent

Night Thoughts of a Literary Agent

Joy Neal Kidney

Family and local stories and history, favorite books


A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

%d bloggers like this: