Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rails in Louisiana

While on a business trip to Louisiana I had the opportunity to do alittle birding.  I had great success.  Likely added 10 new species to my life list.  I'll group the photos over the next couple weeks with similar species.  I spent alot of time in the marshes surrounding Lake Pontratrain.  If you weren't aware LP is huge.  I drove across the lake on the causeway for 31 miles.  In the middle you can't see land...yikes.  There were ducks along the entire route.  Mostly Ring Necks, but I couldn't look too closely since the road was only two lanes wide and rather deep over the edge.  Today I'm posting Rails...I believe, although it is up for debate, that I was able to photograph three species of rails (and a Sora).  The Clapper, King, and the Virginia are very close in appearance, but each have subtle differences.  The Gulf Coast Clapper Rail has distinct differences from its Atlantic Cousin.  Clapper also prefer brackish while the King prefers fresh water.   Take a look and see what you think.  I know they all aren't the greatest pictures, these birds are characteristically elusive so I feel fortunate to even see a feather. 

Clapper Rail (much more buff then the King below)  Grand Isle, Louisiana

King Rail  (slightly larger and much more reddish) Fontainbleu State Park, Mandeville, Louisiana

Virginia Rail (slightly smaller then the Clapper) 
Fontainbleu State Park, Mandeville, Louisiana

Sora (seemed very territorial-lots of inter-species playground fightin!) 
I guess all that chatter was "fightin words"!
Bayou Savage-middle of nowhere Louisiana


Jen said...

Wow, awesome! Can't wait to see more from your trip!

forestal said...

looks like a great trip. love the shots of the rails.