Peter H Yaukey
Brown Booby this morning on the Miss River just upstream from Ochsner, seen across the river from the West Bank side. It flew up and then downstream around 9 AM, so may be working the area rather than passing through.
I walk for exercise (binocs in hand) on the West Bank levee most mornings since the pandemic started, and this is my fourth Br Booby sighting. I also saw a couple in Plaquemines Parish (Phoenix) on the river a couple months ago, so it seems they might have an ongoing but sparse presence on the river in the general vicinity of New Orleans.
For duck enthusiasts, there are 8000+ Black-bellied Whistlers and 10,000 or so scaup along this stretch of the river these days. The grain elevator is a big draw, but the best scaup viewing has been actually from the East Bank, immediately in front of Ochsner, where a couple thousand are generally close to the bank and access is pretty easy. Of course with that many ducks, it is a setup for something cool to join in, but I have not detected anything more fancy than Greater Scaup as of yet.
I have been woefully negligent about posting on ebird from these walks, so let me just give a few other recent highlights:
Ash-throated Flycatcher in late Dec
Western Tanager- two different birds on Jan 1 and 2
Black-headed/Rose-breasted Grosbeak- one on Jan 2 (looked more like Black-headed)
Indigo Bunting- one on Jan 2
Painted Bunting- one on Jan 2
Baltimore Oriole- one in late December
If you visit, you may be questioned if you stand around at the elevator itself with binoculars (though they have been friendly while doing so). But stay on the levee if in the immediate area of the elevator, please.
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