My inconclusive Ivory-bill picture. (Thanks for enhancing this picture, David Luneau.)

Monday, August 26, 2013


We decided to explore some new areas of Wattensaw by foot, we normally had taken our kayak. We hiked right through the middle of the park from West to East for maybe a little over a mile. There are some very big trees in there, really good habitat. The trees were large enough that underbrush was essentially nonexistent, this may be the closest thing to "old growth" we will ever know. There was some semi-interesting scaling, and I'm sure we'll find better scaling in the coming weeks. Next time we will see if we can find a place for camera traps.

Something really interesting happened on this visit. We came upon a group of deer, and when they spotted us and ran off a bobcat jumped from the bushes and took off after them! Worth the trip just to see that.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Still birding...

We never really stopped birding, we just stopped IBWO hunting for a while. Last November my dad and I visited the Galapagos islands. We saw almost every subspecies (island locale) of tortoise, except for Lonesome George's race, which of course died before our visit. We also saw many of Darwin's finches. I expected to have to hike up into the hills to see finches, but they are as common as house sparrows are here. The smaller finchs were most common. We also saw large cactus, small ground, and large ground finches. Below are images of a large ground finch eating a mangrove seed. Look at the massive bill...This is my favorite of the finches....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Long Absence

Well, it's been over two years since we have been searching regularly. I just wanted to make a post to say we are getting back into it. We stopped searching mostly because of a health problem that had me scared for quite a while, along with some false sightings we had reported.

 From now on, even if we have a sighting, it will not be reported unless we have definitive evidence. I will just be posting pictures of the swamp and of bark scaling at this point.

The only possible encounters I believe we have had at this point are the following. We saw a bird in 2009 that I cannot explain. A loud double knock in Wattensaw, 2010. Finally, a set of 2 double knocks heard with Frank Wiley, 2011. We have found good bark scaling only in Wattensaw.

P.S. We are also throwing around a trip to Cuba, or Mexico. So, sign up for that.....

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We are back exploring Louisiana again! We arrived yesterday, but too late to go out into the swamp. So, today was our first day of exploration.

We decided to explore Pomme De Terre WMA. We had a hard time finding an entrance, but we finally did and hiked in on an ATV trail. As we walked we saw Palmetto in the understory and heard many buzzy sparrow and warbler calls. None of the calls matched a Bachman's of course.

We hiked away from the trail and into the forest for a first time, but did not find anything interesting, so we went back to the trail and kept going. I then noticed a Garter snake slithering away from our path, so I tried to grab it. But I missed it by an inch and it escaped.

The deeper in we went the taller the trees became, and the understory became denser. Palmetto was everywhere. We found a clearing in the understory and hiked into the forest from that point. We soon came to a marsh, and then we noticed a scaled tree. It was scaled all the way to the ground. There were large chuncks of bark on the ground around the tree. I took pictures of it, and then we went back for the trail.

Farther back on the trail the understory, and the Palmetto became even more dense. We found an area to hike into again, but found nothing. On the way back toward the trail I saw another Garter snake. This time I caught it and held it for a minute, just to look it over. But it bit me and drew a small amount of blood. So back on the trail I washed my hand off, and we moved on.

Further up on the trail we ran into another wonderful reptile, a 2 1/2 foot long alligator. I went up to it and attemped to grab the back of its neck, but it whipped around before I had a good hold. We then figured he was just big enough not to mess with, we took some pictures, and moved on.

After hiking for a long time we decided to turn around and head back to the car. But on the way back we ran in to more animals. They were all not very shy. We saw a rabbit and an Armadillo, and got some up close shots.

After getting to the car We wanted to see if we could get in to Pomme De Terre from the north. We found a trail up there, but it turns out it was private property. The Cajun owners and their "hunting club" weren't happy with us.

And tonight we had dinner with Frank Wiley. With him we got a plan for tomorrow set up. I'm waking up at 4:00 am to meet him tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Sunday we were back for a second time looking for Mountain lions. We were really curious to see what our motion sensing birdcam caught. So we drove up Wye Mountain and then began the short hike along a game trail. It had snowed a few days before and there were a few patches of snow still on the ground, so we were looking for tracks in it.

When we came up to our birdcam we saw the the chicken we used as bait was gone. We checked the camera and found that there were 7 images on it. We took the camera off the tree and began hiking farther into the woods, we wanted to plant a timelapse camera farther out. We hiked on a slope and over some outcrops of rocks. We finally found an open area good for a timelapse camera near a dead tree with some Pileated Woodpecker holes in it. We positioned the camera on a tree and faced it looking across the slope. Then we began the hike back and left.

The motion sensing birdcam got some really good pictures, but no Mountain lions. The camera got a few shots of deer running along the game trail, and even a yellow labrador looking at the camera in the snow! I posted the pictures below. Maybe we'll have a mountain lion on the timelapse camera.

Saturday, January 22, 2011