I was out scouting along the Vermilion River this afternoon for the upcoming Lafayette Christmas Bird Count. This will be the first stop for my team on the count and we will get there before daylight in order to count owls. Could get barred, great-horned and eastern screech if we’re lucky. The area looks the same as last year (no new holes to fall into or downed trees to fall over in the dark). Lots of birds to see, especially white-throated sparrows. Also saw an unusually tame Cooper's hawk and (insert whoop, holler, and jump up and down here) a FOX SPARROW. This is the first one I have seen in Louisiana since 1961. No mistaking it – a very large sparrow with a rusty rump and tail and very streaky sides. One could almost think hermit thrush, but it wasn’t.
There was a raccoon foraging along the river bank in full daylight. I wonder why some do that, when almost all the others wait until dark. It has to be safer then. Could be this is water on its way to leaving the gene pool.
The river is at 3.3 today, down a little from yesterday, as predicted.
Rise and shine, Jim