June 15, 2012 – airboat tour

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pre-dawn revealed that the marsh fire south of Christian Marsh had burned all night. Fortunately, an early morning squall put it out. It is not a good time of year to have a marsh fire with all of the nesting birds and alligators, so it was a relief to see the smoke dissipate.

Figure 9. The marsh fire in Christian Marsh burned through the night and could be seen from the house in the pre-dawn light.

Figure 9. The marsh fire in Christian Marsh burned through the night and could be seen from the house in the pre-dawn light. Figure 10. Airboat at dawn.

I had planned to take Darcy (who was at Rainey to interview Timmy) on a short boat ride before we left, but Timmy offered to take her on a short airboat tour instead – a much better option. As usual, we flushed innumerable least bitterns, seaside sparrows and grackles out of the marsh grass. We also had clapper rails running on the trail in front of us, gallinules and moorhens dashing out of the ponds to hide in the marsh, and schools of fish billowing in the water as we passed. We came upon an alligator nest, and Timmy explained to her how it was made and how it differs from a muskrat house. Darcy wrinkled her nose and said it was “stanky.” It was a good ending for her trip to the marsh. Thank you, Timmy!

Figure 11. Timmy telling Darcy all about alligator nests.

Figure 11. Timmy telling Darcy all about alligator nests.

Figure 12. Happy passenger. Figure 13. Annoyed least bittern.

 

Karen A Westphal and Timmy J Vincent, National Audubon Society
Louisiana Coastal Initiative and the Paul J Rainey Wildlife Refuge
6160 Perkins Road, Suite 215, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
225-768-0921 office, kwestphal@audubon.org

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