Two Hotspots in Pine Bluff

Today I had time to do some birding in Pine Bluff so I hit two of my favorite birding spots in the city:  Bayou Bartholomew Nature Trail and Wilbur West Rd.  The Bayou Bartholomew trail follows a section of the world’s longest bayou.  The habitat is mainly swampy with a pine/hardwood forest and bottomland hardwood sections featured.  The Wilbur West Rd. follows through a wetland area with a reedy marsh and continues into bottomland hardwood as it crosses over Bayou Imbeau on to agri fields.  These places are top notch when it comes to birding and I was hoping to get some migrants, especially newly arrived winter residents.

Bayou Bartholomew

I started out at 750 am and was greeted with a fairly chilled and sturdy wind.  The trail is gravel with occasional boardwalks that are currently in need of repair.  The first bird I got was flushed by my car near a fence.  It was hard to tell with the blinding, morning sun but the tell tale wag of the tail confirmed suspicions of an Eastern Phoebe.  As I entered the wooded trail I heard chickadees, cardinals, wrens, and titmice.  I didn’t stop hearing them until I entered my vehicle again.  In the first pond the trail came to I saw a lone Great Egret.  I’m hoping these overwinter in large numbers like they did last year.  I stopped at a point along a narrow section of the bayou to look at the overhanging trees.  These trees which are Bitternut Hickories (Carya cordiformis), Black Willows (Salix nigra), Water Oaks (Quercus nigra), and some Swamp Privet (Forestiera acuminate), can be a good place to see migrating warblers and vireos.  Instead of migrants I did get to watch a Belted Kingfisher fly low over the water, winding down the bayou.  In the woods I could hear more of the common woodland birds and a few woodpeckers.  Several Red-bellied were heard along with a Downy, Hairy, and several Flickers.  I came upon a wide, pond like, section of the bayou and flushed a few Wood Ducks from the water.  A grackle and a few Red-winged Blackbirds flew overhead followed by several Canada Geese.  I worked my way around some thick understory that faded into a reedy part of the bayou.  This contained several Brown Thrashers and a Gray Catbird.  I finished up the trail and decided to check for Sedge Wrens at Wilbur West.

Wilbur West Rd

I like to drive Wilbur West Rd. during the winter and spring months.  I don’t often drive it in the fall but it has birds for every season.  I started in a residential area and picked up some starlings, a Mourning Dove, a cardinal and a few House Sparrows.  I traveled by the wetland and marshy area to find nothing but dying leaves of yellow lotus (Nelumbo lutea).  A lone Red-winged Blackbird finally flew over the wetlands.  When I got to the agri fields the birding picked up.  I played a few bird calls to try and call in a Sedge Wren and others in a scrubby field that was dominated by Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia).  I saw none of the birds I called but I did get a Red-shouldered and Cooper’s Hawk as well as a flyover Killdeer.  I traveled on through agri fields and found one with 24 American Crows and a Fish Crow.  Bayou Imbeau held few birds but I did pick up another Downy, Red-bellied, Phoebe, and Mockingbird.  Among the bottomland hardwood was a calling warbler.  I am almost certain that it was a Waterthrush but it would never come out.  It was probably a Louisiana Waterthrush but I couldn’t count it.

The day was fun and a lot of residents were seen but very few migrants were observed.

  1. Eastern Phoebe
  2. Northern Cardinal
  3. Carolina Chickadee
  4. Tufted Titmouse
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  6. Carolina Wren
  7. Belted Kingfisher
  8. Great Egret
  9. Blue Jay
  10. Common Grackle
  11. American Robin
  12. Wood Duck
  13. Canada Goose
  14. Hairy Woodpecker
  15. Red-winged Blackbird
  16. Brown Thrasher
  17. Northern Flicker
  18. Gray Catbird
  19. Rock Pigeon
  20. Downy Woodpecker
  21. Turkey Vulture
  22. House Sparrow
  23. Mourning Dove
  24. European Starling
  25. Red-shouldered Hawk
  26. Cooper’s Hawk
  27. Killdeer
  28. Fish Crow
  29. American Crow
  30. Northern Mockingbird

 

A section of Bayou Bartholomew

A section of Bayou Bartholomew

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