אוקטובר 11, 2019

Russell Sage WMA

My wife and I had been exploring parts of the Russell Sage WMA last year. It is a very nice wooded area that reminds us very much of Tensas River NWR. The woodland is younger, but really nice quality and this is a great place for seeing fungi and birds. We have seen White-tailed deer here too and a variety of different species of turtles in Gourd Bayou from the concrete bridge.

When the bayou is full, you can see large Alligator Gar swimming up close and get good images.

One of the loveliest encounters we had was with Green Anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) that were bromating in a thick snag that stands on a low promontory. The slightly warmer weather had awoken them, but they were still cozy in their holes in the rotten wood. Thus do these lizards depend upon woodpeckers for their wintering homes!

פורסם ב אוקטובר 11, 2019 05:28 אחה"צ על־ידי charlespaxton charlespaxton | 4 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אוקטובר 03, 2019

September 29, 2019 An Extraordinary Day Out At The Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge

My wife and I greatly enjoy visits to The Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Northeastern Louisiana as often as we can. This is one of the best places to see Louisiana wildlife and for visitors to the State it has the added bonus of fast access via the I20 and being near the Poverty Point Indian Mounds World Heritage Site.

At the Tensas River Refuge you have a good chance of seeing some exciting wildlife throughout the year in some very fine scenery that includes mature mixed bottomland hardwood forest, seasonally flooded marshes, open fields, savanna, riparian woodland, gator ponds and lakes. Along with a seasonally varied bird population, the sighting possibilities include the Louisiana Black Bears, Wild Turkeys, White-tailed Deer, Wood ducks, Bobcats, Coyotes, American River Otters, Melanistic Cat Squirrels, American Alligators and Wild boar sounders (non-native invasive species with straight tails), a host of invertebrate species and a range of snakes. This entry covers an amazing day out on September 29th, 2019 where my wife and I were blessed with three encounters that had been on our wish list for ages! A Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), a Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and a Black Bear sow with cub (Ursus Americanus Luteolus)! In addition we saw three Eastern Ribbon Snakes, six fine alligators, an assortment of spiders doing interesting things, several hundred frogs probably, hopping like popcorn, three Map Turtles, a delightful pair of Raccoons up a tree (Procyon lotor) and it all seemed rather like an amazing dream.

We always begin our adventures on The Quebec Road and park near the concrete bridge in order to look over it for turtles and alligators. This is also a good spot for bird watching and a nice place to look up and down the river. This is a good place to view gar fish and turtles too. When the water is shallow you can see nice juxtapositions of creatures. Also the very fine dust shows up animal tracks well!

We enjoy following the Quebec road to the visitors' center. Keep speed down and windows open to fully enjoy the lovely bird-song and please brake for snakes or turtles on the road..Keep an eye out for Blue buntings and Northern cardinals, bears, raccoons and wild turkeys. This would be a great road to cycle down! The Visitors car park is also frequented by Cat squirrels and you might just as easily see a bear here when its quiet!

The Greenlea Bend Wildlife drive is a safari-style experience, from the gravel drive you can look out over marshes, meadows, woodland and fields for a wide range of wildlife including White-tailed deer, bears, turkeys and even a bobcat if you're lucky, On this day we didn't see much until we approached the woodland adjacent to Rainey Lake. There we saw and photographed a very handsome Western Ratsnake that was sunning itself. on the road.

We then parked beside the Rainey Lake Trail and walked through the woods to the pier and beyond seeing an alligator, bear tracks, a delightful pair of Raccoons who escaped up a tall tree and regarded us, as we observed waterfowl from the pier. Later on we saw a Golden Orb Weaving Spider free climbing and beginning a web,.

To our delight we saw a perfect young Copperhead viper coiled beside a rotten tree stump with a light green caterpillar lure raised to draw one of the many leopard frogs to its jaws. This was our first live copperhead observation and it was a heady experience! They certainly are contenders for prettiest North American snake! I love their air-brushed 'Bow tie' coloration, but I never realized that they are covered in minute brown dots, evenly distributed, even on their eyes! They have two mysterious holes in the back of the head!?! It didn't move a muscle, not even flicker its tongue!

Later on we struck out into some nice looking forest from the road to Indian Lake in search of snakes, owls or whatever else we could find. Kimmie spotted a Timber Rattlesnake cradled in a nice suntrap between tree roots. We were ecstatic! We have always wanted to see one in the wild and here was our chance. It was prettily marked with tan white and black splashes in a dazzle camouflage that works very well. To our surprise, the sunlight refracted blue off some of the scales!!
We photographed it from about 8 feet away and it exhibited no aggression, but remained very still without even flickering its tongue!

We left it and returned on our journey to Indian Lake. The bridge over Lick Bayou is another grand place to look out for wildlife. We saw four very nice medium-sized alligators here and one of them was basking right beside the bridge. Eastern Amberwing dragonflies buzzed over it.,

פורסם ב אוקטובר 03, 2019 09:42 אחה"צ על־ידי charlespaxton charlespaxton | 12 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

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