On Sunday (10/18) we had another fantastic day out at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.
It began early and we saw dawn rise over the I20 highway and an overflight of two Roseatte Spoonbills just as we were about passing Rayville. On the way to the refuge we saw a young bear hunting for nuts in a pecan orchard off Highway 80 near Quebec. Very sweet! At one stage it climbed a tree. A short while later we saw another nearby.
In the park we encountered a group of five wild turkey males and shortly after another flock of nine! Two Pileated woodpeckers flew by, all this by 7.45 am! The wildlife was showing for us!
We were very pleased. Kimmie was logging bird sightings on Ebird and registered 27, but unfortunately the app refused to submit the data because we traveled more than 50 miles, with help from their tech support she was able to log the entries separately later which was very gratifying because this was a global birding weekend.
Also we saw a Fowler’s toad in a hole beside a Fire ant heap. Delightful!
The river was high and we saw a map turtle bale off its log before I could get my shot. We explored a
flooded ditch and saw young fish and a lively leech beside some frog spawn!
One of the nicest sightings was the larval form of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, a plump green caterpillar with pretty false eyes, lying on a bed of web along the spine of a curled Hickory leaf!
We also saw deer, turkey vultures and black vultures. We were thrilled to see a basking Copperhead viper and Little Brown Skink. Regarding the copper head, we drove past it and Kimmie stopped and said that was either a cowpat or a snake, let’s check! It wasn’t a cowpat!
The grasshoppers were on our windscreen as we drove on the Greenlea Bend safari drive. Kimmie spotted a Western Ribbonsnake Thamnophis proximus and we both saw a ‘stumpy cottonmouth’ Agkistrodon piscivorous slipping off the road.
Our walk to Big Rainey Lake was rewarded with a fine view of a basking Little Brown Skink Scincella
lateralis, on a log in a patch of sunshine.