Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Birds Of Lake Martin

I have been operating de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours at Lake Martin for over 20 years. And I have been here full time now, for over 14 years.

Rosette Spoonbills

In spite of the BP oil spill, and the ecological disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and the south eastern corner of the state of Louisiana,

Great Blue Heron

Lake Martin remains the most unpolluted lake in the state, because it does not have any agricultural runoff and it is too far inland to be impacted by the oil spill in the gulf.

Bald Eagle on the lookout over Lake Martin

And perhaps because of the oil spill, and thus people trying to avoid the dangers and depressive conditions in and around New Orleans, we have had more people coming to do swamp tours here this summer, and thus enjoying the birds of Lake Martin.

My friend Butch Guchereau

Louisiana Heron feeding in the floating mat of plants

I do not want to take undo credit, but isn't it interesting, that I write these scathing articles in the summer of 2009,

pointing to the corelation of lower water levels at Lake Martin and a decreased population of wading birds nesting in the rookery.

Then September 2009, for the first time in about 8 years, The Nature Conservancy does not pull the plug and drain the lake on schedule last fall, like it has since 2001,

and LO AND BEHOLD, spring 2010, we have more birds nesting than we had since Y2K.

Anhinga Cormorant

Furthermore, it is now, the middle of September, and thus the end of the growing season for plants,

and so far not once has the state Wildlife and Fisheries come out in a boat and sprayed herbicide to control plants around the lake and decrease and destroy the ecology and natural beauty of the area.

But they have come out this week and sprayed from Rookery Road as seen below!

Oh well, as I fight this battle against the war on plants, I count my victories where I find them.

Not only is an abundance of clean water important to the birds who nest at Lake Martin,

Little Blue Heron

but also equally important is the floating mats of plants to host the food supply that feeds the wading birds who nest here.

White Ibis coming in to roost at sunset

So far it has been a good year at Lake Martin.

All photos are copyrighted and courtesy of Claude Nall

If you would like to do a Louisiana Swamp Tour with me, Marcus de la Houssaye, I can be reached via my cell phone for reservations at: 337 298 2630