Monday, January 30, 2012

The Rookery At Lake Martin 2012

A Great Egret male snaps a twig from a nearby tree and flies back to the nest.

She is waiting for him, and he passes the twig to her, and they settle it into the nest. They do the "wild thing" and he flies off to gather another twig.

Right on schedule about mid January, the egrets and herons began to stage their nests.

All the trees are bare in January and February, so birdwatching and photography is easy and unobstructed by foliage. The main color of the swamp in winter is grey.

Soon the grass and clover will start to green things up as seen behind this Great Egret who is sporting some breeding blumage.

Although some people are surprised that the herons start nesting in mid-January, the first nesters of the season lay their eggs in the first week of December.

And that would also be the largest of the birds that nests here at Lake Martin,

the Bald Eagle.

Soon after the Bald Eagles begin nesting, they are followed by ospry,

owls and hawks,

and then the Great Egrets,

and Great Blue Herons about mid-January.
Those two of the heron family are the largest and a larger body mass may account for the early nesting. For about two months from mid-January through mid-March the large herons expand in population in the rookery to the tune of several thousand.

By late February or early March the Rosette Spoonbills are in courtship,

and soon after that, by March 15th, a riot of birds competing for nesting space breaks out as thousands of birds arrive every day. Tri-colored, Louisiana Herons, and...

Little Blue Herons,

Little Green Herons,

along with Cattle Egrets, start pouring in by the thousands every day.

Black Crowned Night Herons arrive to nest in April, along with their cousins who sport the Yellow Crowns.

Here is an immature night heron...

By early May, the Black Bellied Whistling Ducks should be warming up some eggs

And last but not least, to start nesting at Lake Martin is the White Ibis,

and sometimes Snowy Egrets who also begin to nest as late as June.

all photos above are copyrighted and courtesy of Claude Nall

I am Marcus de la Houssaye,owner and operator of de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours

photos by Al GuidryIf you would like to contact me for more information about the rookery,

photos by Wolfgang Hasenstien
or to make a reservation for a Breaux Bridge swamp tour ,

I can be contacted by cell phone at 337 298 2630

"I love dis country!"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The One Who Walks Alone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Importance Of Trees

This is an amazing video and some straight up information.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Louisiana Swamp Tours In Winter

Yes the phone is ringing and I am booking tours, but we have had ice in the yard for the last three days, and yes it does freeze here along the Gulf coast every winter.

If you would like to do a de la Houssaye's Louisiana Swamp Tour with me, click on the link here for more info, or call 337 298 2630.

The above photo of the alligator was taken on 12/30/2011, and the photo below also the same day, and notice that some of us were wearing short sleeves, and some of us were wearing shorts and sandals, as was yours truely.

The temperature on New Years weekend was near 80'F making for very fine tours, but it is not always that way in winter time.

The photo above and the two photos below were taken that weekend which is one of the neatest things about touring in the winter time.

Incredible, beautiful sunsets.

I am getting a lot of calls from people who are planning ahead for swamp tours in warmer weather. And although I do swamp tours in the winter, please bear in mind that I am a deer hunter and a professional tracker.

What that means is: I help people find lost and wounded deer during deer season.

As a team, I work with my Louisiana Catahoulas to search and trail blood and help hunters conserve wildlife.

Sometimes I come in very late at night and often after midnite because I may drive 100 miles one way to help hunters find their deer.

3 AM, July 2011, full moon setting over Lake Martin,
photo courtesy of Claude Nall

So, this time of year(December, January, February) with ice on the ground, I may not be doing Louisiana swamp tours on a regular basis, but the deer season ends in February and as we say, I make hay while the sun shines.

A fine typical 8 point buck shot on private property near Jena, La.

The point I am getting to here is: I may not answer the phone during deer season if I am hunting, and as you can see in the photo below, I may be 25' up in a tree, in a climbing tree stand.

Under the circumstances, often my phone is on silent and sometimes I go days before getting to all my messages. If you leave a message, I may not return your call in a timely manner, so please call back if you do not hear from me after you leave a voice message on my cell. My new waterproof phone is great, but the AT&T cell phone service provided, leaves much to be desired, and neither you nor I can know if I am actually getting all the messages you may leave for me. I would like to talk to you and discuss your travel plans, so please call back if you do not hear from me. Blame it on AT&T, not me!

Presently, most of the calls I am getting are last minute, and hoping to get on a Breaux Bridge Swamp Tour tour on short notice, or people are inquiring about springtime and making reservations for the warm weather, sunshine, green grass, flowers and nesting birds which are all abundant starting in the month of March.

Once again my cell phone number is 337 298 2630, and please do not text me or look for my email address, I am old school, and I want to talk to you. The only way I can guarantee you a seat in my boat is if you make a reservation. I work with another tour guide and all total we have three Louisiana swamp tour boats, and are capable of doing a tour for up to 50 people at a time.

These boats are flat bottom, aluminum crawfish boats powered by quiet, 4 stroke outboard motors, and are considered to be the ultimate swamp vessel designed for fishing crawfish in the Atchafalaya Basin swamp.

Each boat is outfitted with comfortable padded seats with backrests and are guided by educated, hunters and fishermen who grew up on the bayou, and have we lived here all our life.

You can get more info by visiting some of my other sites such as