Photo 3249159, (c) Greg Lasley, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

Attribution © Greg Lasley
some rights reserved
Uploaded by greglasley greglasley
Source iNaturalist
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds


Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)




March 29, 2016


This was a fun experience. I am spending a few days on the upper Texas coast while I am enroute to a meeting in central Louisiana with some dragonfly people. Today was dark and gray with a south wind. In mid-morning I ended up at the Houston Audubon Society migrant bird sanctuary called Sabine Woods in the extreme S.E. corner of Texas. There was a small handful of migrants around such as Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, some Yellow-rumpes, etc., but birds were few and far between. In a few weeks it should get more lively, however. I came across a small pond in the woods where there was a single Louisiana Waterthrush bobbing its way around the edges. Louisiana Waterthrush is the expected early spring migrant waterthrush on the Texas coast; Northerns won’t show up for another week or two. I had some time, so I went back to the car and got a big lens and tripod and then I sat down on the edge of the pond and for the next two hours my world consisted of me and this one bird. Twice, another Louisiana Waterthrush would attempt to land at the edge of the pond but the original owner immediately ran it off. The waterthrush chipped loudly and regularly as if to tell others “this pond is mine” and carefully worked around the edges, sometimes too close for me to focus my lens. The bird flipped over leaves and occasionally came up with a tasty insect or spider. The bird probably made 5 or 6 slow circuits of this little pond (about 20 feet across), looking under leaves, etc. Just me and this one bird for two hours; not another bird and not another person. Somehow it was relaxing and exciting at the same time and quite a special experience. I finally thanked my little friend out loud for the photo ops and the companionship and we each went our separate ways.

In the last image note how the bold, white eye-line almost connects at the back of the head with the eye-line from the other side; quite different from what you see on Northern Waterthrush.

Associated taxa

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