Winter Swamps

January 18, 2018

Winter Swamps 1/17/18 

AJ Nash

A kayak swamp tour always sounds like a fun little excursion. This time of year the swamps aren’t likely the first thing to cross your mind when you land in New Orleans, but perhaps they should be! A few days ago on my last trip out we were blown away by all the birds! I set out with a small group of folks from the Netherlands on a day that was not extremely inviting. Temps were low, mid 40’s and the wind was blowing nearly 20 mph from the north. The windchill brought it down into the high 30’s but we were bundled up and ready for it. We’re all glad we tried. Cloud cover and wind generally don’t help wildlife sightings but on this day it didn’t seem to matter. We chose an alternate route due to the low water caused by the wind. Manchac swamp is interesting in that the wind can cause tide-like effects on the water level. So we set off on some old logging canals that brought us to some finger lakes that lead to the bayou through then swamp. We did manage to stay out of the wind most of the time. By the end of the trip we had seen dozens of turkey vultures, a half dozen bald eagles, two barred owls, a red-tailed hawk, a handful of pileated woodpeckers and thousands of grackles! We were blown away! All of this just adds to the case that its ALWAYS worth giving it a try!