Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birding on Grand Isle and A Louisiana Black Panther

The large black cat was in the sun and you could see its long up curved tail. It was a ways away and it silently moved into the thick underbrush. I hurried ahead trying to catch another glimpse, as my sister yelled a warning.
Connie had suggested we go birding on the two birding trails on Grand Isle and so after lunch we loaded into our truck and drove to the first trail. Heading down the path we really didn't see a lot at first until we passed the cemetery and neared a mulberry tree.
A scarlet tanager perched above us and stayed posed for the longest time. Renita commented on the many birds flitting in and out of the mulberry tree and we were soon rewarded with a summer tanager as well as a scarlet. An American pipit showed itself and we even got a new bird for our list as a rose breasted grosbeak stayed long enough for us both to spot it.
Returning to the truck, Connie took us to the longer birding trail, the one owned by the Nature Conservancy. We had just started on the trail when we spotted the large cat, and Renita even got a picture of it. Now I don't think its a black panther, and I have seen one in Wyoming, but it wasn't a bobcat, just an unusually large black cat.Renita and Connie both disagree with me and Connie even asked her friend who's house borders the trail to keep a lookout for it.
Now news travels fast on a small island and the next day we heard that several locals had seen the lion and were going to hunt the panther with a pack of hounds. I say let them as I can't imagine a black panther actually being on Grand Isle. Why, because there is nothing for it to eat except for the many feral cats, sun bathers, and birders that roam the island.
Anyway the birding was really fun although the women kept looking nervously into the dense brush. I charged ahead knowing that a panther usually attacks the last person in a group. Its like being around grizzly bears in Wyoming, always take a slow person with you, so you can run and get help.
Continuing along the trail a blue grosbeak sat in a dead tree and allowed us to add it to our life list, Indigo buntings were everywhere, and we even got to see a magnificent frigate bird soaring over head. It was a really nice short hike and well worth repeating, the next time we visit Grand Isle. Clear skies.

The cat or panther is in the first image. Its at the end of the trail surrounded by trees. The image is our property and we do not grant anyone the right to reproduce it or use it.

1 comment:

greg and jean said...

Enjoy the coast - it looks like it may be awhile before that can happen again....