Lake Martin and Jefferson Island Rookeries
Lake Martin and Jefferson Island Rookeries Review
I went to Lake Martin and Jefferson Island Rookeries Sunday and Monday 5/17 and 18 for the first time this year. I can summarize my trip by saying that Lake Martin is no longer a viable location for wading bird photography. The rookery at Jefferson Island is healthy and there is a good population of birds there.
My plan was to see if the Lake Martin rookery had moved back to the vicinity of rookery road. A number of years ago this was, in my opinion, the best wading bird rookery in south east Louisiana. It had a large number of species of waders and a large number of birds nested here very near the road. Later there was some sort of natural or manmade event that caused the birds to abandon nests in the middle of the season and leave or move a distance from the road. Many people suspected the birds were driven away by humans. Others believed that the natural decline of the trees and shrubs in the swamp was the cause. I have no idea what caused the birds to move but they have not returned as of this past weekend. Lake Martin is no longer a worthwhile location for photographing wading birds from Rookery road. Little Blue Herons still nest in the button bushes but I saw few of the larger waders close enough to be photographed using ultra long lenses.
Monday morning I went to Jefferson Island hoping to find the rookery as it was when I last visited two or three years ago. It was clearly healthy and had a good population of waders. Most visible were Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Tri-color Heron, and an Anhinga. The birds in the smaller island were still building nests and I could see eggs so they will be there for another few weeks.
There are several posts on the web that discuss this rookery and Lake Martin. Here are two. The first is from the Daily Iberian http://www.iberianet.com/people/features/rip-s-rookery/article_58175bc0-e0d3-11e1-9e2a-0019bb2963f4.html The second is a good article by Charles Bush a local photographer http://charlesbushphoto.com/blog/2013/4/8/photographing-the-roseate-spoonbill