Orleans Loop – Breton Sound
Orleans Loop is located next to New Orleans, Louisiana. While the loop is close to Louisiana’s largest city, that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of wildlife. In fact, there are tons of flora and fauna that you can see in several different sites along the Orleans Loop. The loop consists of several sites, including the Bonnet Carre Spillway, National Wildbird Refuge, Audubon Park Heronry, Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Reserve, and several others. Also, along the loop, you’ll come across the San Bernardo Scenic Byway and Breton Sound Docks, Marina, and Nature Study Area. All of these sites are fantastic for birdwatching.
Breton Sound is a 200-acre site created by dredge spoil when the Mississippi Gulf Outlet waterway was built during the 1950s. During the following decades, marshes and woodlands developed over the spoil, and today, Breton Sound functions like a barrier island, possessing almost identical flora and fauna.
Bayou La Loutre is the perfect place to look for Ospreys, Brown Pelicans, and Boat-tailed Grackles. During the summer, you’ll also see laughing gulls here, and in the autumn, winter, and spring months, you can find Ring-billed gulls. You’ll see Caspian, Gull-billed, and Forester’s terns here throughout the year. Least and Sandwich terns visit during the summer months, and Common and Black terns visit this location during their migrations.
Where the bayou merges with the adjacent Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, you can see Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Keep your eyes open for Common Loons and Double-crested Cormorants during the winter months.
You can also head down an extensive nature trail through coastal woodland, and saltwater and freshwater marshes. In the freshwater marsh, you can find Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, White Ibises, Black-neck Stilts, and Roseate Spoonbills during the summer months. During the winter, you’ll want to look for Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Green-winged Teals, Sedge Wrens, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers, Savannah Sparrows, and Palm Warblers.
Head into the woodland area to find Red-bellied woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, Red-shouldered Hawks, Painted buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and Northern Cardinals, among others. During spring and autumn migrations, you’ll find thrushes, grosbeaks, warblers, vireos, and tanagers.
San Bernardo Scenic Byway
Spanish colonists, known as the Islenos, from the Canary Islands founded St. Bernard in 1780. The San Bernardo Scenic Byway takes you deep into the Mississippi Delta and follows LA 46 to the fishing villages of Delacroix Island and Yscloskey. These towns are still booming with fishing charters and the seafood industry.
Speaking of fishing and seafood, if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday (or any day!), come fishing with me at Whiskey Bayou Charters. Whiskey Bayou Charters is located in Delacroix, Louisiana, and we target redfish and speckled trout. Nothing would make me happier than to see you catching fish on a charter with me!