Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge - South Point

From New Orleans, take I-10 East to Exit 254 (Irish Bayou-US 11). Then take the overpass over I-10 and exit immediately to take a left onto Frontage Road (paralleling I-10 West) to the Crabbing Bridge. There is a locked gate on the west side of the Crabbing Bridge, with foot access only beyond this point unless a key is arranged with refuge staff. The walk along the levee road from the Crabbing Bridge to South Point is 1.3 miles.

For hikers and hard-core birders, the journey to Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge’s South Point is a 2.6-mile round trip from the parking area. The access road and levee to South Point provide excellent views of Lake Pontchartrain and the surrounding fresh and brackish marshes, black willow swamp forests, and expansive shrub-scrub habitat along the spoil banks.

When winds are favorable, the songbird migration spectacle at South Point can be sensational. The peninsula of South Point juts out into eastern Lake Pontchartrain, creating a natural funneling point for migrating birds. South Point is also the site of a bizarre reverse migration phenomenon. It is reverse in that in unfavorable winds, migrants often overshoot their intended trajectories and end up backtracking across this eastern edge of the lake in the opposite direction expected during spring and fall migration periods. 

More often than not, this isolated site, and the walk along the way, can be amazingly birdy. A spotting scope is highly recommended. 

Twenty-six waterfowl species, 25 shorebirds, at least 18 seabirds, 16 wading birds, 15 raptors, 16 flycatchers, 16 sparrows, and 32 warbler species have been recorded from this site, including many, many vagrants and rarities! The site's checklist totals 263 species. There are no amenities at this site.

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