Cameron Parish, 12/21/03
The bird was found by Christie Riehl while birding with the team of Paul Conover, David Muth, and Phillip Wallace. It was located beyond a fence on private property about 1 miles east of Rutherford Beach.
This is a wide shot showing the interesting habitat just in from the beach.
Photos and html by Dave Patton.
Directions to the bird from Marty Guidry:
Take LA 27 past Creole to Oak Grove. At Oak Grove turn right onto LA 82 and continue past the Rutherford Cemetery (on your right) to the first road on your left (about 1/2 mile past the cemetery). Turn left on this road that goes to Rutherford Beach. At the end of the road continue straight toward the beach (do not turn toward the village) and turn left on the dirt/sand road just before you reach the beach. Follow this dirt/sand road (bumpy, but easily passable for a car) for about a mile east until a fence with a gap gate prevents you from going further. Turn right and park your car. Inside the gate is private property so tread at your own risk (historically folks have gone inside this area without any problem); however, it is possible to view the bird by proceeding along the outside of the fence eastward. Walk approximately 3/4 mile eastward. You should see a rusty horizontal tank laying on the ground just inside the fence. This is where we initially saw the Scott's Oriole perched atop a 15-20-foot tree about 30 yards from the fence. Another 200 yards east along the fence is another rusty tank laying just outside the fence with a board laying on the tank and the fence. This is where we were standing and to which the bird flew and perched atop a 15-foot tree about 30 yards from the fence. After about 2 minutes the oriole flew eastward about 300-400 yards and appeared to go into the narrow woodlot beyond the dirt road that is about 70 yards from fence.
There appears to be a moderate amount of prickly pear on the cacti along the beach for a food source. It seems probable that the oriole is ranging from the area where the car was parked eastward for 1 to 1.5 miles - thus a thorough search of this area may be necessary to relocate the bird.