White Kitchen Area
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“White Kitchen” was a restaurant near the intersection of US 90 and US 190, in St. Tammany Parish near the Mississippi state line; the restaurant burned and only the sign remains. The area can be reached from New Orleans by driving east on US 90 past Fort Pike and across the Rigolets, or by taking I-10 across the twin bridges to the first Slidell exit, where LA 433 goes southeast to US 90.
At the intersection of US 90 and LA 433 there are ponds which can be interesting at any season. East on US 90 from its intersection with LA 433, you will pass good mixed pine-deciduous woodlands on both sides of the road, especially about a mile from the intersection. These woods are good in both winter and migration. The woods on the southeast side of the highway are much more extensive, reaching out to the edge of the marsh.
Another half a mile along the road there is a view of the fresh water marsh to the north. Depending on water level this can be good for ducks, gallinules, waders, or raptors.
The first paved road to the left (see the map) leads to US 190 and ultimately to I-10. At a distance of about ¼ mile this road provides access to wet pine flats on the left. These flats end at the eastern edge of the fresh water marsh described above. The ponds may have ducks in winter, and Purple Gallinules have been seen here in summer.
Continuing along US 90 to the east, you reach the intersection of US 90 and US 190. There is a roadside park here, with pine and oaks. This area is now part of the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. It can be good in migration, and Brown-headed Nuthatches may be around. In summer there are Yellow-throated Vireos and Yellow-throated Warblers. There is a boardwalk here which leads a short distance into the marsh to a point from which a Bald Eagle nest is visible (occupied October through March).
Just down the road you will reach a large parking lot on your right, the site of the old White Kitchen restaurant. As an alternative to the boardwalk, you can park here and cross the road to the small telephone company building on the north side of US 90. From the back steps of this concrete block building you can see the Bald Eagle nest in the tree line about ½ mile across the marsh. Eagles should be seen here between about October and April. There is also a heronry here, active from April or May on, with Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, and Anhingas. King Rail is a possibility in the marsh. which is owned by the Nature Conservancy.
Just east of the White Kitchen site, you can bird along the West Pearl River, either north or south of the highway. In summer, Prothonotary and Yellow-throated Warblers and Northern Parulas nest in this area. Further east, toward Mississippi, are three bridges over the Middle Pearl River. Both Barn and Cliff Swallows nest under the bridges over the Middle-Middle Pearl and the East-Middle Pearl Rivers.