Field Trips
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Dress appropriately for the trips. Bring your own binoculars and scopes. You may need to bring a sack lunch unless a specific  announcement indicates otherwise. In the summer bring plenty of water,  sunscreen and bug repellant.

ASCA sponsors numerous field trips throughout the year.  The trips are open to all and carpooling is available for trips outside of Little Rock.  This is a great  opportunity for novice birders to meet and learn more about birds
from experienced birders, or perhaps a chance to see a lifebird for those more dedicated.  For more information contact Karen Holliday, ASCA Field Trip Coordinator at ladyhawke1@att.net or (501) 920-3246.  If you join a trip late, call Karen to learn the current location of the group.
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                  2013 Field Trips

 

 

For more information contact Karen Holliday, ASCA Field Trip Coordinator at ladyhawke1@att.net or (501) 920-3246.  If you join a trip late, call Karen to learn the current location of the group.

May 11, 2013

International Migratory Bird Day

Summer '13 trips TBA

 

ASCA Field Trip Reports

May 11

Holland Bottoms WMA

Jacksonville, AR

The 2013 International Migratory Bird Day event at Holland Bottoms WMA was filled with fun for everyone and life birds for several. The event was jointly hosted by Audubon Arkansas and Audubon Society of Central Arkansas, with support from AR Game & Fish Commission. Twenty-six birders discovered the birding potential of a WMA on the outskirts of a large urban area. Shrubby and edge habitat held Indigo Buntings, Yellow-breasted Chats, White-eyed Vireos, a Blue Grosbeak, and a Common Yellowthroat. On the waterfowl rest area we saw 4 Wilson's Phalaropes, Great Egrets, Least Sandpipers, and both Yellowlegs. Among the Blue-winged Teal were a male Northern Shoveler and two late American Wigeons. A Marsh Wren remained elusive among the grasses. Two Wild Turkeys skedaddled along the far side of the moist soil unit.

Closer to the campground we picked up Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Kentucky Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Parulas, Blackburnian Warbler, Summer Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and 2 Mississippi Kites.

After ASCA's walk I led a shorter walk for additional event attendees, and helped bird watchers of various skill levels get good looks at Eastern Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Pine Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Gray Catbird, and Common Yellowthroat.

Later in the day a birder and his step-son showed up. Samantha and I helped them see many of the birds seen by the last group, plus a Magnolia Warbler and a Palm Warbler.
Submitted by

Dan Scheiman
Little Rock, AR

April 28, 2013

Wapannoca NWR

Turrell, AR

Mitchell Pruitt met the ASCA crew for their field trip at Wapanocca NWR in Turrell on April 28. Despite threats of heavy rains, we made it to the very end of the day with only a couple of sprinkles and a total of 90 species! Hopes were high for Wapanocca and though not the best of Mississippi Flyway spring days, it did not disappoint. We started the morning with House Wren, Prothonotary Warblers, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Summer Tanagers, can't complain about that. Not long after, one of the refuge’s many Barred Owls flew out for everyone to view. As if that wasn't enough, a few minutes later we were able to listen as two hooted back and forth. We moved on down the main refuge road, which is raised above the flooded woods and drove through a sea of blue. That blue being Indigo Buntings (200+ throughout the day) with plenty of Blue Grosbeaks mixed in. The day got even better as we worked towards the refuge's lake. In the field east of the lake we had numerous Palm Warblers and 2 stunning male Painted Buntings chasing each other all around. This field also held the largest gathering of Eastern Kingbirds I had ever seen. At least 20 birds all together. Down at the lake’s parking lot, we picked up Northern Waterthrush, Blue-headed Vireo, another Palm Warbler, plus another Summer Tanager. Scoping the lake produced the much anticipated, but distant Western Grebe, also Double-crested Cormorants, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Lesser Scaup, and Blue-winged Teal.


Moving on from there, we continued to our lunch stop: a delta "jungle". Tangles of grapevine and poison ivy in a dense canopied oak/hickory forest with scattered pawpaw, a beautiful sight! Here we had Swainson's Thrush, Kentucky Warbler, and Ovenbird, in the presence of Red-headed and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. We didn't stick around long when two early birders confirmed the presence of American Bitterns at the moist soils unit. As we worked our way to the back of the refuge, we were finally able to get visuals on Baltimore and Orchard Orioles we had heard but not seen all day.

As we came out of the woods into the bittern field, 3 were already up and flying (4 total for the day). After everyone got good looks, Michael Linz and I waded out into the wet, reedy field. It paid off. We got THE photo after filling our boots with water and fighting off a slew of cottonmouths. Well….maybe not the cottonmouth part, but we did get in over our boot-tops. Past the bitterns, in the large field at the final loop of the refuge, we picked up Yellow Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat, a Green Heron, and a large flock of Bobolinks and Dickcissels.

At end the day, I split from the group to get wet again photoing bitterns. On my little side trip I found a Blackpoll Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, and ANOTHER Barred Owl all while listening to the bitterns' clunk-clunking. It doesn't get much better than that on the delta, sweet delta.
Submitted by

Mitchell Pruitt

Jonesboro

March 16, 2012

Lake Maumelle and WinRock Sod Farm

Saturday, thirty-five birders gathered at the Jolly Rogers Marina on Lake Maumelle for ASCA's March field trip. The UCA ornithology students made the trip from Conway to join our group. Common Loons, Ring-billed and Bonaparte Gulls, and Purple Martins were the most numerous birds. The wind kept the woods birds quiet except for Pine Warblers. From the marina, we caravanned to Loon Point, where close to shore a Common Loon in full breeding plumage wowed the group. At Vista View, th'13 ere were more fishermen than birds, so we moved on to Sleepy Hollow. We picked up Rusty Blackbirds, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Northern Flicker, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers.

We left the lake and headed to the former WinRock Sod Farm, now owned by Central Arkansas Water. CAW plans to restore the acreage to suitable habitat for birds, native plants, and animals. Our first bird was an American Pipit out in the open. We watched an Eastern Phoebe carry nesting material to her mud and lichen nest up in the rafters of the equipment shed. We had singing Eastern Meadowlarks, but no Westerns. In the riparian areas, we found a very cooperative Winter Wren, plus a Louisiana Waterthrush, a Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and an unexpected Brown-headed Nuthatch. The bird of the day was the Eastern Phoebe. We had singing Phoebes at every stop. It was wonderful to be out on a gorgeous, sunny, warm day enjoying the spring weather and the birds.

Karen Holliday
Audubon Society of Central Arkansas
Little Rock, AR

 

Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area

February 23, 2013

Twenty-four birders participated in ASCA's field trip Saturday, February 23. Our group included several ornithology students from UCA. The UCA students are a hardy bunch having survived our very cold January trip and willing to go again on Saturday's field trip! We met Karen Rowe with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. Karen explained the process they use to control and manage water flowing through the WMA to provide resting areas for wintering waterfowl and favorable conditions for Red Oaks to produce acorns, which is an important winter food source for birds and other animals. We scanned the Halowell holding ponds and found lots of American Coots, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks, and one gorgeous male Northern Pintail. We also had three Buffleheads, a new reservoir sighting. In the muddy, plowed field next to the headquarters building, we found a large flock of Greater White-fronted Geese and Green-winged Teal.

We then caravanned 25 miles south to the Wrape WMA. This large, former delta plantation was acquired by Game & Fish to also provide sanctuary for wintering birds. The flooded soil units were full of ducks, plus an enormous flock of over 3,000 Snow Geese, including about 10 Ross's Geese, plus five Bald Eagles, adults and juveniles, soaring overhead. Also sighted were two FOS Tree Swallows. On the drive back to Halowell, we found a large group of Lesser Yellowlegs with 5 Greater Yellowlegs and over 60 Wilson's Snipe mixed in. In another field, we had American Pipits and Brewer's Blackbirds. Back at the reservoir, we found an American Wigeon, Redheads, eight American White Pelicans, and another huge group of Snow Geese. Driving back to Little Rock, we stopped to see the Say's Phoebe that was recently found flycatching in a dirt pit in a farmer's field. We ended the day with a total of 56 species.

Submitted by Karen Holliday