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Jan. 30, 2016

Due to a heavy snowfall in Central Arkansas on Jan. 22nd, the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas’ (ASCA) field trip to Lake Dardanelle and Holla Bend NWR was postponed to Jan. 30, 2016.  Highlights seen during the trip were a Western Grebe at the Delaware Point Park (Hwy. 393) on Lake Dardanelle, plus one adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, and one adult Herring Gull.  Multiple Brown Creepers and Golden-crowned Kinglets gave the group great looks.  At least two newer birders said the Kinglets were their favorite bird of the day, a good reminder to enjoy our common birds as well as our uncommon birds.  At the dam site on the Russellville side, we did not find the previously seen Royal Tern nor the Neotropic Cormorant.  We did find one juvenile Herring Gull mixed in lots of Ring-billed Gulls and Double-crested Cormorants.

At the Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, we spotted three Bald Eagles, a small flock of Wild Turkeys, American White Pelicans, a few ducks, a possible Merlin, a Winter Wren, and lots of sparrows, but no Northern Harriers nor swans.  At County Rd. 57/Country Loop, New Neely, off Hwy. 154, not far from Holla Bend NWR, we found four Harris’s Sparrows mixed in with White-crowned Sparrows, a Roadrunner, and finally a Northern Harrier, but no Bewick’s Wren.  It was a fun day with a huge flock of birders (46) and absolutely perfect weather.

Karen Holliday

ASCA Field Trip Coordinator

Maumelle/Little Rock

Meet at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Two Rivers Park Bridge (also known as the “Little” Dam Bridge) at the start of the walking trail located at 4468 River Mountain Road at the southeast end of the Two Rivers Park peninsula.  Exit west off I-430 onto Cantrell Rd.  At the first stop light, turn right (north) onto River Mountain Road.  Go to the bottom of the hill then bear right to the main parking lot.  GPS coordinates are 34.797931, -92.384704.

We’ll scope the river from the parking lot and bridge, then walk the paved trail as far as people wish to go.  You can turn around at any point and head back to your vehicle.  After returning to our cars, we’ll drive to the west entrance into Two Rivers Park and walk the big field and horse trail.  Both areas have a diverse population of sparrows and provides a great opportunity to work on identifying those “little brown birds”.  Knee-high rubber boots are recommend for the big field because of the copious sand burrs.  Bring water, snacks, and your scope if you have one.  We should finish around noon.  If any rare loons have been reported, birders can continue on to Lake Maumelle.  Loons, mergansers, ducks, and grebes are easily found on the lake this time of year.

If you can’t join the field trip, participate in the GBBC by counting the birds in your own backyard and submitting your sightings to the GBBC website at www.birdcount.org.

Speaker: Heather Huckeba, Arkansas Canoe Club

The anti-litter campaign that started as early as 1953 and went into high gear in the 1970’s can only be seen as a failure if you think the goal of that public education campaign has been to reduce litter. Instead, the primary goal has been to ensure that we all believe that litter is entirely an individual’s responsibility and up to individuals to try to fix the problem. As long as we don’t believe that corporations or manufacturers or even governments have any role to play in addressing our ever growing litter problem, this campaign has hands down been an overwhelming success.

When we “follow the money” we find that the same big money backers of anti-litter campaigns spend MILLIONS opposing proven, effective solutions. Are there actual solutions to litter? YES. But we will need to change how we define the problem and then we need to be smart about advocating for these real solutions. We’ll look at how changes in consumable products and consumer habits have accelerated exponentially the problem of litter, and what solutions we need to start demanding if we want to see a change in our waterways and natural places.

Heather Huckeba has been an avid whitewater kayaker and blackwater canoeist for the past 12 years. She serves on the Arkansas Canoe Club’s Board of Directors as Membership Chair, and is an American Canoe Association Level IV Kayak and Level IV Canoe Instructor. When not chasing whitewater in the Ozarks or Ouachitas, or exploring Eastern Arkansas blackwaters, she usually can be found exploring and cleaning up Little Rock’s Fourche Bottoms.

Location: Fletcher Library.  Time: 7 PM.