Little Rock, Pulaski Co.
Celebrate the migration of birds moving from their winter non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean to their summer nesting grounds in North America. It will be a great day to be outside in nature! Meet at 7:30 a.m. in Gillam Park at the last parking lot past the swimming pool. Gillam has great habitat for spring warblers and other migrants. There will be moderate walking on fairly level, but possibly muddy trails. When finished at Gillam, we’ll drive to the Audubon Center and walk the wildlife observation trail. Last, we’ll head to Industrial Harbor Road and Terry Lock & Dam to look for Western Kingbirds and Painted Buntings. This is a morning trip. Bring water and snacks. Wear sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots.
Directions—Gillam Park is in southeast Little Rock near the airport. Address is 5300 Gillam Park Road, Little Rock. Take I-30 West heading south from Little Rock. Then exit onto I-440 going towards the airport. Take Exit 1-Springer Road. At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left onto Springer Road. Go approximately 1 mile to just past the LRAC. Turn right onto Gillam Park Road. Follow it into the park to the last parking lot past the swimming pool.
Also in May is the International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) on May 13. Count the birds you see and enter your sightings into eBird. May 13 is also the third annual eBird Global Big Day. To learn more about the eBird Global Big Day go to http://eBird.org/globalbigday
Mayflower, Faulkner Co.
Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the main entrance to the Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) off Hwy. 365. Our target birds will be spring migrants. Bell Slough is a mix of ecosystems consisting of 2,040 acres of woodlands and wetlands situated between Little Rock and the Mayflower/Conway region. There are 117 species of birds documented for the area, including the adjacent waterfowl resting habitat. The Bell Slough Kenny Vernon Nature Trail consists of three connecting trails, each ranging in length from about a half-mile to 2 1/4 miles. The WMA also has a nice mix wildflowers that attract numerous butterflies. Wear study walking shoes. This will be a morning trip.
From Little Rock, go west on I-40. Exit I-40 at Mayflower (Exit 135) and turn east (right) at the light onto Hwy. 89. Then turn south (right) just past the commuter parking lot onto the service road. Follow the service road paralleling I-40, then veer right at the fork. Follow this road until you cross the Palarm Creek bridge. Turn left into the WMA parking lot.
Speaker: Cindy Franklin, ASCA & Master Gardeners
Cindy and her husband Bill Burnham spent 24 days in southern South America on a Wings tour sampling a variety of habitats from Iguazu Falls in northeastern Argentina to Ushuaia in Terra del Fuego to the high Andes east of Santiago, Chile. They traveled approximately 6,000 miles by air, land, and sea from Buenos Aires to Valpraiso, Chile. They added 286 birds to their life list including 4 species of penguins and 7 species of albatross as well as many mammals and several species of whales & dolphins.
Cindy Franklin has had a lifelong interest in gardening and bird watching that began when she was growing up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. After she retired from a VA nursing career she became a Pulaski County Master Gardener. She and her husband Bill are members of the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Audubon Society. Cindy maintains a pollinator garden both on her front patio and in her front yard, and is endlessly fascinated by the insects that visit her plants throughout the growing season. She also maintains an active hummingbird feeding station during the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds’ breeding & migration seasons.