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Events on September 11, 2014
  • Monthly Meeting - The Beautiful Baltimore Checkerspot
    Starts:September 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm
    Location: Little Rock Audubon Center
    Description: Speaker: Stephen Robertson, UALR

    The black-and-orange Baltimore Checkerspot is a rare beauty found in several northern Arkansas counties, where its caterpillars specialize on False Foxglove. Come learn about this striking species’ interesting life history traits that help it survive.
    While growing up in the Air Force, Stephen Robertson resided in four states, but spent the first years of his life in Aviano, Italy. He grew up with a fascination for insects. This led to studying entomology in college. He is currently an M.S. student at UALR, and intends to get a Ph.D. in Ecology with the aim of becoming a professor. Research is his great passion, and he hopes to continue doing so for as long as his body will allow.
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Events on September 13, 2014
  • Field Trip to Bell Slough South WMA
    Starts:September 13, 2014 - 7:30 am
    Description: Bell Slough South WMA—Mayflower
    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the main entrance to the Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Our target birds will be migrating fall warblers. 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. Follow the service road paralleling I-40, then veer right at the fork. This is the new road to Grassy Lake Road. After crossing the Palarm Creek bridge, turn left into the WMA parking lot.
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  • Our Next Event is on September 11, 2014
    Monthly Meeting - The Beautiful Baltimore Checkerspot
    Starts:September 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm
    Location: Little Rock Audubon Center
    Description: Speaker: Stephen Robertson, UALR

    The black-and-orange Baltimore Checkerspot is a rare beauty found in several northern Arkansas counties, where its caterpillars specialize on False Foxglove. Come learn about this striking species’ interesting life history traits that help it survive.
    While growing up in the Air Force, Stephen Robertson resided in four states, but spent the first years of his life in Aviano, Italy. He grew up with a fascination for insects. This led to studying entomology in college. He is currently an M.S. student at UALR, and intends to get a Ph.D. in Ecology with the aim of becoming a professor. Research is his great passion, and he hopes to continue doing so for as long as his body will allow.

Baltimore Checkerspots

Speaker: Stephen Robertson, UALR

Location: Little Rock Audubon Center.  Time: 7 PM.

The black-and-orange Baltimore Checkerspot is a rare beauty found in several northern Arkansas counties, where its caterpillars specialize on False Foxglove. Come learn about this striking species’ interesting life history traits that help it survive.
While growing up in the Air Force, Stephen Robertson resided in four states, but spent the first years of his life in Aviano, Italy. He grew up with a fascination for insects. This led to studying entomology in college. He is currently an M.S. student at UALR, and intends to get a Ph.D. in Ecology with the aim of becoming a professor. Research is his great passion, and he hopes to continue doing so for as long as his body will allow.

37 intrepid birders braved the hottest weekend of the summer to head to the Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge to stand around in the glaring sun with temperatures climbing to 101 degrees and sort through hundreds of itty bitty shorebirds in the mudflats of the refuge. Arriving at the refuge, our first sighting was Joe Neal, David Oakley, and Mitchell Pruitt who were stopped in the road. They were hearing Sedge Wrens, but the birds were a no-show in spite of our best efforts to coax them out in the open.

The main group of birders then headed to the Night-Heron swamp hoping to beat the heat for a sighting of the elusive birds. Only two Black-crowned Night-Herons made a brief appearance, along with a couple of Green Herons. A nice surprise were the two dozen Wood Ducks we flushed.

Back at the mudflats, we sorted through peeps, egrets and herons. Great and Snowy Egrets, and Herons were scattered everywhere in the mud flats and rice fields. The mottled second-year Little Blue Herons were a treat for our newer birders. Two immature White Ibises flew low over the group. The best shorebirds were several Upland Sandpipers, a Black-bellied Plover, Black-necked Stilts, Short and Long-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Plovers, and Wilson’s Snipes. We also picked up Spotted, Solitary, and Semipalmated Sandpipers mixed in with dozens of Yellowlegs, and Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, with a couple of Westerns thrown in. The few non-shorebirds we saw netted a Yellow Warbler, a life bird for one birder. We were also strafed by a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

At noon we gave up and headed home. In spite of the heat, two cars with flat tires, plus one that had to be jumped because a malfunction in the headlights that drained the battery, the field trip was declared a rousing success by all. The Northwest Arkansas contingent, who left Fayetteville at 4:30 a.m., were impressed by the refuge. They were amazed that we considered today a slow shorebird day.
Karen Holliday
ASCA Field Trip Coordinator
Maumelle/Little Rock