With the severe threat of rain, I didn’t expect many birders to show for the ASCA field trip at Gillam Park just south of Little Rock. However, close to twenty-five adventurous birders appeared. Off we went in the poor light and drizzle. Finally found two mixed feeding flocks. Best warblers were Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, Canada, Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Yellow-throated, Yellow, American Redstart, Northern Parula, and Ovenbird. Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireos serenaded us us we walked the trail. Kingfishers and Wood Ducks were our bayou birds.
After a stop at the Little Rock Audubon Center to see their new native plantings and exhibits, we headed to the industrial park south of the airport. We found several Western Kingbirds. It seems there is an increasing number of nesting pairs. The male Painting Buntings were a no-show. but a female Painting Bunting was seen. Other good birds were Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, plus several Eastern Kingbirds.
We didn’t get the fallout of birds we expected from the weather, but we still had a great time
Field Trip Coordinator
Participate in International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 9th by helping count birds in the Little Rock area. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at 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, where we’ll walk the new 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 also Mother’s Day weekend, so this will be a morning trip. Bring water and snacks. Wear sturdy 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.
27 birders came from all over central Arkansas to meet at the Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff on Saturday, April 25 for the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas’s monthly field trip. John Redman and Delos McCauley gave us the VIP tour of the area. The Nature Center’s parking lot and feeders were loaded with Baltimore Orioles and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. We walked the Discovery Loop and the Whitetail Trails. Along the way, we spotted Swainson’s and Wood Thrushes, Cedar Waxwings, Louisiana Waterthrushes, and Catbirds. Two different mixed-feeding flocks netted us a home run of the following warblers–Blue-winged, Bay-breasted, Golden-winged, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Black-and-White, Prothonotary, Tennessee, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped, Northern Parula, and Redstarts, plus a Blue-headed Vireo.
Next stop was the Lake Saracen reed beds. Three very cooperative Soras fed and fussed out in plain sight, making both birders and photographers very happy. We also had singing Marsh Wrens, a distant look at two Forster’s Terns, and a couple of Double-crested Cormorants.
On to Wilbur West Road, which is usually a great shorebird, egret, and bittern spot, but heavy rains Friday night made the water level too high, so birds were scarce. We did find a couple of Great Egrets, an Orchard Oriole, a Yellow Warbler, a few Cliff and Barn Swallows, plus an Anhinga soaring with the Turkey Vultures. A small flock of shorebirds circled the area. Photos of the flock later confirmed that it contained 4 Wilson’s Phalaropes and 3 Greater Yellowlegs.
Last stop was the Bayou Bartholomew Trail off Hazel St. The water here was also high, which severely limited our access to most of the trail. Best birds were Prothonotary and Kentucky Warblers, plus a flyover of two Anhingas. We finished around 3:00 p.m., a tired, hungry, but happy group of birders and photographers.
ASCA Field Trip Coordinator
Little Rock, AR