Whirlwind Birding – Five States in Eleven Days
Speakers: Doris and Dottie Boyles
Location: John Gould Fletcher Library. Time: 7 PM.
Doris Boyles set a goal a few years ago to see 100 species of birds in 25 states. With 15 already completed, she planned a whirlwind trip to visit five states in 11 days with her daughter Dottie. They birded in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Come hear how they did and the many adventures along the way.
Doris is an avid gardener, retired American Iris Society Judge, and collector of many things. She has been a serious birder since 2000.
Dottie works for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. While she has had many hobbies over the years that included hiking and painting, she also became a serious birder in 2000.
Frog Bayou WMA—Dyer (Crawford Co.)
Meet at 6:30 a.m. at the Mayflower commuter lot located at Exit 135 off I-40 West. Frog Bayou WMA is one of Arkansas’ newest AGFC wildlife management areas, established in 2005. This former farm is a wetland restoration area, with migratory waterfowl as its main user. Secretive marsh birds like rails, Sora, and American Bittern will be our target birds. A variety of wading birds such as herons, egrets, ibis, and night-herons also visit the area. Walking will be on unpaved, level paths. Bring boots. If time allows, we will check the Alma Sewage Treatment ponds for Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks. Bring water, snacks, and lunch. We’ll return to Little Rock by late afternoon.
For those in western Arkansas who would like to join us, meet our group at 8:45 a.m. at the Phillips 66 Kountry Xpress Truck Stop located at Dyer Exit 20 on the south side of I-40. The truck stop is on your right just before the Hwy. 64 intersection. Breakfast and lunch buffets are available at the truck stop.
The Feilke Prairie is a 30 acre native prairie located near Stuttgart airport. The White River Irrigation District has acquired access to the field in order to harvest native grass seed for use on their projects in eastern Arkansas. We plan to hand harvest the three dominant grass species, Big Bluestem (Andropogan gerardii), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in order to attain a clean seed collection for planting at a propagation facility for native prairie grasses. With your help we will be able to use local genotype prairie grasses on projects instead of commercially available cultivars that are not from the local area. Representatives from the federal and state government natural resource agencies will be participating. Collecting the seed will require walking through tall, dense and possibly wet stands of grass. Seed will be removed from the plant stem by stripping the seed heads with an upward motion of one’s hand along the grass stalk. (To protect your hands it may be wise to bring a pair of leather gloves) Stripped seed would then be placed into seed collection bags. Seed collection bags will be provided. Each seed collector will be assigned one species of grass to collect. For more information please contact Leonard Pitcher via phone at 901-544-0705 or 618-534-8322 (cell) or email email@example.com . Harvesting will take place October 1-3, 16-18 and 29-31 starting at 9 am each day, weather permitting. Please call Leonard Pitcher’s cell number if you are unsure if harvesting will occur due to inclement weather conditions or if you get lost on your way there. If you plan to participate please don’t forget personal equipment needs such as: Leather gloves Sunscreen/ sun hat Good footwear/ hiking boots Insect repellent Drinks and snacks And don’t forget to dress in layers to adapt to the temperature Directions: The Feilke Prairie is immediately west of the Stuttgart Airport (see below map). The Stuttgart Airport is along HWY 63 between Stuttgart and Hazen, AR. From HWY 63 head to the NE corner of the airport property. Turn west onto Prislousky Road and travel approximately 2 miles and turn left (south) onto Strabala (Dierks) /Hwy 46 road. Travel approximately 1 mile and turn right (west) onto Fairmount Road. Travel ¼ mile and turn left (south) onto an un-named dirt road. Travel 1/10 mile and you will be at the northwest corner of the Feilke Prairie. GPS coordinates for the “Feilke Prairie” on the map are: Lat 34°35’38.54″ N Lon -91°35’43.34″ W.