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Field Trips

Meet at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Two Rivers Park Bridge located at
4468 River Mountain Road on the southeast end of the Two Rivers Park peninsula.
We’ll scope the river from the parking lot and bridge, then walk the paved trail.
You can turn around at any point and head back. After returning to our cars, we’ll
drive to the west entrance of Two Rivers Park and walk the big field and horse
trail. Both areas have a diverse population of sparrows. Knee-high rubber boots are
recommend for the big field because of copious sand burrs. If any rare loons have
been reported, birders can continue on to Lake Maumelle. Bring water, snacks, and
a scope if you have one. We should finish around noon.
Take Exit 9 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: 34.797931, -92.384704.

Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Mayflower commuter lot off I-40 West at Exit 135. We
will carpool to Delaware Park, located on the southwest side of Lake Dardanelle.
We should arrive at the boat ramp around 9:15 a.m. for anyone who wants to meet
us there. We’ll scan the lake for gulls, waterfowl, and eagles. A rare gull or duck is
always a possibility. The lake can be very cold and windy so dress in layers,
including hats and gloves.
Next, we’ll caravan to the Holla Bend NWR headquarters’ parking lot. There is
a $4.00 entrance fee per vehicle. A duck stamp or National Parks pass will get a
vehicle in for free. Our target birds will be raptors, including nesting Bald Eagles,
swans, ducks, geese, and sparrows. At Holla Bend, there will be some walking in
tall grass, boots are recommended. We’ll return to Little Rock late afternoon.
Bring snacks, lunch, and plenty of water.
Directions from the town of Dardanelle to Delaware Park: At the junction of
Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 22, go west on Hwy 22 approximately 10 miles. Turn right onto
Hwy. 393, which is the first road on your right after you cross the long causeway
at the west end of the lake. Hwy. 393 dead ends at Delaware Park.
GPS coordinates: 35.295749, -93.271458.
For more information about the refuge go to www.fws.gov/hollabend. The
headquarters is at 10448 Holla Bend Road, Dardanelle, AR 72834.
GPS coordinates: 35.163222, -93.093477.

November 19, 2016

A total of twenty-five birders met at the Lodge at DeGray Lake Resort State Park on Saturday, November 19th.  The morning started out very windy and quite cold, making the lake choppy and causing lots of shivering and everyone’s eyes to water.  The cold was a significant change to the earlier warm fall temperatures.  The warm weather has kept the birds from moving south, so waterfowl numbers on the lake were quite low.  We saw two rafts of ducks very far out.  The heat shimmers and white-caps made it impossible to identify what species they were.  Closer in we had several Common Loons, one lone Horned Grebe, a few American Coots, some Gadwalls, and a small raft of Scaup.  Two Common Mergansers flew in, then quickly disappeared in the chop.  An adult and juvenile Bald Eagle were working the area.  The juvenile was swooping down on the rafts of ducks, but wasn’t able to catch anything.  It was obvious he needs a lot more practice.  Woods birds included Pine Warblers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, American Goldfinches, and Golden-crowned Kinglets.  An unusual mammal sighting was a family of three beavers, two adults and a kit.  They were swimming around and around in a big circle.  The kit was hanging on to one of the adult’s tail and was being towed around.  It must have been fun because they spent a lot of time going in circles, then they swam away along the shoreline with the kit still in tow. 

After enjoying a hot lunch at the Lodge’s restaurant, the group went back to the point at the Caddo Bend picnic area to do a last scan of the lake.  Still no ducks that were close enough to identify.  The last of the birders then headed to the Iron Mountain area of the lake because Red-breasted Nuthatches had been reported there earlier in the day.  At the bridge over the river, we called in several Red-breasted Nuthatches and Brown-headed Nuthatches.  The RBNU’s were a life bird for several birders, which was a nice end to the day.  We totaled approximately 35 species.

Karen Holliday

ASCA Field Trip Coordinator