November 12, 2015 – Monthly Meeting – Winged Seduction: Birds of Paradise

National Geographic Documentary

     Join National Geographic photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes as they journey deep into the most remote jungles on earth in search of all 39 species of some of the most amazing birds in the world – Birds of Paradise. Their mission takes them into the jungles of one of the last wild places on earth – New Guinea. Far-flung islands, impenetrable jungle and extreme elevations all create areas of isolation where ordinary birds have evolved into some of the most beautifully bizarre species on earth. Digital explorers on an old-fashioned quest, Tim and Ed have survived everything the jungle has to throw at them to becomes first in the world to capture all 39 species of Birds of Paradise on film.

This 45-minute documentary shows some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into capturing never-before-recorded behaviors of a few of these spectacular species.

Location: Little Rock Audubon Center located on the southeast side of Little Rock at 4500 Springer Blvd., just minutes from downtown. Time: 7 PM.

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Field Trip – Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery and Bob Long Road, Lonoke Co.

ASCA Field Trip

Oct. 24, 2015

Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery and Bob Long Road, Lonoke Co.

 

The October field trip of the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas (ASCA) was almost a washout.  Heavy rains were predicted for the entire weekend.  In spite of the rain, John Webb, Randy Robinson, and Greg Wolfe showed up and won the Rubber Ducky Award for birding non-stop until noon!  As we headed from Prothro Junction toward Lonoke, we ran into a deluge of rain.  We said oh no, this will be the shortest field trip on record.  But, by the time we arrived at the Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery, the rain had slowed to a drizzle.  We sheltered under the roof overhang of the main building and watched a flock of 60 Yellow-rumped Warblers flitting in and out of the tall shrubs and foraging in the nearby trees, along with two very wet Mockingbirds, and two Brown Thrashers.  We then worked our way around the ponds.  Only one drained pond had shorebirds.  It contained 12 Wilson’s Snipe, 10 Least Sandpipers, and close to 30 Killdeer.  Birds in the filled ponds were Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, Pied-billed Grebes, a couple of American Coots and Double-crested Cormorants.  We heard a “giggling call” call and looked up to see a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese flying over.  As we left the Hatchery, over a dozen Eurasian Collared Doves were hanging out on the wires, plus a Belted Kingfisher.  Two Northern Flickers were facing off on top of the Hatchery sign giving each other the “stink eye”.

At Bob Long Road, we stopped first in the wooded section and found a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a flock of Blue Jays.  We then checked all the ponds along the road down to the bridge across the irrigation ditch.  All the ponds had water.  They contained small groups of Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants, Pied-billed Grebes, and lots of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons.  Raptors were American Kestrels and Red-tailed Hawks.  Three Franklin’s Gulls did a flyover, the white trailing edges of their wings confirmed they were Franklin’s and not Laughing Gulls.  Grass birds included a brief look at a Sedge Wren, 3 Eastern Phoebes, plus Song, Swamp, Savannah, and White-throated Sparrows.  We had lots of Barn and Tree Swallows at both Bob Long and the Hatchery.

A dozen Eastern Meadowlarks and a flock of 130 Canada Geese were our last birds of the trip.  We made it back to Prothro Junction, damp around the edges and muddy, just before heavy rain settled back in.  We saw a total of 46 species, pretty darn good for an extremely soggy morning.  I was very proud of my “Duckies”.
Karen Holliday
ASCA Field Trip Coordinator
Maumelle/Little Rock