ASCA Field Trip Report, April 25, 2015, Pine Bluff

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.

Karen Holliday

ASCA Field Trip Coordinator

Little Rock, AR

Delta Rivers Nature Center, Lake Saracen, Bayou Bartholomew, April 25

Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Dixon Road commuter lot, Exit 3 off I-530 South.  We’ll arrive at the Delta Rivers Nature Center around 8:00 a.m. for anyone who wants to meet us there.  The area has a diverse habitat that includes cypress and tupelo swamp, open water, and bottomland hardwood forest.  Spring migrants, egrets, and herons will be our targets.  Bring boots, the Bayou Bartholomew Trail can be muddy.  Also bring water, snacks, and lunch.

Directions to the Delta Rivers Nature Center—From Little Rock, take I-530 south to Pine Bluff going 35 miles until I-530 becomes Hwy. 65B (Exit 35).  Go 6 miles, continuing past Lake Saracen (Lake Pine Bluff).  Turn left onto Regional Park Drive.  (Convention Center Dr.).  Continue on Regional Park Drive approximately 1.2 miles.  Turn right onto Black Dog Road.  Follow signs to the Nature Center.  Website is www.deltarivers.com