June 13, 2013 – Birding on the Fly

Speakers: Dale and Craig Provost
All of us have gone on bird-focused trips, whether an ASCA field trip to a nearby park, or a multi-week trip to another country. But sometimes we go on trips across the state or across the world that are not focused on birding. Craig and Dale will discuss ways to work in birding on those non-birding trips, and to optimize finding special species you want, whether you are on a business trip or a family vacation (with non-birders). Of course, these techniques will also enhance true birding trips. Craig will explain ways of increasing the possibility of finding new birds, while Dale will show her photos of some of those “bonus birds” that they found while on otherwise-oriented trips to Manhattan, Colorado, Utah, Belize, Costa Rica, Paris, Scotland, Italy, South Africa, and more.

Dale Provost has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas. The majority of her career as a Psychologist was spent serving Veterans at the Little Rock VA. She retired last year. Dale became addicted to birding in 1995 on a trip to Beaumont, TX, when they spent a day at High Island during migration. Craig learned to love birds from his mother, becoming interested in them at a young age. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of North Texas. They met and married in Denton, TX. Craig served Veterans for over 30 years and retired last year. They have two children who love to travel and who have invited them on many trips. They’ve traveled throughout the US, and in Europe, Africa, and Central America, primarily on family vacations, but have managed to include birding in all of their trips.

Location: Fletcher Library.  Time: 7 PM.

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Minutes from the April 2013 ASCA Meeting

Fletcher Library Meeting Room, 7:00 p.m.

Jane Gully called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. There were 30 in attendance. She directed Dan Scheiman to add more bird checklists to the Allsopp Park kiosk.

Minutes from the March meeting were read and accepted, while the treasurer’s report was read and acknowledged, too.


Jane said the Halberg Ecology Camp had been featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, so she passed around the newspaper article. In Karen Holliday’s absence, Jane announced upcoming ASCA field trips, as follows:


  • April 27: Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, Turrell, Ark.
  • May 11: International Migratory Bird Day, Holland Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, Jacksonville, Ark.


Concerning programs, Dan said Craig and Dale Provost would speak about one of their birding trips at the June meeting. In July, Mark Brown of Cooperative Extension Service will speak about water efficiency.

Consecutively, Dan introduced the evening’s speaker: environmental consultant

Bruce Shackleford, who delivered an intriguing presentation about Woolsey Wet Prairie’s history, restoration, and wildlife.



Jane reported that Neil Curry of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had asked if ASCA would like to create a display-case design that would be on rotation at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. She suggested that members consider this a good publicity opportunity and come up with display-case ideas.

Dan said the International Migratory Bird Day celebration is a collaboration between Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Audubon Arkansas. Dan proposed that ASCA have a booth at the event (Saturday, May 11), promising them a sign and a table; members expressed interest in doing so.



Bill Shepherd suggested that ASCA settle on a monetary amount to donate to the National Audubon Society, covering some of the costs associated with Christmas Bird Counts. After some discussion, Bill made a motion to donate $300 (about $5 per participant in the Little Rock CBC) to the National Audubon Society to pay for CBC database maintenance. This motion passed.


Barry Haas then gave an update on the ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline spill in Mayflower, a pipeline built in 1947 that traverses 13 miles of the Lake Maumelle watershed. He said there are shutoff valves outside the watershed to the east near the Arkansas River, one shutoff valve inside the watershed near Highway 10 and another shutoff valve outside the watershed to the west between Paron and Jessieville. There is 15.5 miles between each pair of shutoff valves, a span that contains 1,253,175 gallons of oil. The pipeline rupture in Mayflower was about eight miles from the watershed. Specifically, the spilled oil is diluted bitumen, which has the consistency of peanut butter and emits hazardous vapors.

On Friday, April 5, Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) requested that ExxonMobil physically relocate the pipeline outside the watershed as expeditiously as possible. If this pipeline is ever deemed safe to use again, it will operate at 80 percent capacity.

Barry noted that there’s a possibility that shutoff valves cannot be remotely closed. Also, before the Mayflower spill, no Central Arkansas Water board members knew that diluted bitumen—a particularly heavy crude oil that sinks in water—was flowing through the pipeline. The pipeline damaged at least 22 homes. Until the pipeline is located outside the watershed, Barry said, there is going to be a certain level of risk to the Little Rock water supply.”

Lastly, Barry said he had found suet cages from past ASCA sales. He said members could purchase a suet cage for a suggested donation of $5The meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.