Saturday, May 9th was the BirdLR Birdathon, the annual fundraiser for Audubon Arkansas. It was a lovely sunny and mild day to be out birding. Several teams participated, including Team ASCA, the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas Chapter’s team. Because of the coronavirus social distancing restrictions, Team ASCA wasn’t able to bird together as our usual group field trip. Instead, our team spread out around Pulaski County. Areas birded were Western Hills Park, Knoop and Allsopp Parks, the Arboretum Trail at Pinnacle Mt. State Park, The Ranch North Woods Preserve, David D. Terry Lock & Dam, the Port Authority, Gillam Park, and a couple of backyards. One member roamed around Fualkner County hitting several locations, including Camp Robinson SUA and Lollie Bottoms. The highlight for one group was the spectacular sight of approximately one hundred Mississippi Kites soaring high and diving low over the fields on both sides of Frazier Pike in south Little Rock.
Each of our team tallied many of the same birds, but also found additional species, which complimented the joint team list, for a final total of 121 species. Team ASCA received several very generous donations, which will greatly benefit the work of our excellent Audubon Arkansas state office and staff. Team ASCA declared the day a rousing success!
ASCA Field Trip Coordinator
Pulaski County/Central Arkansas
ASCA’s field trip was Saturday morning, February 15th,
which was our Chapter’s participation in the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count
(GBBC). We first birded the Two Rivers Park
bridge area and peninsula at the east end of Two Rivers Park. The weather was cold at first, but quickly
warmed up. We slowly walked the picnic
area and the dirt trail that parallels the far inlet of the Arkansas River. Pine Warblers, Juncos, and Fox Sparrows were
foraging on the ground in the short grass.
Further down the trail, we found a Brown Creeper, two Hermit Thrush, more
Fox Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, and numerous White-throated Sparrows. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Yellow-bellied
Sapsuckers, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers worked the trees.
Water birds dotted the river inlet, with groups of Gadwalls,
Scaup, a pair of Common Goldeneyes; plus lots of Double-crested Cormorants
flying past. A huge group of Ring-billed
Gulls and 23 White Pelicans shared a big sandbar. In the pine trees we called up a Blue-headed
Vireo. A nice surprise ending to this
part of the trip was a very cooperative House Wren.
The group then drove to the west end of Two Rivers Park. The group headed to the big, open field and spread
out to walk in a long line, hoping to flush sparrows. A Northern Harrier glided past. It took a third pass through the tall grass
to finally flush our target bird, the LeConte’s Sparrow. We flushed at least six. One cooperated by teeing up in a small bush,
giving everyone great looks. At this
point it was 1:30 p.m. with no stop for lunch, so the group broke up. Some headed to the Galloway exit off I-40 to
find the flock of Great-tailed Grackles recently spotted at that location. Another group headed to Lake Maumelle to find
the last of the lingering loons who have spent the winter on the lake. Finally tally for the field trip was 54
species, which were added to the GBBC for Pulaski County. ASCA appreciates the twenty birders who
willing spent their Saturday as citizen scientists adding valuable bird data to
the global avian species database.
ASCA Field Trip Coordinator