Audubon Society of Central Arkansas Minutes

Audubon Society of Central Arkansas Minutes

Fletcher Library, Little Rock, AR

August 9, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

 

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by President Cindy Franklin.  Twenty-three people were present.

 

The July Minutes were approved on a motion by Dottie Boyles and second by Jane Gulley.

 

Jim Dixon presented the July treasurer’s report which showed no income or expenses.  The net deficit through July remained at $2,333.38.

 

Cindy noted the upcoming field trip to Bald Knob NWR on August 25.

 

Cindy next talked about a petition to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission to ban unlimited harvesting of wild aquatic turtles.  She reported the proposed ban was unlikely, and more likely was AGFC approving a three year study.

 

Dan Scheiman mentioned upcoming speakers will be Paul Norris with the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance September 13 and ???? October 11.

 

A program on Citizen Science was presented by Rob Beadel of the Arkansas Forestry Association following his introduction by Dan.  The program ended at 8:00.

 

Cindy mentioned a Hummingbird Migration & Nature Celebration September 7-9 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and Audubon Arkansas’s native plant sale September 22.

 

Cindy drafted a nominating committee for the officer and Board election in December made up of Jane, Karen Holliday and Cindy.

 

Susan Hardin brought up the effort to save the old Clarendon Bridge for recreational use.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Barry Haas

Recording Secretary

Bald Knob ASCA Field Trip

A very large group of birders (too many to count) spent Saturday morning scattered around the edges of the drained ponds and rice fields at the Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge, also an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA). The middle pond on Huntsman Road is all mud and full of shorebirds, egrets, herons, and some ducks.  No Spoonbills or Wood Storks were seen. Best birds were juvenile White Ibises, an American Golden-Plover, several Wilson’s Snipe, Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, Black-necked Stilts, a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and Blue-winged Teal. We weren’t able to identify the two dark Ibis that circled the pond then disappeared into the rice field.  We tried really hard to convince ourselves we had a Reeve (female Ruff).  Final consensus was a Lesser Yellowlegs sporting a colorful pair of orange legs. The Vultures have done an efficient job of eating most of the dead fish and the area was much less odiferous compared to last weekend.  100+ Great Egrets were mobing the southeast corner of the pond, which still held some water and lots of tiny fish, entailing lots of pushing and shoving by the egrets to snatch a wiggling morsel.

 

At the end of the morning, we checked the first pond, which is bordered by Coal Chute Rd. and Huntsman Rd. It is a combination of bare mud, some grassy mud, and water.  It contained one sleeping White Pelican, 4 Willets, and a mix of egrets and herons and some Malllards. By noon the temperature had topped 90 degrees with humidity and full sun, so most of the group called it a day.

 

The Neotropic Cormorant seen by a birder early that morning was a no-show later in the day. On the way back to Little Rock, we made a quick stop at the Friendly Acres lake at the Judsonia city park. The Black-bellied Whistling Duck numbers have increased to 22, plus two Muscovy Ducks and several Canada Geese.  Approximate species count for the day was 40+ with many of the distant shorebirds too far to identify.  It was a fun day with the added bonus of connecting with new birders from around the state, plus birders we hadn’t seen in a while.

 

Karen Holliday

ASCA Field Trip Coordinator

Little Rock