Stuttgart Municipal Airport Field Trip Report

48 people gathered at the Stuttgart airport Saturday, February 15, 2014 for ASCA’s February field trip.  We had a full day of birding in great weather.  We spent the morning at the Stuttgart airport, then went to Roth Prairie Natural Area.  Best birds at the airport were 110 Smith’s Longspurs, several Le Conte’s Sparrows, Horned Larks, Northern Harriers, Snow Geese, a Bald Eagle, a Great Horned Owl, 5 Wilson’s Snipe, and one American Pipit.  Lapland Longspurs were a miss.

After a lunch break, we drove to Roth Prairie to find Short-eared Owls since we missed them at the airport.  As we parked our cars, a Short-eared Owl flushed from the side of the road and flew into the prairie area.  After a lot of high-5’s in celebration of the owl, the group spread out along the edge of the field, then walked in a line across the prairie.  We flushed four owls, one who teed-up in the top of bare persimmon shrubs for over five minutes, giving everyone great looks.  Other good birds seen at Roth were Vesper Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Greater White-fronted Geese, and a very dark Red-tailed Hawk.

On the way home, one of our group stopped at Saul’s.  He reported finding a Long-tailed Duck. Another birder swung by Fraizer Pike Rd. and reported watching the Merlin eating a blackbird for dinner.

Submitted by:

Karen Holliday

ASCA Field Trip Coordinator

Field Trip – Stuttgart Municipal Airport, Stuttgart, AR February 15

Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Prothro Junction commuter lot located on the southeast side of the interstate at Exit 157 off I-40 East (heading from Little Rock towards Memphis).  We should arrive at the airport terminal around 8:30 a.m. for anyone who’d like to meet us there.  You are welcome to use the terminal’s bathrooms.  Lapland and Smith’s Longspurs, Short-eared Owls, Pipits, and sparrows will be our target birds.  Dress in layers; bring gloves, be prepared for wind and cold.  Knee-high boots are essential for walking through the Aristida grass.  On the way back to Little Rock, we’ll check the open fields for flocks of geese and ducks.
Reminder:  February 14-17 is the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  Participate as a citizen scientist by counting the birds in your yard and submitting your sightings to the GBBC website at http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/

 

Destination
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Meet at 7:30 AM
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