Field Trip – Dr Lester Sitzes III Boise D’Arc WMA – July 20 🗓 🗺

Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the south end of the commuter parking lot at the I-630/I-430 intersection at Shackleford Road in Little Rock. We’ll stop at the McDonalds in Hope (Exit 30 off I-30) around 8:45 a.m. for those in south Arkansas who would like to join us. Look for Great-tailed Grackles at McDonalds. We should arrive at the Bois D’Arc WMA at 9:15 a.m.  Our target birds will be Purple and Common Gallinules and their chicks, Anhingas, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Least Bitterns, herons, egrets, and possibly an alligator or two!

Very little walking will be involved. Bring scopes, plenty of water, snacks, and lunch. There are several restaurants in Hope if you prefer to eat lunch in town.

 Bois D‘Arc WMA is located 10 miles south of Hope. Take Exit 30 off I-30 and go east. Continue past McDonald’s, then under the railroad overpass. At the light at the big intersection, turn right onto Hwy. 67. Go 1/3 of a mile. At the brown sign, turn left onto Hwy. 174. Take Hwy. 174 south 6 miles to the 3-way stop sign at Spring Hill. Turn right onto Hwy. 355. Go west for 4 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 167 at the white wooden WMA sign just before the highway ends in the lake. Follow the paved road, then turn left onto the first gravel road (Bass Rd) and go down to the lake.  

GPS: 33.558062, -93.694239

Common Gallinule. Photo credit Dawna Stirrup.

Field Trip – Bell Slough South AGFC Wildlife Management Area – April 20 🗓 🗺

Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the main entrance to the Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) off Hwy. 365.  Our target birds will be spring migrants.  

Bell Slough is a mix of ecosystems consisting of 2,040 acres of woodlands and wetlands situated between Little Rock and the Mayflower/Conway region.  There are 117 species of birds documented for the area, including the adjacent waterfowl resting habitat.  

The Bell Slough Kenny Vernon Nature Trail consists of three connecting trails, each ranging in length from about a half-mile to 2 1/4 miles.  The WMA has a nice mix of wildflowers that attract numerous butterflies.  Wear study walking shoes.  This will be a morning trip. 

Directions: From Little Rock, go west on I-40.  Exit I-40 at Mayflower (Exit 135) and turn east (right) at the light onto Hwy. 89.  Then turn south (right) just past the commuter parking lot onto the service road.  Follow the service road paralleling I-40, then veer right at the fork.  Follow this road until you cross the Palarm Creek bridge.  Turn left into the WMA parking lot. GPS: 34.946164, -92.407896