Holla Bend NWR and Lake Dardanelle 10/3/2009

I visited Holla Bend and Lake Dardanelle Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I did not see large numbers of birds but I did see a variety of hawks including three unusuals plus a few first of seasons.  In Dardanelle, near the high school I saw a Peregrine Falcon as I drove by.  Later, at Holla Bend, I saw what I originally thought was another Peregrine but which turned out to be a juvenile female Boreal (or Taiga) Merlin eating a meal on the wing.  Thanks to everyone who helped with the identification.  I think the meal might be a Brown-headed Nuthatch.  Later I saw a very pale Red-tailed Hawk.  I initially thought it was a Krider’s Hawk but later had doubts. I email William S. Clark (author of several hawk books) and he told me it was not a Krider’s or light morph Harlan’s but just the palest of “normal” Red-tailed Hawks.  I also picked up five first of season Northern Pintail ducks.  At the Lake Dardanelle Dam I saw first of season Ring-billed Gulls (2) and Herring Gull (1).

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Species seen or heard at Holla Bend NWR:

  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Great Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Gray Catbird
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Eastern Meadowlark

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