Northwest Arkansas 1/17/2010

Karen Holliday was nice enough to let me tag along on her quest for the American Tree and Harris’s Sparrows Sunday.  We left early and met up with Dan and Samantha and then Andrew Scaboo at Woolsey Wet Prairie. We got the American Tree Sparrow in short order and then headed for Lake Atalanta for the rumored Common Mergansers.  At the lake, there were a number of pretty tame ducks and geese so I was able to get a few good shots up close.  The Common Mergansers did make an appearance but weren’t as obliging so those pictures aren’t as sharp.  Later, we headed to a so called “Wet Prairie Road” north of Maysville.  Lots of Bald Eagles along the way, more than I’ve seen in a long time.  As Karen & I left Wet Prairie Road, we spied two Harris’s Sparrows just this side of the state line.  As we drove south we must have ventured into Oklahoma as we were welcomed back into Arkansas as we turned east.  Finally we decided to drive through Centerton, even though it was not our bet way home, to see if we could pick up some Great-tailed Grackles.  We did and how, a couple miles south of the fish hatchery, seeing at least 50.  By day’s end, my 2010 Arkansas List stood at 107 species, 16 picked up between Saturday and Sunday.  I know it’s got to slow down but that sounds like a good start. For all of the rarities I saw this weekend, Rough-legged Hawk, American Tree Sparrow, Common Merganser, Harris’s Sparrow, they felt like life birds but they were even state birds.  My poorly kept records indicate that I’ve seen them all before in Arkansas between 1987 and 1991.  I’ve learned my lesson, keep good records!

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