Cook’s Landing 9/27/2008

When I left the house, I had no idea that today was the day for the Big Dam Bridge Bike Tour. After I turned on to Maumelle Boulevard, I had to wait 20 minutes while hundreds perhaps thousands of bikers came through. Finally, made it in. I parked next to the backwater and walked a loop along it, down the River Trail and back via Campbell Lake Trail and Isabella Jo Trail. The loop took about 90 minutes.

Species seen or heard:
• Great Egret
• Northern Mockingbird
• Northern Cardinal
• Blue Jay
• American White Pelican
• Belted Kingfisher
• Carolina Chickadee
• Carolina Wren
• Mallard
• Rock Pigeon
• European Starling
• Killdeer
• Great Blue Heron
• Pileated Woodpecker
• Red-bellied Woodpecker
• American Crow
• Mourning Dove
• Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
• American Kestrel
• White-eyed Vireo
• Canada Goose

Lake Maumelle 9/20/2008

Samantha came along as I checked out a couple spots around Lake Maumelle that looked interesting from Google Earth.

The first was Penny Lane which is just a little past North Shore Landing on Highway 300. It is a gravel road similar to the gravel roads out on the Ouachita Forest. Not too bad but you have to watch the road to be sure and miss occasional huge potholes. Google Earth (GE) shows this road forking into two about 300 yards from the start and the southern branch being Penny Lane but I think that southern fork was wishful thinking. I used GPS to track myself. I found a fork to the left (south) at 34°54’49.5” N and 92°33’59.5” W. I followed it as far as it went which was 34°54’49.5” N and 92°33’59.3” W. That turned out to be about 0.5 mile from the nearest part of the lake. Regrading this location, I think someone would be better to try to walk the utility clear cut south of Penny Lane and walk it. That gets about ¼ mile from the lake in places although I haven’t done it and can’t attest to the terrain yet.

The second spot was on Highway 113 about 1.3 mile north of Highway 10. It is an old decaying road off to the right that leads into the trees and to the lake. There is a place to park on the side of the road but it is not maintained so use your odometer to find it. The coordinates are 35°53’31.5” N and 92°38’49.4” W. This looked promising but you’ll want to wait till winter. It is overgrown and has about a million spider webs crossing the path. Samantha was a good egg about this but let me take the lead. I also came home with chiggers. This trail could be good with a little maintenance. About 0.4 miles in, the trail gets very close to the lake and then appears to continue ESE for another 0.4 miles. We did not go all the way due to mosquitoes and spiders but looks like it would give a good view of the lake.

Species seen or heard:
• Blue Jay
• Carolina Wren
• Pileated Woodpecker
• Red-eyed Vireo
• Carolina Chickadee
• Black Vulture
• Northern Cardinal
• White-eyed Vireo
• American Crow

Lake Dardanelle 9/14/2008

Angie and I went to Lake Dardanelle in hopes of exotic gulf birds fleeing Hurricane Ike. Unfortunately, there was little to see. My visit last week was more productive. We visited both sides on the dam and then took 23 up to Delaware Recreation Area. The best find was two osprey along 23.

Species seen or heard:
• Canada Goose
• Northern Mockingbird
• Great Blue Heron
• Turkey Vulture
• Ring-billed Gull
• European Starling
• Herring Gull
• Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
• Mourning Dove
• American Crow
• Forster’s Tern
• Belted Kingfisher
• Osprey
• Eastern Bluebird