Garvan Woodland Gardens 8/31/2008

We went to this U of A facility on Lake Catherine, arriving at about 9:30. The main attraction is of course the flowers but I was ready to record the birds I encountered. Sad to say, there weren’t nearly as many flowers as there was this spring but as my son said, “It is August, Dad.” I did notice that they had plenty of naturally colorful leaves to make up for the lack of flowers. We stayed about two hours.

Species seen or heard:
• Carolina Chickadee
• Carolina Wren
• American Crow
• Tufted Titmouse
• American Robin
• Blue Jay
• Downy Woodpecker
• Pileated Woodpecker
• Red-bellied Woodpecker
• Mourning Dove
• Ruby-throated Hummingbird
• Summer Tanagerr

Saul’s Fish Farm and Bald Knob NWR 8/30/2008

I arrived at Saul’s main facility at about 8:15. I drove around many full ponds and finally found two draining ponds to the south of the main entrance where there was plenty of shorebird activity. Left the main facility at 10:06. Headed over to the ponds at the western end of Saul Road (aka Bell Road) which I will refer to as Saul’s West for convenience. From there I drove to Bald Knob NWR. Arrived at BK at 11:25, learned that many Wood Storks were in the swampy area Southwest of the Coal Chute ponds. As I headed there, I noticed that the first two ponds going west from Coal Chute Road had almost completely dried and the third pond which was completely covered as recently as last weekend was now mostly exposed and muddy and now the prime habitat. Left BK at 1:10.

Species seen or heard at Saul’s Main Facility:
• Northern Mockingbird
• Barn Swallow
• Killdeer
• Northern Rough-winged Swallow
• Great Egret
• Snowy Egret
• Great Blue Heron
• Forster’s Tern
• Tree Swallow
• Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
• Belted Kingfisher
• Blue Jay
• American Crow
• Little Blue Heron
• Mourning Dove
• Blue-winged Teal
• Franklin’s Gull
• Semipalmated Plover
• Least Sandpiper
• Semipalmated Sandpiper
• Lesser Yellowlegs
• Long-billed Dowitcher
• Pectoral Sandpiper
• Short-billed Dowitcher
• Carolina Wren
• Eastern Kingbird
• Pied-billed Grebe

Species seen or heard at Saul’s West:
• Black-necked Stilt
• Great Blue Heron
• Great Egret
• Barn Swallow
• Snowy Egret
• Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Species seen or heard at BKNWR:
• Mourning Dove
• Red-winged Blackbird
• Canada Goose
• Great Egret
• Mallard
• Great Blue Heron
• Little Blue Heron
• Cattle Egret
• Greater Yellowlegs
• Roseate Spoonbill
• Pectoral Sandpiper
• Least Sandpiper
• Wood Stork
• White-eyed Vireo
• Indigo Bunting
• Long-billed Dowitcher
• Semipalmated Plover
• Killdeer
• Barn Swallow
• Turkey Vulture
• Northern Mockingbird
• Rock Pigeon

Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery 8/24/2008.

I arrived at 7:50. Since I had been there last week, I knew the action was in one drying pond on the eastern edge so I went straight there with my scope. At least twice before, I’ve been told by personnel that it was okay to drive around the facility but today I entered through the entrance on the eastern edge and saw a sign that said it was a walking tour only. I decided to split the difference and drive the gravel roads and walk to the pond once I ran out of gravel. This pond in just south of the northeastern most pond.

My key find was three White-rumped Sandpipers, a life bird for me. They were larger than the Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and smaller than the Pectoral Sandpipers around them. They had relatively short beaks, dark but not black. They had light brown or light rufous-brown crowns and distinct eye-stripes. Their breasts and bellies were white with a little tan on the sides of shoulder and neck. The wings were mottled and showed similar coloring as the crown. The legs were dark but not black, like the beak. Because of all this, I think they were juveniles. According to the AAS field, this is a very rare fall migrant.

Left at 9:22. I noticed that I had seen no swallows. I wonder if they are starting to migrate away?

Species seen or heard:
• White-rumped Sandpiper
• Lesser Yellowlegs Mourning Dove
• Least Sandpiper
• Semipalmated Sandpiper
• Pectoral Sandpiper
• Semipalmated Plover
• Great Egret
• Great Blue Heron
• Green Heron
• Snowy Egret
• Killdeer
• Red-winged Blackbird
• Blue Jay
• Northern Mockingbird
• Fox Squirrel