Bald Knob NWR, Raft Creek WMA, Saul’s Fish Farm 5/16/2010

I went to BKNWR Sunday morning hoping to see the  Fulvous Whistling-Duck reported there.  No luck on that front but I did see plenty of other birds including migrants and stragglers.   I saw 8 Bobolinks, 5 Dunlin, 8 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Solitary Sandpiper,20 Black-necked Stilt, 1 Semipalmated Plover, 25 American Golden-Plover, 3 Black-bellied Plover, 6 Little Blue Heron, 1 Canvasback, 10 Northern Pintail,  and 1 Gadwall among the migrants and stragglers. In all, I encountered 47 species of bird and 1 mink.

I then went to Steve Wilson/Raft Creek WMA to see what it offered.  The road to it has very recently been flooded and much of the WMA appears to still be flooded.  I didn’t make it to the main entrance as the road was too soft.  However, I did see many egrets and herons plus more Black-necked Stilt and Little Blue Heron.  I pick up FOS Common Nighthawk and Semipalmated Sandpiper there.

From there I drove south on AR-11 toward Saul’s Fish Farm keeping an eye open for flooded fields.  I finally saw some shore birds in such a field about 2 miles north of Saul’s.  There I found more Dunlin and a single Black-necked Stilt as well as 2 Western Sandpiper and one Stilt Sandpiper.

At Saul’s there was not a lot going on but I did a quick and incomplete tour of the north end ponds.  The fifth or so pond due east of the entrance was freshly drained and looks promising.  It was about 1 PM and things were slow but I saw another Black-necked Stilt and 4 Dunlin and about 20 peeps. Heat shimmers kept me from making a better identification.  I also found two more ponds due east of there toward the eastern end that had been drained. The farthest looked freshly drained but I didn’t see anything it in.

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