Friday evening, CAAS members met at Pinnacle Mountain State Park to hold a “private” start party for some people from Parks and Tourism and two vistors from Japan. They were a lead party for a larger group who would be coming in a few months. The seeing was acceptable but the full moon rose before long. The Japanese visitors were very appreciative.
I chose Cook’s Landing for my first Memorial Day weekend bird outing Saturday morning. I arrived at 7:15 and walked the big triangle from the first parking lot to the river, along the River Trail to North Shore Trail, then back along the Isabella Jo Trail. It was c=kind of a slow day with only 31 species spotted.
Sunday morning I went back to PMSP to walk the Rocky Valley and East Quarry Trails in search, primarily, for a Painted Bunting. It was a good walk, about 3 miles, and I encountered plenty of Pine Warbler, several Wilson’s Warbler, a few Yellow-billed Cuckoo, plus assorted other common birds but no Painted Bunting.
Memorial Day morning I went to an area west of Highway 9 and south of Paron denoted as “Nance BBS” in eBird. It looks like timber company land and the gate was marked Lee Creek P.O.H.C. I was pleased to find the temperature to be about 5 degrees less than what it was in Little Rock. In eBird, the area appeared to be a good place for Scarlet Tanager and Whip-poor-will, two birds I have yet to see this year. I didn’t see them but was bombarded with Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting and Red-eyed Vireo. I usually hear rather than see REVI but these were not shy. I also heard four Prairie Warblers and saw one American Redstart, two first of year birds. I rarely look to the Ouachitas for birds, probably thinking it is hot and dry, but I was pleasantly surprised by this place. I’ll probably check it and other places in the area again.
As I left, I saw a “something something Hunt Club” on the gate across the road so I guess the POHC is something like “Privately Operated Hunt Club” but there were no posted, “keep out” or “no trespassing” signs so I figure they probably don’t care if I bird as long as I leave the deer there. I wonder if the land is owned by Weyerhauser (whose name is prominent in the area) and they lease hunting rights to these clubs.