Lake Maumelle 12/25/2008

I put the turkey in the oven and then headed for a new point on the lake that Dennis Braddy put me on to the other day. It is a peninsula jutting westward into the lake from the northeast corner not too far from North Shore Landing and visible from what I call the Southern Rest Area on Highway 10. To get there, go to Roland and then take the Roland Cut-Off to the west. After the initial curves, that straightens out and goes due west until there is a right angle bend in the road and it then heads due north. At that bend is an old gravel and dirt road heading westward toward the lake. That is the starting point and there is room to park along the side of the road. You will need your water-proof boots as the road is more dirt (or mud) than gravel. From the starting point, walk about 0.2 miles and when you get to the fork in the road, take it. To the left that is. I don’t know where the right fork goes at this writing. Follow that left branch for another 0.5 miles according to my pedometer and then you’ll see another road going to the right, this is the second road going to the right so don’t be fooled by the first which dies quickly. This second road goes out onto the peninsula and has its own fork just out of sight from its start. Bear right there as well. After I while, you’ll see a CAW sign and fence posts but no fence and you’ll cross the Ouachita Trail as well. Follow this nearly due west for 0.6 miles and as you get close you’ll be able to see lake on your left and right. Eventually you will get to one final fork in the road going to the north and south sides of the peninsula. I took the north fork to avoid glare from the Sun and then walked around the edge of the land keeping an eye on the lake. I did not see anything exotic but as I got around to the southwest side I could see the Southern Rest Area on the far side of the lake. I then proceeded back to my car completing an approximate 4 mile loop and then home to the turkey.

Species seen or heard:
• Pileated Woodpecker
• Northern Flicker
• Northern Cardinal
• American Crow
• Dark-eyed Junco
• Carolina Wren
• Carolina Chickadee
• Tufted Titmouse
• White-throated Sparrow
• Bufflehead
• Horned Grebe
• Pied-billed Grebe
• Lesser Scaup
• American Coot
• Greater Scaup
• Common Goldeneye
• Common Loon
• Blue Jay

Lonoke Christmas Bird Count 12/14/2008

I joined David L, Jim M, Scot T, and Bill S to bird the North Central section of the count circle Sunday. We started at 5:50, about one hour before sunrise in hopes of getting owls but no luck there. While the day was reasonably warm, 40s to low 60s, the almost constant 25 mph wind made the wind bitter all day. It also contributed to a lowered count as I suspect many birds were subdued else blown away. I finished around 4 needing to get home for other duties.

Here are my results for the day:
White-throated Sparrow 14
Carolina Wren 4
American Crow 1
Carolina Chickadee 3
Blue Jay 6
Mallard 1215
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Eastern Towhee 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Canada Goose 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-winged Blackbird 4500
Northern Flicker 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Turkey Vulture 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2`
Brown Creeper 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Snow Goose 2500
Ross’s Goose 11
Horned Lark 16
Killdeer 6
European Starling 5
American Pipit 50
Great Blue Heron 3
Eastern Phoebe 2
Least Sandpiper 30
Common Grackle 1
American Kestrel 1
Swamp Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 9
Lesser Scaup 27
American Goldfinch 3
Winter Wren 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Savannah Sparrow 5
Field Sparrow 7
White-crowned Sparrow 17
Eastern Meadowlark 50
Ring-billed Gull 2
Ruddy Duck 35
Canvasback 35
Mourning Dove 3
Loggerhead Shrike 3
Greater White-fronted Goose 145
Northern Harrier 5
Northern Shoveler 720
Red-tailed Hawk 3
House Sparrow 11
Eastern Bluebird 4
Great Egret 1
Eurasian Collared Dove 15
Wilson’s Snipe 55
Lapland Longspur 50
Northern Pintail 100
Fox Sparrow 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1

Plus one Mink and two Fox Squirrels.

Lake Maumelle 12/7/2008

I worked the Southern & Western Rest Areas and the bay in between this morning. I arrived at about 8:30 and the temperature was in the mid-30s and it was perfectly clear and sunny. It did not take long for the lake to suck all heat from my hands. My feet were okay in my two pair of socks and new insulated waterproof (I hope) calf half boots and the rest of me too but the hands needed more than the fingerless gloves that I had. Of the three spots, the SRA was the busiest. Left at 10 AM.

Species seen or heard:
• American Crow
• Lesser Scaup
• Common Goldeneye
• Common Loon
• Horned Grebe
• Bufflehead
• Brown Creeper
• Tufted Titmouse
• Carolina Chickadee
• Ring-billed Gull
• Chipping Sparrow
• Belted Kingfisher
• Bald Eagle
• Turkey Vulture