Birding at Bell Slough WMA

Kentucky Warbler1 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Kentucky Warbler

A few weeks back – okay April, I’m just now getting to these photos – I visited Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area near Mayflower. It was my first time there, and I took the Kenny Vernon Nature Trail. It’s a 2.25 mile trail, and includes a variety of habitats such as flood fields, an area with a shale surface, and woods as well as elevation changes.

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There is a boardwalk at the start of the trail, which was actually flooded so I went back to town and bought rain boots to go through the water in. But, it was worth it – the day was beautiful and there were tons of birds singing. Prothonotary Warblers were actually all over this section of the trail.

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My most exciting find was a Kentucky Warbler (a first for me!!) that allowed me to get a really good look. Below are a few of my other finds:

Black-and-white Warbler 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler3 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Prothonotary Warbler
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher2 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Northern Parula 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Northern Parula
Ruby-throated Hummingbird2 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Hairy Woodpecker1 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Hairy Woodpecker
Summer Tanager1 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Summer Tanager
Swainson's Thrush 04252020 Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Swainson’s Thrush

Just a warbler or two

Yellow Warbler2 05172020 836a Bufflehead Bay
Yellow Warbler

A few weeks ago I visited Bufflehead Bay on Lake Maumelle, and it was warbler haven. While I saw favorites like the Pine Warbler and Summer Tanager, I also saw firsts for me: the Worm-eating Warbler and Yellow Warbler.

Summer Tanager
Pine Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler
Yellow Warbler

A trip between rain showers

Swainson Thrush2 PMSP 04192020.JPG
Swainson’s Thrush

There were few birds found recently on Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s Arboretum Trail (and only 1 other person – we stayed far away from each other), but the ones I definitely made the trip taken between rain showers count. I found a Carolina Wren feeding its babies, a Carolina Chickadee (not pictured) gathering food and a Swanson’s Thrush. A native Red Columbine flower also grew near the trail – a perfect celebration of this being Native Plant Week.

Carolina Wren PMSP 04192020.JPG
Carolina Wren

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Red Columbine

Front-row seat

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Two Eastern Bluebirds have been feeding their young right outside of my front window for the past few days. Tonight, they sat in a feeder filled with mealworms and fed the youngster.

Eastern Bluebird1 BKNWR 04182020.JPG

Photos: Gotta get out!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher2 Bufflehead Bay 04112020.JPG
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

On Saturday, we were going a little stir crazy at home so we decided to take advantage of the warm weather to grab some drinks at a nearby Starbucks and then visit local parks (while practicing social distancing of course and other guidelines advised by health officials).

The trip got off to a great start! Starbucks’ drive-thru line was long but there was a native Possum Haw tree/shrub that had about 15 Cedar Waxwings eating the berries on it.

Cedar Waxwing Little Rock 04112020
Cedar Waxwing

We eventually visited Bufflehead Bay, the flower garden near Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s Visitor Center and Two Rivers Park. The clear winners of the day were the many butterflies we saw as well as a Northern Diamondback Watersnake that was sunbathing. Here’s a little of what we saw:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pinnacle Mountain 04112020
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake Two Rivers Park 04112020
Northern Diamondback Watersnake

Red-spotted Purple Admiral Butterfly Bufflehead Bay 04112020
Red-spotted Purple Admiral

Red Admiral butterfly Pinnacle Mountain 04112020
Painted Lady

Silver-spotted Skipper1 Pinnacle Mountain 04112020
Silver-spotted Skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper2 Pinnacle Mountain 04112020
Silver-spotted Skipper

Purple Martin3 Two Rivers Park 04112020
Purple Martins

Flower1 Bufflehead Bay 04112020

Scissortail Flycatcher Two Rivers Park 04112020
Scissortail Flycatcher

Currently loving: Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat3 BKNWR 040420
Common Yellowthroat

I stumbled across a Common Yellowthroat during a recent trip to Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge. Not going to lie, it took me a good 20-ish minutes to finally spot/identify this little guy. I could see two birds sprinting around in the shrubs across a huge ditch from me, but they were moving too fast for me to see clearly at first. I finally caught the one pictured above just resting in a bush.

This morning trip fielded about 28 different species of birds for me. Some of my highlights are below:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher1 BKNWR 040420
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Yellow-rumped Warbler3 BKNWR 040420
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher5 BKNWR 040220
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and a Red-bellied Woodpecker

Double-Crested Cormorant BKNWR 040420
Double-crested Cormorant

Eastern Bluebird BKNWR 040420
Eastern Bluebird