White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter

A white-winged Scoter was the first rare bird I have ever found. White-winged Scoters are large sea ducks that can hold their breath for a minute or more as they dive deep underwater for food. In the winter, they are found along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They are typically found in the upmost part of the United States and most of northern Canada and Alaska.

My bird was found on February 9, 2014, at Craighead Forest Park. Interestingly, it was not the first white-winged scoter found in Arkansas that year. Several others were found across the state in Northwest Arkansas.

Christmas Eve Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

I finally found my first Eastern Screech Owl!

I recently participated in the annual Christmas Bird Count in Jonesboro where another birder informed the group she had found an Eastern Screech Owl roosting in a tree just past the entrance of Lake Frierson State Park. Well, I had already left Jonesboro when I saw her email informing us of her find and the other birds she spotted so I couldn’t go take a look that day.

When I arrived back in town for Christmas Eve, I couldn’t resist heading to the state park to see if I could spot the owl. I didn’t think I would and I was actually leaving the park when I just happened to see the owl – right before I arrived back at the park’s entrance. Yay! The owl was very cooperative and in a tree just off the road.

It definitely helped kick off a great Christmas Eve.

Let it snow.

I hung a “Let it snow” garden flag in my yard this winter because, well, it was cute.

I regret that decision. Why? I tempted the fates. See below:

OK, to be honest, I still love the flag. It’s really cute. I also love snow. It looks pretty as well.

I just don’t like driving in it. So wish me luck in driving to work tomorrow. Hope you all keep safe and warm as well.

Photos: Bird Banding Station

I got to attend a bird banding station at Arkansas State University. They put up misting nets to catch various birds, then worked to measure and weigh the birds caught. There were several cool finds: American Redstart, Gray Catbird, Magnolia Warbler and Wilson’s Warbler.

Butterfly Garden

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There were butterflies galore during a visit to the flower beds that the Craighead County Master Gardeners maintain at Arkansas State University near the farmer’s market area.

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