Starting 2022 off right with birding

I started 2022 off with a birding trip around west Little Rock on Sunday. It went pretty well 30 species spotted so far this year. Here’s a few of my favorites:

I also found four deer – one of which was a buck – that were not spooked by humans at all. For a moment, I thought they would walk right up to me.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

I was waiting for food to be delivered to my car when I happened to spot several birds flying overhead. Since it was nighttime, it kind of threw me off. Those birds turned out to be Common Nighthawks. A swarm of them – eight in total – flew overhead, catching flying insects drawn to the nearby street lights.

Common Nighthawks roost during the day, and can typically be found in the early mornings and evenings. According to Arkansas bird experts, I likely caught a migrating group as they passed through Little Rock. I best recognized the birds by the white patch close to the bend of their wings.

Ready to See Mississippi Kites Again

For the past eight years, I’ve had Mississippi Kites nest near my home. In Jonesboro, the kites could be found in trees in my front yard and my neighbor’s back yard. In Little Rock, the kites can be found soaring leisurely above our house. Mississippi Kites are one of my favorite birds – and I look forward to seeing them again in a few months. Cool fact about Mississippi Kites: the oldest one was at least 11 years old. It was banded in Kansas in 1984 and was later found in Texas in 1995, according to AllAboutBirds.org.

White Ibis

White Ibis

At Two Rivers Park in West Little Rock, there is a swampy section that I enjoy visiting just to see what I will find. In this visit, it was a juvenile White Ibis. White Ibises typically gather in groups in shallow wetlands in southeastern United States. They are not common in Arkansas, although they make a random appearance each year.

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

Eastern Bluebird2 BKNWR 04182020.JPG

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

Walk it off

Pine Warbler3 032120 Bufflehead Bay
Pine Warbler

Recently, we took a walk at Bufflehead Bay near the Jolly Roger’s Marina to get out, enjoy the good weather and see what birds we could find. There were TONS of common loons as well as other little birds like the above Pine Warbler.

Just a note: We did practice social distancing. 🙂