Office visit

"Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco1
This “Oregon” Dark-eyed Junco visited my work this week during a cold wave in Northeast Arkansas. The junco seemed unfazed as a gust of wind would ruffle its feathers every so often.

"Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco2

An icy weekend

1

2
American Robin

Our first winter storm blew into Arkansas early Thursday afternoon keeping me at home this past weekend. I’m not complaining β€” I enjoyed it. Outside ice-covered everything and we had few visitors except for cardinals, a finch, an American Robin and dozens of White-Throated Sparrows.

3
White-Throated Sparrow

4
Finch

5
White-Throated Sparrow

Photo bomb!

rsz_1img_6136

I was taking pictures of a new building under construction when I noticed a falcon weaving in and out of the building through the building’s fourth floor empty window frames.

It was an American Kestrel, my first to see in Jonesboro.

Night prowl

DSCN0088

I’m finally back from vacation. I’m exhausted, but I had a great time. We basically took it semi-easy — slept in and then got going until we would arrive home just in time to pass out again.

One thing that kept us out late early in the week was a walk on the beach to find crabs. Yep, I said crabs. My brother-in-law decided he wanted to crab for part of the week and we spent one night walking the beach to see what we could find. Below’s our find, plus deer we saw on the way home. Enjoy!

DSCN0092

DSCN0097
We were trying to let this crab go, but he didn’t seem to want to let go of our bag. Eventually, we won.

DSCN0101

DSCN0102
My sister and her husband were able to save this jellyfish. Unfortunately, two days later I was slightly stung by one on the opposite side of the island.

DSCN0109
We weren’t in time to save this little shark.

DSCN0112

DSCN0113

DSCN0116

Wapanocca NWR II

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

My trek to Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge was a complete success in bird-terms. I have always wanted to see a Painted Bunting to see if they were as gorgeous as the Indigo Buntings. They are.

We started at the visitor’s center where an Indigo Bunting and a Prothonotary Warbler greeted us separately and walked down the gravel road for about a mile before half of us went back to get our cars. We ended up driving the rest of the way with plenty of stops to see the Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Palm Warblers, and a Pied-billed Grebe as we heard/saw the birds.

We ended up in an open field with a lot of tall grass and shrubbery where we saw the Painted Buntings and eventually at the observatory outlook to look at a Western Grebe through a scope. Not bad for a morning tour.

I ended up leaving at lunch to race back for a family function. Here’s another picture of the Indigo Bunting as well as pictures of other birds we saw:

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting
Solitary Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Pied-billed grebe
Pied-billed grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher
Western Grebe
Western Grebe (a crappy picture, I know)
Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

 

Wapanocca NWR I

Wappanoccia1 4-27

My aunt has lived in Marion since I was a little girl. My sister and I would stay with her to make cookies at Christmastime and to visit the Memphis Zoo. I have tons of memories of visiting her house, however, none of them include Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge in Turrell.

Wapanocca is about 15 minutes north of her house and, apparently has a long history with my family. My grandmother and dad both visited the refuge from time to time. I was just introduced this year.

Previously the site of the Wapanocca Outing Club (a hunting club), the 5,485-acre refuge was established in 1961 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl and consists of mainly agricultural land, bottomland hardwood forest, reforested hardwoods, open water and flooded cypress/willow swamp.

My first visit there was with fellow birders. I spent the night with my aunt and slowly made my way to the refuge to meet the others. I knew it was going to be a great trip when I spotted the below coyotes (oddly, my first viewing) just outside of the refuge.

Wappanoccia2 4-27
Coyotes

Here’s some more of my non-bird sighting:

Wappanoccia3 4-27

Wappanoccia4 4-27

Wappanoccia5 4-27

Wappanoccia6 4-27

Wappanoccia7 4-27

Wappanoccia8 4-17

Wappanoccia9 4-27

 

Change of pace

IMG_5011
My home for the past three years.

I moved to Stuttgart nearly three years ago. It’s been a great home, especially with Arkansas Post National Memorial, Bayou Meto, Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake and the White River National Wildlife Refuge being so close. However, it’s now time for me to leave Arkansas County and the Grand Prairie.

I have accepted a job with the same newspaper that I previously interned at for over three years. I’m nervous, yet excited to be able to call Jonesboro home once more.

The move is coming up β€” my last day in Stuttgart is the 10th. So … wish me luck and get ready to become reacquainted with the delta – NEA style. πŸ™‚

Photo essay: Last meal

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron1 4-6This Great Blue Heron looked tickled pink while feeding at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge in April β€” not surprising since it was having plenty of success at finding dinner. I found these pictures and more while clearing up my computer’s desktop. So FYI, I’m about to go on a posting frenzy of my pictures from April toΒ  June. πŸ™‚

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron3 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron3 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron4 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron5 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron6 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron7 4-6

Bald Knob-Great Blue Heron8 4-6