Backyard Visitors

Earlier this year, I accepted a non-journalism job in Little Rock — a move I never thought I would ever make both in terms of leaving journalism and leaving Northeast Arkansas.

I lucked out in the housing situation, though, and one of my favorite things to do is to keep track of the various wildlife to visit my backyard. Besides the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, I think we are most excited to welcome four to five Baltimore Orioles. Above are some photos taken in late April.

Bald Knob NWR

American Golden-Plover.042118.BKNWR
American Golden-Plover

I love Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge. It’s halfway between my house and the Jonesboro/Wynne area so it’s an AWESOME place for me to take a break from interstate driving and have some fun. There’s different birds to see year-round, and I’ve gotten pretty lucky in the past several weeks. I’ve visited a lot more these past few months — especially since I finally purchased a 600mm lens.

The refuge is best known for migrating waterfowl, and I can usually find shorebirds there year-round. So far, my best finds have been an out-of-season American Golden-Plover, a White-faced Ibis and a Yellow-headed blackbird.

blue-gray gnatcatcher.042118.BKNWR
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
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American Golden-Plover
yellow-headed blackbird.042118.BKNWR
Yellow-headed Blackbird
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Nutria
Northern Rough-winged Swallow.062418.BKNWR
Northern Rough-winged swallow
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Dickcissel
Yellow-breasted Chat.062418.BKNWR
Yellow-breasted Chat
eastern towhee.042118.BKNWR
Eastern Towhee
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Swamp Sparrow
white-faced ibis.042118.BKNWR
White-faced Ibis
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Great Blue Heron

Birding around

 

Sunday’s find: A yellow-billed cuckoo (L) and a barred owl. Sunday marked the first time I’ve ever seen a yellow-billed cuckoo at the Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge.

Close up

This red-tailed hawk hung out at my parents’ house Christmas Day. At one point, it was sitting directly above the road on a power line. My dad had the bright idea of opening his truck’s sunroof so I could get a picture as we drove underneath the hawk. The hawk kind of seemed scandalized by the ordeal but it still remained nearby for the rest of the day.

A kinglet for Grandpa

Golden-Crowned Kinglet 02 toned

I recently visited my grandma at the farm in Wynne. And anytime I visit, I have to walk to the pond to see what I can find. This trip’s golden find was a golden-crowned kinglet, which always reminds me of my late grandpa.

A foxy sparrow

Fox Sparrow.120017.CBC Craighead

Today, I participated in my first Christmas Bird Count in years. I was even able to bring along my Aunt Cindy and Gigi for the ride. We had the northwest section of Craighead County. My favorite find was this Fox Sparrow, which was in a tree near Bono Lake.