Photos: Ever Enough Birds?

Black and White Warbler 050616 Jonesboro.JPG
Black and White Warbler

Earlier today, friends asked me at separate times about what birds I’ve seen lately and what pictures I’ve taken lately because they haven’t seen me post anything on social media. Well…I had to say none lately, which is depressing. So, here’s a few I’ve found over the past few years.

Virginia Rail 042416 BKNWR
Virginia Rail
Tennessee Warbler 050616
Tennessee Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Warbler 050616 Jonesboro
Common Yellowthroat
Long-billed Dowitcher 042416 BKNWR
Long-billed Dowitcher
Anhingas 042416 BKNWR
Anhingas
Killdeer 092819AM BKNWR
Killdeers

Photos: Birds of the Past

Saw-Whet Owl Banding 01 at Ozark Natural Science Center 110815.JPG
Saw-Whet Owl

I was off work today (yay!), although my family still kept me busy most of the day. In my downtime, I continued going through photos on my computer to cut down the numbers. Here’s a few gems that I found and realized were not marked off my bird list as found.

Just FYI, the above one of a Saw-Whet Owl is my favorite. In 2015, I went to a banding workshop where a University of Arkansas student put out nets to catch and band Saw-Whet Owls. I was lucky – he caught and banded one the first night I went. I went to another banding workshop a few years later, although unfortunately no birds were caught that night. His work is pretty incredible. Saw whet owls are one of the smallest owl species in North America, and are one of the most common (and seldom seen) owls in forests across northern U.S. Arkansas is in the Saw-Whet Owl’s non-breeding range (although sightings are scarce). In Arkansas, only a dozen sightings were reported between 1959 and 2010 before the UA student and his professor captured and documented one in 2015.

Here’s some more finds from over the past few years:

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Horned Lark (Funny story – I was at my hometown’s Sonic with my parents one day when I looked out at the neighboring field and discovered Horned Larks all over the place. I was thrilled and it really tickled my Dad.
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Black-Crowned Night Heron
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Scarlet Tanager

Photos: Lake Saracen

Tropical Kingbird1 122219 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Tropical Kingbird

This past weekend, I traveled to Saracen Lake in Pine Bluff to search for the Tropical Kingbird that’s been spotted there for roughly the past two weeks. It’s rare to Arkansas, and more common to South America. I saw my first Tropical Kingbird earlier this year on my birding trip to Costa Rica.

Pine Bluff is a 45-minute trip from Little Rock. My first attempt to find the Tropical Kingbird was around noon Saturday. I was there for about an hour with no luck. It was later spotted about an hour after I left. I tried again on Sunday, arriving around 2 p.m. – the same time it was spotted the day before. This time, I immediately found the Tropical Kingbird sitting on a chain link fence near the park’s entrance. While it never vocalized, the Tropical Kingbird was very accommodating in letting me park near it to take pictures.

Below are some other birds spotted during the two trips:

Double-crested Cormorant2 122119 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Double-crested Cormorant
Bufflehead3 122219 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck 122119 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Ruddy Duck
Belted Kingfisher1 122219 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Belted Kingfisher
American Pelican 122119 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
American Pelican
Great Blue Heron1 122219 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Great Blue Heron
Double-crested Cormorant 122219 Lake Saracen, Pine Bluff
Double-crested Cormorant

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher 092819PM BKNWR

So…when I took this photo on Sept. 28 at Bald Knob National Wildlife, I thought it was another species of bird. I recently realized I never went through these photos so I began taking a look. Yep, it’s an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Below is another photo taken that day of a Great Blue Heron that I just like.

Great Blue Heron 092819PM BKNWR

Photos: A Better View

American Kestral 111719 BKNWR.JPG

The American Kestrel is such a hard bird to photograph – it takes off any time I get too close. However, this one at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge showed no fear! Another first for me: this pair of Northern Harriers I found together.

Northern Harrier1 111719 BKNWR.JPG

Northern Harrier2 111719 BKNWR.JPG

Northern Harrier3 111719 BKNWR.JPG

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane 101319.JPG

For several weeks, a whooping crane has been spotted at Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge. I finally got a chance to go find him – and while I didn’t get the best photo – I am excited to say I’ve now seen my first whooping crane in Arkansas. Yay!

Whooping cranes, one of North America’s largest birds, are endangered. According to the Audubon Society, they were once pretty widespread on the northern prairies; however, they went nearly extinct in the 1940s. Strict protection has since brought the whooping crane population to over 100. When one is spotted in Arkansas, the birding community gets pretty darn excited.

Bald Knob NWR: Recent Finds

Pectoral Sandpiper1 BKNWR 090819.jpg
Pectoral Sandpiper

Recently, I found several firsts at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge: the above Pectoral Sandpiper and the below Least Flycatcher.

Least Flycatcher BKNWR 090819.JPG
Least Flycatcher

However, these weren’t my only finds. See more below. 🙂

American Avocet2 090119 BKNWR
American Avocet
Blue Grosbeak 090119 BKNWR
Blue Grosbeak
Great Blue Heron 090119 BKNWR
Great Blue Heron
Duck 090119 BKNWR
Ducks at Sunset
Great Blue Heron2 090119 BKNWR
Great Blue Heron