Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher was one of my aunt’s favorite birds. She always got excited when we spotted one and I now think of her every time I see one. On January 1, I passed this cooperative kingfisher sitting on a powerline almost eye level next to the bridge I was crossing. This time, I was the one who got excited to see it.

Belted Kingfishers can be found year-round in Arkansas. I typically find them close to water, whether that be a lake, a big ditch or even a swampy area with lots of big ditches nearby.

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