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.

Photos: Little Rock CBC

White-eyed Vireo1 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
White-eyed Vireo (Russenberger Road)

This past Saturday, I participated in my first Christmas Bird Count held in Little Rock. It was pretty fun, and awesome in the fact that I got paired with one of the state’s best birders. I also visited some birding areas that I’ve never been to before. We found 59 different species in the eastern section of Little Rock that included the Arkansas Audubon Center and the nearby Gilliam Park. Here’s a few of the birds we saw:

Winter Wren 121419 LR CBC_Fourche Bottoms_Borrow Ponds
Winter Wren (Fourche Bottoms – Borrow Ponds)

House Wren 121419 LR CBC_Audubon Center
House Wren (Arkansas Audubon Center)

American Kestrel, Pileated Woodpecker 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Pileated Woodpecker, American Kestrel (Russenberger Road)

Brown-headed Nuthatch1 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Brown-headed Nuthatch (Russenberger Road)

Orange-crowned Warbler1 121419 LR CBC_Benny Craig Park
Orange-crowned Warbler (Benny Craig Park)

Tufted Titmouse2 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Tufted Titmouse (Russenberger Road)

Swamp Sparrow 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Swamp Sparrow (Russenberger Road)

Pine Warbler 121419 LR CBC_Fourche Bottoms_Borrow Ponds
Pine Warbler (Fourche Bottoms – Borrow Ponds)

Eastern Towhee 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Eastern Towhee (Russenberger Road)

Green-winged Teal 121419 LR CBC_Fourche Bottoms_Borrow Ponds
Green-winged Teal (Fourche Bottoms – Borrow Ponds)

Eastern Bluebird, Pine Warbler 121419 LR CBC_Russenberger Road
Eastern Bluebird, Pine Warbler (Russenberger Road)

Double-crested Cormorant 121419 LR CBC_Fourche Bottoms_Borrow Ponds
Double-crested Cormorant (Fourche Bottoms – Borrow Ponds)


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

american golden plover.061018.BKNWR
American Golden-Plover

yellow-headed blackbird.042118.BKNWR
Yellow-headed Blackbird


Northern Rough-winged Swallow.062418.BKNWR
Northern Rough-winged swallow


Yellow-breasted Chat.062418.BKNWR
Yellow-breasted Chat

eastern towhee.042118.BKNWR
Eastern Towhee

swamp sparrow.042118.BKNWR
Swamp Sparrow

white-faced ibis.042118.BKNWR
White-faced Ibis

great blue heron.062418.bknwr
Great Blue Heron

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