Photos: A Morning Hike

Osprey

Earlier this week, I took advantage of a free morning to take a hike on a new, roughly 2.5-mile trail off Lake Maumelle. Not only was the hike relaxing, there were tons of birds singing along the way. My most exciting find wasn’t actually on the trail but soaring above it. I happened to look up just as the above pictured Osprey was circling above. I’ve never actually seen an Osprey in Arkansas, although these hawks are pretty common in central part of the state. I actually thought this one was a Mississippi Kite until I took a photograph and zoomed in closer to take a better look.

While the Osprey was a first for me, I also enjoyed practicing my bird call recognition. I’ve started using the sound ID section of the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app. While it has listed a few birds as calling that I know are not found in Arkansas, the sound ID app has correctly ID’d quite a few birds that I didn’t recognize the calls of. Two such birds on this trip were the White-eyed Vireo and Yellow-throated Vireo.

White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo

The above-pictured Yellow-throated Vireo is actually the third one of its species that I have seen period. I found all three Yellow-throated Vireos within the past week – all thanks to the app’s Sound ID. I would record bird calls, the app would ID the bird call correctly as the Yellow-throated Vireo, and the bird would then respond when I played callbacks (each one has come out in the open, allowing me to get a picture). It’s pretty exciting. The Yellow-throated Vireo may be one of the most colorful members of the vireo family, but it can blend it pretty darn well.

Here’s a few other birds I saw along the trail:

White-breasted Nuthatch
Summer Tanager
Red-headed Woodpecker
juvenile Red-Headed Woodpecker
Pine Warbler

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)