Photo: Blue-winged Warbler

I saw my first Blue-winged Warbler today at Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge in Saint Charles.

The Blue-winged Warbler migrates through Arkansas each year. Cool fact per All About Birds: the oldest recorded Blue-winged Warbler was a male that lived at least 9 years and 11 months. The data was collected during banding operations in Ontario that had the captured, banded, and released.

Photo essay: 1st CBC

Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Golden-Crowned Kinglet

I participated in my very first Christmas Bird Count (CBC) Saturday. It was pretty fun, especially since it allowed me to tour the restricted areas of the White River National Wildlife Refuge.

My group did not discover any rare or unusual birds, however, I was able to view two firsts for me: The Golden-Crowned Kinglet and Wild Turkeys. We also viewed thousands of Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Ruddy ducks, and geese in the refuge’s sanctuary.

Here’s some more pictures from the day:

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

1-5 (3) Bamboo
Bamboo, an invasive species that is spreading on the refuge.

1-5 (4) Mallards, Ross, Snow and Speckled Bellies Geese2
There were plenty of Mallards as well as Ross, Snow and Speckled Bellied Geese.

1-5 (5) Mallards, Ross, Snow and Speckled Bellies Geese1
There were plenty of Mallards as well as Ross, Snow and Speckled Bellied Geese.

White-Throated Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow — I saw plenty at the refuge, however, this particular one was at the Stuttgart airport late Saturday afternoon.

Strolling the boardwalk

Red-Headed Woodpecker

I had a stalker on Saturday. The above Red-Headed Woodpecker kept landing on trees near me as I traveled down the boardwalk near the White River National Wildlife Refuge. It was a gorgeous day full of birds and fall leaves.

Revisiting WRNWR2

It’s been months since I last visited the White River National Wildlife Refuge. I finally decided to rectify this problem now that the weather has cooled off. Apparently, I was not the only one to decide to visit. There was plenty of wildlife there as well.

Water under the WRNWR Boardwalk

There’s been water underneath White River National Wildlife Refuge boardwalk within the past month. Recent rainfall had the White River above its 26-foot flood stage and flowing into the refuge. It’s back down now at 23.7 feet this morning. Here’s some pictures from my trip to see how flooded it was.

My dog Izzie.

A leucistic Red-Headed Woodpecker (I had to email the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for help on this one)

A House Sparrow lounges on a bird feeder outside of the visitor's center.

St. Charles

St. Charles is a charming small Arkansas County community. It’s also home to  the White River National Wildlife Refuge, one of my favorite places to go to. The town is like taking a walk into the past with its interesting buildings and rich history, which you can get a taste of at its museum in the St. Charles City Hall. Here’s a quick glance:

The unforgettable Civil War memorial in the middle of the road near the St. Charles City Hall.

Continue reading “St. Charles”

Is there life out there?

I’ve always wanted to see a black bear and a bald eagle in their native settings. I guess I have this dream of going to the White River National Wildlife Refuge and just naturally seeing one of these two animals.

I’m so busy scoping the area for bears and eagles, as well as other larger creatures, that I sometimes forget that the refuge is home to some smaller residents.

This past weekend, I would frequently hear the local woodpeckers in the trees surrounding me and I finally spotted two of the birds near the end of my walk (see below). Continue reading “Is there life out there?”

Going wild

The new Bottomland Hardwood Trail.

It’s been four days since I attended the dedication of the new Bottomland Hardwood Trail at the White River National Wildlife Refuge in St. Charles, and I am still smiling each time I think of it.

The trail is pretty awesome and I enjoyed attending the first guided hike on the trail, which includes a 1,384-foot boardwalk and an interpretive walk through the woods to overlook the White River. My mom went with me and it was great getting to spend the day with her.

She tagged along as I took pictures and talked for my story on the refuge’s dedication and a second dedication of the new St. Charles Fire Station. We ended up eating at Mary J’s Country Cafe in Ethel before heading back to the refuge.

Below are some pictures of the new trail. Continue reading “Going wild”