Eureka Nature

For posting information about natural history events in and around Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Friday bird walk

I took five folks around on Friday morning. Not real birdy, but we got some great looks at very nice birds. Two best were a male Yellow Warbler, and a female was present in the same tree where I found her nearly a week ago, presuming it's the same bird. We also got a great look at two different Prothonotary Warblers. Both species are possible but uncommon breeders in Arkansas, so I'm excited by that possibility. We got some pics of a Great Spangled Fritillary too, one of the most beautiful butterflies aound here. I'm supposed to be getting some pictures from the hike, and if allowed, I'll put some of these critters up on the blog.

There has been some talk on the net in the birding listservs that this year's migration is pretty slow, and some speculation invokes the hurricane damage on the gulf coast. The migrants are pretty finely tuned to get some rest and forage as soon as they hit the coast, and a lot of the tree patches were just leveled. There may also be some toxins about released by all the damage. Lot of room for speculation.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Birding on Monday

I did the Sunday survey on Monday. Very strange, not a single woodpecker. Still 53 species and all the ducks but woodies are gone. One really neat thing was several Blackpoll Warblers, left from Saturday, and at least three Chestnut-sided Warblers and then another when I got to town. Not much else as far as migrants. The dense foliage is a problem as far as spotting motion up high, so I'm betting I'm missing some good sightings. I haven't found the Lazuli Bunting again, but one is coming to a feeder at the Elk Education Center in Ponca. Apparently a lot have been blown this way by the series of big storms blowing through; there were reports in eastern Kansas too.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Migratory Bird Day Hike

About ten folks showed up for the annual Bird Day Hike. Conditions were less than ideal for seeing birds, since the early warmth this spring coupled with the recent rains has got the trees fully leafed out, rather than the more open state they are usually in this time of year. We got some great looks at a female Yllow Warbler, a singing Blackpoll Warbler (which is a new bird for Lake Leatherwood), male and female Baltimore Orioles, Bluebirds, a White-eyed Vireo, and some other usual suspects. A lot of birds were heard but were impossible to see. A favorite with the crowd was a Yellow-breasted Chat.

After the hike some folks came by for the bird blind dedication, a very informal affair, but productive of some good ideas. They said they liked the blind, and seemed sincere.

Before the hike started I heard a bird singing that wasn't familiar, and tried to find it. Sounded sort of like an Indigo Bunting, but not exactly. I was able to find it in the top of a tree uphill from the big meadow, and eventually saw enough red on the chest of a blue bird to figure out it was a Lazuli Bunting. This species has been seen three times in Arkansas as far as I know right now, ie, a big deal. I've played some recordings, and the sound seems to match as well. Needless to say that's a new bird for Leatherwood too.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Where do the birds go?

Partners in Flight offers maps showing wintering grounds for the birds that breed her, and breeding grounds for the birds that winter here. Other less important states too.

Partners in Flight - U.S.-- Technical Series

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
Finished. Now for the ramp.

View of lower deck

View of lower deck
Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
This is what Lon Dell spent the morning on. I got the design idea from some research I had done on blinds a few years ago. The idea is that a person can roll up to the shelf and have a place to rest arms. I put them at slightly different heights, and they should be good kid places too. I'm hoping they're strong enough to stand being stood on.

Lon Dell Williams

Lon Dell Williams
Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
I can't seem to get a good picture of Lon Dell. I don't know how this project would be as far as it is without him. Heartfelt Gratitude, simple Amazement. He came out again today, the fourth or fifth day he's put in great quality work, and been good company. He got the wheelchair ports done while I worked on the stairs.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Upper deck walls done

Upper deck walls done
Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
Spent Sunday morning getting some cedar fencing up. I think it looks OK. Also got the little benchseat done. No help came so I didn't get anything done on the ramp. Still have to figure out the wheelchair port details, maybe get that done tomorrow, if it will just not rain.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Support comes from NWAAS

The Board of Directors of Northwest Arkansas National Audubon (NWAAS) voted a $300 grant to the Bird Blind Project, and their president, John Humphries, also the proprietor of the Wild Bird Center, gave another $50 in the name of the business. I am very grateful to all involved for their generosity. Special thanks to Paige Mulhollen for shepherding the project through their review process. Anybody local, or visitors, that wants to make a contribution can go on one of the personal hikes, arranged through the CAPC (479 253 7333) or the May Fine Arts Festival office (866 947 4387), at $25 per person, 2 people minimum. All proceeds go to the bill for materials for the blind.

Portholes framed out

BB Day7 3
Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
Wednesday saw most of the wall framing done with the portholes defined. I still have to figure out the details of the wheelchair ports. Lon Dell had to tend to a wedding, so we haven'tgot going on the ramp yet, but it still looks possible by IMBD, May 13.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Upper deck fence framing under way

Upper deck fence framing
Originally uploaded by Jettpakk1.
Spent a good day getting the fence framing defined. I still haven't got exact locations on the ports, and may wait til the fencing is in hand, which won't be until the beginning of next week.