Eureka Nature

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

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Early August Composites

This is a site I check about every week, from the Carolina Piedmont. There's enough overlap in our ecologies that it's often relevant, like this one.

Early August Composites

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The dragonfly identified

I sent an email to Herschel Rainey, excellent Arkansas birder and lover of arthropods, describing the dragonfly sighting from Sunday. He says Dragonhunter, a dragonfly that hunts other dragonflies. Where I saw it, where the road crosses the big meadow below the cabins, is usually patrolled by 30 - 50 Saddlebags (another dragonfly) and so a good place to hunt. Herschel has a site, and if you scroll down to Dragonhunter you can get a pic. Go up a level for more species and other information. I found another site for Arkansas insects at the University, and a good site with lots of nationwide links

Herschel has a book out called Snowmelt Timberdoodles, full of tales, reflections, and lots of natural history. One of the best things I've read recently.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday birds, a good find

Well it's a pretty dead time of year for birding, but then a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher shows up. The Arkansas checklist has it as rare migrant. It was below the bathhouse in the semi-open space by the big cat-tail patch right where Mulladay creek enters the lake. Another interesting thing was a flock of half a dozen Great Crested Flycatchers. I think our local birds are gone, and these were likely migrants from further north. Lots of Parulas, a single Kentucky still. White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos still thick. Found a new dragonfly too, but I haven't run down the ID yet, a clubtail, I believe, with clear wings that had a thin yellow leading edge. A big puppy too, almost four inches. I'll get that together tomorrow.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Beating the dawn chorus

I was beat from the heat, took a long nap, like seven hours, and up at half past midnite Wednesday morning. Since I'd just finished the Kroodsma book, The Singing Life of Birds, I figured I'd try for the dawn chorus at Lake Leatherwood. Got there about 5 am, dark enough to use a flashlight since the full moon was setting. Watched the day slowly arrive. First big thrill was both Eastern Screech Owls and Barred Owls calling. The first daylight birds were Cardinals, followed by wrens, crows, and woodpeckers. At that point the clouds turned orange, meaning sunrise, though it takes a long time for the light to come over the ridge above the lake and actually hit the ground. By nine o'clock I had nearly forty species, and that with some big misses. Eastern Kingbirds are gone as well as Great Crested Flycatchers. Pewees, Phoebes and Acadians still present. Chipping sparrows gone. But about a dozen Hummers, more than I've ever seen there by a factor of two. Hummer migration is in full swing according to postings on the net as well. This is the beginning of the time of year to watch for some rare vagrant hummers, most likely being Rufous. If anybody finds one around Eureka, please let me know.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ivory-bills LiVE!!

Sort of local news, read the post addressed to skeptics.

Ivory-bills LiVE!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

National Invasive Species Information Center

On the downside of plants, invasives are a local problem. The two worst n my opinion are Sericea Lespideza along roadsides and in pastures, and Asian Water Milfoil, which is swallowing up most of the shallows at Lake Leatherwood.

National Invasive Species Information Center

Celebrating Wildflowers - Southern Region

Here's a Forest Service wildflower site, and there are three specific listings for Arkansas. The Missouri side of the border is on a different page, so go back through the home page.

Celebrating Wildflowers - Southern Region