Eureka Nature

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

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Mix is changing at Lake Leatherwood

I was at Lake Leatherwood for birding on both Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Big changes hapening. There were still ducks, Buffys, Mallards, Gadwalls, on Wed, but none Sunday. Three Pied-bill Grebes. But Wood Ducks have arrived for the summer breeding season. One pair gave me a superb look at the blind, and I've seen and flushed others along the creek. The sparrows that had been really few all winter showed up today, 6 species, and good numbers. White-throated, Fox, Field, Lincoln's, Song, and Tree Sparrows. Even better were three wren
species, lots of Carolinas, three Winters, and a Bewick's close to the blind that gave a long look. There was a Louisiana Waterthrush on Wed, but none today that I could find. The Wed bird is the earliest I've ever recorded one there. More good news: the Kingfishers are back, lots of Phoebes, several small focks of Robins, ful complements of Grackles and Red-wings. And the best news of all, a new species for the Park, Wilson's (formerly Common) Snipe. I'd found one at Black Bass last year, but this is the first from Leatherwod. Add Swallows, Northern Rough-wings passing through, and Tree Swallows, some of which will breed here.

Spring Peepers are singing, and I saw lots of Cricket Frogs. Several Wildflowers are blooming, Harbinger of Spring, Henbit, Johnny Jump-ups, Wild Gentian, Bluets, and a couple I didn't know. But I got pics. There was a patch of Bloodroot right by the big bridge over the creek on the Beacham trail, which has already gone to seed, but I found a few more blooms. The Little Azure butterflies were out too, and I saw a few Trout Lily leaves, and later found some blooming. There was another large orange butterfly that i didn't know and can't find in the book yet. It's the kind of day to make my blood move a little quicker.


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