Southeast Little Rock Birding 8/7/14

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

I had some extra time today so I decided to go to one of my favorite birding sites along the Arkansas River.  One of the bigger birding hotspots of Little Rock is the David D. Terry Lock and Dam.  I like to bird this site and the road that leads to it, Harper Rd.  Since fall migration was beginning I was hoping to see some shorebirds in the fields of Harper Rd and maybe some terns or gulls around the dam.

I started out on Harper Rd around 9 and immediately got into some interesting power line denizens.  A family of Scissor-tails were joined by a large, brown-backed Kingbird.  As the large kingbird flew away I could see white outer rectrices (tail feathers).  This differentiates it from other kingbirds like the Eastern or the even rarer Cassin’s.  This was a Western Kingbird.  Another birder had seen one earlier this year at this location.  I drove on and saw another Western Kingbird on another power line.  Mourning Doves, Rock Pigeons, Indigo Buntings and American Kestrels also perched on the power lines.  The skies over the fields were dominated by soaring Mississippi Kites.  A small creek held several strafing Barn Swallows that gave their chattering calls as they flew by.  From the fields came the near and distant songs of a taxonomic variety.  A Common Yellowthroat gave its “witchity-witchity-witchity” while a Killdeer gave its namesake.  An irritated Red-wing female gave her irked “check” calls.  Harper Rd then winds into an urban area where I picked up a vocal Eastern Wood-Pewee along with some yard-loving Robins.  In nearby grassy fields I heard only one Dickcissel where I would have heard 15 a month earlier.  Surveying everything was a lone Red-tailed Hawk on a utility pole.

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

From there I went into the park that surrounds the dam.  A family of Kingbirds were on a fence near the entrance of the park.  I was able to sit and watch them at a close distance and got some not so terrible pictures.  I drove through the park and heard several birds vocalizing from within the bottomland hardwood that makes up most of the park.  Cardinals, Chickadees, Acadian Flycatchers, Jays, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens were heard at various stages among the pecans, sassafras, dogwoods, and other trees.  Not much was at the dam except for a few Martins and dozens of Cliff Swallows.  A few lazy Turkey Vultures soared overhead as I tried to identify some patrolling dragonflies.  As I was leaving, I photographed a few Halloween Pennants and Four-banded Pennants when I turned to look at a shallow pool in a dirt pit.  An adult Little Blue Heron foraged by itself.  I got great looks at the bright and deep blues and the subtle maroon that make up the adult plumage.

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Western Mudsnake

Western Mudsnake

 

It was a good day for birds but an even better day for arthropods:

Butterflies

  • Giant Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Orange Sulphur
  • Dainty Sulphur
  • Cloudless Sulphur
  • Red-spotted Purple
  • Question Mark
  • Hackberry Emperor
  • Tawny Emperor
  • Red Admiral
Question Mark butterfly

Question Mark butterfly

Tawny Emperor

Tawny Emperor

 

Dragonflies/Damselflies

  • Common Green Darner
  • Jade Clubtail
  • Prince Baskettail
  • Common Whitetail
  • Widow Skimmer
  • Slaty Skimmer
  • Blue Dasher
  • Eastern Pondhawk
  • Wandering Glider
  • Spot-winged Glider
  • Black Saddlebags
  • Four-banded Pennant
  • Halloween Pennant
  • Rambur’s Forktail
Jade Clubtail

Jade Clubtail

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s