New Sparrows on Harper

On October 21st I went to a Little Rock favorite: Harper Rd.  This road that winds through fields and bottomland hardwoods offers good habitat for a variety of birds.  My goal this outing was sparrows.

I started down the road and heard cardinals and mockingbirds singing.  Carolina Wrens and Ruby-crowned Kinglets called from adjacent woods.  I pulled over near an irrigation ditch that was lined with all sorts of saplings and herbaceous plants, many of which were blooming asters.  Although I was trespassing this was a good stop.  Many Savannah Sparrows were calling from nearby fields.  Song Sparrows called from around the ditch.  I did some pishing and both species were seen hopping up on saplings for better looks at the pisher.  Among the flowers were several grasshoppers, butterflies, and a damselfly.  The ditch fed into a small pond where there was a conglomeration of American Crows and a Belted Kingfisher.  Nearby power lines held Mourning Doves, Rock Pigeons, and Kestrels.

Buckeye

Buckeye

Citrine Forktail

Citrine Forktail

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Sleepy Orange

Sleepy Orange

Some species of Mermiria grasshopper

Some species of Mermiria grasshopper

I drove on a little ways to see what has to be last of season Scissor-tailed Flycatchers.  A lone Brown-headed Cowbird sat on a power line with a group of starlings.  Kestrels flew low over fields which put the field birds into a hush.  After a kestrel would pass I could hear a Horned Lark resume its calling.  Eastern Meadowlarks could be heard giving a faint “pee-aah pee-yir.”  The nearby woods held Red-bellied Woodpeckers and White-throated Sparrows.

In the residential area I found House Sparrows and two Inca Doves.  This time the Inca Doves were foraging side by side.  I had never seen them in such close association.

I went to the lock and dam but didn’t get much.  I went back down Harper only to find a train stopped on the tracks blocking my exit.  So, I went back through the industrial park around College Station.  I picked up some Canada Geese and a Great Blue Heron to end the day.

My three sparrows, Savannah, Song, and White-throated, were all first of season and recently arrived winter residents.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

 

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