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.
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.