NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AUDUBON SOCIETY
2018 FIELD TRIPS & BIRDING CALENDAR
Red Crossbill at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area December 16, 2017
All NWAAS field trips are free and open to the public. We always welcome new members, but membership in NWAAS is not required for participation. We try to make our field trips accessible to everyone, all ages, abilities, interests. Beginning birders are always welcome. We have field trips on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate different schedules. We try to arrange carpools where possible.
For maps and more information about these places, check the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society web site http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/ and the section “Places to bird in northwest Arkansas” (under Menu on upper left side of the home page).
If you are interested in being added to the NWAAS email list for updates on field trips and other society events, please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the information on the trips below can change, so additional details & updates about trips are sent via the email prior to the announced date -- check NWAAS facebook for the latest.
SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS! Our field trips are open to everyone. We try to warn about any special dangers that might be encountered, but neither NWAAS nor individual field trip leaders assume responsibility for personal safety. If you have special needs, or special concerns, please ask the field trip leader before the trip starts. We do not knowingly place anyone in danger on any field trip. We count on those who attend to keep trips safe for everyone.
2018 FIELD TRIP SCHEDULE
Saturday January 20, 2018. Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area will be celebrating Wonders of Winter Wildlife with a variety of programs throughout the day. From 9:00 to 10:30, birds will be mist-netted at Hobbs Visitor Center as part of “Birds and Breakfast” with opportunity for children to release the birds and get a certificate for the release. At 11, Lynn Sciumbato with hawks and owls from Morning Star Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. To get the flavor of what Lynn has in store, check this: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/morning-star.html. Joe Neal will present “Winter birds of Beaver Lake and Hobbs” program in the Visitor Center at 1:30. Check with Hobbs for a full schedule: 479 789 5000. Free and open to the public. You do not have to be a member to participate.
Saturday February 3, 2018. Eagle Watch Nature Trail on SWEPCO Lake just west of Gentry. Meet in the parking lot at 9 AM. Co-leader is Terry Stanfill, who manages EW. There is a short walk on the trail through open field habitat to a pavilion designed to provide high quality views and an older viewing platform with good potential to see Bald Eagles, various species of hawks and sparrows, ducks and other water birds. After this, we may travel a short distance to find more wintering eagles wintering on former Round Prairie. More information about Eagle Watch at: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
February 16-19, 2018. Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). You can participate in this count anywhere. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 NWAAS and others will participate in a field trip at Devil’s Den State Park as part of the park’s Great Backyard Bird Count effort. Meet near Lee Creek bridge in the park at 9 AM. Everyone is welcome.
Saturday EVENING February 24, 2018. (Saturday EVENING) NWAAS will host an American Woodcock field trip to Lake Wedington WMA in the Ozark NF west of Fayetteville. Meet at 5:30 PM (need to be on time). Field trip led by woodcock expert Dr David Krementz UA-Fayetteville who will tell us a lot about woodcocks at the parking site. The 15,000 acre Wedington Unit is designated as an Urban Forest. Consider a flashlight, don’t wear bright clothes, walking shoes ok. We will wait for the woodcock displays to begin near and shortly after sunset. Also, lots of other birds are in the area to enjoy during the wait. Overall, this should be a fairly easy trip, including those with walking impairments. The woodcock displays should be viewable/audible near where we park. If you need more information can also call 479 521 1858. DIRECTIONS: We are going to same fields as last year, on the south side of Highway 16 and west of the lake. From the main entrance to Lake Wedington Recreation Area, travel west on Highway 16 for 1.9 miles. The parking area is directly across from a barn with a metal roof that is in disrepair and a 2-story house (GPS: 36 05 58.34 N and 94 24 30.94 W). If this doesn’t fit your schedule: woodcocks dance in many open fields, including those at Lake Fayetteville. In recent years, woodcocks have displayed immediately WEST of the Environmental Study Center and on the disk golf course.
Saturday March 17, 2018. Trip to mature shortleaf pine habitat in the Shores Lake-Fern area of Ozark National Forest, then down into the western Arkansas River valley, including visits to Frog Bayou WMA and Arkansas River. Leader is Bill Beall, veteran birder from Ft Smith. We will be seeking Brown-headed Nuthatches, Red Crossbills, and other birds typical of pine forests and later, birds of ponds, river, and agricultural fields in the valley. Meet at 9 AM at the Shores Lake picnic area entrance on the west side of the lake. You can show up earlier if you wish. It will be easy to tailor this day to your own time schedule. As always, you are welcome to leave or join whatever suits your schedule. http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
Wattle Hollow Retreat Center probably early April (date to be announced).
Saturday April 21, 2018. Join a leisurely walk of slightly more than 1 mile from Botanical Garden of the Ozarks to Mulhollan Blind on Lake Fayetteville. BGO usually likes folks to sign up via their website, but come on anyway if you can’t. Meet at 9 AM in the parking lot adjacent BGO.
Sunday April 22, 2018. EARTH DAY at Ninestone Land Trust in Carroll County. Meet at Ninestone by 9 AM. Fun casual hike where we will identify birds and wildflowers, enjoy Piney Creek and soaring birds, picturesque bluffs, visit glade restoration areas, identify rare flowers. Bring something for a relaxing potluck at noon overlooking the famous waterfall. This can be a peak time during spring bird migration. More information at http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
April 27-29, 2018. Arkansas Audubon Society Spring Convention. Headquarters will be at Doubletree Suites in Bentonville. On Friday April 28, 5-6 PM, there will be a reception-celebration honoring 40th anniversary of NWAAS, plus supporters of Halberg Camp and AAS Trust. Everyone welcome; casual, with snacks and so forth. There will be many field trips associated with this meeting. For details and sign up, check the Call to Meeting that will be posted on the AAS web site.
Saturday May 5, 2018. Field trip during Birder Weekend at Devil’s Den State Park. Devil’s Den hosts all kinds of programs with bird themes that are free and open to the public over the weekend, May 4-6. On Saturday, meet at Devil’s Den in parking area on south end of Lee Creek bridge at 9 AM for this easy and often birdy walk in the middle of the northward spring migration. Here is some more general information about birding the Den: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm. Check with the Den for a full schedule for Birder Weekend.
Saturday and Sunday May 12-13, 2018 (probable dates). International Migratory Bird Day in Benton and Washington counties, with additional counts in at least Carroll County. Coordinated by Mike Mlodinow for Washington and Benton counties. For more information or to participate, contact email@example.com.
Saturday May 19, 2018. Siloam Springs City Lake. Meet 9 AM in the parking area off Dawn Hill East Road on the lake’s south side. Nesting Baltimore Orioles, Warbling Vireos, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and many other birds. Numerous native flowers. Slow easy walk to explore this approximately 60-acre lake, an impoundment of Flint Creek.
Sunday June 3, 2018. Cave Mountain and the upper Buffalo River in Newton County. Get ready for “warbler neck.” The focus is on nesting birds in Ozark forests, including warblers: Cerulean, Hooded, Black-and-white, Louisiana Waterthrush, Northern Parula, all possible. We will inspect an amazing flora, too, like Pawpaws and Umbrella Magnolias. Meet at the Boxley Bridge at 9 AM. More information at: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
Saturday July 7, 2018. Chesney Prairie Natural Area near Siloam Springs. See the mid to late summer flora of the Tallgrass Prairie, including blazing stars, other flowers, always fascinating pollinating insects that crowd the flowers of Rattlesnake Masters and various milkweeds, plus open country birds like American Kestrels, Dickcissels, and probably Loggerhead Shrikes. Meet at Chesney at 9 AM. Information about Chesney at: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
NWAAS membership meeting. July 21, 2018, Hobbs State Park, Saturday, 2pm. Visitor Center. Dr Dan Scheiman Bird Conservation Director for Audubon Arkansas will present a talk about what individuals can do to help birds.
August 4, 2018. Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will
host a field trip to Eagle Watch Nature Trail on SWEPCO Lake
just west of Gentry. Meet in the parking lot at 9 AM. Co-leader
is Terry Stanfill, who manages EW. There is a short walk on the
trail to the viewing blinds. Those with walking impairments will
be able to drive and park at the first blind. There are places
to sit or stand, at several heights, and even a picnic table to
sit and write field notes, or snack. Free and open to the
public. We expect to see Great Egrets, plus other herons and
egrets. There should be Double-crested Cormorants and possibly
one rare in Arkansas – Neotropic Cormorant. In past years there
have been a few sightings of juvenile White Ibises around this
time. Mudflats should be starting to develop and these often
attract shorebird migrants and even a Wood Duck family. One
focus of this field trip is native Buttonbushes. These should be
in full bloom. Their flowers are very attractive to a variety of
native butterflies. These should be easy to see along the trail.
Everyone with an interest in Arkansas’s wildlife heritage is
welcome. Don’t need to be a member to participate. It will be
hot for sure, but also probably birdy. If you have a spotting
scope, please bring it.
Directions and more information about Eagle Watch Nature Trail:
Saturday August 25, 2018. Craig State Fish Hatchery at Centerton. Meet in the parking lot at the hatchery at 9 AM. The hatchery has been designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Arkansas. Numerous shorebird species are headed south at this time of year after nesting in the far north. Many species stop on mudflats provided by drained fish ponds. Most folks will be on foot, but those with mobility impairments are welcome to drive along with the group.
Sunday September 9, 2018. Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area. Meet at 9 AM in the parking lot for Sinking Stream Trail and Historic Van Winkle Trail. Both share the parking area on highway 12 east of Rogers. Spotted Jewelweed is dense along the spring runs, especially in Van Winkle. As this is peak for southward migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, they may be numerous in the flowering jewelweed. Other interesting native flowers here, too, including Great Blue Lobelia. These are both relatively easy and often birdy walks (each about 0.5 miles) with interesting native plants. Historic Van Winkle Trail is accessible for those with mobility impairments.
Sunday October 21, 2018. Ninestone Land Trust in Carroll County. No finer spot to see fall in the Ozarks plus birds typical of the region. Meet at Ninestone by 9 AM. Easy hike, bluffs, waterfalls. Bring something to share for a fun social pot lunch at noon in front of waterfalls. Info: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
Saturday November 10, 2018. Fall waterfowl migration at Lake Fayetteville. Meet at 9 AM in the trailhead parking lot just off Crossover Road and just south of the Botanical Garden (not parking lot adjacent Botanical Garden) for a short walk to Mulhollan Blind. From the blind we will travel to the Environmental Study Center viewing deck, then to north end of the dam (near ball fields and entrance to the boat dock). More info about the lake at: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/placestobird.htm
NWAAS annual membership meeting Saturday December 1, 2018, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Saturday, 2pm. Visitor Center: UA-Fayetteville graduate student Mitchell Pruitt will present a talk with his amazing images about a birding trip last spring to Costa Rica led by Dr. Ragupathy Kannan.
Fayetteville Christmas Bird Count (date to be announced)