Monday, March 5, 2012

Arkansas Birding!

Tufted Titmouse
Northern Mockngbird
Simon and I stopped at a rest area on Interstate 40 in Arkansas today and decided to go birding; glad we did. We saw a lot of birds, probably twelve different species, adding three to our year list. We saw a lot of Robins on the round and flying around from tree to tree. We walking through the rest area and saw some White-throated Sparrows, Tufted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue Jays, and Northern Mockingbird.
American Robin

Then we walked along the fence line and saw a male Red-bellied Woodpecker up in a tree pecking away and then he puffed himself up and I actually got a picture of him doing it! That is only a matter of luck. Then we went into some wood and saw Mourning Doves a little further down the pathway we saw a bright red male Northern Cardinal and then the female flew by. As Simon caught sight of a Eastern Towhee I saw a female Red-bellied Woodpecker. The way to tell the two sexes apart is the amount of red on the crown of the head. Males have it from their beak to the back of their necks, while the females only have a spot above their beak and then their crown is gray and the back of their head//neck is red.
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Eastern Towhee

 Getting back to Simon's Towhee sighting. He was following it from tree to tree trying to get a good picture and then i came over and we both followed him into some thicker woods but got a picture of him. It's a Lifer for us as well as year bird. 

We then saw a woodpecker high up in a tree and it was also a new lifer bird and of course a year bird for us! My pictures of this bird were terrible; but that's what happens when you think the woodpecker is just a Downy! Simon's pictures turned out well enough for us to identify the bird! 

We walked a little further and found a pond which had a log with some turtles on it; they jumped into the water before I could get a picture. That was about the time we heard the kingfisher, so we decided to walk over to the pond and hope to get a view of him/her. We waited a while but never saw any birds near the pond. But saw a lovely Dogwood Tree! 

On our way back we spotted another Northern Mockingbird and then saw a Carolina Wren! Yup, you guessed it another lifer and year bird for us! Wow, three lifers and big year birds today! What a great day for birding!

Happy Birding!!

Horrible picture of a Carolina Wren

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