Date: 3/5/17 4:02 pm From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...> Subject: RED CROSSBILLS NEAR SHORES LAKE, OZARK NF
Bill Beall and Jim Nieting found Red-crossbills (4) near Shores Lake in the Ozark National Forest yesterday. The area is approximately 0.8 mile south of the parking lot for Shores Lake day use. They were scouting for the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society sponsored field trip March 18. They also found 3 nuthatch species in the immediate area (Brown-headed, Red-breasted, White-breasted), plus Pine Warblers and Golden-crowned Kinglets. This is an area where the Forest Service has thinned Shortleaf Pines, leaving a canopy of mature trees with open understory.
I followed up on this today and relocated the crossbills in the same place. There were at least 5, and probably 6. In one instance, a bird was being fed by another. I heard basic chip-chip calls, and some “toop” calls as they forged up in the cones. In the birds today there were at least 2 reddish males, at least 1 yellowish female, at least one heavily streaked juvenile. However, with 100% overcast and occasional rain, viewing conditions were poor. I never did see heavy bills I associate with Type 2 birds. We will look for crossbills during the field trip March 18.
Bill and Jim did not find Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks yesterday in the usual places, nor did I today. The re-configured moist soil units at Frog Bayou WMA seem to be working as intended. One big one, along Red Hill Road, held a flock of about 55 Blue-winged Teal, plus other duck species, American Coots, and Pied-billed Grebes. For those interested after Shores Lake area, we will visit Frog on March 18.