Date: 5/18/17 6:18 pm
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: Re: field trip Siloam Springs City Lake Saturday damn the rain, full speed ahead
Joe and anyone braving the weather Saturday, thought I'd give you a
heads up about the lake.
I have not seen a ton of warblers there as of late but birding is still
good there. Of course I'm not usually there in the morning.
Since last year the city has put in some LARGE rocks in some areas where
people used to park along the west side of the lake on either side of
the dam. We may not be able to get so many people over to that area
where there were some nesting oriole's as well as lots of swallows.
However, just past that area there is a dirt lot of sorts. I'm hoping
it's not finished because it is a little rough and bumpy but I managed
to get in there with my minivan without scraping anything. I imagine
there's room for a dozen cars in there. This is where the new mountain
bike trails are. The trails are not completely finished but I'd guess
there's a mile or two(at least) done. It's steep in some areas, not an
easy walk and we may not get to explore it during the trip, and might
not be pleasant if it's raining... but, worth mentioning for anyone that
might want to check it out. There's nothing super special but it is
birdy and nice. One of the trails goes past a creek. No hooded or
kentucky warblers there like I might hope for considering the terrain
and all but still nice. We're certain we had an ovenbird calling(not
singing) one day. We weren't far from it and the habitat didn't provide
tooooo much cover and yet, this bird eluded us the entire time. Had an
acadian or two as I explored today.
There's a really short trail further up the road where I found a
magnolia warbler last Saturday. Only room for 3 cars there if people
even allow that much room. Not good for a field trip walk but a path to
be aware of.

The main lot we usually start out on shouldn't be too bad in the
morning, especially if the weather is threatening, but there have been a
lot more people boating the lake lately. And I still find it amazing
how some birds are SO skittish while others are so brave. Most
migrating ducks stay FAR from boats and some will leave the lake and not
look back... But during the big day Saturday, we found a common loon
out on the lake despite about 6 or 7 boats being out there. I can only
imagine it's the same one but I found one out there just today. So,
there's a chance it may still be around to view on Saturday. It stays a
ways out so it might be viewed best with a scope but it's viewable
enough with binoculars.
And the big grassy field is, grassy. They've been mowing it a little
more often this year and leaving the lower wet prairie type area alone
thankfully. But as of today, the grass is anywhere from 6 to 12 inches
high I'd guess. Not manicured for a walking path but not up to your
knees either. Unless someone mows between now and then, just something
to be aware of. I've had someone tell me(that was walking a dog) that
ticks are real bad there but I never get any there. I find more ticks
walking to the van in our driveway.
I think some birds have quieted down. Found a marsh wren there not too
long ago and a while back found my very first bittern there. This lake
never stops surprising me.
Still figuring out how I'm getting there but I'll be there and look
forward to seeing everyone. I don't like crowds of people and sometimes
these field trips can be noisy but I still always get something out of
it. More eyes, and ears... always seem to find things I might have missed.

Daniel Mason

On 5/18/2017 8:55 AM, Joseph Neal wrote:
> This note concerns the Saturday, May 20, Northwest Arkansas Audubon
> Society field trip to Siloam Springs City Lake. Due to recent
> flooding, one of the ways folks traveling from
> Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers area get to the lake is closed. You
> cannot get there on Dawn Hill Road East off of highway 59 (turn near
> Sleepy Hollow store). Bridge is closed. Instead, go this way:
> Directions to Siloam Springs City Lake, entering Siloam from the east
> on 412. From intersection of 412 and highway 59, turn right (north)
> onto highway 59. Travel about 1.0 miles to traffic light. At light,
> turn left (west) onto Cheri Whitlock Rd (aka, highway 264, 43, etc).
> Travel about 2.5 miles on Whitlock to intersection of Whitlock and
> Dawn Hill Road (on right). Turn right onto Dawn Hill Road (north) and
> travel about 2.2 miles to south side of lake, where we meet (9 AM).
> A big rain is currently predicted for Saturday, but trip is on. We do
> not get far from cars on this trip and even heavy rain is not a threat
> to anyone’s safety. We will just manage the trip around whatever hand
> the weather deals. Bad weather can lead to some excellent birding.

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