Date: 2/17/18 8:29 pm
From: CK Franklin <meshoppen...>
Subject: The near Far Delta over to Brinkley & back
Bill B & I took Ann H out to the near far delta today to look at ducks, geese, & hawks. We skipped the Galloway exit for Kerr Rd to avoid any spiil over water on US70 along the bayou. The rain was slacking off at 10A & the birds were all out feeding. Lots of sparrows along Kerr between I40 & 70. Gadwall, pintails, shovelers, & Ringed-neck ducks predominated on the ponds. We saw some Kiildeer & yellowlegs but there was no shoulder & setting up a scope in traffic isnít advisable out there.

The area around DeVallís Bluff was hopping. We hit a field west of town with Snow Geese & 180 Brewerís Blackbirds. The Brewerís were close to the road. All three of us got excellent looks at these gorgeous birds gleaning the field. On the east bank of the White River, south side of 70, a side road curls back to a landing, a picnic area, & a surpringly clean public restroom. Two Red-Shouldered Hawks were carrying on. I assume they were courting. Two Barred Owls were having a conversation when we pulled in. Red-headed Woodpeckers were active & both Northern Flickers & Downy Woodpeckers were feeding on the ground. A huge mixed flock of blackbirds were back in the woods doing their usual startle & fly up behavior then dropping back into the leaves. A crowd of about 20 Rusty Blackbirds out in the open entertained us for awhile before rejoining their kin in the trees.

Duck season may be over, but the ducks don,t believe it. Any time we slowed down for ducks, the Mallards, shovelers, & Gadwalls fled the scene post haste.

Late lunch in Brinkley at Geneís Barbeque. Ann had never been. She could not finish the combo platter.

After lunch we motored on to Cotton Plant & headed back to Des Arc. I did not visit the minnow ponds. Treadways probably would have been okay to drive but it was getting late, we had miles to go, & I didnít want to get stuck on a levee or tear them up & get all of us banished for bad behavior. More geese, more sparrows, a few more ducks, & lots of Red-tailed Hawks. Nothing unusual today.

The backwaters to the Cache & White Rivers are mildly flooded. The water flushed the Rusty Blackbirds out into the open. We counted 114 Rusties today with little effort.

We ended the day with 58 species, approximately 3,300 ducks, 9,300 geese, & a little over 15,000 birds counted today.

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