Date: 5/10/18 10:46 am
From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...>
Mike Mlodinow identified a Swainson’s Warbler at Lake Fayetteville on May 4. The bird was in dense vegetation with canopy cover in the Veteran’s Park area. It was still there this morning when David Oakley, Stephen Marquardt and I had satisfying looks and heard it sing. This is the same area where one was present at least June 1-2, 2015, also identified by Mike Mlodinow. David Chapman and I got to see that one, too, courtesy of Mike’s careful birding. Mike also found a Swainson’s Warbler at Lake Fayetteville April 18, 2018, on the lake’s north side. For our neck of the woods, that’s a pretty good haul of SWWAs.

HOWEVER, this morning’s trip to Lake Fayetteville was about seeing a Painted Bunting. BUT before we could get there we saw a Mississippi Kite carrying sticks immediately east of the park, along Lake Drive where David Chapman used to live and where he observed nesting. There were two birds this morning and we got satisfying looks. I know our birding buddy Chapman will be pleased to read the kites have managed to carry on even in his (unfortunate – for our birding community) absence.

After the kite detour, we resumed our travel to Callie’s Prairie on the northside of Lake Fayetteville Park. There was a huge, snake-like worm along the path. I straddled it and stood my ground over it to protect David and Stephen from a return to their near panic -- they almost stepped on a 5.5-foot Timber Rattlesnake a few days ago while looking for orchids near Winslow. Then we continued and soon had a brilliant male Painted, Indigo Buntings, etc in part of UA-Fayetteville graduate student Alyssa DeRubeis’ prairie restoration study area.

It was about then that I remembered Mike having found a Swainson’s Warbler last week. We headed over and soon had that, too. A guy walking the trail asked if we had seen an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. We see so few SWWAs that it might as well have been ole Ivory-bill.

After Swainson’s, we walked down to the “million dollar bridge” over the spillway. Great looks here at American Redstart (2), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), Northern Parula (1), Yellow-throated Warbler (1), plus some more “confusing fall warblers” also confusing in spring. There were also two Louisiana Waterthrushes working the stream below the bridge, and carrying food up the bank, presumably to a nest.

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