Date: 6/22/18 11:34 am From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...> Subject: BIRDING AND TURTLING AT MULHOLLAN BLIND
First birds during a walk to Mulhollan Blind in Lake Fayetteville Park were Eastern Bluebirds, including heavily-speckled young. There was a Kentucky Warbler, Northern Parula, and Indigo Bunting along the soft surface Nature Trail.
My round trip is about 1.3 miles, starting at the south parking lot on Crossover Road, then by the Botanical Garden to see Mary Bess Mulhollan’s feeders (American Goldfinches this morning), then to the lake and blind. The walk back is slightly different: a path south through the woods to intersect with the hard surface Lake Fayetteville Trail, then east to the parking lot.
Water birds today were limited to Great Blue Heron and Green Heron. However, there are a couple of logs in the water close to the blind. On the closest log was a truly immaculate out-of-this-world-looking Spiny Softshell turtle. Its ornate webbed feet were turned to catch the sun. A little further out: a big log with maybe 10 other water turtles. Not much in the way of boaters on the lake this morning to disturb them. The blind typically provides enough concealment.
One turtle really threw me off. It was all mud and green stuff on its back. I just couldn't see any markings at all. Kory Roberts (herpsofarkansas.com) identified it as an old Red-eared Slider.
According to the data sheet in the blind, Mike Mlodinow recently saw a Prothonotary Warbler in the bushes just outside the blind and he has also seen a few Gadwalls and Lesser Scaup. I didn’t see them today, but Yellow-billed Cuckoos were foraging nearby and one showed up while I was sitting in a chair on the blind’s porch, admiring a Buttonbush in flower with lots of pollinators.
More than 50 people made direct financial contributions to build the blind. If you take into account all of the donated labor since November 2014, I think it would be reasonable to double that number. That srated with a UA-Fayetteville “Make a difference day” organized by David Chapman. Mulhollan Blind is conservation-in-action. Its presence midst a rapidly growing and changing region has already for sure made a difference.