Date: 9/30/18 11:00 am From: Alyssa DeRubeis <alderubeis...> Subject: Avocet, B-N Night Herons (Benton and Washington Counties)
Vivek Kumar and I checked out two locales in NW Arkansas this morning.
At the Centerton Fish Hatchery, it was quiet overall, but we did observe a cooperative AMERICAN AVOCET in the drawn down pond. It ended up flying north. 12 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 3 GREAT EGRETS, and a BALD EAGLE were also present.
Then we stopped by the University of Arkansas farm pond in Fayetteville, where we saw 3 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. One was a gorgeous adult, one was a juvenile (hatched this year) and one was a sub adult (hatched in summer 2017?). Interestingly, in the wee hours of last Sunday morning (~2:00am) as I left a friend’s house, I saw about a dozen herons fly over and calling. They appeared smaller with faster wingbeats than a Great Blue Heron, and were not giving the typical “frrrrrnnkk” sound of a Great Blue. Indeed, my first impression was night-heron. But when I listened to recordings online, the only ones for night-herons were much clearer than the raspy notes I heard that evening. So I just disregarded my sighting. But my friend lives right by the farm pond, and they were definitely flying from that direction when I saw them a week ago. After talking to Vivek and learning that they also give raspier calls like what I heard, we agreed that they probably were Black-crowned Night Herons that I witnessed a week ago. This suggests that these birds have been at the pond for some time.