Date: 10/7/18 3:37 pm From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...> Subject: PRODUCTIVE HAWK DAY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS CITY
We had a cool, rainy morning in Northwest Arkansas City. For birding we started out in the northeast, Prairie Creek at Beaver Lake. From inside the car, in the rain, Joan Reynolds spotted an adult Bald Eagle that made several low passes over the water until it came up with a fish. Flew low and over the lake, then up into a big Sycamore, rather striking itself with tall white bark and leaves green and yellow.
Eagle worked the fish well within our view. While we were watching, we heard KER-PLUNK and assumed it was a big fish rising, but then into view flew an Osprey. It made another plunge, but no fish. The eagle was busy with its head stuck in the body of its fish while this was going on.
Since it was still raining, we decided to try another area in NWA City, Craig State Fish Hatchery in Centerton. Gates were open, so we drove in and parked alongside a big drained pond: Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper (~30), Bairdís Sandpiper (1), Pectoral Sandpiper (2), Egyptian Goose (2), and several Canadas. While we were watching there was sudden flight and ducking down as a PEREGRINE FALCON swept low over the flat. It swept over a Red-shouldered Hawk on the hatcheryís south fence and disappeared. The Red-shouldered ducked as it went by. We had good view, but no perch as in the hatchery Peregrine on Friday (October 5). Trying to see where the falcon had gone, we looked on power poles and spotted a Red-tailed Hawk.
As rain cleared, we hoofed up to the upper pond that has recently hosted White-faced Ibises. We were joined by birder Gretta Vowell. Still one ibis (looks like a juv, with brown eye), plus Long-billed Dowitchers (2; loud KEEK calls), Wilsonís Snipe (6), a few Least Sandpipers, and a Green Heron that could be los (last of season) for us. From there we returned to the original pond. While again observing the Bairdís Sandpiper, we saw a Northern Harrier, then a distant, high-flying Sharp-shinned Hawk (fos for me).
With the day clearing and sunning, vultures were rising.