Date: 10/20/18 3:52 pm From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...> Subject: Sparrow fall-out at Devil's Eyebrow
The cold front that came into northwest Arkansas yesterday produced an interesting sparrow fall-out evident at Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area this morning. DENA has some big fields adjacent highway 62 near Gateway. The 2-track gravel road goes through them to the parking area. Sparrows popped up along this 2-track. First up – Savannah Sparrow. The 2-track crosses a shallow hollow, with an Ozark woodland on one side, a rocky glade on the other, and then old overgrown pastures. More sparrows kept popping up – in one spot, maybe 15-20 White-throated Sparrows. One thicket with vines, thorny locust and poke was full – Song Sparrow (5), Lincoln’s Sparrow (2), Swamp Sparrow (4), White-throated Sparrow (2), White-crowned Sparrow (2), and a Dark-eyed Junco. More sparrows popped up for a look as we walked and therefore of course disturbed. No telling what all was in the fields we didn’t walk. We had enough to do that we wound up abandoning our original intention to walk down into the DENA woodlands themselves. The sky was pure blue with brilliant sun. At one point we had an overflight by a large black raptor that flew away from us, and up near the sun. What was that? I hate to speculate. Wind was still from N. We heard geese coming. Soon saw about 75 Greater White-fronted Geese. Mixed in among them were some smaller birds, maybe 25 or so that were long bodied (tip of beak to tip of tail), slim, and long-winged. My brain clicked a few times before I remembered where I had seen this before – I mean birds like these overhead. It was October 11, at Alma Wastewater Treatment Facility, a flock of 35 American Avocets that flew over us several times. I have never seen avocets mixed with geese like this, all headed south.