Date: 11/1/20 4:59 am
From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...>
Subject: OUT IN EARLY FOG, COMMON LOONS
Yesterday was a perfect morning for observing loon migration: calm wind, warming temps, and promised sunshine. First stop was in Lost Bridge South Park on north side of Beaver Lake. No loons in view … at first. But then, out of fog, a familiar yodel, then another, from a different direction. What a fine addition to a day with brilliant fall leaves and crisp air.
Over two hours we visited three places on Beaver Lake in close proximity, including Lost Bridge South, Lost Bridge North, and the bay visible from Slate Gap Road (looking south, towards Rocky Branch). We didn’t hear more yodels, but we eventually counted at least 11 “Great Northern Divers,” around 120 Horned Grebes, and other waterfowl, including several duck species. You can get a feel for the morning by checking one of several eBird checklists entered by UA-Fayetteville PhD student Vivek Govid Kumar including this one for Slate Gap: https://ebird.org/checklist/S75656864<https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Febird.org%2Fchecklist%2FS75656864&data=04%7C01%7C%7Cc1fbf8509df84429a6af08d87e65f513%7C79c742c4e61c4fa5be89a3cb566a80d1%7C0%7C0%7C637398323667313892%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=ggHfS0bql02ajDzMumbtDAdOW8ITObaqnPp9IwWcMyQ%3D&reserved=0>.
Last thing: there were numerous Blue Jays at Lost Bridge South, all very busy collecting small acorns. My friend, the late Kim Smith, would have enjoyed all of those jays, collecting and flying off with all of those acorns. Kim loved everything Blue Jay. He was chief author of the Blue Jay account for Cornell’s “Birds of the world.” I can’t hear a jay giving one of its trademark pump handle calls without seeing the smile on Kim’s face.


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